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Do ADHD symptoms always begin in childhood?

Donna Hill Howes, RN
Family Medicine
Experts studying attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) agree that all adults with ADHD had symptoms of the disorder as children. MayoClinic.com reports the following data on the numbers of children who experience ADHD in adulthood:
  • One in three children with ADHD will have significant problems with the disorder in adulthood.
  • One in three children with ADHD will still have some ADHD symptoms as adults, but the symptoms won't be too severe.
  • One in three children with ADHD will outgrow the disorder completely.
Sometimes people are not diagnosed with ADHD in childhood and discover that they have the disorder as adults. In these instances, medication and therapy treatments can still be beneficial. Treatment for adult ADHD can reduce problematic symptoms that cause trouble for adults at work, in their relationships, and with their mental health.
Dr. Michael Roizen, MD
Internal Medicine

Almost always, ADHD symptoms begin in childhood. However, even if the symptoms began when you were a child, it does not mean that you got diagnosed as a child. These days, it is not uncommon for adults to get a diagnosis of ADHD.

 

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.