As is widely believed, attention deficit hyperactive disorder (ADHD), doesn’t go away in most cases. According to a study published Aug.13 by the Journal of Attention Disorders, it manifests itself in adulthood in a variety of ways and waxes over a lifetime. American Journal of Psychiatry.
“It’s normal for people with ADHD to have times when things are more difficult to manage and other times when things feel more in control,” stated Margaret Sibley, lead researcher at Seattle Children’s Research Institute and associate professor of psychiatry at the University of Washington School of Medicine.
Study authors from 16 universities in the United States, Canada and Brazil said that ADHD has been a neurobiological condition that has been recognized since childhood. It is typically persistent in about 50% of cases. However, only 10% of ADHD-affected children are able to overcome it completely according to this study.
They wrote that “although intermittent periods of remission are possible in most cases, 90% of ADHD children in the Multimodal Treatment Study of ADHD continued with residual symptoms into young adulthood.”
Researchers have identified two main symptoms that are characteristic of ADHD. Researchers say ADHD is characterized by inattentive symptoms such as disorganization, forgetfulness, and difficulty staying on task. There are also hyperactive, impulsive symptoms. Children may experience a lot more energy than adults, and they may run around or climb on objects. It manifests in adults as verbal impulsivity, difficulty in making decisions and a failure to think before acting. The symptoms of the disorder vary depending on how they are experiencing it.
ADHD patients may also experience hyper-focus. Olympic athletes Simone Biles and Michael Phelps have been open about their ADHD diagnosis.
Sibley stated that ADHD symptoms can be experienced by many people, but it is only 5% to 10% of the population.
16 years of research
This study tracked a group of 558 ADHD-afflicted children over 16 years, from age 8 to 25. Eight assessments were done every two years to determine if the cohort had ADHD symptoms. The researchers also surveyed their teachers and family members about their ADHD symptoms.
Sibley stated that the belief that ADHD can be overcome by 50% of children was first proposed in the mid-1990s. She said that most studies only reconnected with the children once in adulthood. Researchers didn’t see that ADHD, which they believed had disappeared, actually returns.
CADHD and oping
Researchers are still trying to determine what causes ADHD flare-ups. Sibley stated that stress, the wrong environment and a healthy lifestyle, such as proper sleep, healthy eating and regular exercise, could all be factors. She said that if a person doesn’t take the time and understands their symptoms, then they are likely to have more severe symptoms.
ADHD treatment options include therapy and medication. Sibley explained that people can learn healthy coping strategies on their own.
Researchers discovered that even though they no longer meet the criteria for ADHD in adulthood, most people still have some symptoms of ADHD and were able to manage well on their own.
Sibley stated, “The key is to find a job or a life purpose that ADHD doesn’t interfere with.” “You will see a lot more creative people with ADHD than people who have to do a lot of detail-oriented work at the computer all day. That could be a difficult combination for someone with ADHD.”
Sibley stated that professional help should be sought when symptoms are manifesting in your life. This could be problems with your family, your performance, your ability to get along with others, your inability to maintain healthy, long-term relationships, your ability to keep your household organized, or your ability as a parent to manage your finances.