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ADHD Awareness Month 2021

October is ADHD Awareness Month! This month celebrates the unique and diverse ADHD community around the globe while raising awareness in order to educate the general public with reliable, peer-reviewed information. This year’s theme, Reframing ADHD: Discovering New Perspectives, will focus on a video series of conversations with experts regarding topics such as: relationships and communication, treatment plans, parenting, diagnosis, and co-occurring conditions. Those affected by ADHD are encouraged to seek assessment, treatment, and reach out to their support system when necessary.

What is ADHD?

Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a chronic neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by difficulty paying attention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity. ADHD is a brain-based medical disorder that affects children and adults alike. Symptoms are generally more apparent during childhood and can be related to inattentiveness or hyperactivity and impulsiveness at home or school. ADHD is most commonly diagnosed during childhood since it is believed that it cannot develop during adulthood without having shown up first as a child. Furthermore, symptoms are more difficult to identify in adulthood, largely due to lack of research. Additionally, symptoms may manifest differently for adults. Hyperactivity may be less common in adults compared to children, while inattentiveness may be more prevalent in adults. One potential reason for this is that adults are provided with less structure from parents, teachers and other caregivers. Therefore, they might be less attentive because of the lack of structure combined with the added pressures of adulthood.

What Are the Symptoms?

As mentioned above, inattentiveness and hyperactivity are the main identifiers of ADHD, but what does that look like? Healthcare providers refer to the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM-5) in order to help diagnose ADHD. Inattentiveness in children can manifest as the following:

  • Short attention span or making careless mistakes with schoolwork, work or other activities
  • Trouble maintaining attention on tasks
  • Difficulty organizing tasks
  • Appears to not be listening when spoken to
  • Fails to complete tasks such as chores, schoolwork, or duties in the workplace
  • Often easily distracted

Hyperactivity and impulsivity can appear as:

  • Inability to sit still (e.g., fidgets with hands or feet)
  • Trouble being patient
  • Excessive talking
  • Having no sense of danger
  • Acting without thinking
  • Interrupting or intruding on others

What Can You Do?

If you or someone you know have been diagnosed with ADHD, the month of October is a great opportunity to help raise awareness and reflect on what you know and what more you would like to know about ADHD. Here at Lifeologie Oak Cliff we have several counselors who can help parents, children, or anyone who needs help in dealing with or diagnosing ADHD.

About the Author:

Luis Hernandez provides counseling for Spanish speaking people and members of the LGBTQ+ community in Oak Cliff, Dallas, TexasLuis Hernandez is a counselor specializing in the LGBTQ+ community, couple’s counseling, racial trauma, and provides counseling in Spanish here at Lifeologie Oak Cliff. To find out more about Luis, click here, or to book an appointment click here!