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Child ADHD vs Adult ADHD

Adult ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) affects 4.4 % of adults. Hallmark adult ADHD symptoms are inattention, distractibility, and impulsivity. If you have adult ADHD, the symptoms were present in childhood but may not have become a prominent problem until adulthood. As adults, we accumulate an increasing burden of responsibilities. These responsibilities include marriage, family, job, and finances. Our brain's ability to filter and prioritize the multitude of demands placed upon it may be overwhelmed. Expectations of us as mature, responsible adults include modulating our anger and fears, listening to and hearing our spouses and bosses explicit and implied instructions, and to be able to focus and concentrate to read required reports and instructions. If we have the drag of ADHD present, we may become "stressed out", depressed, overly anxious, or turn to alcohol, drug, or medication abuse. If the patient presents for help at this point, the overlying problem of depression, anxiety, or substance abuse may be diagnosed and treated. However, the foundational problem of ADHD may be missed. Unless the ADHD is successfully treated, the person may improve temporarily but still struggle unnecessarily and be more prone to relapsing to another bout of depression, anxiety, or substance abuse.

 
If a child has the inattentive symptoms without hyperactivity, they are much less apt to be detected as having the disorder. Since a higher proportion of girls than boys have the inattentive symptoms without the hyperactivity, they are much less likely to be diagnosed. Those who have hyperactivity in childhood tend to lose some or much of the hyperactivity as they mature into adulthood. Hence, the diagnosis is more often missed in adults. However, the inattention symptoms do not tend to diminish from childhood to adulthood as hyperactivity symptoms do.