Attention Deficit Disorder Complications

One serious complication arising from attention deficit disorder or ADHD is that children with ADHD can develop depression or anxiety disorders due to low self-esteem.

Children having ADHD usually find it difficult to bond with others making them unhappy at a very young age. If the child with ADHD is aggressive as well he may end up having trouble with others and being disliked by many of his peers.

A child possessing the ADHD subtype of inattentiveness is often a favorite target of bullies and is highly likely to be picked on. This makes the child even more quiet and withdrawn.

A child with both ADHD subtypes may have difficulty understanding other people or have no empathy with people who are in distress. A boy with ADHD, for example, may fail to realize from his constant physical abuse of his friend the fearful responses his friend when the boy physically hurts him. That incident may seem insignificant to the boy who in the next day may have forgotten the incident; the problem is his friend has not.

A child with ADHD who has physically hurt someone may either blame himself too much or tend to deny what he did.  Ridicule, fear and ostracism from peers can turn this neurologic problem to an emotional one which can lead to serious emotional and social problems during adulthood.

High-Risk Behavior – ADHD sufferers possess an impulsive nature which can compromise their better judgment.  They may take chances not thinking of the consequences very well. They only see the folly of their actions after they have been taken. High degrees of aggression are usually seen in children with ADHD and are increasingly at risk for delinquency that may turn into criminal behavior during their adult life.  The best way to curb these problems is by early treatment and close parental monitoring.

Substance Abuse – Sadly, studies reveal that young people with ADHD especially those with mood or conduct disorders are at higher risk than young people without ADHD to develop substance abuse.  One particular study concluded that by the time they reached 11 years of age about a fifth of the children with ADHD have already tried drinking alcohol, smoking cigarettes or both.  ADHD-related biological factors make them more prone to substance abuse with a lot of these young people actually self-medicating their condition.

Difficulties in leaning – Learning and speech disorders often plague children with ADHD although some of these children may be quite intelligent. Individuals with ADHD IQ-wise mirror that of the general population in terms of the range and scale of intelligence.

Though there are stunning exceptions, children with ADHD often underachieve. In fact, about 50% of them repeat a grade level at least once.  Inattentiveness is one of the reasons cited for their low performance in school. Twenty percent of children with ADHD suffer from reading difficulties while more than half (60%) have extreme handwriting difficulties.  These difficulties are often carried into adulthood.

About two-thirds of children with ADHD will carry their condition on to their adulthood.  Research reveals that the pattern of ADHD is like that of a chronic illness having periods of remission and aggravation.

Effect on Family

The attention and time required for a child with ADHD can affect family relationships especially those of parents and siblings.

Effect on parents – Parents are the primary factors that have to deal with a child with ADHD.  If the parent is genuinely responsive to his/her child and deals with the child’s condition in a positive way, the chances for changing the child’s negative behavior into a positive one can be high.  However, most of the time, handling a child with ADHD can be difficult. One day the child can behave very well, the next day his attitude can be extremely difficult to handle for no plausible reason. The parent may feel powerless controlling their child and may be hurt and betrayed. Parents can apply some kind of “tough love” to help protect both their child and themselves. This can be creating certain rules that are tough but kind at the same time.

ADHD in children can affect parent in many ways:

The marriage of the parents can be affected, sometimes up to its breaking point. The disagreements and exhaustion between the husband and wife on ways to control the child can become intense and acrimonious.

Parents may need to deal with the parents of other children hurt by their child. This may make their child feel rejected making him feel helpless, inadequate and alone.

In a bizarre sense, parents may need to change the aura and environment of their home. The idea of striving for perfection may not be a sensible one when raising a child with ADHD.  A happy bright home and a nice warm meal may not be that always possible or recommended when dealing with a child with ADHD.

The mother is the parent most affected by the effects of her child’s ADHD. She may end up getting the most in terms of physical and emotional abuse generated by her ADHD-addled child.

Effect on siblings – The brother or sister of a child with ADHD can be severely affected by his/her brother’s ADHD condition.  The sibling that has to deal with the other sibling’s ADHD is more vulnerable to the hurtful behavior of the affected sibling than the parents since he/she may have little or no control as to what will happen to him. He/she may end up being bullied and abused by his ADHD-affected sibling.

The sibling without ADHD may not receive the attention he needs and deserves and may end up imitating his sibling’s undesirable behaviors or react negatively through other ways.  The parents must give equal or at least enough attention to their other children and not impose on them the onus of becoming caregivers of the sibling with ADHD.

Christina Prieto is an Orlando acupuncturist, a certified Yoga instructor and the founder of Harmony Wellness center in central Florida.

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