Bhave Institute of Mental Health

Bhave Institute of Mental Health



We all know of at least one child in our surrounding who seems to be constantly on the go, who is the ‘naughty’ child and who often gets in trouble in school or home. For some children, it may be a temperamental issue but some children suffer from a condition known as ADHD or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.

What is ADHD?

It is a condition which usually starts early (before 6 years of age) and is characterised by marked difficulty in concentration, overactivity and poor ability to regulate behaviour. It is present in different situations (school, home, playground etc.) and persists over time. This condition is much more common in boys than girls.

What are the symptoms of ADHD?

  • One of the cardinal features of this condition is impaired attention.
    • The child is unable to sustain concentration in most activities and leaves tasks unfinished. He will frequently change activities, seemingly losing interest in the activity at hand. Attention deficit shows up very prominently in academics. Child has trouble paying attention when the teacher is teaching and will appear constantly distracted. Teachers may report that the child appears ‘lost’ or ‘zoned out’. The child is able to focus better at night when the distractions and surrounding noise is less. Often, he/she will be able to work better when music is playing in the background or on earphones as it serves as a white noise cancelling out outside distractions. The child is able to learn better with one-on-one teaching as compared to a classroom setting.
    • Impaired attention can also present in form of constantly forgetting or losing one’s belongings. The child frequently loses stationary, tiffin or notebooks in school. Older children are unable to organise their belongings and their room or study area generally tends to remain messy.
    • Children have trouble completing homework on time and may forget important dates like those of submissions or tests.

Another cardinal feature of ADHD is overactivity or hyperactivity.

    • Children appear restless and often run around, jump, fidget, shake their legs when expected to be calm. They are often noisy, talking in loud voice or shouting.
    • They tend to talk during classes, often disturbing their classmates and teachers. In some cases, they have trouble sitting still and can get up repeatedly during class.
    • They frequently get into trouble at school and get labelled ‘naughty’ due to this behaviour.


  • Third feature of this condition is impulsivity
    • Children are unable to regulate their behaviour. In younger children this is evident by reckless behaviour like running out on the road, jumping from heights or hitting others. They are unable to wait their turn while playing games or often blurt out answers before questions are completed. In adolescents it may manifest as rash driving or impulsive substance use.

How is ADHD treated?

The condition needs to be diagnosed by a mental health professional or a paediatrician. Management depends on the severity of symptoms and consists of behaviour management training and psychotherapy for child and parents. In severe cases medications can be prescribed.


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