Here’s why it’s important to consult a mental health professional when someone starts showing the symptoms of ADHD.
Some people are hyper all the time. Their attention span is very low and they can’t focus completely. At times they appear naturally high. We talk to psychologists to find out why it happens.
“In clinical terms, hyperactivity is one of the symptoms of ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder), which is a developmental disorder in children having low levels of attention and increased hyperactivity. Children with ADHD are unable to sit patiently or wait in queues. The origin of this disorder may be genetic or exposure to certain substances during pregnancy, which might cause structural changes in the brain and imbalance of certain neurotransmitters. Many people have little knowledge about ADHD and perceive such children to be naughty or notorious and scold them, rather than understanding that their behaviour is not intentional,” says Dr Akshay Kumar, a psychologist.
These days, hyperactivity is prevalent in children, even those without ADHD, due to decreased reaction time.
“The stimulus in the environment changes at an extremely fast rate, for which a quick reaction is needed. To catch up with fast stimulus change in the environment (like playing games with fast graphics) the human brain is structurally evolving to complex synaptic networks, making children and adults hyperactive. People with symptoms of hyperactivity should consult a trained mental health professional, a psychologist or a psychiatrist, to harness that hyperactivity to an advantage,” he says.
While it is normal to have some inattention or unfocused motor activity, even this slight deviation is unacceptable our society.
“In people living with hyper activity, these behaviours occur more often. This interferes with the quality of interaction socially or at a workplace. A professional counsellor or therapist can help an adult with hyperactivity to learn how to organise his or her life with checklists, art therapy and use of reflexology. Family members, friends and co-workers can play a significant role by accepting his or her limitations and potential,” says Suneel Vatsyayan, practicing counsellor and life skill trainer.
On the other hand, “Hyperactivity, especially in children, is often an expression of high anxiety that ‘leaks’ out of the body in the form of using the muscles. Children who cry a lot, walk very early, are always ‘on the go’, turn into hyperactive adolescents and adults. This can lead to someone being very productive, physically active and achievement-oriented but could also flip over a threshold into distress, where anxiety spills over into sleeplessness, outbursts and relationship difficulties,” explains Dr Nupur Dhingra Paiva, psychologist.
Dr Mamta Shah, consultant clinical psychologist and psychoanalytic psychotherapist, has this to say about ADHD, “It’s a fallacy that ADHD affects only children. Children with ADHD, like other children, grow up! Adults with ADHD do not display hyperactivity but they may still find it difficult to concentrate and often are prone to explosive anger. Treatment is as important for adults as for children. The best treatment is always both psychotherapy as well as medication, which enable the person to channel their high energy into creativity.”