Monday, December 05, 2005

Adults With ADHD Often Suffer Psychiatric Problems

According to a recent study, adults with a history of ADHD often suffer from multiple psychiatric problems during their lives, including depression, anxiety and substance abuse. Researchers found that in their study group of parents with past or current ADHD symptoms, 87 percent had at least one other psychiatric disorder and 56 percent had two or more. Major depression was the most common diagnosis that affected 59 percent.
The study, found in the American Journal of Psychiatry, says this is a major public health problem. The authors feel that an estimated 4 percent of adults with ADHD have such a high rate of co-existing disorders. One of their major concerns is that these disorders can affect parenting and ADHD is believed to have a strong genetic component. The University of California, Los Angeles researchers assessed 435 parents who had at least one child with ADHD. By using questionnaires and interviews, they found that 35 percent of parents had ADHD at some point in their lives and about half still showing symptoms.
These parents also had higher risks and earlier onset of a number of psychiatric disorders. Dr. James J. McGough says that 21 percent of parents with ADHD had an anxiety disorder at some point, whereas 8 percent of parents were unaffected. 59 percent of the ADHD parents suffered from major depression during their lives compared to 40 percent of unaffected parents. Those parents with ADHD were also more likely to suffer from oppositional defiant disorder and conduct disorder as children. Both of these disorders and major depression tended to arise at a younger age amoung ADHD parents. McGough is unclear whether these co-existing disorders emerge as a consequence of ADHD, or represent some biological susceptibility to certain psychiatric conditions.
They suggest doctors look for signs of other psychiatric conditions when assessing adult ADHD. They also suggest considering the possibility of the attention disorder when evaluating adults for conditions like depression and anxiety.

1 comment:

renette said...

Hi! I am a ADHDer, I am 29 Yrs old and at the moment am having issues with anger!! This is the one symptom I was proud of not having, the realisation that I did have it has me depressed but I was told that I need to work my feelings and try to understand what's happening to me.

I have searched of a tool to help me understand what I am going though and well this article has cleared up alittle of the confusion and anger I am feeling.