October is National Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) month. Every October families across the U.S. who have been impacted by ADHD honor the month by sharing their stories and ADHD facts online, reaching out to legislators for funding research, participating in ADHD walks and other community events, and engaging in other awareness campaigns.
Awareness is the key. Turns out, we were less aware of ADHD’s impact.
A recent study has shown that the true impact ADHD has on our adult population is greater than previously understood. What we once considered a neurological difference that is more frequent in younger populations, the study has revealed that the condition is prevalent in adults as well.
How Could So Many Adults Be Overlooked?
The study spanned the globe and had a sample size of over 21 million people. A team of international researchers found that about 180 million adults likely have ADHD.
This neurological difference can present in several ways. Most adults have the inattentive type. Another subset of adults has the hyperactive form. There is also a type that doesn’t present hyperactive or inattentive symptoms more often than the other. Because diagnosis tools are based on the hyperactive type, many adults didn’t receive the diagnosis they needed in childhood.
Why Getting an Early Diagnosis Is Critical
When a child goes undiagnosed, it is one of several factors that increases the likelihood of ADHD continuing to affect them in adulthood. Moreover, current treatments can improve long-term outcomes for people with ADHD, even though they are unlikely to alleviate all symptoms.
One of the greatest risks people with ADHD face is depression. In fact, people with ADHD are three times more likely to be a victim of suicide than the general population. Sleep is also a major issue in the lives of adults with ADHD, and lack of sleep can exacerbate other symptoms.
When an adult goes undiagnosed, they are unlikely to receive the treatment they need. Specialized care and treatment options are essential to the well-being of people with ADHD.
Honor October by Spreading Awareness of ADHD
One of the easiest ways you can make an impact is by spreading awareness through your social media sites. Share this news, and you never know who could be impacted.
If you or a loved one has ADHD, consider sharing your experience. The ADHD Awareness Month website offers ways to express your journey through art, memes, short videos and more.