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    Mental Health awareness – Unpacking ADHD
    This mental health awareness month, let’s make an effort to educate and familiarize ourselves with mental health disorders, whether you grew up with symptoms or have a close relative who has been diagnosed.

    What is ADHD? ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) is one of the most common neurodevelopmental disorders in childhood. It’s usually first diagnosed in childhood and often lasts into adulthood. Children with ADHD may have trouble paying attention, controlling impulsive behaviours (may act without thinking about what the result will be), or be overly active. Here’s more

    Signs and symptoms
    It’s normal for children to have trouble focusing and behaving at one time or another. However, it is different with children diagnosed with ADHD. It’s important to note that a healthcare provider is the only person who is able to diagnose ADHD.

    A child with ADHD might,

    Daydream a lot
    Forget or lose things a lot
    Fidget
    Talk too much
    Make careless mistakes or take unnecessary risks
    Have a hard time resisting temptation
    Have trouble taking turns
    Have difficulty getting along with others
    Types
    There are three different types of ADHD. Your healthcare provider is the best person to discuss the different types, and provide a proper diagnosis.

    Causes
    There are still studies being carried out on the causes and risk factors to find better ways to manage and reduce the chances of a person having ADHD. The cause(s) and risk factors for ADHD are unknown, but current research shows that genetics plays an important role. Other causes found include,

    Brain injury
    Exposure to environmental risks during pregnancy or at a young age
    Alcohol and tobacco use during pregnancy
    Premature delivery
    Low birth weight
    Research doesn’t support the views that ADHD is caused by eating too much sugar, watching too much television, parenting, or social and environmental factors such as poverty or family chaos.

    Treatment
    ADHD is treated with a combination of behaviour therapy and medication. Good treatment plans will include close monitoring, follow-ups, and making changes to treatment or other factors if needed, along the way.

    If you or anyone you know might be struggling with ADHD, visit ADHASA (Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Support Group of Southern Africa) at +27 11-888-7655 and info@ADHASA.co.za

    If you or a friend need advice or help, you can contact me here on Ask Choma, send a Facebook message or a Twitter DM, or a WhatsApp Message (071 172 3657).

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