What are the causes and complications of ADHD?

What are the causes and complications of ADHD?

What are the causes and complications of ADHD?

What are the causes of ADHD?

The exact cause of ADHD is not yet known, although continuous research is being conducted. Researchers have identified a number of factors that may be directly responsible for the development of ADHD. These factors, which can be seen as risk factors, are as follows:

  • Genetics – ADHD has been known to run in families, and studies have been done to show that genes may have a role to play.
  • Environmental toxins –Certain factors such as lead exposure that can be found in pipes and paint in old buildings have been seen to play a part in ADHD.
  • Development – Issues at key moments within the central nervous system may be linked to ADHD. This can include a pregnant mother using drugs or premature birth.
  • Sugar – There are a few schools of thought with regard to sugar being a direct cause of hyperactivity, however, hyperactivity is not always associated with ADHD. Children and adults may experience a spike in their energy levels due to a high sugar intake. This, however, is not linked to the type of hyperactivity associated with ADHD.

What are the complications for ADHD?


There are a number of complications that have been identified with ADHD, including the following:

  • Children with ADHD often experience academic issues and failure.
  • Children and adults with ADHD tend to be more prone to accidents due to their impulsive nature and constant need for movement.
  • Children and adults with ADHD may suffer from low self-esteem.
  • Social interaction is often difficult in those with ADHD as their conversation may seem erratic, or they may battle to follow a storyline or interrupt the person talking.
  • Alcohol and drug abuse is a risk for adults with ADHD due to difficulty with impulse control.

Complications of coexisting conditions

ADHD has not been known to cause other developmental or psychological issues. However, a child with ADHD is likely to have other conditions such as:

  • Learning disabilities and being unable to communicate effectively.
  • Overwhelming worry and nervousness associated with anxiety disorders.
  • Depression, which is a common occurrence in those with ADHD.
  • Irritability and frustration issues which are characteristic of disruptive mood dysregulation disorder – something commonly experienced in those with ADHD.
  • ODD (Oppositional Defiant Disorder) which is typically defined by a pattern of defiant, hostile and negative behaviour towards those in authority. In the case of a child with ADHD, they may seem rebellious to their parents’ authority and instructions.
  • Depression and manic behaviour, which are often the result of bipolar disorder.
  • Tourette syndrome, which is also seen in those with ADHD. The condition is characterised by both motor and vocal tics.
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