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Adult ADHD: A Real Psychiatric Condition

Most ADHD children grow into ADHD adults. Learn more about the diagnosis and treatment of adult ADHD.

This week's blog is about a condition that I know quite well. You see, I have ADHD, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Like most people with the condition, mine started in childhood, and continued into adulthood. Most experts agree that ADHD, most of the times, starts in childhood, though often it is not recognized in kids for what it really is. Because of the hyperactivity and other behavioral and social problems associated with ADHD, it is often mistakenly called a behavioral or learning problem in childhood.

ADHD Children Become ADHD Adults

When I was in training (and the dinosaurs roamed the earth !), I was taught that although ADHD started in childhood it somehow "disappeared" when the child became an older adolescent or adult. The confusion, I think, had to do with the original thinking that the hallmark symptom of ADHD was the "hyperactivity" or behavioral disturbances associated with the disorder. We now know that the key symptom is the problem with attention, focus and concentration, and most adults with ADHD seem to lose a lot of the hyperactivity as they age.

What is now believed is that most kids with ADHD continue to suffer from the concentration problems of the disorder into adulthood, and that the condition does not "disappear" with aging. Adults with the disorder suffer from difficulties of focus and concentration (read: ADHD Adults Struggle to Focus), organization, "follow-through" and often are involved in significant "risk taking behaviors" (driving too fast, not thinking behaviors "through" before engaging in them, etc.)

ADHD is also frequently associated with other psychiatric disorders such as : substance abuse, depression, bipolar disorder, eating disorders, and other conditions, such as financial problems. Sufferers of adult ADHD have trouble with: work, social relationships, marriages, and educational endeavors (Impact of ADHD on Adults).

Adult ADHD is Real and Can Be Treated

The good news about adult adhd is that it is now recognized as a real disorder, and treatments are now available for those suffering from the disorder.

Medications are now approved for treatment of adult ADHD. However, not all those with the disorder require or are benefited by ADHD medications. There are many behavioral treatments for adult ADHD which help sufferers cope with their disorder. In my case, behavioral treatments have worked quite well.

On the HealthyPlace Mental Health TV show on adult ADHD and Depression, I'll be discussing how I deal with my ADHD symptoms. Our guest has also found some successful non-medication ways of treating his ADHD and depression symptoms. It should be an interesting show.

Watch the HealthyPlace TV Show on "ADHD and Depression"

Join us this Tuesday, December 15, 2009. You can watch the HealthyPlace Mental Health TV Show live (5:30p PT, 7:30 CT, 8:30 ET) and on-demand on our website.

Dr. Harry Croft is a Board-Certified Psychiatrist and Medical Director of HealthyPlace.com. Dr. Croft is also the co-host of the HealthyPlace TV Show.

next: What's Behind Compulsive Overeating?
~ other mental health articles by Dr. Croft

APA Reference
(2009, September 21). Adult ADHD: A Real Psychiatric Condition, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2020, July 14 from https://www.healthyplace.com/about-hptv/croft-blog/adult-adhd-real-psychiatric-condition

Last Updated: January 14, 2014
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Medically reviewed by Harry Croft, MD

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