There is a myth that is quite prevalent among both laypeople as well as mental health professionals that ADHD is primarily a disorder of childhood. While the diagnosis is generally made in childhood and symptoms first begin to develop prior to age 7, ADHD is a pervasive psychobiological disorder that people experience into adulthood. While many adults figure out how to manage their symptoms in such a manner so as to minimize the negative impact upon their life, others cannot either due to the severity of the disorder, or their lack of treatment.
My practice is 33% comprised of clients with Adult ADHD, and approximately 75 percent of calls from new clients are those seeking treatment for this diagnosis. I believe that as society evolves and technology becomes more and more easily accessible, it becomes ever more difficult to live with Adult ADHD. There seem to be far too many distractions available for those already prone to inattentiveness. The days of unplugging the TV in order to focus on work are over because now one would have to remove themselves from their computers and phones as well in order to eliminate distraction, something we as a society all seem loathe to do. We live in an age of immediacy where the expectation is to be entertained at every free moment. This value will only exacerbate the symptoms of ADHD and make it even harder for those with this diagnosis to calm their hyperactive, sensory seeking behavior.
Due to economic factors adults who previously who have not been interested in returning to school are doing so and finding difficulties sitting through long lectures attentively. Even those adults with ADHD who had been able to find a career that they could manage given their symptoms are feeling like kids again as they realize their symptoms may not be as under control as they had believed. Due to these societal factors of the convergence of high technology within this period of economic turmoil, I believe more adults will be diagnosed with ADHD than ever before as they switch careers or return to school.
Adults who experience symptoms such as forgetfulness, disorganization, losing or misplacing important things, feel the need to be constantly entertained and stimulated, lose their place while reading, tune out others who are speaking to them, or feel fidgety may have ADHD. Though this diagnosis can range between milder and more severe cases, it is important to seek treatment in order to learn the most effective methods of managing their symptoms.
Dr. Jared Maloff