Does Trauma Cause ADHD?

1. What causes ADHD? 

Many people think that ADHD is a result of trauma, but is it true? The answer is yes, but more for some people than others. The truth is that 90% of the time ADHD is not caused by trauma, but if the trauma is extreme enough, it can cause severe ADHD-like symptoms.

When we think of ADHD, we often think of a small child running around with a box of crayons, covered in marker, and completely absorbed by the world around him. While this is the most obvious example of ADHD in action, the truth is that ADHD is a neurological condition that impacts many adults as well. (In fact, many children who were labeled as hyperactive grow up to be adults that are diagnosed with ADHD.) So how do we know if someone is struggling with ADHD? Is their trauma causing the issue, or is there another issue in the mix?

2. Is ADHD caused by trauma? 

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, or ADHD, is a mental disorder that affects children and adults. ADHD causes a person to have trouble concentrating and focusing, as well as hyperactivity and impulsive behavior. Most often, ADHD is treated with medication. (Or in extreme cases of ADHD, with electroshock therapy!) While it may be tempting to assume that a hyperactive child was abused as a child (or that an adult who constantly feels distracted or impulsive suffers from some sort of trauma), science does not back up this assumption. The correlation between ADHD and childhood trauma is relatively low, so unless a child has been diagnosed with ADHD, it’s safe to assume that the symptoms are part of a developmental delay.

Having ADHD can be extremely stressful, and it can be even more stressful if you grew up in an abusive home. But is it possible that those who have ADHD also experienced some kind of trauma? That’s the question being asked by many ADHD and mental health experts. Research has shown that ADHD has biological origins, and that the symptoms are caused by changes in the brain. But what about trauma? If you experienced trauma as a child, it is possible that you may also be at risk for developing ADHD.

3. How Does Trauma Cause ADHD? 

Does trauma cause ADHD? ADHD is a complex condition, and it’s likely that there are many causes behind it. Many people believe that trauma can contribute to ADHD, but the exact way it does it isn’t clear. What we do know is that ADHD is more common among people who have experienced trauma, and there are some theories as to why this happens. If you’re struggling with ADHD, it’s a good idea to look into the possible connection between trauma and ADHD. You may have a lot more support than you think.

Many people who have ADHD were never diagnosed with it before they got into treatment. In fact, many times, the reason that a person is in trauma therapy is because they are struggling with a mental health disorder. If that is you, and you are in the process of getting treated for ADHD, it is important that you know how trauma causes ADHD.

4. How do you treat ADHD?

While trauma is a known trigger for ADHD, it is not the only cause of the condition. A dual diagnosis is often the best way to treat a patient with ADHD, since it allows them to be treated using a combination of medications and psychotherapy, which are often more effective when used together.

ADHD Medication
ADHD treatment

It’s no secret that people who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) have an increased risk of developing attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). While the connection between trauma and ADHD is well-established in the scientific literature, it is also clear that the link between the two conditions is not entirely understood. For instance, many researchers believe that ADHD may actually cause PTSD; this means that individuals with ADHD are more likely to have traumatic experiences in the first place. Or, it is possible that PTSD and ADHD share common risk factors.

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