Overview of Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a psychiatric disorder and, more specifically, a chronic neurobehavioral syndrome. ADHD manifests as inattention, impulsivity, and hyperactivity. The term attention-deficit disorder (ADD) refers to the condition without hyperactivity.
People with ADHD tend to overlook details and to miss information. Because of attention deficit, people with ADHD become averse to tasks that require concentration, decisiveness, and organizational skills and may avoid situations where they are expected to perform or to take responsibility for their effort.
Incidence and Prevalence of ADHD
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 6.4 million people between the ages of 4 and 1711 percent of the populationin the United States were diagnosed with ADHD as of 2011. The CDC reports that 7.8 percent had an ADHD in 2003, 9.5 percent in 2007, and 11 percent in 2011indicating about a 5 percent increase in each of those years.
The average age of diagnosis is 7 years. It's estimated that about 24 percent of adults in the United States are affected. The occurrence of ADHD is reported worldwide; statistical variations may be due to cultural perceptions of behavior.
Most studies show that in children with ADHD, boys are affected approximately five times more often than girls. Other studies suggest that the condition may not be diagnosed as often in girls because girls with ADHD present their symptoms differently.