According to a survey, ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) in adults has a considerable impact on the social, financial and personal aspects of their life.
The survey was carried out through a national speaking tour by nationally recognized Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) authority Russell Barkley, Ph.D., Russell went on discussing ADHD symptoms in adults and possibly serious consequences of the same on the life of an adult living with this disorder.
ADHD potentially affects around 8.1 pct of adults, or 9.2 million adults across the U.S. based on a retrospective survey of adults aged 18 to 44, projected to the full U.S. adult population.
The main objective behind this tour was to aid in raising awareness about the importance of identifying, diagnosing and treating adult ADHD. In children, ADHD may hamper with paying attention in school, completing homework or making friends. Such difficulties experienced in childhood may continue into adulthood.
However, in adults, ADHD symptoms may lead to potentially serious consequences. It was shown by surveys that when compared with their non-ADHD peers, adults with ADHD might be:
- Three times more likely to be currently unemployed
- Two times more likely to have problems keeping friends
- Forty-seven pct more likely to have trouble saving money to pay bills
- Four times more likely to have contracted a sexually transmitted disease
"This educational initiative is meant to provide information about ADHD in adults including the results of recent studies of adults with ADHD concerning their symptoms, impairments and functionality in many domains of life that support the results of previous research in this area," said Dr. Barkley author of a recently published book, ADHD in Adults: What the Science Says.
Two studies were recently published in a book by Dr. Barkley. One conducted at the University of Massachusetts (the UMASS study) and the other conducted at The Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee (the Milwaukee study).
Both the studies were designed to observe secondary outcomes of patients living with ADHD.
These secondary outcomes included: educational and occupational functioning; drug use and anti-social behaviors; health, lifestyle, money management and driving; sex, dating, marriage, parenting and psychosocial adjustment of offspring; and neurological functioning.
The observational outcomes demonstrated that when ADHD adults were compared to a control group, they were more likely to use certain illicit drugs, engage in certain anti-social behavior, have financial problems and engage in risky sexual behavior.
Results from both the studies were observed and documented through a combination of data gathering techniques, such as self-reporting, patient interviews and observation.
"These results, together with what we already know about ADHD, give the impression that ADHD has a potentially significant impact on the lives of many patients. There is hope for adults with ADHD," said Dr. Barkley.
He added: "Today there are ways to manage this chronic condition, and I hope these findings serve as an impetus for adults with ADHD to seek medical advice from their healthcare providers,"
The UMASS study, conducted from approximately 2003 to 2004, found that the adults with ADHD when compared to the non-ADHD control group were almost thrice more likely (21 pct compared to 6 pct) to sell drugs illegally.
Also, the UMASS study found that 67 pct of adults with ADHD compared to the control group (15 pct) had trouble managing money.
The Milwaukee study, ongoing since 1977 (with the most recent follow-up conducted from 1999 to 2003), found that the adults with ADHD were nearly thrice as likely when compared with the community control group to initiate physical fights (30 pct compared to 9 pct), destroy others property (31 pct compared to 8 pct) and break and enter (20 pct compared to 7 pct).
"The reason why these findings are so important is that they help to inform people that ADHD is not just a childhood disorder, but in fact, a disorder that may affect multiple aspects of adult life and should be properly diagnosed and treated," said Evelyn Polk-Green, MS, Ed., ADDA President-elect and adult living with ADHD.
He added: "This research also reinforces the need for formalized and validated criteria for the diagnosis of adult ADHD and may play a significant role in the development of this diagnostic criteria and the addition of it to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders."