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Dr. Gowri Ravi Chinthalapalli

Raising Awareness About ADHD Among Adults and Children in India

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a significant neurodevelopmental disorder affecting both children and adults in India. Dr. Gowri Ravi Chinthalapalli, Consultant - Child Development, Aster CMI Hospital, Bangalore, notes that approximately 7% of school-age children in India are diagnosed with ADHD, making it one of the most prevalent neurodevelopmental disorders in childhood. Although ADHD can affect anyone, boys are more commonly diagnosed than girls. It is also notable that ADHD occurs in adults, who often remain unaware of their condition.

Dr. Gowri Ravi Chinthalapalli explains that the primary symptoms of ADHD in children include inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity. However, the symptoms in adults can vary and often include an inability to focus on tasks, forgetfulness, frequent careless errors, disorganization, poor time management, fidgeting, restlessness, emotional control issues, impulsivity in various aspects of life, and difficulties with self-esteem and motivation. Mood swings or irritability are also common.

There are numerous misconceptions about ADHD, according to Dr. Gowri Ravi Chinthalapalli. One common myth is that ADHD is merely a behavioral issue, while in fact, it is a neurodevelopmental disorder caused by differences in brain functioning.

Another myth is that individuals with ADHD cannot focus on anything, but they can often concentrate on activities that interest them, struggling more with tasks that are dull or difficult. Additionally, some believe that ADHD will simply disappear as children grow older, but it requires lifelong management.

Raising a child with ADHD can be challenging, but Dr. Gowri Ravi Chinthalapalli suggests certain strategies that can help. It is crucial to remain positive and encouraging, focusing on the child's strengths and achievements. Providing a structured and predictable environment with consistent routines for meals, bedtime, and homework is beneficial. Breaking tasks into manageable steps can make them less overwhelming. Regular breaks are also important, as children with ADHD often struggle to sit still for long periods.

For adults with ADHD, there are various treatment options available, according to Dr. Gowri Ravi Chinthalapalli. Stimulant medications can enhance brain chemicals related to focus, while non-stimulant alternatives are available for those who experience side effects from stimulants.

Therapy is also essential. Cognitive-behavioral therapy helps individuals develop coping mechanisms for managing inattention, organization, and emotions. Behavioral therapy addresses problematic behaviors, and social skills training aids in improving social interactions. In addition to medication and therapy, maintaining healthy habits such as proper sleep, diet, and exercise can significantly improve overall well-being. Organizational tools and stress management techniques are also important. Support groups provide valuable understanding and shared experiences.

The best approach to managing ADHD is often personalized, combining medication, therapy, and lifestyle changes for optimal results. Raising awareness and understanding of ADHD can help individuals manage their symptoms and lead more fulfilling lives, emphasizes Dr. Gowri Ravi Chinthalapalli.


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