Affordable health insurance with ADHD

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What Is Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder?

ADHD is a disorder that deals with your focus and hyperactivity. There three major types of manifestations of ADHD. Most people who have it are diagnosed as children, but some may be diagnosed as adults as well.

Inattentive ADHD used to be known as simply ADD, but with updates to psychology research, it is now called ADHD too. This is when someone simply has trouble paying attention for long periods of time. Those with this disorder don’t have hyperactivity or impulsive behaviors, but they may be easily distracted.

Hyperactive/Impulsive ADHD is when someone just can’t sit still and acts inappropriately in some instances, but they can pay attention for long periods of time when they apply themselves. People with this type of ADHD talk a lot, hates to wait in line and has trouble letting someone finish their sentences.

Combined ADHD is found in people who have both types of ADHD.

Keep in mind that ADHD may manifest differently, especially in children. Girls and boys typically have different types of symptoms, and adult diagnoses may also be based on different criteria. An ADHD diagnoses for you or your child doesn’t mean that anything is wrong with them. Now there are many medications, accommodations and natural remedies that could be great for you.

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ADHD Symptoms

ADHD symptoms vary from person to person, but these are general guidelines for what may constitute symptoms:

  • Disorganization Forgets activities and loses important items frequently
  • Can’t Focus - Sloppy work, failure to pay attention to detail
  • Lack of adherence to social rules - interrupting people, not staying on topic
  • Can’t simply play or try quiet activities
  • Impatient - Hates waiting in line, taking turns, waiting for their turn to talk in a conversation
  • Lots of daydreaming instead of paying attention in class
  • Messy everywhere - home, backpack, school desk, office
  • Stress including depression & anxiety stemming from social reactions to symptoms
  • Appearance of symptoms in all spheres of life - not just at school or work
  • Missing deadlines and due dates for schoolwork or office work

Appearance of symptoms for at least 6 months

Symptoms are not situational, ie not due to lack of interest in a topic

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How ADHD is Diagnosed

There is no magic test or procedure that can diagnose ADHD, however, there are a series of tests or criteria that can be met for a diagnosis. The diagnosis is as much about ruling out other problems with similar symptoms as it is about making a positive diagnosis. Doctors may run tests to make sure the behavior is not due to life changes, thyroid problems, lead poisoning or anxiety and/or depression.

Doctors typically give a full physical exam that includes a hearing and vision test, as well as a scan that measures certain brain waves that have been proven to be higher in those with ADHD. Other tests may be used as well.

ADHD is most often first recognized by a teacher or school professional. However, when it comes to adults, diagnosis is most often done by the person themself. If an adult goes to the doctor for ADHD testing, the doctor will ask them about their childhood history and may interview other people in their life as well.

Biggest Problems in Kids With ADHD

Having ADHD definitely makes things harder for kids, especially ones who are in a traditional school environment. Their behavioral issues are not compatible with a structured environment where good behavior is expected. The following are some of the toughest problems kids with ADHD face.

  • Risky Behavior

    It is proven that kids with ADHD are more likely to engage in risky behavior as they get older and enter middle school and high school. They may find it is easy to self-medicate their behavioral problems with substances and give in to peer pressure. To manage this, try to create a good relationship with your kid who has ADHD and make sure to be a good influence on their life.

  • Being an “Outcast”

    Kids with ADHD know they are different, whether they like it or not. Sometimes its good to be different, but as kids get older, they are even more cruel than usual. It is hard to be popular when you have special accommodations in class and everyone knows you are different. If you want to help your child combat this, sign them up for an extra curricular group or activity that they find interesting so they can meet friends with similar interests.

  • Getting Good Grades

    Kids with ADHD often fall behind. The symptoms of the disorder are not conducive to the school environment. It’s proven that kids with ADHD are more likely to drop out of high school. If you want to combat this one, make a good relationship with teachers and help your student get everything they need from their school.

  • Showing Up On Time

    Whether it is for school or work scheduling and being on time is not a strength of people with ADHD. In fact, many with the disorder have trouble waking up early throughout their whole lives. Training for this world starts early with multiple alarms and a predictable morning routine to keep things on schedule.

  • Acting Out

    Up to 40% of kids with ADHD are also diagnosed with oppositional defiant disorder. This Is because they are likely to act out when things are difficult for them. Make sure to work with a behavioral specialist to work on this type of issue.

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How to Treat ADHD

There are several option to treat ADHD. Some of them include medications like Ritalin, Vyvanse or Concerta. However, many of the medications for ADHD are uppers that while they calm the active mind of an individual with ADHD, they can also cause dry mouth, sleep problems and even heart problems.

Other non-prescription treatments are available too. Some people swear by certain herbal remedies like valerian root, California poppy tincture or tea, or ginseng. Other treatments would include mindfulness training including meditation, working with different types of therapists or even a special type of diet.

Special diets include high fiber and low sugar diets, as well as an elimination diet to see if any of your child’s behaviors are caused by specific foods they are eating. Other therapies focus on improving memory through exercises, or improving things like tasks at home and school through occupational therapy.

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Differences Between ADD & ADHD

It used to be that ADD & ADHD were two separate things. However, now ADD is simply inattentive ADHD, and what used to be known as ADHD is now Hyperactive/Impulsive ADHD. So, for our purposes, anytime we refer to inattentive ADHD you can think of regular ADD as you may have heard of it when you were growing up. The main difference between the ADD and ADHD disorders is the level of hyperactivity. ADHD has a lot more hyper. Talking a lot, inability to sit still, and inappropriate behavior including outbursts at inappropriate times are major symptoms. This is opposed to ADD or inattentive ADHD, which is simply that people can’t pay attention well and have a hard time focusing on important tasks, remembering important details or getting anything done on time. The disorders have some similar components and symptoms but should still be recognized as different even though they now both have the name ADHD.

ADD (Inattentive ADHD) & ADHD (Hyperactive/Impulsive ADHD) Comparison

ADD (Inattentive ADHD)

  • Disorganization - home, work, school, backpacks
  • Makes lots of mistakes due to lack of attention
  • Doesn’t listen well to directions & to conversational topics
  • Forgets important details like due dates & things needed for assignments
  • Distracted by anything that other people might be able to ignore
  • Trouble following social rules - especially conversational ones

ADHD (Hyperactive / Impulsive ADHD)

  • Fidgety & squirmy - can’t sit still
  • Inappropriate outbursts or activity (i.e., running around during class)
  • Can’t do quiet activities, needs a lot of stimulation
  • Very Impatient - hates to wait in line or wait their turn in work and play
  • Interrupts frequently - so much in fact that it causes social issues
  • Finishes people’s sentences, and talks at inappropriate times like quiet times in class or work

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Teens With ADHD

Being a teenager is a formative time for any person, but especially for people with ADHD. As previously mentioned, more people with ADHD are likely to drop out of high school than their neuro-typical peers due to the challenges that present with this disorder. They are also more likely to try risky behavior that can have adverse outcomes according to research. That’s why signs and symptoms of ADHD may look different in teens. They also have the added difficulty of becoming an adult in our fast paced world with lots of technology and you can’t forget about those driving lessons either!

The problem for teens is that the expectations are greater. There is more schoolwork and more independence too. Other kids might not understand the problems that you face as a teen with ADHD, so there may be bullying or teasing involved. You may even be expected to keep a job while maintaining good grades and getting into college. All of this is a lot of help. The important thing is to learn when you should reach out for assistance and learn when you are in over your head. This is a lifelong skill that will show you just how great you can do in life. Most importantly, remember that ADHD is not your fault or anyone’s fault, and there are many successful people with this disorder!

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Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder in Adults

Some people make it to adulthood without being diagnosed with ADHD. However, when they read an article or see an ad for adults with ADHD, it may resonate with them and they make seek out a diagnosis or treatment for the disorder. If you think you have ADHD contact your doctor to see how they can help you. The symptoms are similar to those for kids and adults, but they may manifest differently. If you feel that the kids symptoms could have applied to you as a child, and you have not had an easy road in life, then you may indeed have ADHD. Common life problems for those who have made it to adulthood without a diagnosis include challenging relationships, low self-esteem and poor activity in work or school.

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and Health Insurance

When you have ADHD it is very important to have health insurance. This will help you to cover the costs for any therapists and medication that you can have. Here are some tips for how to deal with health insurance if you have ADHD.

  • Read the Fine Print

    Before you sign up for a policy make sure that it will cover everything you need. Some plans offer mental-health benefits, and other specific policies that are very beneficial to anyone with this disorder. Make sure the plan will work for you and your needs. Some plans even specifically exclude treatment for ADHD, so this point is very important.

  • Comply With Screening

    When it comes to kids and ADD meds, some insurance companies want to be extra careful and so they have implemented specific screening for heart defects that could be exacerbated by the meds. It might seem like a hassle to go through the process but it will give both you and your insurance company the peace of mind you both need to get your child the meds and financial support they require.

  • Take Advantage of All the Resources

    Some health insurance companies offer liberal resources for people with ADHD. This may include health coaching, special classes to learn more about the disorder, or prescription management to make sure that your medicines will not have any negative interactions. These resources are great and could help to make a big difference.

  • The ACA Requires ADHD Coverage

    Insurance health plans under the Affordable Care Act (commonly known as Obamacare) are required to offer coverage for mental health issues, including ADHD. Before the ACA, plans could exclude this disorder, and ones that are outside of the ACA still can, but if you still with the federal or your local state exchange, you can be sure it will be covered.

  • Get Covered

    Getting covered as someone with ADHD or with a child who has it might just be the best thing you could do. That’s because you can rack up significant costs with this disorder between medication, behavioral therapy and other experimental trials. Make sure an ADHD diagnosis doesn’t ruin you financially and get covered.

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Individual Health Insurance & Family Plans in USA

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