October is the annual celebration for how far people have come with understanding attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Prior to 2004, ADHD awareness was only celebrated on one calendar day. Now, the whole month of October is dedicated to raising awareness for this condition. Raising awareness for this condition is critical because according to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), “the estimated number of children ever diagnosed with ADHD, according to a national 2016 parent survey is 6.1 million (9.4%)”. Most of us know someone who has ADHD, so being well informed will not only benefit yourself but them as well.
What exactly is ADHD?
The American Psychiatric Association (APA) defined ADHD as “one of the most common central disorders affecting children. Symptoms of ADHD include inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity”. The APA further explained the following symptoms:
- Doesn’t pay close attention to details or makes careless mistakes in school or job tasks.
- Has problems staying focused on tasks or activities, such as during lectures, conversations or long reading.
- Does not seem to listen when spoken to (i.e, seems to be elsewhere).
- Does not follow through on instructions and doesn’t complete schoolwork, chores or job duties (may start tasks but quickly loses focus).
- Has problems organizing tasks and work (for instance, does not management time well; has messy, disorganized work; misses deadlines).
- Avoids or dislikes tasks that require sustained mental effort, such as preparing reports and completing forms.
- Often loses things needed for tasks or daily life, such as school papers, books, keys, wallet, cell phone, and eyeglasses.
- Is easily distracted.
- Forgets daily tasks, such as doing chores and running errands. Older teens and adults may forget to return phone calls, pay bills and keep appointments.
Clinicians and scientists have not identified what exactly causes ADHD to begin in children and adults. Some evidence points towards a person’s genetics, but more extensive studies will be performed to prove that theory.
How can I live with ADHD?
Having ADHD can be difficult to live with, but there are many different ways to cope with your symptoms. The first tactic is to give the person with ADHD clear boundaries and a clean-cut structure for a day-to-day basis. Sometimes breaking an activity down into smaller, but well structured steps, can help the person with ADHD understand what is expected of them and there will be no surprises. During these steps, make sure to always remain positive and give the person positive-reinforcement when acceptable. If sleeping becomes a problem, try going to bed and waking up at the same time each day while also avoiding video games and/or tv before bed. For those adults out there, there are many support groups you can speak with and you can definitely fine someone else to share your experiences with.
Can Cross Valley Health & Medicine help with my ADHD symptoms?
Yes! Both Dr. Saladino and Christian Plaza have many years of experience with providing care to those with mental health concerns. They understand that each case is unique, and develops a treatment plan that works for not only you, but everyone else in your life as well.
Cross Valley Health & Medicine is a primary care practice located in Newburgh NY, allowing for both virtual and in-person appointments. The practice has two medical providers on staff, Doctor Paul Saladino who is dual board-certified in Addiction Medicine and Internal Medicine and a Christian Plaza who is a family nurse practitioner. Both practitioners are eager to see new patients for the following programs: Addiction Medicine, Behavioral Health Management, HIV/AIDS Care Management, Internal Medicine, Medical Marijuana Certifications, Medication-Assisted Treatment, STD/STI Care Management, and Weight Loss Management. If you are interested in becoming a patient of Cross Valley, please click here to access our online paperwork portal. Visit us online at www.crossvalleyhealth.com or give our office a call at 845-561-7075.