Adult ADHD: Underdiagnosis of a Treatable Condition
Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder is a common neurodevelopmental disorder, well-characterized within the pediatric population and representing one of the most prevalent mental conditions among children and adolescents. Once diagnosed, pharmacologic and psychosocial therapies can reduce symptomatic expression and functional impairment. Traditionally thought to resolve by young adulthood, it is now recognized that ADHD persists into adulthood. Many of these individuals were never evaluated for ADHD as children and remain undiagnosed as adults, continuing to struggle with symptoms. It is common to develop compensatory strategies geared at mitigating the disruptive effects of ADHD. In this article, we provide an overview of adult ADHD, review changes to DSM-5 diagnostic criteria meant to facilitate diagnosis of ADHD during adulthood, and discuss various factors that serve as barriers to accurate detection of adult ADHD.