Friday, December 10, 2010


Note: In the right margin are free videos and daily-updated newspaper/journal articles under CODE "(A-9) ADULT ADHD"

Dear Mr. Morton- My son has been diagnosed with ADHD and many of his symptoms resemble mine. Ever since I can remember, I’ve been impulsive, distractible (can’t focus long enough to read a short magazine article) and restless. Can anything be done for ADHD adults? - Frustrated. (photo blog)

Dear Frustrated- Since 30 to 50 percent of ADHD children grow into ADHD adults, I suggest obtaining a thorough diagnosis if these manifestations have, historically, complicated your life. A 10-year follow-up study of boys with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) finds that the disorder persisted into their early adult years in 3 out of 4 of the subjects, leaving them vulnerable to poor psychiatric outcomes and life prospects (Joseph Biederman, M.D., a professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital).

It’s tricky to diagnose between true and mistaken ADHD in adults; you must rule out other possible causes of your restlessness and impulsivity, such as an anxiety or mood disorder.

The diagnosis should include a meticulous life history, including developmental milestones, obtained by your personal accounts and by your personal accounts and by recollections from your parents, siblings, and relatives. Recently, Dr. Scott Greenaway, a licensed psychologist with the Atlanta Center for Cognitive Therapy (ACCT) stated that although no two people with ADHD have the exact same cluster of symptoms, difficulties with attention, impulsivity, disorganization, or hyperactivity characterize the disorder. ADHD can be classified by three types: Primarily Inattentive Type, Primarily Hyperactive Type, and Combined Type.

If sufficient evidence indicates your above-mentioned ADHD behaviors have occurred in various aspects of your life (home, school, neighborhood, and family get-togethers) since childhood, starting at or before age 7 (origin of ADHD in adulthood never happens), your chances for proper diagnosis and treatment will increase greatly.

Many intelligent and capable adults truly fit the ADHD profile. Their impulsive, distractible and restless manners make it fatiguing for them to perform certain tasks which others do with ease: finishing magazine articles; holding chats with people without regrettably saying the wrong thing at the wrong time; finishing detailed tasks; receiving job recognition and promotions; making good grades in school; and, not surprisingly, maintaining an adequate self-esteem.

It’s interesting your child has been diagnosed with ADHD, for an abnormally high proportion of the 5 million ADHD adults have similar-diagnosed children. Twin studies reveal a strong, genetic role.

Robert Morton, M.Ed., Ed.S., has retired from his positions of school psychologist and adjunct professor in the School of Leadership & Policy Studies at BGSU. Questions about family, parenting, personal or educational issues? Contact him at the secure Bpath Mail Form . To visit the national FAMILY JOURNAL column, click HERE.