ADHD, also known as ADD, is still considered by some to be a recently discovered disorder. It may surprise you to learn that it was first identified as far back as 1902 when British paediatrician Sir George Still described "an abnormal defect of moral control in children.” Despite this early discovery, it was not until 1968 that Hyperkinetic Impulse Disorder was added to the APA’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.
Part of the reason we often think of ADHD as a ‘modern’ disorder is that we have only known it by this name since 1987. As we have learned more about the disorder, we have refined the definition to include the three symptoms (inattentiveness, impulsivity, and hyperactivity) and moved away from identifying specific types. From the 1990s, we have seen an increase in cases as parents have become more aware of the symptoms, and doctors have been able to diagnose more efficiently. The causes of ADHD are still a subject of study, but scientists currently researching the disorder have found a strong genetic link. Children with ADHD are likely to have parents or siblings with the disorder too.
So, why the history lesson?
While we think of an ADHD, we often have the mental picture of a child who are hyperactive, impulsive or have trouble paying attention. While it is true that 40% of kids with ADHD outgrow the disorder, it remains that between 4% and 5% of adults in the U.S have ADHD. The condition often goes untreated, particularly in people who were undiagnosed as a child. Yes, every adult who has ADHD today also had ADHD as a juvenile. What is important to recognise is that ADHD in adults may be under-diagnosed, but is just as treatable as when it occurs in children.
Adult ADHD Symptoms
If you have adult ADHD, you may find it hard to:
- Follow directions
- Remember information
- Organize tasks
- Finish work on time
As mentioned, the symptoms of ADHD can be categorized like so.
- Inattention means a person wanders off task, lacks persistence, has difficulty sustaining focus, and is disorganized; and these problems are not due to defiance or lack of comprehension.
- Hyperactivity means a person seems to move about constantly, including situations in which it is not appropriate when it is not appropriate, excessively fidgets, taps, or talks. In adults, it may be extreme restlessness or wearing others out with their activity.
- Impulsivity means a person makes hasty actions that occur at the moment without first thinking about them, and that may have a high potential for harm, or a desire for immediate rewards or inability to delay gratification. An impulsive person may be socially intrusive and excessively interrupt others or make important decisions without considering the long-term consequences.
If you have ADHD or think that you have the symptoms of ADHD, you will find a compassionate friend and ally in Dr. Dmitry Malkin. He is an expert in balancing behavioural therapy with ADHD treatment, and can help you with the mood disorders, depression or emotional difficulties that can arise from a history of misdiagnosis or inadequate treatment.
A word on learning disabilities.
While it is not true of every person, it is common enough that someone who has ADHD will also exhibit one or more learning disabilities. So we are quite clear on the matter, a learning disability should not be confused with being mentally handicapped, or with impaired by visual, auditory or motor handicaps that can inhibit one’s learning ability. Disorders such as APD, Dyscalculia or Dyslexia are often present in an ADHD patient quite separately from their ADHD symptoms. The important thing to note about learning disabilities is that while they present a lifelong challenge, an accurate diagnosis enables most people to manage their disabilities and lead full and happy lives.
No matter your circumstances or needs, Dr. Malkin is the experienced professional who can guide you through an effective treatment.