A common mental disorder that is becoming increasingly common among children in the United States is Attention Deficit Disorder. 3%-6% of the child population (about 3.5 million kids) in the US have ADD and the numbers are increasing as the time goes on. Approximately 15 million people in the US have Attention Deficit Disorder, but there are many aspects of this disorder that many people are not even aware of. .
It is known that ADD is genetic, meaning that if a family member has this disorder, the child will soon develop the same disorder. Yet, ADD is a neurological disorder that affects the central nervous system, as well as the motivational system. ADD affects two important roles of the brain that are connected with the ability to pay attention and the ability to regulate motor activity. ADD is caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain. There is a deficiency in the brain's ability to produce and use certain chemicals called transmitter substances (also known as neutrotransmitters!). .
The behavioural aspects of ADD commonly fall into three different categories. These categories are inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity. Inattention means failure to pay attention and the characteristics involved with this category are all symptoms of an inattentive person. Hyperactivity means the state or condition of being excessively or pathologically active. All the subcategories of hyperactivity have to do with the inability to keep still and the actions a person with ADD might do because of their restless traits. Impulsivity means actuated by or prone to act on impulse. The subcategories of impulsivity are actions that are a result to acting on impulse. .
There are three distinct forms of Attention Deficit Disorder. Outwardly Expressive ADD, Inwardly Directed ADD, and Highly Structured ADD. These three are not set types for every person; a person can have a combination of these three types.