By Gemma Long
ADHD/ADD is often misdiagnosed, according to Dr. Anjum Bashir, a psychiatrist practicing in Decatur and Bloomington. He believes patients of any age who are suspected of having ADHD need a proper diagnosis. “I think a lot of times it is misdiagnosed,” says Dr. Bashir. “The important thing is for people to know that ADHD is a medical disease, and a lot of treatment options are available.” He added: “A patient needs to be evaluated just to rule out the ADHD diagnosis.”
When someone is having difficulty focusing and paying attention in situations where it is appropriate, when someone experiences a certain level of hyperactivity, or when someone consistently acts impulsively in ways that seem out of control, ADHD, a neurobehavioral disorder, is often suspected.
Those with ADHD consistently find it difficult to concentrate, to persevere, or to control their impulses. Children affected by ADHD may appear “out of control,” but adults will appear unable to focus on or accomplish the goals they have set for themselves.
Scientists, despite being unable to pinpoint an exact cause for ADHD, have identified several factors that seem to be associated with the disorder. Patients with ADHD can suffer from a chemical imbalance in their brain, which causes a shortage of the chemicals that assist with concentration and attention. Research suggests that, in some cases, ADHD appears to be more common in children with close relatives that have ADHD. It is also thought that the environment may make a child more susceptible to ADHD (i.e. exposure to lead paint, or a brain injury at birth or later in life). In fact, a child’s environment may affect the severity of their symptoms.
How do you know if your child is easily distracted, or simply mischievous and highly curious? Is it hyperactivity or exuberance? When does spontaneity become inobservant impulsiveness? A team of professionals, which might include a classroom teacher, a school nurse, the child’s family doctor, a social worker, and a school principal or counselor, often, initially evaluate a child whose ADHD symptoms become more noticeable at school. After observation and evaluation is complete, any of these professionals may suggest that the child see a medical doctor for a formal diagnosis.
Because the symptoms of ADHD can be subtle or easily misunderstood, an objective measure of symptoms is useful. However, until recently, obtaining an accurate measure of symptoms was very difficult.
Dr. Bashir uses the Quotient ADHD System, which assists doctors treating patients with ADHD/ADD by providing them with objective data to supplement their observation and examination of the patient. Seated comfortably, at what looks like a study desk with a computer, children between 6 and 12 can complete the test in 15 minutes, whereas an adolescent or adult requires 20 minutes to finish the evaluation.
Quotient ADHD System evaluates the patient’s movement, as well as how the patient’s attention shifts during the test. Analysis of the results, which are compared with other patients, allows the doctor to assess whether or not symptoms are significant enough for a diagnosis of ADHD. Depending on the data gathered by Dr. Bashir, he is able to work with the parents and teachers of the child, as well as with the child, to address the ADHD diagnosis in the most effective way.
Dr. Bashir will recommend a course of action, which may include medication, and or behavior modification therapy to help the patient develop coping skills. He may also want to work with the parents of the child. Either way, Dr. Bashir will continue to monitor the patient closely.
Dr. Bashir also gives support to those who suffer depression. He offers Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) treatments for patients with depression who don’t find relief through traditional treatments.
Depression continues to be a disease that is frequently misunderstood. It’s not uncommon for two people with the same symptoms to have different causes for their conditions, which require different treatments to regulate.
Depression is a complex disease, which involves a chemical imbalance in the area of the brain, which regulates mood with many possible causes. Some are found within us — such as genetics, family history, medical conditions, or side effects of medication — and, other causes are external but impact us internally, such as painful life changes, including losing a loved one or suffering from abuse. The chemical imbalance is linked to the functioning of nerve circuits and nerve cell growth.
TMS therapy uses magnetic pulses to stimulate nerve cells in the area of the brain believed to control mood. The treatments impact the way the brain operates in a manner that reduces depression symptoms and improves mood. If TMS treatment is determined, the patient begins therapy five days a week for four-to-six weeks.
“TMS treatments are simple for the patient . During treatments, patients are alert, awake, and can do almost anything apart from get up out of the chair.”
Dr. Bashir takes additional steps to make the experience as comfortable as possible. “We allow our patients to have family members or guests with them in the room during treatments. The patients can also read books and relax or they can watch the TV mounted on the wall.”
Dr. Bashir says that almost all of his patients who have had TMS treatment have seen improvements in symptoms or have been able to reduce medication or completely get off medications.
ADHD is characterized by a collection of symptoms that can mimic natural developmental stages, including:
An inability to pay attention when appropriate: a child may have a hard time listening, lose everyday items on a regular basis, have difficulty focusing and following instructions, and find it difficult to complete tasks.
Hyperactivity: a child with ADHD may be constantly on the move, fidgety, and restless. The child may talk a great deal, or have a hard time settling in to play. He or she may experience difficulty staying seated.
Poor impulse control: a child may not be able to wait his or her turn, or have trouble listening, characterized by constant interruptions when someone else is talking. The child may act without regard to consequences or without thinking about what he or she is doing.
Not every child experiences every symptom described above. If a child has difficulty beyond what is reasonably normal for his or her developmental stage, it may be that the time has come to seek medical advice and support.
Psychiatric Conditions (in addition to ADHD and depression):
Dr. Bashir’s practice provides treatment for a variety of psychiatric conditions, including, but not limited to:
Anxiety Disorder: a diagnosable mental health condition characterized by persistent worry about major or minor concerns. Some anxiety disorders such as panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) have specific triggers and symptoms.
Bipolar Disorder: this illness is sometimes called manic-depressive disorder and is associated with mood swings that range from lows of depression to the highs of mania. Mood shifts may occur as infrequently as twice a year or several times a day.
Panic Attacks: sudden episodes of intense fear that develop for no apparent reason that trigger severe physical reactions.
Personality Disorders: a type of mental illness in which the patient has trouble perceiving and relating to situations and/or people involving a rigid and unhealthy pattern of thinking and behaving, which lead to problems and limitations in relationships, social encounters, work, and school.
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD): a mental health condition triggered by a terrifying event, which may include flashbacks, nightmares, severe anxiety, and uncontrollable thoughts about the event.
For more information, please contact Dr. Bashir at 217-422-0027. The office is located at 1900 E. Lake Shore Drive, Suite 201, Decatur, IL. ADHD quotient test and Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) is covered by most insurances.
Trans Magnetic Stimulation (TMS)
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