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Old 08-10-08, 10:20 PM
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Growing out of AD/HD?

Do people really "grow" out of it sometimes? How is this possible? Are children being misdiagnosed? Are they finding coping mechanisms to cover up the problems? Does being treated at an early age help make it go away?

I don't understand. It's a mental condition. We are born into it, no? Isn't that like saying someone grows out of being bipolar?

.. What?
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Old 08-10-08, 10:57 PM
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Re: Growing out of AD/HD?

There s some evidence to indicate ADHD is associated with brain development. this does not stop until the mid 20's in some cases.

therefore it is conjectured that some ADHD does alleviate as the brain matures... however it has recently been acknowledged that ths is not always the case.

you are correct to point out that soem "alleviation" may ndeed be due to individuals moving on from the highly controlled and restrictive school environment into one they can arrange to suit their strengths and weaknesses.

Unfortunately despite the advances n medical technology the diagnositic criteria laid down in DSM IV remain rooted in "disorder" and take little account of the possibility that the same low level neurochemical traits of ADHD may exist in highly successful individuals.

ADHD and it's continuation into adult hood is such a convoluted Gordian knot of neurochemical and environmental influences it is beyond simplistic diagnostic criteria.

We must remember that we are at the very beginnngs of our understanding of how the brain works and therefore be open to what we SEE as opposed to what we are told is the case.

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Old 08-10-08, 11:03 PM
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Re: Growing out of AD/HD?

Statistically, nothing is ever 100%.

"Most" people don't "outgrow" (meaning it's 100% "gone") ADHD.

Research I've read (from Russ Barkley) points out that :


ADHD is a lifespan disorder in that the symptoms change over time (throughout each stage of development)

So that you need fewer symptoms to meet the criteria as you get older

Eventually what's left is called "residual" ADHD (symptoms that still create impairments and are developmentally different that same age/gender, non-ADHD peers)

For example, a hyperactive little boy can become a restless & bored adolescent

who then becomes a workaholic adult


hope that helps

tc

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Old 08-10-08, 11:19 PM
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Re: Growing out of AD/HD?

Quote:
Originally Posted by junetown View Post
Do people really "grow" out of it sometimes? How is this possible? Are children being misdiagnosed? Are they finding coping mechanisms to cover up the problems? Does being treated at an early age help make it go away?

I don't understand. It's a mental condition. We are born into it, no? Isn't that like saying someone grows out of being bipolar?

.. What?
Let me qualify this by saying I am only learning about all this myself atm, after 14 years of thinking it was something I could 'cure' in my kids with the right dose of the right meds and that I personally was just one of those people destined to never 'get it together' and acheive anything....

Apparently if adequate support is developed in childhood (not just meds - kids need to be taught coping strategies for there more 'problematic' areas, I never understood this until recently) then some of the more 'obvious to the outside world' symptoms reduce over time which gives the appearance of 'growing out of it'.

But in reality they are just developing coping tools.

Anyway thats my current understanding of it, more research may mean seeing it differently I guess...
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Old 08-11-08, 12:51 AM
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Re: Growing out of AD/HD?

Life is about adapting. I think if you can learn to adapt and function and be happy, it is wonderful. Perhaps, as you get older and exposed to more possibilities, you can learn better ways to adapt.

However, there is a difference between learning to do something different and "outgrowing" it. In my opinion, the difference is if you still struggle. Do you have to fight to do what you want? Are you still worried that you might have missed something? Are others still pointing out to you that you are having difficulties?

The bipolar reference is a good example. It's a condition which can change over time, and go for long periods with few symptoms. However, the person WITH it feels everything, even if they are managing it to the outside world. ADD can be like that, I think. Nobody may see the behavior as anything but "quirky", but the person dealing with it may be fighting through every moment to stay focused.

I thought I had ADD years ago, and told a few people. I thought it explained all of my internal battles. Those I told thought I was ridiculous, because all they saw was what my struggles have accomplished. "You would NEVER have done XYZ if you REALLY had ADD." I never would have gotten through college and grad school, gotten promoted to a job with responsibility, planned a wedding or a trip to Europe, managed a household, had any friends. It took a long time before I realized that noone realized how hard any one piece of those things was for me.

Now I know better. I wasn't wrong about having it. I was wrong to think I was "whining" about things being hard. The truth is, they WERE hard. The trust is, as I get older, some aspects get easier to manage, and some get harder.

And, in all truth, it does not matter what other people think. What matters is what I know. I know what is hard and what is easy today, or tomorrow...or an hour from now. One day, when somebody tells me to "grow out of it", I will turn around and thell them snapping at somebody and critiquing them is soooooooooooooo adolescent...and they need to "grow up".
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Old 08-11-08, 06:20 AM
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Re: Growing out of AD/HD?

i dont think ppl really grow out of it.. rather they learn how to manage it. I wasn't really aware of having ADHd as a child, but i knew i had a dyslexia. With help from teachers etc, i learned how to work with dyslexia to manage the issues related to that.. I never however developed skills to do the same with ADHd, because it was never really bothered with.
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Old 08-11-08, 10:01 AM
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Re: Growing out of AD/HD?

Do people grow out of ADHD?

Not really. I often term it as a friend for life. The symptoms will likely change however. The current diagnostic criteria in the DSM are for children.

If it is truly ADHD, then as one matures the disability will still be there but will usually express somewhat differently. For example few adults act as if they are "driven by a motor" or "often runs about or climbs excessively in situations in which it is inappropriate".

Much study is being currently done on developing good adult diagnostic criteria for the new DSM due in 2010. We shall see what comes of it. Russell Barkley in the thick of it and this bodes well for getting a good usable diagnostic tool.

Based on experience and the research, I strongly feel that if one is impaired by ADHD as a child then impairment will be present in the adult. The symptoms may change and the individual may find more or less successful ways of dealing with the the symptoms but they will still be there.

If, as it overwhelmingly seems, it is a primarily heritable disorder, then the basic underlying causes cannot go away. They are part of the individuals gene set which is constant throughout life.

Really good question.

Dizfriz
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Old 08-11-08, 06:26 PM
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Re: Growing out of AD/HD?

Quote:
Originally Posted by junetown View Post
Are children being misdiagnosed?
Quite possibly. I think Dr. Hallowell mentioned how sometimes when we make new discoveries, we (society overall) tends to get 'excited' and perhaps apply it to everyone. I'm sure a lot of us started to 'see' ADHD in everyone just after we were all diagnosed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by junetown View Post
Do people really "grow" out of it sometimes?
Either they learn better coping skills, or maybe they were misdiagnosed. Or they find activites that don't necessarily bring out their ADHD. That's why a lot of undiagnosed adults are under employed. If I worked at Starbucks, it doesn't necessarily bring out my ADHD quite in the way working in an office or even working in my hospital does.
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