ADHD Awareness Month is celebrated every October, with events and activities happening around the world, yet for one of the most common neurodevelopmental disorders in the world Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder remains little understood especially in Nigeria.
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder affecting both children and adults around the globe, and Nigeria is home to anywhere between 4.7% to 3.2% of in-school children per existing academic research.
There remains a lack of data for people living with ADHD in Nigeria that mirrors what obtains across the developing world and awareness of the issue, even to begin with, is a major contributing factor to this.
What ADHD looks like
The trick to recognizing ADHD in children or adults is there is no trick.
If you are presented with two individuals today just going about their day and having a blast with life and you are asked to identify who among them has ADHD, you are highly unlikely to guess it beyond the dependability of lean chance. You after all have a 50-50 chance of getting it right.
The truth is, you can’t tell by looking.
What you can do is if you persistently notice the common symptoms of ADHD – inattention (not being able to keep focus), hyperactivity (excess movement that is not fitting to the setting), and impulsivity (hasty acts that occur in the moment without thought) – you should seek a diagnosis from a trained professional.
Left undiagnosed and untreated, ADHD can ruin the life of the person living with and affect their loved ones as well. Much like other neurodevelopmental disorders we are all in it together
What to do with ADHD diagnosis
Behavioural therapy and medication help improve the symptoms of ADHD. One or a combination of the two work for individuals, however studies have shown that a combination of the two works best for most people living with ADHD.
Your doctor is in the best position to advise you what will work best for you or your child that’s living with ADHD.
It is incredibly helpful to seek community also, of parents with children with ADHD, or adults living with ADHD. It always helps to know you are not alone.