I have no statistics on ADHD and life expectancy. I have no idea if there are actuary tables on ADHD, but there should be.
You see, there are studies that suggest we end up in the emergency room more often than the statistically defined average person, and there is one strange statistic floating around out there that says we are more likely to die from accidental poisoning than that same mythical statistically average person.
We get more speeding tickets than others, not collectively, but a thousand randomly selected people with ADHD will have received more speeding tickets than a thousand randomly selected people without ADHD.
And we like to take chances. We like that instant gratification. We like to do the adventurous things.
We like to say, “I wonder what would happen if I tried this?” We like to say, “I wonder if anyone has every done this in this particular way before?” And we really like to say, “Hey everybody, watch this!”
We’re more likely to climb the tree. We’re more likely to try the rickety old bridge to see if it will hold our weight. We’re more likely to try something that looks risky.
On the other hand …
We are less likely to seek medical attention for some things, things that seem more annoying than emergent. We have a harder time making appointments, and a harder time still when it comes to keeping those appointments.
So to add to our being at higher risk for injury and damage, we are less likely to look after ourselves.
Is that all?
Isn’t that enough? Well, there is the fact that are more likely to leap without looking, both metaphorically and literally, as in taking chances and, oh, I don’t know, skydiving, bungee jumping, hang gliding.
Don’t get me wrong, these are all wonderful sports, but with our easy distraction and spontaneous decision making, we need to be very careful when doing things that might be considered high risk.
So do we live shorter lives? Do we die younger? Do we leave people behind prematurely? I can’t see how we wouldn’t be statistically responsible for just that.
But I also know that we put about ten years of living into every five years of life that we do live. Many of us go hard and do so much. Maybe we don’t finish every thing we start, but oh the wonderful things we start.
So the real answer to the question of ADHD life expectancy is, Yes! Yes we do expect to live life … to the fullest.
Hey. Watch this!