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Related: attention - psychiatry
Einstein, March 14, 1951, unknown UPI photographer
Einstein has been retrospectively diagnosed with ADHD
DefinitionThough ADHD is classified as a serious disorder, many people have a different perspective and note the positive aspects. Some people believe that ADHD can be beneficial and find hints of ADHD in the lives of many famous people in history. Though such post mortem diagnosis is questionable, it is intriguing to ponder the evidence that people such as Thomas Edison might have been diagnosed as having ADHD if the current DSM criteria had been developed long ago. Other historical figures who have been proposed as ADHD candidates include: Hans Christian Andersen, Ludwig van Beethoven, Winston Spencer Churchill, Walt Disney, Benjamin Franklin, Robert and John F. Kennedy, Theodore Roosevelt, Jules Verne, Woodrow Wilson and the Wright brothers.
To see ADHD positively may seem somewhat problematic to anxious parents but it is at least a perspective that should be kept in mind. With or without hyperfocus, a common manifestation, ADD/ADHD in combination with successful coping skills may be utilized to achieve remarkable accomplishments. The list of historic figures and persons currently well-known in a wide range of fields who have displayed ADD/ADHD symptoms is impressive and may be source of inspiration. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ADHD#Positive_aspects [May 2005]
The first-line medication used to treat ADHD are mostly stimulants, which work by stimulating the areas of the brain responsible for focus, attention, and impulse control.
--http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ADHD#Mainstream_treatments [May 2005]
- Caffeine -- though not an official mainstream treatment, the ubiquitous use of caffeine means that it probably one of the most frequently used, unofficial treatments for ADHD. Caffeine is found in coffee, tea and cola soft drinks. Many students and adults will self-medicate with caffeine. Signs that one is self-medicating would be the observation that one's focus improves with the stimulant, and that one cannot function as well without it. Users often report that drinking caffeine in the evening does not impair their sleep, and that in fact, it may help soothe and relax them, thus helping them sleep better. Drinking only 1-2 cups daily is probably not self-medication, but someone who needs over 5 cups daily throughout the day in order to stay awake and focus may possibly be self-medicating.
- Nicotine -- found in cigarettes, many students and adults will self-medicate by needing to smoke several times daily.
- Methylphenidate --- Methylphenidate or MPH, is an amphetamine-like prescription stimulant commonly used to treat Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in children and adults. It is also one of the primary drugs used to treat the daytime drowsiness symptoms of narcolepsy. As of 2004 there are currently three non-generic drugs that contain Methylphenidate: Ritalin, Concerta (a timed-release capsule), and Focalyn (containing only dextro-methylphenidate, rather than the usual racemic dextro- and laevo-methylphenidate mixture of other formulations).
- Amphetamines ---Amphetamine is a synthetic stimulant used to suppress the appetite, control weight, and treat disorders including narcolepsy and ADHD. It is also used recreationally and for performance enhancement. These uses are illegal in most countries. It is a commonly abused drug. Amphetamine can be snorted, taken orally, smoked, or injected.
- Atomoxetine ---Atomoxetine hydrochloride is a prescription drug used in the treatment of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). It is classified as a selective norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor, and is approved for use in children, adolescents, and adults. However, its efficacy has not been studied in children under 6 years old. Its advantage over stimulants for the treatment of ADHD is that it is not considered to have significant abuse potential, is not scheduled as a controlled substance and has proven in clinical trials to offer 24 hour coverage of symptoms associated with ADHD in adults and children.
A stimulant is a drug which increases the activity of the sympathetic nervous system and produces a sense of euphoria or awakeness. Stimulants can be used as recreational drugs, or therapeutically to increase alertness. They are also used and sometimes abused to boost endurance and productivity as well as to suppress appetite. Examples of stimulants are caffeine, nicotine, amphetamines, and cocaine.
Some stimulants, as for example Ritalin, have been shown to help with ADHD. This is often called a "paradoxical effect", since ADHD is commonly thought of as "hyperactivity" and stimulants would be expected to increase activity, but another effect of sympathetic nervous system stimulation is an increased ability to concentrate on mental tasks. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stimulant [May 2005]
DSM-IV-TR Handbook of Differential Diagnosis
- DSM-IV-TR Handbook of Differential Diagnosis - Michael B. First, Allen, Md Frances, Harold Alan, MD Pincus [Amazon US] [FR] [DE] [UK]
This reference gives clear guidelines on psychiatric differential diagnoses for practitioners and trainees. Six crucial steps in differential diagnosis are outlined, and 27 decision trees trace pathways from common presenting symptoms to a final diagnosis. Tables provide direct comparisons of 62 specific disorders with each disorder's differential diagnostic contenders. A symptom index for the DSM-IV-TR lists those disorders that should be considered when formulating a differential diagnosis given a particular symptom in the patient's presentation. Author information is not given. --From Book News, Inc., amazon.com
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