Long-Term ADHD Study Produces Flurry of ADHD Programming

Katharine JahnkeOkay, I am being funny. When I heard CBS was going to do a segment on ADHD, I prepared for the onslaught of alarmist news like how ADHD was a manufactured disorder by the pharmaceutical industry. What a surprise I was in for and kudos to Dr. Barbaresi of Boston Children’s Hospital for his straight up report.

WooHoo!!

The CBS morning show profiled a story called “ADHD Grows Up – Study shows disorder has serious impact on adults”. Dr. William Barbaresi of Boston Children’s Hospital was the guest to talk about a long-term extensive study they ran on lots of children with ADHD. He said they have long suspected that adults have ADHD but that they now have the long-term studies to prove it. It is an interesting video link to watch.

This is my synopsis of the video:

  • 30% of kids with ADHD continued to have it into adulthood
  • 80% of adults with ADHD also have 1 other psychiatric disorder such as substance abuse, anti-social personality disorder, anxiety, major depression)

Dr. Barbaresi said it was time to stop trivializing ADHD and sensationalizing it as an annoying childhood behavior problem. In fact, it is a serious chronic health problem starting in childhood that continues to have significant impact into adulthood. Treatment needs to start early and we need to reform our healthcare system so that we treat this as a chronic medical condition worth of our attention for the long haul.

When he was asked could it be misdiagnosed, Dr. Barbaresi said if you look at the press coverage, it tends to focus on misdiagnosis or poor treatment which, face it, happens to all medical conditions. But we are still unwilling as a society to think of mental health problems in the same way as other medical conditions, so that’s why you have this sensationalized approach to ADHD.

Things Boston Children’s Hospital plans to do now with the facts from this study:

  1. Early identification of ADHD
  2. Building systems of care to keep children in treatment to prevent adverse outcomes such as they found in these studies.

I think this will be a great study to have a look at. I might see if the Journal of Attention Disorders (which all ACO members have the ability to access) will have this study online to look at.

Peace and Grace,

Katherine Jahnke

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