Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW:

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a condition that affects behavior. People with ADHD can be overactive and have short attention spans. ADHD interferes with how you function in your day-to-day activities at work, school, or at home. ADHD may also cause you to have problems getting along with other people. The exact cause of ADHD is not known.

CARE AGREEMENT:

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your caregivers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment.

RISKS:

  • Some medicines may cause you to have sleeping problems, headache, abdominal pain, or convulsions. Other side effects include loss of appetite, vomiting, irritability, and unusual changes in behavior.

  • If left untreated, your behavior may get worse and you may also develop other serious problems. These include alcohol or drug use, depression, and problems with your mood, friendships, and relationships. You may have a poor image of yourself. ADHD may affect your behavior at home, work, or school. With ADHD, you may have thoughts of harming yourself or others.

WHILE YOU ARE HERE:

Informed consent

is a legal document that explains the tests, treatments, or procedures that you may need. Informed consent means you understand what will be done and can make decisions about what you want. You give your permission when you sign the consent form. You can have someone sign this form for you if you are not able to sign it. You have the right to understand your medical care in words you know. Before you sign the consent form, understand the risks and benefits of what will be done. Make sure all your questions are answered.

Psychiatric assessment:

Caregivers will ask if you have a history of psychological trauma, such as physical, sexual, or mental abuse. They will ask if you were given the care that you needed. Caregivers will ask you if you have been a victim of a crime or natural disaster, or if you have a serious injury or disease. They will ask you if you have seen other people being harmed, such as in combat. You will be asked if you drink alcohol or use drugs at present or in the past. Caregivers will ask you if you want to hurt or kill yourself or others. How you answer these questions can help caregivers decide on treatment. To help during treatment, caregivers will ask you about such things as how you feel about it and your hobbies and goals. Caregivers will also ask you about the people in your life who support you.

An IV

is a small tube placed in your vein that is used to give you medicine or liquids.

Medicines:

  • Stimulants: This medicine helps you pay attention, concentrate better, and manage your energy.

  • Antidepressants: This medicine helps decrease or prevent the symptoms of depression. It can also be used to treat other behavior problems.

  • Blood pressure medicines: This medicine is usually used to control high blood pressure. It may also be used to help decrease motor tics (uncontrolled movements). Blood pressure medicine may help you feel calmer, more focused, and less irritable.

  • Anticonvulsant medicine: This medicine is given to control seizures. Take this medicine exactly as directed.

Tests:

  • Telemetry is continuous monitoring of your heart rhythm. Sticky pads placed on your skin connect to an EKG machine that records your heart rhythm.

  • Blood and urine tests: These tests may be done to find the cause of your ADHD or rule out other health conditions.

  • Neurologic exam: This is also called neuro signs, neuro checks, or neuro status. A neurologic exam can show caregivers how well your brain works after an injury or illness. Caregivers will check how your pupils (black dots in the center of each eye) react to light. They may check your memory and how easily you wake up. Your hand grasp and balance may also be tested.

Treatment:

  • Behavior therapy: A therapist will help you learn how to control your actions and improve your behavior. This therapy may help you change your behavior by looking at the results of your actions.

  • Psychotherapy: This is also called talk therapy. You may have one-on-one visit with a therapist or with others in a group setting.

© 2014 Truven Health Analytics Inc. Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes. All illustrations and images included in CareNotes® are the copyrighted property of A.D.A.M., Inc. or Truven Health Analytics.

The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

Learn more about Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (Inpatient Care)

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