I returned from a trip with the kids on Friday, had a great time with my college roommate and her family on Saturday, paid for the great time on Sunday and then went to a fabulously low-key Oscar party last night. While there, in the midst of conversations about Christian Bale, ski vacations vs. beach vacations, new appetizer recipes and old husbands and children, my mind was spinning with everything that I had to do today. I was thinking about unpacking, finding time to work off the 40 pounds of french fries I consumed this week, how I could pick up 100 cases of Girl Scout cookies, sort them, and still get to the Apple store to get my computer fixed. Somehow, YesFive came up. (O.K. So I might have said, “So, does anyone like my blog?“) This then made me realize that I didn’t yet have a topic for the week. I asked the women around me if there was anything that they wanted to read about. The suggestions ranged from sex to children’s nutrition to friendship to diabetes to allergies to Gwyneth Paltrow and then back to sex. With all that mind spinning and idea generating, it only seemed natural to write about adult ADHD today.
Today a general overview of ADHD.
1. ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) is the most common psychiatric diagnosis in children. About 7-8% of children between the ages of 4 and 17 have received an ADHD diagnosis. Boys are between 2 and 3 times more likely to be diagnosed.
2. ADHD is a chronic problem with 30 – 50% of affected children having symptoms as adults. While accurate statistics about adults with ADHD are difficult to find, you can extrapolate this to mean that at least 2-4% of adults have ADHD.
3. There are three types of ADHD. The term ADD (attention deficit disorder without the hyperactivity) is no longer used. Patients with ADHD are primarily hyperactive, primarily unable to focus and pay attention or they have a combination of both.
4. While in childhood, boys are more likely to be diagnosed with ADHD, the ratio of men to women with ADHD starts to balance out in adulthood.
5. Adults do not spontaneously develop ADHD. They have a history of it in childhood whether or not they have ever received a formal diagnosis. There goes my excuse for locking the keys in my car today. Thank God for On-Star and its magical ability to correct at least one side effect of my scattered, aging brain.
Tomorrow, symptoms of ADHD in adults. It is important to understand the differences between real ADHD and those of an over-stimulated, over-wrought, over-scheduled, over-the-hill person with bad organizational skills; i.e. I do not have ADHD. I just need a better planner and a few more hours in the day. Maybe this week I should stop at Franklin Covey for an organizer and write a note to Congress for a few more hours in the day. Wait … let me just write that in crayon on this used napkin so I won’t forget.