ADHD - Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorders

Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (AD/HD) is also commonly known as Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) – but without the hyperactive component or symptoms.

Experts believe that ADHD has a large genetic component, and is caused by a neuro-chemical disconnection between two parts of the frontal lobes inside the brain. This affects the central nervous system's development, and thus causes impairment in the ability to concentrate. Unless properly treated, ADHD could interfere with one's academic achievement, self-esteem, and professional and personal relationships.

The three main characteristics of ADHD are:

  • Inattention, or difficulty with organizing tasks.
  • Hyperactivity, or physical restlessness.
  • Impulsiveness

How We Can Help

Student Health and Counseling Services (SHCS) provides diagnosis and treatment for a broad range of psychiatric disorders and mental health issues. However, SHCS does not routinely perform new evaluations for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), nor do we routinely prescribe medications for ADHD. If you are taking medications for ADHD prescribed elsewhere, we encourage you to continue your treatment relationship with your own prescribing clinician, as our clinicians do not provide such refills for ADHD prescriptions except in unusual circumstances. Many outside prescriptions, however, can be filled at the SHCS pharmacy.

ADHD is a neuropsychiatric disorder with symptoms and impairment that begin in childhood. Making an accurate diagnosis of ADHD is complicated and time-consuming. Many ADHD symptoms occur frequently in normal populations as well as in other, more common, psychiatric disorders including depression, anxiety, PTSD, sleep deprivation, and substance abuse. Many attention difficulties in college students are due to disorders or problems other than ADHD. A proper evaluation requires a comprehensive interview; data from parents, teachers, and school records; and sometimes psycho-educational testing. During the evaluation, information is gathered about developmental, educational, psychiatric, medical, substance abuse, and family histories. Many students previously diagnosed with ADHD may not have had the thorough evaluation that SHCS believes necessary for an accurate diagnosis, or they may lack documentation of such a process. 

If you want to pursue a formal evaluation for ADHD or a learning disorder, there are local providers who perform assessments. There are also a number of psychiatric providers in the community who will evaluate and offer medication treatment for ADHD, when appropriate. If you have additional questions regarding mental health services at SHCS, please call (530) 752-2349 for more information or schedule an appointment with your provider.