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Mental Health and Illness Around the World

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Mental Health and Illness around the World

According to the definition of American doctors, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a chronic neurobehavioral disorder that starts in childhood and sometimes persists into adulthood (Hoseini, Abbasi, Moghaddam, Khademi & Saeidi, 2014). Patients with ADHD usually have extreme levels of activity, difficulty controlling impulsive behaviors and sustaining attention. For example, most six-year-olds understand that during the lesson they should sit quietly and listen to the teacher even if they are not very interested. Children with ADHD understand this too, but they are unable to control themselves. ADHD is referred to common behavioral disorders among American children, which is usually identified in school-age since it leads to lesson disruptions or problems with studying.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention point out three types of ADHD: predominantly inattentive, predominantly hyperactive-impulsive and combined type (Fallesen & Wildman, 2015). Children with a predominant lack of attention feel difficulty doing something that requires attention for more than few minutes. They are usually bad at achieving academic success. The same type of disorder can include children who may have problems with the speed and accuracy of information processing. Children with predominant hyperactivity syndrome are constantly on the move. They fidget, spin, jump, touch and tease everything they can reach. The most difficult situation is when the symptoms of two types of ADHD are combined. As a rule, impulsiveness and hyperactivity appear first, and attention deficit may follow in a few months, or even years.

The disorder can be difficult to diagnosis since many healthy children are often hyperactive or easily distracted in a certain period of their development. However, these aspects of behavior become an area of concern when they adversely affect learning process and relationships with classmates and family members. Pediatricians specializing in developmental and behavioral problems, neurologists and even social workers who have received special training have the right to diagnose ADHD in the United States.

Although much attention has been focused on discovering the causes of ADHD, scientists have not yet determined the specific causes of the disorder. From the biological standpoint, genetics contributes to ADHD to a great extent. The probability of pathology is by 25% higher if someone from relatives is diagnosed with ADHD (Thome, Ehis, Fallgatter, Krauel, et. al., 2012). Some studies have found a positive correlation between smoking, alcohol consumption by women during pregnancy and the presence of ADHD in their children. Other studies claim that the risk of ADHD is elevated in children who have suffered a concussion. In addition, some American scientists believe that the nutritional supplements, especially synthetic dyes contribute to the development of the disorder. However, there is no scientific confirmation of this hypothesis.

American scientists claim ADHD is successfully treated through the utilizing a variety of approaches, which vary from medications to counseling (Sue et. al., 2013). Medication is used as a remedy to mitigate the behavioral problems that may result into conflicts in school and family settings. Stimulant medications (dextroamphetamine, methylphenidate) are prescribed to treat patients with all types of ADHD. These drugs improve symptoms of hyperactivity, impassivity, and inattention. Drug therapy is the last and not always mandatory step in the treatment of ADHD. However, numerous studies have demonstrated that the best results are obtained by combining counseling with the drug therapy.

Counseling helps patients to manage the behavioral symptoms and impact the disorder has on their self-esteem. Counseling can exist in a form of a behavioral therapy or behavioral strategies. In the first case, parents and teachers can learn to handle difficult behavior. In the second case, children learn coping techniques. In the United States, many educational establishments have adopted policies to assist in treatment for individuals with ADHD in schools due to an adverse impact of the disorder on a child’s academic success.

Disputes of scientists on the causes of ADHD and its treatment have been going on for decades. Up to the present day, there are no accurate studies that explain whether ADHD is the result of the brain dysfunction or the consequence of the incorrect upbringing and poor psychological climate prevailing in the family or school. In the West, particularly in the United Stated, where ADHD is being treated with drugs containing psychotropic substances, the public is disturbed by a large number of cases when children are diagnosed with ADHD and often unnecessarily prescribed drugs that cause side effects.



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