… or more …

People with ADHD are everywhere. We make up ten percent or more of the population. Think about that, if you’re on an elevator with ten people, there’s a good chance that one of them (or more) has ADHD.

If you’re on a bus with thirty other people, three of them or more could have ADHD. Actually, given that we are accident prone, risk taking drivers, the odds of there being more of us riding the bus is maybe pretty good.

If you are in a mall with five hundred other people, shoppers and employees, there’s a good chance that you will be in the company of fifty or more of us. Since ADHD is heritable, you’ll probably find us in familial clumps, wearing brightly colored clothing and jangling multiple trinkets and fobs on their key rings, if we haven’t left our keys in a change room or on a counter.

What’s this ” … or more” stuff?

Ah, you caught that, did you? Yes, the stats suggest that ten to fifteen percent of the population has ADHD.

Interestingly enough, when a new case comes along and gets diagnosed, it often results in multiple diagnoses. The number of adults being diagnosed when their children are being seen is significant.

But why?

Simple, the diagnosis is easier to make because the disorder is more clearly defined these days. Additionally, while the mental health and medical community was aware of ADHD before, the rest of the world were largely uninformed.

Like the idea that Schizophrenia is another word for split personality, a concept that is very wrong, ADHD was considered a label for people who couldn’t pay attention to anything.

And that’s wrong!

Yes, way wrong. And if you thought that, you might well be one of the many that have this disorder but aren’t aware of it.

The number of people who are being diagnosed at ages between thirty and sixty are on the rise. The realization that ADHD is not just a childhood disorder has made the health care industry aware that there are adults with ADHD, and the controversy over this disorder is making those who have it aware of the possibility that they may have it.

How is this increase happening?

People in their thirties and early forties hearing what ADHD really is for the first time from their child’s pediatrician or pediatric psychologist or psychiatrist are recognizing themselves in the description.

People in their late forties and fifties and even sixties who are wondering why they feel like something is missing or like they may have depression or OCD or any number of things that just seem to be out there on the edge of possible, are talking to counselors and discovering that all there concerns fit on our spectrum.

And is this bad?

Well, yes, and no. It’s bad that they were slipping through the cracks before. It’s bad that there are so many of us and there are no procedures or policies in place to help us. It’s bad that this insidious disorder exists at all.

But it is a good thing, a very good thing, that people who have it, and will have it whether they are diagnosed or not, are finding out they have it, and are coming to terms with it. It is a good thing that they are seeking help and finding answers. It is absolutely a good thing that there is a growing body of helpful information there for them.

So, to sum up …

In short, ADHD is not a good thing, but diagnosis is.

It is not just a good thing, it is the right thing.