AD/HD in Adults

This paper discusses attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder, AD/HD, in adults including diagnosis, symptoms, and available treatments.

This paper explains that AD/HD refers to a family of related chronic neurobiological disorders that interfere with an individual’s capacity to regulate activity levels, inhibit behavior, and attend to tasks in developmentally appropriate ways. The author points out that the diagnosis of AD/HD in adults is made even more problematic by the requirement of symptoms before age seven because adults patients may not be able to recall symptoms relating to their experiences in the past; therefore, another part of the diagnosis is often a joint interview with both the patient and a family member or spouse. The paper relates that, since many problems in the lives of adults with AD/HD are directly related to the disorder, tailored treatments are often the best approaches; the four basic methods are medial, educational, behavioral, and psychological.
In addition to the above general requirements for AD/HD diagnosis, each category of AD/HD also has specific requirements. For an AD/HD predominately Inattentive diagnosis, six of a possible nine symptoms must be present in the patient for more than six months, and those symptoms must be abnormal for the patient’s developmental level. The symptoms include frequent inattention to detail or carelessness in schoolwork or other activities, difficultly in maintaining attention, frequent non-adherence to instructions and failure to complete tasks in schoolwork, chores, or work related activity. Additional symptoms include failure to listen when spoken to directly, difficulty with organization, avoidance, dislike, or reluctance to tasks requiring sustained mental effort, such as homework, frequent misplacement of materials, frequent forgetfulness, and a tendency to be easily detracted.