Causes of ADHD | ADHD

Causes of ADHD

The reasons and causes that sufficiently clarify why people develop ADHD have not yet been conclusively named. The problem lies in the individuality of the person. Some statements can be made, however: As already mentioned above, it has been proven that, especially in the case of identical twins, both children are affected by the same symptoms.

It has also been shown that altered brain functions are genetically inherited and can be held responsible for the neurobiological/neurochemical components mentioned below. Since the 1990s, a neurobiological/neurochemical approach has been assumed, as biological studies show that affected patients suffer from an imbalance of the messenger substances serotonin, dopamine and noradrenaline in the brain, as a result of which the transmission of information between the nerve cells of individual brain areas does not function adequately. The messenger substances affect humans in different ways.

For example, it is assumed that serotonin essentially influences mood, while dopamine relates to physical activity. Noradrenaline, on the other hand, influences the ability to pay attention. Again and again an allergy is discussed as a cause for the development of an attention deficit.

Although an existing allergy does not necessarily mean that an attention deficit is also present, an allergy does trigger a stressful situation to which the body or the adrenal cortex triggers an adrenaline release and finally responds with increased cortisol production. Cortisol belongs to the group of so-called glucocorticoids and causes a drop in serotonin levels in the body. Since – as already mentioned above – serotonin essentially influences mood, fluctuations in this area are the logical consequence.

It is precisely these mood and attentional fluctuations that can be observed in the attention-deficient child. To return to the neurobiological or neurochemical component, we now come to the presentation of information transmission, which must be imagined as follows: In the brain, a multitude of nerve cells form a kind of network. All the activities we perceive imply the activity of the nerve cells and their ability to transmit stimuli.

However, the nerve cells are not connected to each other, as this would lead to a permanent transmission of stimuli and thus to a stimulus overload. There is therefore a gap between two nerve cells, the synaptic gap, which can only be overcome by the messenger substances (see: neurotransmitters). In plain language this means: stimulus arrives at nerve cell 1, nerve cell 1 releases messenger substances which dock at the receptors of nerve cell 2 via the synaptic gap and pass on the stimulus there.

If the transmission of the stimulus does not function sufficiently, the transmission of information is disturbed. It is currently assumed that both the transporter gene and the docking site for dopamine are different in ADS patients. Also harmful influences in the pre-, peri- and postnatal area are still being discussed.

These include in particular complications during birth and accidents of the infant that affect the head area. Also diseases of the infant in the area of the central nervous system can be considered as a cause for the development of AD(H)S. Examples of harmful influences in the prenatal area are Educational deficits, psychological stress such as high demands of the family/society on the child or adult can play a decisive role in the development of AD(H)D as well as an extreme stimulus satiation. As a rule, however, the above-mentioned aspects are not considered the actual cause.

However, under certain circumstances, they can amplify the problem many times over. – Increased alcohol and/or nicotine consumption by the mother, as a result of which the brain stem (thalamus) is not fully developed (brain-organic component)

  • Brain-functional reasons, by which the cerebrum is not sufficiently supplied with blood. – Infectious Diseases
  • Bleeding

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD for short) is a psychiatric-neurological disorder that develops mainly in youth or childhood and can then be carried on into adulthood. Children suffering from ADHD initially stand out because of a barely breast-feeding restlessness. Sitting is difficult for the children and most of the time the affected persons have to be in motion all the time.

In addition to the permanent restlessness, the disease is further classified by severe concentration disorders. Those affected can usually only concentrate on one topic or activity for a very short time. In children, a certain reduction in the ability to concentrate is often normal and has no disease value.

Severe concentration disorders in adulthood, however, should always make one think of ADHD. Especially children who suffer from ADHD often become conspicuous by strong mood swings. Often there are outbursts of anger and sudden attacks that do not fit the surrounding circumstances.

Children are often difficult to calm down. Often the children also suffer from sleep disorders due to their restlessness, which then again results in them being unable to sleep in during the day, which could then again lead to increased aggression and mood swings. Also very often affected people become conspicuous by the fact that they ignore social boundaries and certain behaviours do not fit the norms.

Further symptoms of ADHD are disorganisation and rapid exhaustion. Adults with ADHD are particularly conspicuous in their jobs because they are unable to do their normal work properly and do not finish work on time. ADHD patients are often described as disorganized and chaotic, which is due to the fact that the patients are never able to concentrate on a certain work for a long time.

The rapid exhaustion is due to the fact that ADHD patients can see and assess their predicament. They notice that they cannot carry out certain normal work sequences like others and that they lack a system and a common thread. Combined with constant restlessness, ADHD patients soon reach their performance and stress limits.

About 2 million people are affected by ADHD without knowing that they have the disease. Often the disease is not diagnosed because a certain individual trait is held responsible for the specific behaviour. Critics accuse the ADHD disease of being diagnosed too quickly, but the symptoms could also apply to specific character traits.

ADHD is one of the most discussed clinical pictures in psychiatry. Often the way of diagnosis is questioned by accusing overdiagnosis and additionally criticizing the way of treatment. Critics denounce that often a drug treatment of ADHD is not necessary and is started much too early and lengthy.

This question can be answered in the negative. However, a hasty stigmatisation of those affected is unfortunately not uncommon. The ADHD spectrum ranges from quiet to loud, from calm to hyperactive, from dreamy to (very well) concentrated.

On the one hand, ADHD manifests itself individually for each child, so it does not have to be chaotic at all, on the other hand, dealing with the symptoms is immensely important. Even if the child suffers from a conspicuous, chaotic and hyperactive form of ADHD, with the right therapy and the promotion of his talents he can compensate for his weaknesses. Attention deficit hyperactivity syndrome is usually diagnosed in childhood and adolescence.

The reason is that the complaints and symptoms triggered are much more frequent in childhood than in adults. Children are conspicuous by an unusual restlessness and also by a concentration disorder untypical of their age as well as by severe mood swings. Adults usually have the same symptoms, but these are often seen as a characteristic that cannot be influenced.

The number of adults who suffer from ADHD and who may not be aware of it is said to be about 2 million people. Almost all diseases start in childhood and are transmitted unnoticed into adulthood. Adults who suffer from ADHD are usually conspicuous in society by their severe mood swings and frequent irritability.

They are difficult to assess and their mood is unpredictable. Furthermore, they are described as chaotic and disorganised and often adults stand out negatively, especially due to underperformance at work. Only very seldom a doctor is consulted and even more rarely attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is considered.

Instead, all possible internal diseases are examined, such as hyperthyroidism, which can also lead to such symptoms. The diagnosis in children and adults is made by the psychiatrist. The psychiatrist will first observe the patient during several personal consultations and assess him/her in various situations.

There are also accompanying questionnaires that can confirm a suspicion of ADHD. As soon as the diagnosis is confirmed, treatment should be started. In no case does this have to be done exclusively with medication, but can first be tackled by a psychotherapeutic measure.

Regular conversational and behavioural therapies should ensure that the patient is able to reflect and assess himself better in various situations. Furthermore, the patient should be shown measures to improve his concentration independently and sustainably and to control his aggressions better and not let them arise in the first place. The psychotherapeutic sessions should be carried out for several months and should be extended if necessary and successful.

In addition, or in the absence of success, treatment can be started with one of the two common drugs used to treat ADHD. The standard medication still in use today is Ritalin®. The slightly new drug that has come onto the market is atomoxetine.

It is now used as a second-choice drug. Both drugs should lead to a reduction of sensory fluctuations and concentration disorders and help the patient to better integrate into society. Here you can learn more about accompanying problems.

In terms of schooling, these include dyslexia as well as dyscalculia. On the concentration weakness page you can learn more about the problems that also appear as symptoms in the area of ADHD. – LRS /Lasthenia

  • Dyscalculia
  • Lack of concentration

Depending on the study situation, the frequency of depression in ADHD patients is 10-20%.

Social exclusion, stigmatisation, fear of failure and bad experiences due to the ADHD symptoms lower self-esteem and make those affected susceptible to depression. Especially in children, the association of depression and ADHD is significant. Since depression and ADHD exacerbate each other, patients should be specifically examined and treated early on.