What are different types of mental disorders

Diseases from A-Z

ADHD = Attention deficit / hyperactivity disorder (also: hyperkinetic disorder), differential diagnosis sometimes also ADD = attention deficit disorder without hyperactivity


ADHD is characterized by impulsiveness, motor restlessness and high distractibility. Children, adolescents and adults with ADHD are open to many stimuli, but can only control their attention to a limited extent. They are easily excitable, can hardly wait, often react quickly and violently, but are also scattered, forgetful and sometimes seem dreamy. Many affected people show rapidly changing emotions, are easily offended, feel misunderstood and unloved. Without any external structure or guidance, ADHD children often need hours to do homework, plan activities, and finish work. In groups, people with ADHD are sometimes anxious and avoidant, but occasionally show talkativeness and a striving for dominance in familiar situations. According to scientific studies, around 3-5% of children worldwide suffer from ADHD. In adults, the disorder is rarely diagnosed to this day, as the clinical picture is rather unknown in adulthood, although individual symptoms of ADHD persist into adulthood in more than half of the cases and reduce the quality of life of those affected.


The causes have not yet been clarified in detail. One assumes a multi-causal causation. Genetically determined dysfunctions in certain centers of the brain are considered to be certain. Psychosocial factors such as difficulties in the family and social environment, metabolic disorders and nutritional influences (including allergies, food intolerances) can exacerbate the symptoms.


Since the symptoms are very different for every ADHD person, an appropriate and effective therapy must be found for each person. A differentiated diagnosis is a prerequisite for this. There are medical-drug, psychological, educational, nutritional, and sensory and motor-based treatment models that are used individually or in combination and should be coordinated with one another. One therefore speaks of an individual "multimodal therapy". When treating children, it is particularly important to involve parents (e.g. parenting training) as well as teachers, educators and caregivers.

Text in collaboration with: ADHS Deutschland e.V. www.adhs-deutschland.de