ADHD

Updated 17 July 2017

What is ADHD?

Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a common neurological syndrome that is estimated to affect as many as 1 in 10 children globally.

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Occasionally we may all have difficulty sitting still, paying attention or controlling impulsive behaviour. For a person with ADHD, though, these problems become so pervasive and persistent that their ability to function effectively in daily life is compromised.

ADHD is a neurological syndrome, found in children as well as adults, that is characterised by poor concentration and organisational skills, easy distractibility, low tolerance for frustration or boredom, a greater tendency to say or do whatever comes to mind (impulsivity) and a predilection for situations with high intensity.

The name "attention deficit hyperactivity disorder" reflects the importance of the inattention/ distraction aspect of the disorder as well as the hyperactivity/impulsivity aspect. ADHD symptoms arise in early childhood, unless associated with some type of brain injury later in life.

Read more:

Symptoms of ADHD

Diagnosing ADHD

Causes of ADHD

Reviewed by Dr A van der Walt, MMed (Paed) BSc Hon (Human Genetics) in April 2015.

 

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ADHD Expert

Dr Renata Schoeman has been in full-time private practice as a general psychiatrist (child, adolescent and adult psychiatry) since 2008, currently based in Oude Westhof (Bellville). Renata also holds appointments as senior lecturer in Leadership (USB) and as a virtual faculty member of USB Executive Development’s Neuroleadership programme. She serves on the advisory boards of various pharmaceutical companies, as a director of the Psychiatric Management Group (PsychMG) and is the co-convenor of the South African Society of Psychiatrist (SASOP) special interest group for adult ADHD, and co-founder of the Goldilocks and The Bear Foundation (www.gb4adhd.co.za) She is passionate about corporate mental health awareness and uses her neuroscience background to assist leaders in equipping them to become balanced, healthy and dynamic leaders that take their own and their team’s emotional, intellectual, social health and physical needs into account. Renata is academically active and enjoys research and collaborative work, has published in many peer-reviewed journals, and has presented at local and international congresses. She is regularly invited to present at conferences and to engage with the media. During her post-graduate studies, she trained at Harvard, Boston in neurocognition and neuroimaging. Her awards include, amongst others, the Young Minds in Psychiatry award from the American Psychiatric Association, the Discovery Foundation Fellowship award, a Thuthuka award from the NRF, and a MRC Fellowship. She also received the Top MBA student award and the Director’s award from USB for 2015. She was a finalist for the Businesswomen’s Association of South Africa’s Businesswoman of the Year Award for 2016, and received the Excellence in Media Work award from SASOP during 2016.

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