Adult ADHD is a comparatively new diagnosis – for years, mainstream psychologists believed childhood ADHD ‘burnt itself out’ in late adolescence.
Now it’s thought the condition can persist into adulthood, with studies suggesting 60 per cent of children diagnosed with ADHD suffer symptoms in early adulthood, according to the Royal College of General Practitioners. Research is yet to confirm how many older adults have it.
ADHD in children is easier to detect as their symptoms of inattention, often in school, are more obvious.
The official NHS guidance states: ‘Adult symptoms of ADHD tend to be far more subtle than childhood symptoms. Hyperactivity tends to decrease in adults, while inattentiveness tends to get worse as the pressure of adult life increases.’
The problem is that many adults affected by it are misdiagnosed, as Mark was, with depression – that’s the suggestion from a new study of patients referred to a clinic with diagnoses of depressive mood disorders. Nearly one in three was found to have previously undetected adult ADHD.