Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) persisting beyond childhood and causing significant functional impairments in late adolescence and adulthood has been an increasingly recognized clinical entity over the past 25 years.
Its More Than Just Hyperactivity
Hyperactivity is rarely the dominant feature in these years. Continuing attentional impairment and impulsivity, as well as deficits in neuropsychological executive functions such as prioritization, planning, and task initiation can cumulatively cause a marked shortfall between someone’s abilities and their level of performance. Being one of the most heritable of psychiatric conditions it is frequently only recognized in adulthood after the diagnosis of one of that person’s school-aged children.
Often Incorrectly Diagnosed
It often happens that a patient, spouse, or family member will recognize that there is a significant gap between what was promised and what has been achieved in the realms of education, occupation, or major role functioning (e.g. parenthood). Such “failures” have usually been attributed, both by the person and those around them, to personal shortcomings such as laziness, carelessness, or lack of willpower. This can be the source of much self-criticism, poor self-esteem, and frustration.
ADHD is a neuropsychological disability that can be the cause of a variety of symptomatic presentations. Anxiety can arise because of repeated crises in performance. Depression can arise because of repeated failures. Alcohol and drug abuse more frequently develop in these circumstances also. The diagnosis of underlying ADHD is often obscured by overlying psychiatric conditions.
Formal Diagnosis Gives Peace Of Mind
It is often a relief for patients to receive a formal diagnosis which can explain many features of their mental life and disturbances in their life trajectory. This is just the beginning of course. ADHD is one of the most treatment responsive of psychiatric conditions. Most, but not all, patients will respond very well to medication. In addition, with knowledge of the underlying tendencies, strategies can be learned which help to mitigate these.
Let me help. Get in touch by clicking here.