Adult ADHD: A Growing Problem

Oct 06, 2004 01:12 PM EDT

While attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is one of the most publicized childhood disorders in the US, scientists are beginning to realize that ADHD can be a persistent problem that may continue into adulthood.

6 in 10 still experience ADHD as adults

Psychologists have found that ADHD tends to be chronic and that about 60% of individuals who have problems as children continue to experience them in adulthood. As a result, many psychologists are urging their colleagues to take a closer look at the parents of children with ADHD to see if their parents experience similar symptoms. Often adults who have ADHD are diagnosed when they find out their children have the condition.

Symptoms of ADHD often differ between the two age groups. According to researchers, common behaviors and problems of adult ADHD include:

• chronic lateness and forgetfulness

• anxiety

• low self-esteem

• employment problems

• difficulty controlling anger

• substance abuse or addiction

• poor organization skills

• procrastination

• difficulty concentrating when reading

• mood swings and depression

Unknown causes

The causes of the disorder remain unclear, but scientists suspect genetics play a role. In recent studies researchers found that parents of children with ADHD were 24 times more likely to show symptoms of the disorder themselves.

ADHD is estimated to affect as many as 7% of American children, as well as 2%- 4% adults.