What We KnoW
ad/hd and teenS: inFoRMation FoR teenS
or staying seated) now than you did when you wereyounger. On the other hand, you may notice greaterchallenges with staying on top o your schoolwork andother responsibilities. Tis is because there are moredemands on your time and higher expectations or youto unction independently now that you are a teen.
Tis can all eel overwhelming, but don’t worry - thesechallenges are not that dierent rom what your riendsare going through whether they have AD/HD or not.In your case, it may be more pronounced, but propertreatment can help you adjust as you grow into yoursel and adjust to the changes in your lie.Another characteristic associated with AD/HD inadolescence is diculty with “executive unctioning.”Tis term reers to the unctions within the brainthat “activate, organize, integrate, and manage otherunctions.”
In other words, executive unction allowsyou to think about goals and consequences or youractions, plan accordingly, evaluate your progress, andshi plans as necessary. Sound amiliar? Tis may beexactly what your parents and teachers have been tryingto help you with over the years. However, in adolescence,your parents and teachers expect you to start doingthese things more independently, and sometimes thattransition can be tough on you and those around you.
“WHY ME?” – CAusEs Of AD/HD
You may wonder why you have AD/HD. Some teens eelguilty or having AD/HD. Others eel that it is somethingthat they should be able to control on their own or becured o. Having AD/HD is not your ault! Researchhas clearly shown that AD/HD runs in amilies and ishighly genetic. AD/HD is a brain-based disorder, and thesymptoms shown in AD/HD are linked to many specicbrain areas.
Tere is no known “cure” or AD/HD, butwe know many things that can minimize the impact AD/HD has on your everyday lie.
“Is IT JusT AD/HD?” – OTHER CONDITIONsIN THE TEEN YEARs
Some teens with AD/HD also have the challenge o other conditions that are common with AD/HD.
Teseconditions may have been present since you were muchyounger, or may emerge with the additional stress o adolescence. Te act is that up to 60% o children andteens with AD/HD have been ound to have at least oneother condition,
so don’t think you’re alone.Some o the other conditions commonly
experienced by teens with AD/HD may aect howyou act and have names that may sound pretty heavy.Specic ones include Oppositional Deant Disorder(ODD) and Conduct Disorder (CD). ODD is a termthat means you may have diculty accepting andollowing the rules and limits set by authority gures.CD is more severe and includes having diculty with ollowing rules set by authority gures but alsoincludes diculty ollowing rules and laws set by society.Other conditions that aect how you eel (called
mood disorders), including depression and dysthymia(a type o negative mood similar to depression butthat lasts longer), can also be common in teens withAD/HD. Bipolar disorder is another type o mooddisorder. However, a diagnosis o bipolar disorder inteens is controversial
and a diagnosis o AD/HD doesnot appear to increase the risk or bipolar disorder.
Anxiety disorders may be present in as many as
10 – 40% o teens with AD/HD. Anxiety disordersare characterized by excessive worry, diculty controlling your worries, and physical symptomsincluding headaches or upset stomach. Tey can alsoinclude “anxiety attacks” and make you want to avoidsituations that make you anxious.Substance use and abuse is a signicant concern o
many parents and teens. Te risk or later substanceuse among children with AD/HD ranges rom 12 –24%. Some substances (like alcohol) may be illegalor you based on your age. Other substances (likemarijuana or other drugs) may be illegal, period! Forthese reasons alone you should avoid using them.I you choose to use such substances and nd youhave diculty controlling yoursel, i others haveexpressed concerns to you about your use, i you needthe substance to “get going” or “slow down,” or i youeel guilty about your use, you may have a substanceproblem. You should get proessional help rom alicensed mental health proessional or addictionspecialist.Learning and communication problems can also
and may become apparent with theadded demands o middle school and high school. I you are concerned about your ability to learn in theclassroom, your ability to understand what others say to you, or your ability to express yoursel the way youwant to, then you should tell your parent(s). You may