(Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder in Adults)
Roxanne Dryden-Edwards, MD
Dr. Roxanne Dryden-Edwards is an adult, child, and adolescent psychiatrist. She is a former Chair of the Committee on Developmental Disabilities for the American Psychiatric Association, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland, and Medical Director of the National Center for Children and Families in Bethesda, Maryland.
William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.
- What is attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)?
- What is the impact of ADHD in adults?
- How common is ADHD in adults?
- What are common adult ADHD symptoms, behaviors, and problems?
- What school-related impairments are linked to adult ADHD?
- What work-related impairments are linked to adult ADHD?
- What social-related impairments are linked to adult ADHD?
- What relationship-related impairments are linked to adult ADHD?
- How is adult ADHD diagnosed?
- What medications are used in the treatment of adult ADHD?
- What psychosocial behavior management strategies treat ADHD?
- Are there support groups for adults with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder?
- Where can people find additional information on attention deficit hyperactivity disorder?
- Patient Comments: Adult ADHD - Experiences
- Patient Comments: Adult ADHD - Symptoms
- Find a local Psychiatrist in your town
What is attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)?
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), also referred to by some as attention deficit disorder (ADD), is classified as a behavioral disorder that has neurocognitive issues involved. The symptoms of this disorder have been described in the known medical literature for at least the past 200 years. ADHD is characterized by problems focusing, sitting still, and/or controlling impulses.
What is the impact of ADHD in adults?
Adults affected by ADHD can be challenged in their ability to make and keep friends and other relationships, do well in school, at work, and/or in the community in general. Early treatment of ADHD may prevent a number of further problems from developing during adulthood. While men with this condition tend to develop substance-abuse disorders more often than women with the condition, men and women tend to have trouble getting and keeping jobs at an equal rate.
How common is ADHD in adults?
ADHD is quite common. Among school-aged children, this disorder has been found to occur from 2%-20%, translating to 4.5 million children 3 to 17 years of age. The onset of the disorder for most individuals is usually sometime during the school-age years. While boys are still thought to develop this illness more often than girls, improved assessment of girls has resulted in the gender gap in diagnosis being significantly less than in years past. Up to about 60% of children with ADHD grow into adults with continued challenges as a result of the disorder.
Approximately 1%-6% of adults are estimated to have ADHD. In adults, women are thought to suffer from ADHD at a rate that is much closer to equal compared to men.
What are common adult ADHD symptoms, behaviors, and problems?
People with adult ADHD may have lower self-esteem than adults without this disorder. Some studies on adults with ADHD show that more than two-thirds may have another mental health condition, and about 50% have two other such conditions. The most common other problems that adults with ADHD suffer from include drug abuse and addiction, and mood, anxiety, and personality disorders. In terms of personality disorders, adults with ADHD are at risk for developing antisocial personality disorder and borderline personality disorder. More than one-third of adults with ADHD need adult mental health treatment.
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