ADHD in Adults
Life can be a balancing act for any adult, but if you find yourself constantly late, disorganized, forgetful, and overwhelmed by your responsibilities, you may have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) affects about 8.4 percent of children and 2.5 percent of adults
Adult ADHD: Overview
ADHD was historically considered a childhood condition, but it is now recognized as a lifelong condition that persists well into adulthood. Persistence rates, however, vary, ranging from 6% to 30%0 and perhaps even higher. Individuals with ADHD may receive a diagnosis in childhood or well into adulthood. Trends show a rise in rates of ADHD diagnoses among adults in the last decade.
Still, many adults with ADHD never receive a diagnosis in their lifetimes. Scientists believe ADHD is significantly underdiagnosed in adults
What Does ADHD Look Like in Adults?
ADHD or ADD symptoms in adults broadly resemble the common signs of childhood ADHD. However symptom intensity — especially hyperactivity — is known to decrease over time for many individuals.
What are Common Adult ADHD Symptoms?
Longitudinal Approach to Assessing Adult ADHD
The following steps are recommended when assessing and diagnosing ADHD in adults:
Step 1 – Structured Clinical Interview
The use of a Diagnostic Interview for ADHD in Adults is thus recommended as it contains all the questions and examples of ADHD-related symptoms and how the individuals experience these symptoms on daily basis.
Step 2 – Information Gathering
Collateral information from family, including an interview with parents or other family members who know the patient from childhood.
Step 3 – Other Sources
Collateral information from the employer or colleagues, including the supervisor of the patient is valuable to establish their performance in a work setting.
Step 4 – Testing
It is important to emphasize at this point that testing provides additional information and should not be seen as purely diagnostic. The comprehensive clinical interview and information gathering from other sources such as family, school report cards, clinician’s observations, and other sources remain central to the assessment and diagnosis of ADHD
Important Testing Tools:
- Administer intellectual assessment tools such as IQ testing, especially in cases where there is a strong suspicion that the patient may be struggling with learning difficulties or some intellectual related problems.
- Neuropsychological tests and/or other standardized tools tests such as the Test of Variables of Attention (TOVA) may be useful in aiding diagnosis.
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