About Teen ADHD
ADHD is a common chronic disorder among children, with a higher prevalence among males. Boys are diagnosed with ADHD at a rate 2 ½ times that of girls. ADHD is characterized as a neurobiologic disorder that features an unusual level of hyperactivity, inattention, and impulsivity. About 60%-80% of kids with ADHD will carry the disorder into the teens and adult years and continue to need medication to help manage the symptoms.
Science has yet to fully explain the sharp increase in ADHD prevalence since the 1980s when cases began to rise dramatically. While various theories abound, there is not a definitive cause for AHDH yet defined. Some of the risk factors or related causes that have been cited include:
- Neurochemical dysfunction of the brain
- Differences in certain brain regions have been identified when compare with individuals without ADHD
- Hereditary predisposition, or genetics
- Exposure to pesticides
- In utero exposure to alcohol and tobacco
- PFC exposure
ADHD in teens can have very different features depending on environmental factors, gender, the type of ADHD, and personality traits. In addition, symptoms of ADHD in childhood may be very different in a teen with the disorder. All this to say that parents, teachers, and coaches may find the ADHD teenager out of control, unable to follow rules, turn in assignments, exhibiting aggressive behavior, and more.
Parents may have had to provide a very rigid environment for their child with ADHD, which is actually helpful on many levels in the early years. Tight boundaries and firm adherence to routines and discipline are beneficial to children with ADHD. However, when these kids become teens, there is a tendency to through off these constraints in a desire to grow and become more autonomous. The frustration with limits or expectations can be displayed as acting out behaviorally, including high-risk behaviors.
For a teen living with ADHD, daily life can be exhausting and frustrating. As academic pressures mount in the high school years, it may be difficult for the adolescent struggling with ADHD to keep up with assignments, to complete projects, or to organize and prioritize academic and extracurricular activities.
ADHD Symptoms in Teens
There is a good chance that your teen has ADHD if they present with certain signs and symptoms. Teens with ADHD may exhibit a wide range of symptoms. These might include: