ADD and ADHD - Symptoms, Treatment, Causes, and Solutions for Troubled Teen Girls

Attention Deficit Disorder and Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity disorder are clinical diagnoses included in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV). ADD and ADHD is generally diagnosed in teenage girls who chronically exhibit impulsivity, hyperactivity, distractibility, ostensibly endless energy, and inability to concentrate for sustained periods. 

While every parent knows or has heard of the neurological disorders known as ADD and ADHD, most parents are not aware of their functionality, known causes, or tell-tale symptoms. That said, gaining a better understanding of attention deficit disorders can help parents better identify the condition in their daughter, and thus, find immediate and appropriate treatment for her severe condition. ADD and ADHD are common, albeit, severe mental illnesses that can be dangerous if left untreated. Below, we have provided parents with a brief yet comprehensive look at ADD and ADHD. After all, when it comes to mental illness in teens, the earlier the intervention, the better. 

Knowing the Symptoms 

Attention deficit disorAttention-deficit deficit/hyperactivity disorder is a neurological condition and is noticeable through the actions and emotions of those it afflicts. Parents need to seek necessary and immediate treatment if their daughter's ADHD-related symptoms are having a negative impact on her life. 

Symptoms of Attention Deficit Disorder and Attention-deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder

  • Diminished attention span
  • Inability to complete tasks
  • Hyperactivity
  • Tendency to interrupt others
  • Impulsive control issues

Another notable fact is that almost twenty-five percent of children with ADHD also suffer from one or more problems relating to academics related to math, spelling, or reading, which can cause a child to be misdiagnosed as having a learning disability.

Causes, Medications, and Treatment for Teens

When it comes to the adverse behavior and mental health-related conditions of teenage girls, scientific experts have narrowed the root cause to the brain's prefrontal lobe, which acts as our brain's "control center." Experts have concluded that troubled teens who show ADD or ADHD symptoms possess an inactive or diminished prefrontal lobe. 

In terms of medicating attention deficit disorders, a teenage girl's prefrontal inactivity prompts doctors to prescribe medications like Ritalin or Adderall (drugs designed to activate the prefrontal cortex).

Attention deficit disorder prescriptions are dangerous and can easily be abused as they are potent stimulants. Parents should be wary of giving their teenage daughter powerful, psycho-activating drugs. Instead, in cases where ADHD is severely affecting their child's life, experts recommend intensive therapy - like residential treatment - should be considered before putting their daughter on ADD or ADHD prescriptions. 

Potential Causes and Things to Avoid

There are numerous reasons why some troubled teens have issues linked to impulse control (symptoms that are indicative of diminished prefrontal lobe activity). Some experts allege that one of the lesser-known causes of ADHD may relate to food allergies that cause dysfunction in the brain. Others state that environmental factors such as ingesting heavy metals also be contributing factors. 

Studies find that teenage girls with attention deficit issues have elevated lead levels and other heavy metals in their bloodstream and areas of their brains. 

Diets high in carbohydrates (sugars) have also been recognized as a potential, high-risk contributory factor. Blood sugar irregularity is one more major influence over a child's hyperactivity behaviors. Behavioral experts recommend parents avoid feeding their children a sugary and unhealthy diet, not only because it will cause obesity but also that sugary diets are also the leading cause of many mental health-related issues in children and teens. 

What's more, a poor diet can also affect the prefrontal lobe of the brain. As nutritional dietitians and other experts point out, a high-carb diet can prevent the body of fundamental nutrients such as zinc, calcium, magnesium, Omega-3 Fatty Acids, and B vitamins; a diet that is lacking these nutrients will have a detrimental effect on the brain.

The Dangers of Un-or-Mistreated ADD and ADHD in Troubled Teen Girls

While it is quite common, ADHD-related symptoms can be severe if left untreated. Adolescent girls with ADHD who fail to receive treatment for their condition are prone to acting on impulsivity and other self-destructive behaviors that may arise as a direct result of their disorder, including (but not limited to):

  • Substance abuse
  • Sexually acting out
  • Criminal activity
  • Self-harm
  • Other dangerous thrill-seeking behaviors 

ADD, and ADHD is Caused by an Inactive Prefrontal Cortex (it's not a choice) 

One important thing for parents to remember is that ADHD is psychologically clinical. If your daughter has ADHD, it is something she has, not something she has caused. In other words, ADHD is a condition that may cause negative behaviors that she otherwise (if properly treated) would not engage in. Having the patience to not become frustrated with ADD/ADHD-related adverse symptoms is paramount for parents. However, while these disorders are not the result of one's choosing, adolescent girls can learn how to make proactive choices when experiencing ADD-related symptoms.

In many cases, teenage girls who have ADD and ADHD require intensive therapy to manage their attention deficit issues properly. Experts recommend intensive treatment options such as residential treatment centers and therapeutic boarding schools for afflicted teenage girls whose symptoms have caused them to act out and engage in self-destructive behaviors continuously. 

For immediate assistance or more information regarding how we at Clearview Girls Academy can help your family, please call us today at (888) 796-5484.