Adults: Are You Part of the 85 Percent?
Up to 85 percent of adults have ADHD and don’t know it. Learn why going undiagnosed can be dangerous and what to do if you think you have ADD.
There is no arguing with the facts. Nine million adults in the United States have ADHD. Unbelievably, eighty-five percent of them don’t know that they do. What does that mean for the undiagnosed millions?
“Untold personal misery, in many cases,” says Alan Brown, founder of ADD Crusher, a program of videos and tools to help adults deal with symptoms. Brown was once part of the 85 percent. He was a drug dealer and snorted cocaine. It wasn’t pretty.
It isn’t pretty for many adults with undiagnosed ADHD either. They have an increased chance of becoming an alcoholic or a drug user, of being fired from a job (many jobs, actually), of getting divorced, of committing a crime and going to prison. In women, undiagnosed ADHD increases the chances of developing an eating disorder and, most sadly, taking their life.
Cultural forces have something to do with the legion of undiagnosed adults. Many doctors, and a good portion of the public, think that ADHD is only a childhood disorder. In fact, in most cases, ADHD in childhood sticks around in adulthood. Millions of adults are at a dead end in their job and their relationships, with no hope of turning their life around. And they don’t know why.
If you think you may have ADHD (taking our self-test is a good first step in finding out), get evaluated by a good ADHD doctor and start a solid treatment plan. If you wind up not having attention deficit, no harm done. If you do, diagnosis and treatment could very well change your life.