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ADHD: Mental Illness or Myth?

Sci Bac Presentation

Eilidh Clark

on 22 February 2013

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Transcript of ADHD: Mental Illness or Myth?

This is Steve. He has ADHD. ADHD Mental illness? Or myth? THE 3 SUBTYPES Inattentive Combined Hyperactive-
impulsive Least common subtype
(9% of all cases) More common in young boys Symptoms Hyperactive-
impulsive Most commonly studied and diagnosed psychiatric disorder in children

Affects about 3-5% of children globally

Diagnosed in about 2-16% of school-aged children. Inattentive 30% of all cases Most girls with ADHD have this subtype Predominates in adults Symptoms COST GENERAL AWARENESS CONTROVERSY Research
Health care
Work loss The cost of medication manufacture alone is expected to reach a staggering $4.2 billion worldwide by 2015. More knowledge = better support = more opportunities for sufferers Is it merely an excuse for bad parenting? What is ADHD? A disorder found in children? It is a LIFELONG IMPAIRMENT. 30-50% continue to have symptoms into adulthood. Most common subtype (61% of all cases) A combination of hyperactive/impulsive and inattentive fidget talk non-stop constantly in motion trouble sitting still loud impatient act without thinking easily forgetful difficulty staying focused become bored quickly daydream don't seem to listen when spoken to miss details easily distracted often lose things disorganised GENETICS How is ADHD treated? The conclusion? SOCIAL/ENVIRONMENTAL
FACTORS DIET Rare in adults THE PROBLEMS Here's what you would expect. poor performance in school low academic achievement Ummm? disrupting others' learning low self
esteem dyslexia Tourette's
syndrome substance
abuse crime Oppositional Defiant Disorder Conduct
Disorder anxiety depression Bipolar Disorder insomnia learning
disability dyspraxia anti-social
behaviour bullying effect on family language impairment BIOLOGICAL BASIS TWIN STUDIES

Identical twins have 100% matching DNA
Non-identical twins have about 50% matching DNA
Genetic trait = more common in identical twins ADOPTION STUDIES

Adoptive relatives less likely to have ADHD than biological relatives
Genetic trait = more common in biological relatives WHAT MAKES ADHD WORSE?

Parents may think children are just being naughty and disobedient
Parents will get angry at children which lowers self-esteem WHAT MAKES ADHD BETTER?

More knowledgeable parents = more supportive parents
Child can cope with symptoms more effectively RISK FACTORS

smoking/drinking during pregnancy
complications with pregnancy and birth
low birth weight infants ADDITIVES AND PRESERVATIVES?

Link was believed in the 1970s
No current research supports this claim SUGAR?

Believed to increase hyperactivity
No current research supports this claim Diet does NOT contribute to ADHD. BRAIN ANATOMY

Key areas of the brain tend to be smaller in ADHD sufferers
Associated with problem solving, planning, impulse control and regulating motor coordination BRAIN CHEMICAL IMBALANCE
Lack of dopamine in sufferers
Associated with pleasure, reward, movement, attention and learning How is ADHD diagnosed? STAGE 1 STAGE 2 STAGE 3 Recognising difficulties Symptoms must: occur beyond the extent of what is normal for the person's age
occur in a variety of situations
have appeared before the age of 7
have been present for at least 6 months Generic contextual assessment: school based Information gathered: assessment information from any other professional involved

child's strengths, interests and difficulties

the effectiveness of different strategies in supporting the child's learning and social development ADHD assessment: community paediatric service Formal diagnosis involves: interview with child
interview with family
consideration of information gathered by school
assessment of child in different environments But what next? The ADHD Continuum Mild Severe None Moderate -> Increasing symptoms -> THE TEST I have a sense of underachievement, of not meeting my goals, regardless of how much I have actually accomplished. My moods have highs and lows. I make quick decisions without thinking enough about their possible bad results. I say things without thinking, and later regret having said them. I usually work on more than one project at a time, and fail to finish many of them. I find it difficult to read written material unless it is very interesting or very easy. I am irritable, and get upset by minor annoyances. In conversations, I start to answer questions before the questions have been fully asked. Even when sitting quietly, I am usually moving my hands or feet. END TEST However, a well balanced nutritional diet is advisable. ADHD Cognitive Behaviour Therapy Medication Parents Inc. A combination of treatments is most effective at overcoming negative symptoms. Parents Inc.
Cognitive behaviour therapy
Family work
Occupational therapy assessment/intervention
Group work for children and young people A combination of methods is best at out-balancing the negative symptoms of ADHD. A 6 week parenting programme for parents and carers who have a child aged 6-12 with ADHD Upon completion, parents can still gain support from Parents Inc. as well as from other parents and carers. Most effective form of treatment

Decision to medicate lies with child, parents and healthcare professionals Stimulant Medicines Most common type of medication used in ADHD treatment

Calms down children and reduces symptoms

Helps to maintain chemical balance in brain

Specifically regulates dopamine levels in certain areas of the brain Non-Stimulant Medicines Not quite as effective as stimulants

Act on dopamine in the same way

Also help to combat symptoms Side effects of stimulants include:
loss of appetite
weight loss
sleep problems
jitteriness Therapy involving reflection on behaviour Talking therapy - finds positive ways of dealing with tricky issues and situations Most helpful in managing the associated problems such as low self-esteem and relationship difficulties ADHD is a real mental illness which affects 3-5% of all children. Although there is no known cause of ADHD, there are several factors which increase the risk. Bad parenting does not cause ADHD, although lack of knowledge/support can influence the severity of the condition. With the right treatment and support from everyone, a child will be more likely to cope with ADHD and its symptoms. But what causes ADHD?
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