Adult ADHD, treatable, important to diagnose - Expert
DURBAN psychiatrist Dr Shaquir Salduker said ADHD was a condition one was born with and was with one throughout one’s life.
“Adult ADHD is present, whether it’s diagnosed in childhood or not, but an undiagnosed adult is more likely to be unsuccessful and suffers other conditions, like depression and anxiety.
“The treatment (for adult ADHD and childhood ADHD) is exactly the same. The treatment is basically divided into stimulants and non-stimulants. The safety profile is very good, as these drugs are extensively researched and safe in children,” said Salduker.
He said there are other conditions that one could have alongside adult ADHD: “Co-morbid conditions like depression, anxiety and substance use disorders are very common. Almost the rule rather than the exception.”
A diagnosis of ADHD should not constitute the end of the road for any child or adult.
“To diagnose and properly treat this condition, even in adulthood, is to give the patient a chance at success and make life easier to navigate. It’s a rewarding condition to treat as the response rate is good.”
The treatment for ADHD consists of medication, education, psychotherapy, life coaching, and compliance.
“If left untreated, patients have difficulties conducting even the most basic tasks - like handling finances, driving safely, having lasting relationships and holding down jobs.
“So it is essential to diagnose and treat this condition as a matter of urgency. It is also important to note that this is a highly genetic condition, so the heritability factor means that multiple members of a family might suffer from this condition. The diagnosis of the adult is often made when they bring their child in for a learning problem.”