PHILADELPHIA, October 11, 2011 – New survey results reveal that Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) impacts aspects of work and school for adults and children living with the condition. The survey also shows that many people with ADHD have been diagnosed with, or suspect presence of, other health conditions includinganxiety, depression and sleep disorders.
ADHD, which affects more than 13 million Americans, is a genetic, neurobiological disorder that results in challenges with attention, hyperactivity and impulsivity.
The ADHD Awareness Coalition conducted the survey with the goal of increasing awareness and understanding of the disorder during ADHD Awareness Week, observed on October 16-22. They add that people with ADHD can live fulfilling lives with proper management of ADHD symptoms. Facts about ADHD, survey details and awareness week activities are available athttp://www.ADHDawarenessweek.org.
“The theme for ADHD Awareness Week this year is ‘Get the Facts,’ because our goal is to ensure that every person in America understands that ADHD is a real brain disorder with real consequences,” said Ruth Hughes, CEO of Children and Adults with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder CHADD, a member of the ADHD Awareness Coalition. “We know that undiagnosed and/or untreated ADHD can have a tremendous negative impact on individuals with the disorder, as well as their families, friends and colleagues. The purpose of ADHD Awareness Week has always been to help the public and policy makers understand that the key to improving the lives of those individuals is education and awareness.”
Workplace and School Impact
The survey covered many areas of life impacted by ADHD including employment among adults and satisfaction with school in children, as reported by parents.
More than half (60 percent) of adults with ADHD surveyed said they had lost or changed a job and attributed the job loss to their ADHD symptoms. More than 36 percent reported having 4 or more jobs in the past 10 years, and 6.5 percent responded they have had 10 or more jobs within the past 10 years. According to the ADHD Awareness Coalition, finding the right career and asking for some minor accommodations on the job can be the keys to achieving success in the workplace.
Of parents with a child or children with ADHD, 44 percent reported their child to be dissatisfied with their school life, with responses ranging from extremely dissatisfied to slightly dissatisfied, and 41 percent reported dissatisfaction with their social life using the same range of dissatisfaction.
After receiving appropriate treatment, most children with ADHD experience a dramatic turnaround and are able to focus and children with hyperactivity or impulsivity are able to pay attention in classroom lessons, according to the ADHD Awareness Coalition.
The survey also explored the incidence of co-occurring conditions and found that parents of children with ADHD reported additional diagnoses such as anxiety (29 percent), depression (19 percent) and sleep disorders (14 percent). Parents of children with ADHD who have not been diagnosed with a co-occurring condition reported they suspect their child may have anxiety (35 percent), depression (15 percent) or a sleep disorder (38 percent).
Of the adults with ADHD surveyed, 28 percent reported also being diagnosed with a sleep disorder and an additional 43 percent believe they may have a sleep disorder as reported in survey responses. Surrounding yourself with people who understand that ADHD is a real disability and finding the right treatment plan can help an individual manage the day-to-day challenges that come with an ADHD diagnosis, in addition to associated conditions affecting many adults and children with ADHD.
According to the ADHD Awareness Coalition, with appropriate treatment, children are able to succeed and overcome obstacles from ADHD and associated conditions. As they feel less frustrated by their ADHD symptoms and become more confident in their ability to succeed at home and at school, most of these children gradually overcome sadness, anxiety, or other emotional problems they may have been experiencing.
The survey also indicated that many adults and children use exercise as a mechanism to manage symptoms, with more than 40 percent of adults and children currently engaging in exercise and 50 percent of adults and 39 percent of children reporting they have used exercise at some point to manage symptoms.
“In addition to exercise, there are many options for managing ADHD. A total treatment plan may include a combination of medical treatment, behavior modification and/or coaching to dramatically improve the quality of life for children and adults living with ADHD. Developing a personal treatment plan helps individuals manage their symptoms and succeed at work and school and sustain meaningful relationships with family,” said Sarah D. Wright, of the ADHD Coaches Organization (ACO), a member of the ADHD Awareness Coalition.
More information about ADHD Awareness Week and supporting organizations is available at http://www.ADHDAwarenessweek.org.
About the Survey
Survey results are not scientific. Voluntary responses were provided by 2,598 adult participants who identified themselves as someone with ADHD or as a parent of a child or children with ADHD. Not all participants answered all questions.
More than more than 13 million children and adults are living with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in the United States. Abundant scientific research has led major mainstream medical, psychological, and educational organizations in the U.S. to conclude that ADHD is a real neurological disorder. The American Medical Association, American Academy of Pediatrics, National Institute of Mental Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, American Psychiatric Association, American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, and the U.S. Department of Education, among others, recognize ADHD as a legitimate diagnosis.
Research shows that ADHD is the result of an imbalance of neurotransmitters in the brain. Its primary symptoms are inattention, impulsiveness, and, sometimes, hyperactivity. ADHD is included in the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders (DSM-IV-TR) which provides criteria for diagnosing the condition.
About the Coalition
The ADHD Awareness Coalition is made up of five organizations collaborating to promote awareness of ADHD and provide support for individuals and families affected by the disorder.