ADHD, also known as Attention Deficit Hyperacivity Disorder, is probably a familiar term to most people, though misconceptions about the disorder are still fairly common. ADHD is a neurodevelopmental disorder, which means that it affects the development of the brain and central nervous system beginning in childhood (current criteria say symptoms must be present before age twelve). It can seem tricky to distinguish between the inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity that all children (and adults) display from time to time and the more disruptive and functionally impairing sypmtoms that meet criteria for a diagnosis of ADHD. In addition, other conditions may mimic symptoms of ADHD, making diagnosis more complicated. That’s why it’s so important to consult with a trained mental health provider (psychologist, psychiatrist, licensed mental health provider, etc.) to ensure an accurate diagnosis.
For more information on ADHD, check out this helpful website: http://www.chadd.org.