Is ADHD just a childhood illness?

Is ADHD just a childhood illness?

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In the past, ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) was considered a typical childhood disease. In recent years, however, it has spread that the majority of ADHD children are said to still suffer as adults as well. In an interview on ADHD in Brigitte 7/2017, z. B. Alexandra Philipsen, director of the Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy at the University Clinic. Oldenburg that around 60% of children diagnosed with ADHD also suffer from this alleged disorder as adults.

Philipsen also belongs to the Advisory Board of ADHD Deutschland e. V. an, a network of German ADHD self-help groups, which receives donations from the pharmaceutical company Shire. The association estimates that two million adults in Germany are affected by ADHD "without having the slightest idea" (1). Frodl u. Skokauskas even assume 80% persistence of ADHs in adults (2). Treatment with relevant psychiatric drugs has now been approved for adults in Germany.

Recently, however, 3 research studies have appeared that only estimate the percentage of ADHD persisting in adulthood between 10 - 21.9%. The best of these studies is that of Moffitt et. al., because she really raised adults, while in the other two studies the “adults” were only 18-19 years old. The researchers found a persistence of only 10%. Accordingly, 78.1 - 90% of children diagnosed with ADHD no longer have this diagnosis in adulthood.

Some ADHD researchers therefore suspect that adults are completely different disorders than children. Yoshimasu u. a. find up to 12 other psychiatric disorders in adults diagnosed with ADHD. By far most adults diagnosed with ADHD have anything but ADHD? If only the diagnostics (mainly based on expectations at school) contribute
Children do not ultimately meet evidence-based medical criteria, what sense could there be in extending these criteria into adulthood - apart from increasing the sales of methylphenidate?

Overall, one can say that ADHD is still a child diagnosis alone. However, this is also only a non-specific diagnostic collection pot.

Author and source information

Video: ADHD Test for Children. Does my child have ADHD? (August 2022).