Children with ADHD may have worse prospects as adults

According to Reuters, a new report published in the Archives of General Psychiatry noted that kids who have attention deficity/hyperactivity disorder ADHD have an increased rate of divorce and substance abuse as well as less education and a lower income when they enter adulthood.

The study, which was conducted by Rachel Klein, M.D. of New York University Langone Medical Center, looked at a group of 135 white males who were referred to the hospital in the 1970s. The group had been labelled hyperactive and would have likely been diagnosed with ADHD today. When the hyperactive males turned 18, a control group of males was established, which was comprised of men who had also visited the hospital, but for reasons that did not have to do with hyperactivity.

Interviews that were conducted with both groups of men when they turned 41 years old revealed that the males who displayed symptoms of ADHD left school earlier than the control group. Only 4 percent of the hyperactive group had post-secondary degrees, whereas 29 percent of the control group had degrees.

The results also showed that both groups had members with salaries that were nearly $1.5 million, but the average salary for those with ADHD was $93,000, compared to the control group, which had a mean salary of $175,000. Also, approximately a third of the hyperactive group was incarcerated at some point, which was three times more than the control group.

“A lot of [males with ADHD] do fine, but there is a small proportion that is in a great deal of difficulty,” Dr. Klein said when referring to people with ADHD.

Rates and symptoms

According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), ADHD is the most commonly diagnosed behavioral disorder among children, and it affects 3 to 5 percent of kids. ADHD is more commonly found in boys than in girls. While the disorder may be genetic, there is no clear reason for it, but it does start while the brain is still developing.

The source also noted that there are three broad symptoms of ADHD. One is an inability to pay attention, which is characterized by a child not appearing to listen when being spoken to. Inattentiveness also includes making careless mistakes in schoolwork because of a lack of attention to detail and a forgetfulness during daily tasks. Another symptom of ADHD is hyperactivity. This is apparent when a child squirms in school, has trouble playing quietly and runs or climbs at inappropriate times. The last symptom of ADHD is implusivity. This behavior is demonstrated when a child says an answer when he or she isn’t supposed to in class, cannot wait his or her turn and frequently interrupts conversations.

Diagnosis

If a child is thought to have ADHD, the NIH recommended that physicians thoroughly examine him or her in order to rule out any other causes for the disordered behavior. While ADHD is common, it may be mistaken for depression, insomnia, tic disorders and learning disabilities. ADHD is usually accompanied by another behavior or mental problem, such as bipolar disorder.

Showing one of these symptoms doesn’t necessarily mean that a child has ADHD, reported the NIH. A kid should display at least six symptoms of inattentiveness or six hyperactivity and impulsivity symptoms during the course of a six-month period in more than one setting in order to receive a diagnosis. Also, the symptoms should not have an external cause.

Treatment

The source noted that treatment of ADHD is a collaborative effort between the healthcare provider, parents and the child. Usually medication is accompanied by therapy, and the progress of the child is closely monitored.

According to the University of Maryland (UMD), ADHD may be linked to low levels of omega-3 fatty acids, and a clinical trial of 100 boys showed that those who had behavioral problems had lower level of omega-3s than those with normal amounts. You can get omega-3 fatty acids from chia seeds and flax seeds, as well as an Omegakrill supplement from Dr. Newton’s Naturals.

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