How Do I Know if I Have Adult A.D.H.D.? Reprinted from the NYTimes -By Christina Caron

Two of the biggest areas where I think therapists are “missing the boat”, not taking advantage of trends are oncology rehab
( cancer is now more of a chronic not terminal disease) and adults with ADHD…
This Q/A addresses the second area and hopefully can move some therapists to action… ( sadly OT not mentioned)

— Tim Cole, Portland, Ore.

A: Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or A.D.H.D., is a neurodevelopmental disorder often characterized by inattention, disorganization, hyperactivity and impulsivity. It is one of the most common mental health disorders. According to the World Federation of A.D.H.D., it is thought to occur in nearly 6 percent of children and 2.5 percent of adults.In the United States, 5.4 million children, or about 8 percent of all U.S. children ages 3 to 17, were estimated to have A.D.H.D. in 2016, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported.

For decades, experts believed that A.D.H.D. occurred only among children and ended after adolescence. But a number of studies in the ’90s showed that A.D.H.D. can continue into adulthood. Experts now say that at least 60 percent of children with A.D.H.D. will also have symptoms as adults. It’s not surprising that so many people are now wondering whether they might have the disorder, especially if their symptoms were exacerbated by the pandemic. The Attention Deficit Disorder Association, an organization founded in 1990 for adults with A.D.H.D, saw its membership nearly double between 2019 and 2021. In addition, Children and Adults With Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, or CHADD, reported that the highest proportion of people who call their A.D.H.D. help line are adults seeking guidance and resources for themselves.

Childhood A.D.H.D. is often associated with fidgeting and difficulty sitting still. In adults, “typically the hyperactivity is less pronounced,” said Dr. Lidia Zylowska, a psychiatrist at the University of Minnesota Medical School and author of “The Mindfulness Prescription for Adult ADHD.”Adults with the disorder often struggle with lack of focus and disorganization, “the so-called executive function skills — planning, organizing, time management — basically, skills needed for ‘adulting,’” Dr. Zylowska added. When adults ignore tasks that require these skills, it can create chaos. Bills pile up; lateness at work can lead to being fired; health appointments are delayed or neglected; accidents happen.

In educational and workplace settings, adults with untreated A.D.H.D. often feel unmotivated and tend to have poor planning and problem-solving skills when an obstacle emerges, said Russell A. Barkley, a clinical professor of psychiatry at Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine and the author of “Taking Charge of Adult A.D.H.D.”“I call them time-blind,” Dr. Barkley added. “They just can’t manage themselves relative to time limits.” Kylie Barron, an A.D.D.A spokeswoman who has A.D.H.D., called it a “disorder of performance.” For her, this means “always unintentionally messing up, sticking your foot in your mouth and doing the wrong thing at the wrong time.”

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