Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is a behavioural problem that is marked by inattention, hyperactivitiy and impulsivity. According to Statistics Canada, there is a 3x greater chance for boys to develop ADHD than girls, and symptoms usually begin to show between the age of 3 to 5. Without treatment, this condition can negatively impact a person’s life – for adults, it may be difficult to maintain relationships or employment, stay organized or remain focused on completing a specific task. For children, this can impact their ability to function in a classroom setting, as they are unable to focus, are often disruptive or speak impulsively without thinking.
For some individuals, ADHD may lead to substance abuse problems or other addictive behaviours, development of personality or mental disorders, unemployment, social isolation, or suicidal ideation.
Treatments for ADHD
ADHD may be treated by medication, psychotherapy or a combination of these two approaches. If you think you or your child displays some of the symptoms of ADHD, speaking to your family doctor is a good place to start. A clinical psychologist can work with the individual and their family to assess whether a diagnosis of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is appropriate, based on standardized tests from multiple areas of the individual’s life (i.e. home and school). In addition, counselling can help the family of the individual understand the disorder and how they can effectively support the individual. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is often used to treat the feelings and behaviours associated with ADHD, as well as learning coping skills, and to control their impulses to act aggressively, impulsively or to better focus. Social Skills training may also be used to help the individual learn to form, develop and maintain meaningful relationships with others.
Additional Resources for ADHD:
Canadian Mental Health Association:
Canadian Psychological Association Factsheets:
Center for ADHD Awareness Canada:
Children and Adults with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder: