Currently, 6-9% of all children are diagnosed with ADHD and there has been an explosion in recent years in the discussion of ADHD—its prevalence, its diagnosis, its importance to parents and their children. Yet despite this awareness, many clinicians as well as the general public continue to under-appreciate the significance of ADHD as it manifests itself in adults. What happens to all these ADHD kids when they grow up? ADHD isn’t like a cold or the flu—it doesn’t just go away all of the time. As a child grows and matures, it is possible that the symptoms lessen, and in some cases adults are able to overcome the disorder, but it doesn’t usually just vanish on its own. At least 40-70% of those diagnosed with this disorder as kids will have it persist when they are adults; however, mental health professionals often overlook ADHD symptoms and continue calling their adult patients who suffer from it anxious or depressed, or diagnose them with a personality disorder. Family members may also consider adults with procrastination issues, inattentiveness, and distractibility lazy or malingering, when in fact they are suffering from ADHD.
Here Joel Young MD, who has been treating and researching ADHD for more than 15 years, takes a comprehensive look at ADHD in adults. As an accurate diagnosis is essential to a patient’s successful treatment, the book begins by detailing how clinicians can provide the most accurate ADHD diagnosis. Once established, the basic diagnostic process begins. This includes obtaining a careful medical history to rule out medical problems that may mimic the symptoms of ADHD, taking a psychiatric history and carefully considering any family or genetic history of medical and psychiatric problems. Some helpful tools used to evaluate quickly and comprehensively distressed patients are presented.
Comorbidities are extremely common among patients with ADHD. Emphasis in the book is placed on the most common ADHD comorbidities, including mood and anxiety disorders, bipolar disorder, oppositional defiant disorders, eating disorders and learning disabilities.
The book also details the different types of ADHD that clinicians may encounter: ADHD (predominately hyperactive/impulsive subtype) is manifested in people who are hyperactive, and experience serious problems at work and at home. They are fidgety and impatient and may be the most commonly diagnosed adults. ADHD (predominately-inattentive subtype) manifests itself in patients who are typically, but not exclusively, female. As children, these women were inattentive and distractible, underperforming but not demonstrating overt behaviors typical of their hyperactive brethren. Their conditions may be complicated by factors like anxiety, depression, and fatigue. Even as adults, most clinicians overlook their symptoms.
Other chapters focus on diagnostic and treatment issues in specific populations: adolescents and common adolescent mindsets; women with ADHD; substance abuse; psychotherapy and coaching as treatments and medications. The medications chapter will review the use of antidepressant and mood stabilizing medications taken in concert with stimulants or non-stimulants, and other medication combinations need for conditions comorbid with ADHD. Finally, the author concludes by presenting findings that self-referred patients with fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome have high rates of ADHD. Young proposes that extreme distractibility may intensify the patient’s pain perception.
Overall this book provides clinicians and family members with a concise yet comprehensive overview of the many issues associated with ADHD throughout adolescence and adulthood.
“ADHD Grown Up is a superb clinical treatise—a state-of-the-art overview of the many facets of ADHD after childhood. Dr. Young deftly presents a balanced interpretation of the current literature, pragmatic clinical advice drawn from extensive experience, and a perspective on this fascinating disorder that is empathetic, patient-focused, and solidly grounded in the medical model of psychiatry."
—Martin W Wetzel, MD, Assistant Professor, UNMC Department of Psychiatry
“An invaluable addition to the literature on adults and adolescents living with these challenges . . . Gives in-depth coverage to subjects that are often glossed over, such as women, inattentive ADHD, and techniques of therapy vs. coaching. This well organized book can serve as a comprehensive guide for the diagnosis and the compassionate, effective treatment of grown ups with ADHD.“
—Sari Solden, MS,LMFT
“ADHD Grown Up is not just another book on adults and teenagers with ADHD. Dr. Young draws from his vast experience of seeing hundreds of patients with ADHD over the years to give us a wealth of information for not only diagnosis and treatment, but what really works for ongoing management and personal success. . . . I highly recommend ADHD Grown Up to mental health professionals and anyone else who would benefit from the most up to date information on adults and teenagers with ADHD.”
—Terry M. Dickson, M.D. Director, The Behavioral Medicine Clinic of NW Michigan, Board of Directors, The Attention Deficit Disorder Association
Part 1: Diagnosing ADHD in Adolescents and Adults
- 1 The Diagnostic Screening Process
- 2 Coping with Comorbidities in Treatments
- 3 Patients Most Likely to Be Diagnosed: The Hyperactive-Impulse Type
- 4 Patients Least Likely to Be Diagnosed: Those with ADHD Inattentive Type and ADHD Combined Type
- 5 Reasons for Misdiagnosis
Part 2: ADHD Patient Populations
- 6 Adolescents and Young Adults
- 7 Gender Issues: Considering Girls and Women
- 8 Challenging Patient, Difficult Treatment Choices
Part 3: Medical and Psychological Aspects of ADHD Treatment
- 9 ADHD Medications
- 10 Psychotherapy, Coaching, and Other Techniques
- 11 ADHD, Fibromyalgia, Chronic Pain, and Associated Syndromes
- Appendix A. Self-Evaluation for ADHD
- Appendix B. Adult ADHD Self-Report Scale—V1.1 (ASRS-V1.1) Screener
- Appendix C. Adult ADHD Self-Report Scale (ASRS) Symptom Checklist and Instructions