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Diagnosing and Treating Adult ADHD: A Guide

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  • Diagnosing and Treating Adult ADHD: A Guide

    Diagnosing and Treating Adult ADHD: A Guide
    Medscape Psychiatry Commentary
    Matthew A. Goldenberg, DO

    Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) has historically been thought of as a childhood illness. Therefore, it may surprise you to learn that up to 50% of childhood cases of ADHD persist into adulthood. A conservative estimate is that 2.5% of adults have ADHD. For these individuals, symptoms are persistent and infiltrate all aspects and areas of daily life.

    Although relatively common, ADHD in adults can be very difficult to diagnose and manage. Some of the challenges and barriers we face when diagnosing and treating ADHD in adults are obvious. For example, providers have concerns when prescribing stimulants, which are controlled substances. Other challenges are less obvious and require more skill to overcome, including newly updated diagnostic criteria, patients' utilization of compensatory mechanisms, and the subjective nature of the symptoms.

    In that light, I recently came across a very thorough article on the treatment of adult ADHD in Psychiatric Times. "Adult ADHD: A Review of the Clinical Presentation, Challenges, and Treatment Option" by Jennifer Reinhold, PharmD, highlights four specific challenges that I will use as the framework for this article. In addition, I will provide my clinical experience and discuss how I overcome these challenges in my practice.

    Due to the length of this article, a PDF copy is attached for download / saving/ printing.
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