I have news for you. You might want to sit down. It seems that some rocket scientist has discovered that ADHD might persist into adulthood.
No no, stop shaking your heads. It’s true, it’s all right here in the Independent. Well, you know, if the Independent is to be believed.
And given that the Independent has used a valid citation to an article published on a University of Cambridge page here, then I guess it is to be believed.
“But Kelly,” you say, “Isn’t, well, you know … ??!?”
Yes. We know already that ADHD persists into adulthood. We know it because there is a criteria for diagnosis. We know it because we, those of us who have been diagnosed with ADHD, experience it all day, every day. And even those of us who haven’t yet had the opportunity to be diagnosed but are in possession of raging levels of symptoms and know what they mean, even they know.
So what does the article prove?
The University of Cambridge article states clearly that diagnosis of Adult ADHD is perfectly valid. But it also says that it is a speculation based on symptomatic criteria.
It notes that that speculation assumes that between 10-50% of children diagnosed will have symptoms persist into adulthood.
It then goes on to present physical evidence that backs that up. And until now, that evidence has been scarce at best. It also suggests that all people with ADHD have it persist, none of us actually grow out of it.
But the idea that some do grow out of it may have come about because some have managed to develop coping skills.
So what does this mean?
Is this study empirical evidence? Does it prove Adult ADHD’s existence for good? No. It isn’t enough. It’s a small study, and it should not be accepted as proof on its own.
But dammit, it’s tantalizing. And it certainly points to a truth that we would agree with. And it should not be discounted, it should be the foundation on which further studies are mounted. It should direct future studies.
Do we report it? Do we ignore it?
We accept it. We talk about it and we look to the future. And we hope for more research.
And dare we hope for better help? Better drugs and better therapies? Of course we do. Along with better understanding.