The first thing to understand about Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is that it is a neurobiological condition. After depression, ADHD is the second most common mental health disorder in adults, affecting about 5% of the United States population.
Interestingly, approximately 60% of children who are diagnosed with ADHD continue to have the disorder as adults, so it is typically not a disorder that just goes away over time. With much research having been conducted over the past several years, scientists now believe that ADHD is largely a genetic condition. It is estimated that as many as 85% of people who have this disorder inherited it from one or both parents.
Understanding the Symptoms
The symptoms are actually not that different between childhood ADHD and adult ADHD.
These are the three dominant symptoms that are present in both children and adults with ADHD, but the symptoms do not generally manifest themselves in quite the same way with adults.
With adults, inattentiveness actually becomes the biggest issue. It becomes a more dominant symptom than it is with children, particularly for women. Hyperactivity is a symptom that is often felt by adults with ADHD, but the difference between this symptoms in adults versus children is that adults are not as likely to actually act on the feeling. Whereas children may be practically bouncing off the walls when they are feeling hyperactive, adults realize that this type of behavior is unacceptable for them, particularly when they are in the workplace or around others.
The criteria are essentially the same for diagnosing adults and children with this disorder. In diagnosing adults accurately with ADHD, health care professionals have to determine the presence of four specific elements.
Dr. Sharmistha Barai is a leading Child & Adolescent psychiatrist based in Saint Louis, Missouri, using her talents and expertise to treat clients for depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, bipolar and personality disorders. She specializes in general psycho-geriatrics, child and adolescent psychiatry, drug and alcohol. Dr. Barai completed a MBBS degree (medical degree equivalent) at Lady Hardings Medical College, in New Delhi, India (2002).
Also read: Common Myths About ADD
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