So, there are many questions we are asking ourselves of different conditions that are arising more and more every day, and in saying this that some are not clinically diagnosed or defined properly through the DSM-5 manual that most clinical professionals use. So, the question is really what is the definition of ADHD? This is my understanding of what ADHD is after being diagnosed with it you can view my diagnosis story on my channel or you can click here which will take you to this video.
ADHD stands for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and describes the unique structure of your brain.
A significant number of New Zealanders have ADHD, and for those of you who do, have many positive characteristics which are experienced alongside some challenges. Researchers who are passionate about ADHD have been helping to increase our knowledge and understanding of what makes ADHD unique. It’s now clearly understood that the frontal lobe (prefrontal cortex to be specific) in the ADHD brain develops or matures at a slower rate. Generally, maturing is slowed by approximately three years in developing children and adolescents. Yet, to be honest with you there is a bit of an overlap between autism and ADHD.
ANATOMY OF THE BRAIN
The frontal lobe is responsible for:
- filtering and controlling attention
- energy or motor control
- judgment, and
- executive functioning – which includes your ability to plan and organize.
As the development of the frontal lobe is slower and less mature than “typical” development it means the “neurodevelopmental delay” to the prefrontal cortex makes automatically controlling and filtering attention, behaviors, emotions, etc so much harder. This means your ADHD brain has to work much harder to control aspects that come naturally to others the same age, and this is the nature of the “disordered” part. It’s also the reason why you experience significant fatigue by the end of the school or workday. This doesn’t, by any means, make you less than your peers, however, but rather does make you different in terms of your developmental trajectory.
WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF ADHD?
Under the general understanding/diagnosis of ADHD, individuals usually fit into one of three different “subtypes” or groups. This is because even with a diagnosis of ADHD, it’s recognised that within ADHD everyone is different. However, there are commonalities that help to provide an understanding of the more specific features of each type.
The ADHD subtypes are as follows:
Predominantly Inattentive ADHD:
This subtype tends to be more prevalent in:
The main characteristics include control of attention, focus, and concentration. Some impulsivity, behavioral and emotional hyperactivity and executive dysfunction are often also experienced but to a much lesser degree.
This is the most well-known subtype of ADHD as childhood hyperactivity (including inappropriately high activity levels such as running, climbing, moving around) is more obvious, as is impulsive actions – which can lead to trouble with authority and peers.