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"Attention deficit with or without hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is one of the most frequent neuropsychiatric disorders, and affects 2–4% of adults"


Senior Member
2020 article
authors are french + swiss Specialists

Practical considerations for the evaluation and management of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in adults - ScienceDirect

"While symptoms and impairment due to ADHD are frequently severe during childhood, they often evolve as children grow older, with frequent persistent disabilities in adulthood. In adulthood, the clinical presentation, as in childhood, involves the symptom triad of inattention, hyperactivity and impulsivity.

However, differences are noted: hyperactivity is more often internalized, symptoms of inattention may be masked by anxiety symptoms or obsessive-like compensation strategies.

ADHD is often diagnosed during childhood, but it is not rare for the diagnosis to be made later.

Failure to recognise symptoms resulting in misdiagnosis, or alternatively well-developed compensation factors could be two underlying reasons for the long delay until diagnosis.

Other symptoms, such as emotional deregulation or executive function-related symptoms are also usually observed in adults.

In addition, in adults, ADHD is often associated with other psychiatric disorders (in 80% of cases); this makes the diagnosis even more difficult.

These disorders encompass a broad spectrum, from mood disorders (unipolar or bipolar), to anxiety disorders, and other neurodevelopmental disorders and personality disorders, especially borderline and antisocial personality disorder. Substance-use disorders are very common, either as a consequence of impulsivity and emotional dysregulation or as an attempt at self-treatment.

Sleep disorders, especially restless leg syndrome and hypersomnolence, could share common pathophysiological mechanisms with ADHD.

ADHD and comorbidity-related symptoms are responsible for serious functional impairment, in various domains, leading to academic, social, vocational, and familial consequences.

The impact on other psychiatric disorders as an aggravating factor should also be considered. The considerable disability and the poorer quality of life among adults with ADHD warrant optimal evaluation and management. "