Prevalence Of ADHD & ADD In Children & Adults

How Common Is ADHD and ADD?

The neuro-behavioral developmental disorders of ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) and ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder) are characterized by several symptoms in both children and adults: poor memory retention, hyperactivity impulsiveness and distractibility. It affects five percent of the world's population, and thirty to seventy percent of people who had ADHD or ADD as a child will carry it into adulthood. ADHD and ADD affects a higher percentage of boys than girls during childhood, but the ratio begins to equal out during adulthood.

ADHD and ADD for Children

According to statistics from the Center for Disease Control, 4.4 million children between the ages of four and seventeen have been diagnosed with ADHD or ADD, with a prevalent rate of three to seven percent. From these rates, it can be estimated that in a classroom of 25-30, at least one student will have ADHD or ADD.

ADHD and ADD for Adults

While the prevalence rates for adults with ADHD and ADD is much lower than it is for children, the range for adults falls into the one to five percent range.

Some of the most common symptoms of Adult ADHD and ADD are:

  • Chronic lateness and forgetfulness.
  • Anxiety.
  • Low self-esteem.
  • Employment problems.
  • Difficulty controlling anger
  • Impulsiveness.
  • Substance abuse or addiction.
  • Poor organization skills.
  • Procrastination.
  • Low frustration tolerance.
  • Chronic boredom.
  • Difficulty concentrating when reading.
  • Mood swings.
  • Depression.
  • Relationship problems.

Many of these symptoms can cover a large range of issues ranging from poor educational end disciplinary performance during school, the changing of jobs frequently and performing poorly within the work environment, substance abuse or bad driving performance, or relationship instabilities. Fortunately, most of these issues can be managed if the symptoms are recognized and the appropriate treatment is given.

Treating an Adult with ADHD and ADD

While ADHD and ADD problems are easier to catch with children than with adults, there are several ways to diagnose and treat adults with the symptoms. Discovering if an adult has ADHD and ADD can be found by the following means: Questionnaires asking about a patient's history, reviews of school academic records with comments on behavioral issues, consulting with the patient's parents, or background into the family's history. Examinations can also be performed through a physical, an EEG MRI or CT, or IQ and achievement testing. Once discovered in a patient, the same methods used to treat children can be used for adults. This includes medication and testing. However, adults who are dealing with memory issues do not have the convenience of having someone remind them of their medication schedule like children do. As a result, adults may experience doing household chores, or adults with a previous substance abuse problem, may use their medication incorrectly. However, there are behavioral treatment centers available to teach adults proper life management.

Living With ADHD and ADD

The most important concern regarding anyone with ADHD or ADD is being able to recognize the symptoms in time to ensure that an individual does not have do deal with the untreated effects. 


Photo Credit: GregCypes

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