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ADHD In Kenya: Understand attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder and learn why support matters

Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder is prevalent in many areas of the world, including Kenya. However, stereotypes and misinformation surrounding this very common condition are unfortunately rampant. Improved understanding can help alleviate the stigma. So, what do we know about attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, which is most frequently simply referred to as ADHD, and why does support matter for those who live with it?

Understand Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder is a neurodevelopmental disorder that is chronic (ongoing). While it does not go away, knowledge on symptom management is out there, and many people with ADHD live and embrace joyful, successful lives. ADHD can present in different ways.

There is primarily inattentive ADHD, where a person primarily displays symptoms such as forgetfulness, procrastination, distractibility, making errors or oversights that others may deem “careless,” and difficulty paying attention in conversations, at school, and in other settings.

There is primarily hyperactive ADHD, where a person primarily displays symptoms of hyperactivity, such as fidgeting, restlessness, impulsivity, blurting out one’s thoughts during a conversation at a time others may see as inappropriate, bodily movements, and excessive speech.

Then, there is ADHD with a combined presentation, where a person experiences clinically significant hyperactivity symptoms as well as clinically significant inattentive symptoms. As the phrase would suggest, it’s a combination of the other two presentations of ADHD.

ADHD indicates a higher risk for some other diagnoses, like depression. It’s very important to note that ADHD is something that can affect everyone; it’s not restricted to children, and people of all genders can be diagnosed with the condition.

ADHD In Kenya

While there is a need for more research on the topic, various studies indicate a high prevalence of ADHD in Kenya as well as other parts of the world. One study on primary school children in Kenya – specifically, Starehe Division in Nairobi Province – found that 17.8% of kids had ADHD symptoms. Additionally, survey results concluded based on a self-report scale from the World Health Organization found that there was a 13.1% prevalence among Kenyan adults.

Why Support for ADHD Matters

Although ADHD most certainly impacts schooling – both in children and adults pursuing higher education – it can affect other areas of life, too. Social relationships and an individual’s career are two common and prevailing examples of areas of life that ADHD can impact.

When you, your child, or anyone else in your life who lives with ADHD has support from a qualified and specialized professional, it means that, in addition to a potential higher access to resources, you can also find understanding, coping tools, and ways to navigate even the lesser-known impacts of ADHD.

Support in the form of not only accommodations at work or school, but mental health therapy, can be helpful. Mental health support is also an important resource for those who live with comorbid or co-occurring conditions.

If you would like to better understand ADHD and aren’t sure where to turn, you may be able to find helpful, often professionally reviewed articles on reputable websites like BetterHelp. Though it is necessary to contact your personal care team for individual advice, free resources like those available online can help you gain an improved and more well-rounded understanding of ADHD.

Marie Miguel Biography

Marie Miguel has been a writing and research expert for nearly a decade, covering a variety of health- related topics. Currently, she is contributing to the expansion and growth of a free online mental health resource with With an interest and dedication to addressing stigmas associated with mental health, she continues to specifically target subjects related to anxiety and depression.

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