Wednesday, December 17, 2008

ADHD In Adults: A Real And Treatable Medical Disorder

(NAPSI)-We all know friends, co-workers or family members who are disorganized, always late for appointments, and constantly starting tasks and not finishing them. You may even recognize these behaviors in yourself and may sometimes feel that people think you're lazy, unfocused, or irresponsible, when you know that's not the case. If this sounds familiar to you, you may have a real medical disorder called Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). ADHD is a psychiatric behavioral disorder that is estimated to affect 4.4 percent of US adults aged 18 to 44*, or nearly 10 million adults in the United States. The symptoms of ADHD-inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity-make it difficult to pay attention, be organized, complete tasks, and maintain relationships.

While many people think of ADHD as a childhood disorder, up to 65 percent of children with the disorder may still exhibit symptoms into adulthood. However, many adults may not know that the symptoms of ADHD tend to present differently in adults than in children. In adults, inattention may present as difficulty completing and changing tasks, hyperactivity as inner restlessness, and impulsivity as finishing others' sentences during conversations.

"The symptoms of ADHD may impact millions of adults at work, at home, and in relationships," said Lenard A. Adler, MD, Director of the Adult ADHD Program at NYU Langone Medical Center, Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at NYU School of Medicine, and author of Scattered Minds: Hope and Help for Adults with ADHD (G. P. Putnam's Sons 2006). "Although there is no cure for ADHD, there are treatment plans available that may help successfully address ADHD symptoms. It's important to speak with a doctor if you think you may have the disorder."

To help raise awareness of ADHD in adults as a real and treatable medical disorder, a coalition of organizations have joined together to develop the national multimedia public service announcement (PSA) campaign Adult ADHD Is Real. These patient advocacy groups include the ADHD Coaches Organization (ACO), Attention Deficit Disorder Association (ADDA), and Children and Adults with Attention Deficit/ Hyperactivity Disorder (CHADD). Shire also supports the campaign.

The Adult ADHD Is Real PSA campaign aims to encourage those who think they may have the disorder to take the World Health Organization (WHO) adult ADHD self-screener on the campaign's Web site, and to speak with their doctor about an evaluation and possible diagnosis. also offers:

• Information about the symptoms of ADHD in adults and how they manifest differently in adults than in children

• Resources to help people choose an ADHD professional

• Links to coalition patient support groups for additional information and assistance in managing ADHD in adults

Fortunately, it's never too late for adults to seek an ADHD diagnosis. Talk to your doctor if you think you may have ADHD. The right treatment plan can help control your symptoms so you can stay focused and organized, get things done at home and work, and help improve relationships. For more information and resources on ADHD, visit

Visit to learn more about ADHD.

*This statistic is based on results from the National Comorbidity Survey Replication, a nationally representative household survey, which used a lay-administered diagnostic interview to access a wide range of DSM-IV disorders. Figure calculated based on 4.4% estimated prevalence of ADHD in US adults aged 18-44 extrapolated to the full US adult population.

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