Thursday, June 26, 2014

Adult ADHD and Kids: 60 Percent of Kids Don’t Outgrow It!

Many don't know that about 60 percent of kids with ADHD will never outgrow it! Raising awareness is PRICELESS. - Jeff Emmerson

As I continue spreading adult ADHD awareness through The Adult ADHD Blog, I’m reminded that a significant percentage of parents, educators and others from all walks of life don’t know that the majority of kids (60%) will never outgrow this condition! Here are a few things that people need to know when it comes to ADHD as kids grow into their later teenage years and adulthood:
Girls show their symptoms DIFFERENT than boys in many cases
Did you know that? Through my reading and research, I’ve learned that girls are very under-diagnosed due to the way they internalize their symptoms! They develop eating disorders, depression, severe anxiety, and act out in different ways than boys in many cases. The sad reality is that typical ADHD/ADD testing is tailored more to the behaviors of boys, who act out in more obvious ways, through physical, observable behaviors. The same is not always true for girls, though speaking very fast, speaking over others constantly and having many spontaneous sexual relationships as they go into their teenage years are traits that do show themselves more openly. Eating disorders and perfectionism are common for girls with the more “inattentive ADD-version” of ADHD, which doesn’t have the hyperactive side of things, but other similar behaviors as a hallmarks of the condition. ADHD and ADD are the same thing for the most part, with slight variations for each person.
Kids/Adults with ADHD/ADD are NOT lazy!
This one frustrates me – or at least it used to, until I realized that adults or peers who accuse ADHD’ers of laziness just don’t know what ADHD truly is! In fact, kids and adults with ADHD are often some of the most passionate, driven people you’ll find! Not only are many CEO’s, physicians, idea-people and entrepreneurs ADHD’ers, we are amazingly creative in many cases, and our passion to make a difference in this world through our passion is something that we really must nurture in positive, supportive ways. I must note that for as many people there are who are living successful lives with ADHD, many, many more are suffering without having figured out how to deal with the “engine” in their heads. Drug abuse is rampant with ADHD’ers, as we need to calm our minds the heck down to offer us a sense of relief. Plus, a study showed that in Canada, 21-45% of prisoners actually have ADHD! That is a very serious, very sobering statistic. We MUST continue to raise awareness. Lives depend on it, and I’m not joking. I nearly committed suicide myself before being diagnosed in 2011.
Kids and adults with ADHD need support to be successful!
We truly do, and I am walking the talk with this! I am a living, breathing example of a 37-year old man who nearly destroyed his life with ADHD and destructive behaviors, only to end up living my dreams by sharing my story with the world and inspiring others to speak out! You are NOT alone in this, and even if your symptoms are different, or your experience is different with ADHD/ADD, we’re all in this together! That is crucial, and both children and adults with ADHD need structure, support and positive reinforcement with this condition – I PROMISE YOU THAT! We can all be happier and more successful with te right support in place. It saved my life! Simple as that. Now, I’m paying it forward. I have truly found my calling, and WOW am I excited to get up every single day and live my passion through The Adult ADHD Blog, my up-coming books, and through collaborating with others in new ventures! You see? It CAN be done, no matter what you’ve lived through! I am PROOF.
Many kids and adults with ADHD are mis-diagnosed, and vice-versa with other conditions!
This is HUGE: Many are mis-diagnosed with depression, anxiety disorder, bi-polar disorder, and other conditions (and vice-versa!), so if you’re researching your symptoms/behaviors and feel there might be a mis-diagnosis, get a third, fourth, or fifth opinion from a SPECIALIST, not just a family doctor! They do NOT spend enough time with patients in a ton of cases, since they simply don’t have it! They are so rushed these days, and guess who suffers as a result: Us.

DO YOUR HOMEWORK like I did, and continue to. It may save your life, and change it forever, like it has for me. God, I wish everyone could be as lucky as I’ve been! At least I can give my heart and soul to raising awareness! After I’m gone, I’ll know I helped someone out there, and that will have to be enough to bring me peace. I’m working on it being enough with my Psychologist as I write this, actually.

….Will I ever be satisfied? Is that yet another trait of ADHD? Stay tuned. This is my battle, too.

By Jeff Emmerson

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