The surprising symptom of ADHD you might spot in your hair – and 18 other signs | The Sun

MANY of us believe we know the symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (AHDH).

Trouble focusing, sitting still or remembering things are typical signs of the condition most people can recognise.

But there is another more surprising symptom of ADHD which was highlighted in a recent study – and it can be spotted in the hair.

Pulling out ones own hair, known as trichotillomania, can occur in people with the behavioural disorder.

In a recent report, doctors in India recall the case of a 25-year-old girl with ADHD who pulled hair out from her head.

She would pull strands of hair up to ten times as day as she felt restless while also pacing around a room.

Read more on trichotillomania

What is trichotillomania?

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On examination, doctors found she had patches of baldness over her head, mainly over the crown region.

The graduate also suffered from major depressive disorder, eating disorder bulimia and binge-eating attacks with excessive exercise.

Scientists believe chronic hair-pulling may stem from low levels of dopamine, a brain chemical that regulates mood and motivation.

People with ADHD suffer from low levels of the chemical.

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Because of this, people with the condition often engage in what's known as dopamine-seeking behavior.

For some, that can look like indulging in food, sex, or drugs; but repetitive behaviours, like hair-pulling, can also provide the dopamine hit.

Along with lower dopamine levels, people with ADHD often struggle to regulate their emotions.

Hair-pulling is a coping strategy that regulates negative emotional states, like stress, by increasing dopamine and serotonin.

In the case of the graduate, increased stress from exams was also thought to be contributing to the trichotillomania.

Medics treated the hair pulling with antidepressants – which are often prescribed to people with the condition, to increase levels of dopamine and serotonin.

The medicine failed to stop you young women from pulling her hair out.

Writing in Clinical Case reports, doctors said she is still being followed up for further medication and cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) for habit reversal.

The 18 other symptoms of ADHD

ADHD can be categorised into two types of behavioural problems – inattentiveness and hyperactivity.

While most people show symptoms of both of these manners, this isn’t always the case.

In adults, hyperactivity is less common, and symptoms are more subtle, making them tougher to identify.

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The NHS reveals that the symptoms in adults and kids are…

  1. Inattentiveness
  2. having a short attention span and being easily distracted
  3. making careless mistakes – for example, in schoolwork
  4. appearing forgetful or losing things
  5. being unable to stick at tasks that are tedious or time-consuming
  6. appearing to be unable to listen to or carry out instructions
  7. constantly changing activity or task
  8. having difficulty organising tasks
  9. Hyperactivity and impulsiveness
  10. being unable to sit still, especially in calm or quiet surroundings
  11. constantly fidgeting
  12. being unable to concentrate on tasks
  13. excessive physical movement
  14. excessive talking
  15. acting without thinking
  16. interrupting conversations
  17. little or no sense of danger
  18. mood swings, irritability and a quick temper

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