Being Marge: March 2017

Friday, March 24, 2017

Review of Taking Charge of Adult ADHD

According to the U.S. Center for Disease Control (CDC), as of November, 2013, up to 11% of children between the ages of 4 and 17 have been diagnosed with ADHD. That translates to nearly 6.4 million children, a 53% rise in the last decade. The 2013 report from the CDC indicated that up to 17.5 % of the children diagnosed with ADHD were not receiving any form of treatment.

While many kids outgrow ADHD, about 60% carry it into adulthood. About 4% of adults in the U.S. over the age of 18 have been diagnosed with ADHD, or about 8,000,000 adults. If you take into account that adults who were not diagnosed in childhood are more likely to not be diagnosed as adults, then the 4% statistic for adults is most likely understated. The Anxiety and Depression Association of America ( estimates that less than 20% of adults with ADHD have been diagnosed or treated.

That situation occurred in our family just recently. My husband, Bruce, was diagnosed with Adult ADHD right before his 70th birthday! Since his diagnosis, we've been learning quite a lot about this mental condition.

I'd like to share some of my thoughts about the single best resource on Adult ADHD I’ve found. I’m referring to Russell A. Barkley, Ph.D.'s book Taking Charge of Adult ADHD. Barkley is the recognized expert in the field, with over four decades of clinical experience. Barkley is a straight shooter. He neither glorifies nor demonizes the Adult ADHD condition; he just presents the facts of the condition. He also includes comprehensive strategies to help those with Adult ADHD be more successful despite their condition. The book is a great ongoing reference for those with Adult ADHD to continue to adopt strategies to improve their quality of life.

You can learn a lot from Barkley’s thorough explanation of the comprehensive diagnostic steps available to confirm an Adult ADHD diagnosis. Not everyone will have to go through all of the steps he outlines to get a diagnosis, but he makes the point that being actually diagnosed is not to be taken lightly.

Reassuring in his statements that Adult ADHD is the most treatable neurological, psychological, and psychiatric problem, Barkley also makes a solid argument for finding, using, and staying on the right medication. He’s realistic in stating that medication won't magically change your life. There's still work to do and strategies to follow on an ongoing basis to build the experience base that people with ADHD didn't establish earlier in life. 

If you find Taking Charge of Adult ADHD as valuable as I do, then I suggest you recommend it to friends or relatives who know someone or live with someone with Adult ADHD or who they suspect might have Adult ADHD. The book is also a very good resource for people who are wondering if they fit the Adult ADHD profile. 

Any adult who suspects they might have ADHD can take a free assessment and then discuss their results with their doctor. The assessment is available in both paper and online versions.

Get Adult ADHD Free Assessment links.

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