Today’s Pet Peeve is about how I’m sick and tired of waiting for information and support for adult ADHD ers to permeate North America. This, even though we’ve known about ADHD in adults for at least 15 years.
The info’s there…but where is the info?!
Dr. Lily Hechtman is a professor of psychiatry and pediatrics at The McGill University Health Centre in Montréal, Canada and director of ADHD research in the division of child psychiatry. She’s also an internationally recognized researcher in ADHD, whose work has focused on long-term (15 year) prospective studies of children with ADHD followed into adolescence and adulthood.
Dr. Hechtman and Dr. Margaret Weiss conducted a long-term study of kids with ADHD. Hechtman says that,
“…about 66% of them still had the symptomatology in adulthood. And that work was published in the mid-70s. We wrote a book in the early 80’s called Hyperactive Children Grown Up. So stuff was out there, but it wasn’t picked up by the clinical community.”
(from a personal interview with Dr. Lily Hechtman, July 31, 2008)
So I’m left to slog through a ton of websites before I find links to information that’s relevant to adults. For my blog posts, I plough through sites for parents of ADD kids, sites written about ADD kids, or sites about ADD kids with adults mentioned as an afterthought.
Nip it in the bud, sure, but what about the ADHD late-bloomers?
I know that kids are our future, yadda yadda, but they’re still under wraps with their parents. Children’s ADD started being addressed long ago, and that’s great. Obviously, we need to nip it in the bud in its early stages.
But what about the ADHD adults? It’s the untreated ADHD adults who are out there wreaking havoc in the world, and when you think about it, that’s a huge social, cultural, and every other kind of cost to humanity that I can think of.
Hope for us ADHD adults, too
Are we so washed up by the time we get to be adults that no one wants to bother with us, ‘cause it’s too late? I sure hope not. And with new research on the brain’s plasticity, I like to believe that there’s hope for us, too.
Maybe not a “cure,” but ways to help us cope with our issues that don’t feel like palliative care. Otherwise, what we’ve got left is self-medicating: sex & drugs & rock & roll & fast cars & …. Just to numb the pain ‘til we die at the end of our miserable, unfulfilled lives.
Sometimes it takes so damn much energy just to keep positive, hopeful, and motivated, it’s all too much.
I wanna be sedated…
Honestly, the Ramones might have been right:
“Twenty, twenty, twenty-four hours to go…
I wanna be sedated…
Hurry, hurry, hurry, before I go insane…
I can’t control my brain, oh no…
Hurry, hurry, hurry, before I go loco…”
Consequences of ignoring adult ADHD ers
I mean, look at the stats:
- Untreated male (and some female) ADHD ers often end up in the penal system
- ADHD ers have more divorces (more psychological damage to families, both nuclear and extended, including the kids, etc., not to mention our friends who are caught in the fray, and the financial and legal costs)
- More substance abuse in ADHD ers
- More driving accidents (kids don’t drive!)
- ADHD ers not meeting their academic and economic potential
- Women (and sometimes men, with the exception of menopause) are often misdiagnosed with depression, bi-polar, menopause, anxiety, etc., etc., etc., which means they may be on meds that don’t help, might make them worse, or worst of all – mask their ADHD!
And the list goes on.
Aaaaaargh… it’s just all too much.
Not in DSM…yet…
OK, OK I get it that adult ADHD is not recognized in the current DSM, and is slated for the next release – but we’ve known that it exists in adults for at least 15 years for cryin’ out loud.
Where do we turn? Come with me…and be afraid…be very afraid…
So where does an adult ADHD er turn? Tune in for next Friday’s Zoë’s Pet Peeves when I walk you through my travels to find help for, or to create my own support group for, adult ADHD. Make sure you wear your army duds, ‘cause it’s a bloodbath.
In the meantime, for some excellent resources for ADHD adults online, check out my Blogroll (you’ll find it in the left margin, just below my Archives).
CLICK HERE for Zoë’s Pet Peeves: Adult ADHD – Looking for Help in All the Wrong Places, Part II
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