L. David Willison IV, MD, PhD
Psychiatrist located in Westwood, Los Angeles, CA
Approximately 9% of children and 4% of adults have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), a condition that makes it difficult to pay attention and control compulsive behaviors. Psychiatrist L. David Willison IV, MD, PhD, treats children, adolescents, and adults who have ADHD at his private practice in Los Angeles. To learn how you can manage your ADHD and have a more productive, fulfilling life, call the office to book an appointment today.
ADHD Q & A
What is ADHD?
ADHD is among the most common neurodevelopmental disorders diagnosed in children. This condition is characterized by inattention, easy distractilbility, impulsivity, and often hyperactivity. Hyperactivity is more prevalent in boys. People with untreated ADHD will usually have academic, occupational, and social impairments that cause them to be unable to reach their potential.
Although this disorder is most often diagnosed in childhood, it often persists through adolescence and into adulthood. Dr. Willison helps patients of all ages to control their ADHD symptoms and improve their quality of life.
What are the symptoms of ADHD?
People with ADHD display a continuous pattern of three types of symptoms: inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity. Although some of these behaviors are normal, people with ADHD show them more frequently and for longer than six months.
Inattention involves difficulty paying attention. Signs and symptoms of inattention include:
- Becoming easily distracted.
- Quickly growing bored with a task.
- Not listening when spoken to.
- Daydreaming or wandering.
- Struggling to follow directions.
School-aged children may may have difficulty completing homework assignments or may forget to turn them in. Adults and children may procrastinate and hand in projects late.
Signs of hyperactivity include:
- Squirming and fidgeting.
- Difficulty sitting still.
- Continuous or uninterrupted talking.
School-aged children with hyperactivity may have trouble completing quiet tasks or activities. They may also find it difficult to refrain from touching or playing with things they shouldn’t. Hyperactive children will often get in trouble at school and have a difficult time maintaining friendships.
Impulsivity involves acting without thinking through the consequences. Signs of impulsivity include:
- Interrupting others.
- Difficulty waiting or taking turns.
- Risk-taking behaviors.
People with ADHD can blurt things out without any regard for other people’s feelings or can have a hard time sharing. Emotional dystregulation is a common symptom in children and adults with ADHD.
Untreated ADHD can lead to numerous adverse outcomes including an increased risk for accidents and injury, substance abuse, school and relationship failure, and the inability to achieve one’s potential.
What is the process for diagnosing and treating ADHD?
Diagnosing ADHD involves several steps. Dr. Willison begins by reviewing information from other observers, including your child’s teacher, parents, or primary care physician. He also performs a psychiatric evaluation to rule out other issues, such as anxiety or depression.
Then, he recommends the best course of treatment for you or your child. Dr. Willison specializes in integrative psychiatric treatments, including cognitive-behavioral therapy and medication management.