Tuesday, June 18 2013, 08:08 AM MDT
ADHD Can Last A Lifetime
(CBS) Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is the most common developmental disorder affecting about seven percent of all children.
For the first time, researchers followed children into adulthood, and found ADHD has lasting effects.
Maria Scazzero says a binder is key to running her life.
Every week she categorizes what she needs to do, assigning herself no more than three tasks a day.
“Otherwise I can’t function. I’m stressed out. I don't know what I’m doing,” Maria says.
It's her way of managing her ADHD. She was diagnosed at 12, and at 27 she still has it.
A new study in The Journal Pediatrics finds she's not alone, many children have to cope with ADHD for a lifetime.
“It found that a third continued to have ADHD in adulthood so for a significant proportion it persists,” Dr. Mary Solanto with Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai says.
The new study also found 57% of children with ADHD had at least one other psychiatric disorder as adults including substance abuse, anxiety and depression.
People with ADHD have difficulty organizing and meeting deadlines, and can struggle academically.
“Those things will take a toll on a child's self-esteem and motivation. These are the things that can carry on into adulthood,” Dr. Solanto says.
Maria knows that all too well. She's battled anxiety and depression.
“I struggled for so long to try to fit into this cookie cutter, this round shape that I wanted to fit into, but I’m like an octagon. I’m ok with that now, but for a long time I wasn't,” Maria says.
With the help of medication and therapy she's been able to manage her time and keep her life organized.
The study also showed that children with ADHD were also more likely to commit suicide and be incarcerated as adults, although the numbers were small.