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What is ADHD?

ADHD, stands for “attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.”  This disorder is defined by patterns of inattention and/or hyperactivity as well as impulsive behavior.

To some degree these patterns occur in everyone.  What differs in a person who has ADHD is that these patterns significantly interfere with social, academic, and extracurricular functioning.

Typical signs of ADHD are poor concentration, excessive talking, frequent interruptions (often blurting things out in a socially inappropriate manner), persevering, fidgeting, impatience, difficulty organizing and finishing tasks, distractibility, forgetfulness.


ADD and ADHD in adults

ADHD in Adults

As adults, hyperactive symptoms often tend to remit with more persistent inattentive symptoms.

  • Inattentive symptoms:  failure to pay close attention to details, makes careless mistakes in schoolwork or work, does not listen when spoken to directly, difficulty following through or completing activities, difficulty organizing tasks and activities, avoids tasks that require prolonged mental effort, frequently loses things, easily distracted by extraneous stimuli, and forgetful.
  • Hyperactive symptoms: fidgety, abruptly gets up during seated activities, feelings of restlessness, difficulty engaging in leisure activities quietly, often “on the go”, talks excessively.
  • Impulsive symptoms: blurts out answers before questions are completed, difficulty waiting your turn, often interrupts others.


How is ADHD treated?

There are a variety of approaches to the treatment of ADHD which combine medications, behavioral modification, cognitive behavior therapy, individual therapy, and lifestyle changes.  Medications support people with ADHD by pharmacologically calming and focusing them.  Therapeutic options assist in developing skills to overcome obstacles by focusing on self image and disruptive thought patterns.


Integrative medicine, therapy and psychiatry in San Francisco

What Lifestyle Changes can I start making?

Educate yourself about ADHD!  The better you understand your disruptive patterns, the better you can develop your own unique strategies for coping.  Decrease distraction and stimulation in your environment by minimizing noise and clutter.

Remember when your mother said, “stop and count to ten?”  Stopping to take a moment with your breath before reacting, can help minimize impulsive activity.  Exercise!  Exercise helps calm the nervous system.

Physical activity that requires mental engagement (such as yoga, meditation, tai chi, dance, and martial arts) further aid with ADHD symptoms by calming the nervous system and developing focus.


Learn how Well Clinic’s psychiatrists and therapists can help you or your children cope with ADHD



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