Host Amber Smith: Here's some advice from professor Stephen Faraone from Upstate Medical University. What's important to know about Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder in adults?
Stephen Faraone, PhD: The first thing that's important to know is that just because you were not diagnosed with ADHD in childhood doesn't mean you don't have ADHD. Many adults with ADHD never had a diagnosis. They may have had problems in childhood that were caused by ADHD that were just never recognized. That's the most important thing.
The second most important thing would be that there are very good treatments for ADHD in adulthood, treatments that have been tested now for decades, that we know work very well and have very few adverse effects, if any.
And when they do have adverse effects, they're usually well managed, so you shouldn't be afraid of the treatments for the disorder either.
There are also adults with ADHD who have had a long life of difficulties because their ADHD has not been managed. And then maybe in their 20s or 30s, they realized, "Oh, these problems seem to be ADHD." They get diagnosed. It also is important to remember that pills don't replace skills, that although the medicines for ADHD will definitely help you in your current life, they won't replace any life skills that you may not have learned because of your ADHD in the past. And for that, sometimes it's useful for adults to enroll in a cognitive behavior therapy program that is especially geared for adults with ADHD.
Host Amber Smith: You've been listening to Stephen Faraone, a professor of psychiatry and behavioral science and neuroscience and physiology at Upstate and president of the World Federation of ADHD.