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Adhd symptoms in adults dsm, what is major depressive disorder recurrent - Review

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Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is one of the most common neurobiological disorders of childhood and often continues through adolescence and adulthood.
At Ferris State University, student-athletes are primarily referred for an ADHD assessment by a certified athletic trainer. After the referral has been made for the ADHD assessment, the student-athlete is evaluated at the Ferris State Health Center to assess current symptoms.
The ADHD assessment protocol employed at the Ferris State Counseling Center follows a multi-method approach, which includes assessment procedures such as interviews, rating scales, psychological tests and a review of past academic records. ADHD treatment is often multi-disciplinary in nature, and may include any combination of cognitive-behavioral strategies, goal-oriented strategies, nutritional guidance, psychotherapy and medication management. Stimulant medications are NCAA banned substances, and their use requires the institution to maintain documentation on file and submit a medical exception request, using the NCAA medical exception ADHD reporting form, in the event of a positive drug test. I am going to spend a few minutes giving a little bit of an overview before I specifically talk about substance abusers with ADHD, so that I can set the platform for understanding why this comorbidity is important.
Substance use disorders are quite common in individuals with ADHD, and in fact, are overrepresented in individuals with ADHD compared to those without. What is also true is the reverse; if you look at substance abusers who are coming for treatment, the prevalence rates of ADHD are overrepresented in these groups of patients, and that occurs whether you are looking at individuals with polydrug use, opiate use disorders, cocaine abuse or dependence, and alcohol use disorders. There are some general issues that make the diagnosis of ADHD difficult for all adults, and it may just be exacerbated when you are talking about substance abusers. Similarly, the impulsivity that you see in adulthood often carries more serious consequences and is manifested in different ways than what you see in children. Similarly, individuals with late-onset ADHD, similar to the full ADHD group, had worse lifetime functioning in a variety of areas, but what is shown on this slide, is that there were more arrests, more driving tickets, and more driving accidents.
So what Faraone and colleagues conclude is that the subjects with late-onset and full ADHD have similar patterns of psychiatric comorbidity, functional impairment, and they also found similar familial transmission. When you look at ADHD versus depression, they share common symptoms of inattention and concentration problems and they may have psychomotor agitation or restlessness and sleep difficulties.
The common symptoms you see in both ADHD and bipolar illness are hyperactivity, inattention, talkativeness, work dysfunction and impulsivity, but it seems to be much more extreme with bipolar I. If you see psychosis, suicidality, expansive mood or grandiosity, decreased need for sleep, and a lot of cyclical symptomatology, you should be thinking more bipolar illness. There are certainly factors that can lead to overdiagnosis, such as not ensuring that symptoms occur in more than 1 setting and not ensuring that symptoms cause impairment.
Certainly with substance abusers, there are other factors that can also lead to the underdiagnosis of ADHD.
I think that there are specific diagnostic challenges when trying to make the diagnosis of ADHD in both non-substance-abusing as well as the substance-abusing adult populations.
However, just as student-athletes may suffer with physical illnesses and injuries, they are also vulnerable to mental health disorders, including ADHD. Athletic trainers may refer a student whom they suspect has ADHD because of difficulties in the classroom, on the field or both. The Health Center physicians utilize an ADHD screening assessment to determine the presence and severity of symptoms.
A multi-method approach to the assessment of ADHD is important because there is no single procedure that addresses all of the criteria for ADHD.
The broad-band rating scales assess a wide range of behaviors that typically include psychological symptoms beyond those specific to ADHD such as depression and anxiety, which are often associated with ADHD symptoms. The continuous performance test is one of the most common diagnostic tests used in the assessment of ADHD.
It is the experience of this author (as the psychologist providing the assessment), that having a close working relationship with the athletic trainers and physicians on campus facilitates an effective and efficient protocol in managing student-athletes with suspected ADHD. Stimulant medications are the mainstay of pharmacologic treatment of ADHD (commonly prescribed ADHD stimulant medications are listed in Table 3). The documentation must include a written report of the evaluation conducted to support the diagnosis of ADHD, and medical treatment notes from the prescribing physician.
ADHD is a lifelong disorder; about 75% of children with ADHD continue to have symptoms into adolescence, such that the prevalence in the juvenile population ranges anywhere from 6% to 9%. That is partially, I think, due to the fact that the DSM-IV criteria were used for all of these 4 studies, and they all use structured assessments. What you see in individuals who have a substance use disorder as well as ADHD is that the ADHD confers an increased risk for an earlier onset of the substance use disorder.
What you see are some of the symptoms that you frequently use in making the diagnosis of hyperactivity.
If adults can not organize as children then they can not organize as adults, so symptoms such as disorganization or slow, inefficient, or sustained attention seem to stay the same. There is the late-onset ADHD in which they meet all the criteria in childhood, but you cannot seem to get that age of onset; they can not tell you that the symptoms began before the age of 7. So again, there seems to be a lot of similarity between the late-onset group and the full-onset ADHD group, which is different than the subthreshold ADHD.

Interestingly, most of the individuals that were diagnosed with late-onset ADHD, 83%, would endorse that the symptoms began before the age of 12.
Representing a community sample, this slide shows the rates of psychiatric disorders commonly found in individuals with ADHD and non-ADHD.
What you again see is higher rates of a variety of psychiatric disorders, in individuals with ADHD than in those with non-ADHD, and clearly, this can complicate making the diagnosis.
Although the sleep problems are not part of the diagnostic criteria for ADHD, many of us who treat people with ADHD find that they often have a lot of trouble falling asleep or their sleep is very restless, like you would see with someone who has depression.
Whereas if you have a constant presence of core symptoms starting from childhood, that gives you more of a sense of somebody who might have ADHD. All of us may have problems at times with procrastination or being disorganized, but the difference is that, for people with ADHD, it is a chronic problem, and it really does impact their functioning.
For some clinicians, they may think if they cannot get symptoms before the age of 7 that they might just move on and not ask anything more about ADHD. Part of making the diagnosis of ADHD can be greatly enhanced if you can get old report cards or talk to older family members, and often this is quite difficult with substance abusers. DSM-III disorders in preadolescent children: prevalence in a large sample from the general population. Athletic trainers also refer students that have been previously diagnosed and are currently taking a stimulant medication, but lack proper documentation of an ADHD diagnosis.
The new diagnostic criteria indicate that there must be evidence of ADHD symptoms prior to age 12. Sometimes, anti-depressant and other medications are used in ADHD treatment, and these drugs are not prohibited. Also, about 50% of children with ADHD will continue to have persistence into adulthood, such that the prevalence of adult ADHD ranges from 3% to 5%.
What becomes clear is that individuals with ADHD have higher rates of substance use disorders than those without ADHD. So, by and large, looking at the older studies as well as the more recent rates, you could estimate that about 20% of individuals who are coming to substance abuse treatment will have adult ADHD. There is also a reduced likelihood of these individuals going into remission if they do develop dependence, and in fact, if remission is achieved, it seems to take these patients who have ADHD a longer time to reach remission.
You can have the predominantly inattentive type in which you have at least 6 symptoms of the inattentive symptoms and you have less or none of the symptoms of hyperactive impulsivity.
Also, the issue of additional psychopathology can complicate the diagnosis, and assuring that all the DSM-IV criteria are met can lead to complications when you are trying to make the diagnosis.
But what happens with adults is that a lot of times the hyperactivity often changes to inner restlessness, because as you can imagine, most adults are not going to endorse the symptoms such as runs or climbs excessively.
These are all common adult manifestations, which again are not part of the criteria but do represent how adults demonstrate their impulsivity.
However, you will get a lot more head-nodding by adults when you talk about things such as poor time management or paralyzing procrastination. Or, a subthreshold ADHD in which they really cannot give you 6 symptoms of inattention or 6 symptoms of hyperactivity or impulsivity; they give you 3 or 4, but they cannot make the full criteria that they need for the symptom count. They compared these 4 groups and found that the full ADHD group and the late-onset ADHD group had similar rates of other psychiatric comorbidity, suggesting that there is a concurrent validity to the late-onset group which is different than what they found with the subthreshold ADHD group.
What they also found was that the subthreshold ADHD was milder and showed a different pattern of familial transmission, and in contrast to the late-onset ADHD, there seemed to be less evidence of the validity of the subthreshold ADHD. Here again, what you see are elevations in the rates of comorbid psychiatric disorders in addition to ADHD. The 2 probably most common differential diagnoses to make with adults with ADHD is whether or not you are dealing with comorbid depression, or whether the depression is their only diagnosis.
With bipolar illness, you are more likely to see a lot more irritability, depression, and even substance abuse; whereas with ADHD, again, you are going to see a lot more improvement with structure. But I think one of the other factors that lead to underdiagnosis is clinicians not recalling the symptoms.
Another factor which may not be quite as common in adults but can occur is the desire to get special consideration with test-taking, that is, getting a longer time to take tests by carrying the diagnosis.
Also, in substance abuse treatment settings, clinicians may not be familiar with or consider the diagnosis of ADHD. There are acute effects that are caused by cocaine or other stimulants that can look like ADHD, such as restlessness and agitation.
Patterns of psychiatric comorbidity, cognition, and psychosocial functioning in adults with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Adult outcome of hyperactive boys: educational achievement, occupational rank, and psychiatric status. Psychiatric comorbidity in adult attention deficit hyperactivity disorder: findings from multiplex families. The prevalence and correlates of adult ADHD in the United States: results from the National Comorbidity Survey Replication.

Prevalence of adult attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder among cocaine abusers seeking treatment. For the student-athlete this means that ADHD symptoms are usually present on a daily or weekly basis both within the academic setting and in the athletic, social, job or home setting. Most report cards assess classroom behavior and study habits, which typically include areas closely related to ADHD symptoms. There are specific issues related to substance abusers: the ADHD symptoms can be mimicked by alcohol and drug use, and there are specific difficulties when you are evaluating substance abusers in substance abuse treatment settings that I think lead to both under- and overdiagnosis. Probably, in the upcoming years, this is going to be more thought of as we begin to think about DSM-V diagnostic criteria. Again, you can see this with children, but children will often have parents or someone who will help organize them; whereas, as an adult, often they do not have these systems in place to help them get through their work. Faraone and colleagues found that these are 2 common categories that you see in adults coming for evaluation. So, the results from this study suggest that late-onset ADHD may, in fact, be valid, and that the DSM-IV criterion may be too stringent.
We have already talked about the fact that individuals with ADHD have higher rates of substance use disorders compared to those without, and here what I am showing is that the rates of other psychiatric disorders are more prevalent, as well. Similarly, if you have somebody coming in for an evaluation and they tell you their children have been diagnosed with ADHD, then you need to think that perhaps they have ADHD.
Often, clinicians were not trained during their residencies about the diagnosis of ADHD, or they just might not be thinking about it and therefore, they miss it.
Somebody may say that they have all the symptoms of ADHD in order to get special consideration.
In Withdrawal, a variety of drugs can also appear to look like ADHD; alcohol, sedatives, hypnotics, nicotine, and cocaine can produce restlessness and agitation, but you also see with certain drugs difficulty with concentration and irritability, and this can look like ADHD. They appear inattentive or impulsive in school, and this may be secondary to their difficulties at home rather than specific to ADHD, particularly if there was no structure, and that needs to be explored and can often be difficult to tease out. Often, a student-athletes is diagnosed by a family doctor or primary care physician without a comprehensive assessment, and that physician will make a diagnosis of ADHD based upon the results of just one rating scale assessment or a short diagnostic-focused conversation with the patient. The protocol employs a structured interview at the second session that more closely examines each symptom of ADHD. Individuals who are substance abusers with ADHD seem to have higher rates of other psychiatric comorbidities, such as conduct or antisocial personality disorder, such that their treatment is even more complicated. But again, it is more often that I will see inattentive symptoms in adults because there is a lot more symptom overlap between children and adults.
What that means for clinicians is that we should be not be getting too preoccupied with when in childhood the ADHD symptoms began. However, a caveat to this is that individuals with long-standing ADHD often will also feel worthless or have feelings of low self-esteem because of the long-standing problems that they have had with having ADHD. If they are focused on a diagnosis that they think is of greater clinical concern, such as schizophrenia, depression, or bipolar illness, they might think that these psychiatric disorders take precedence, which, if it is an acute problem, may be the case, but then they may never get back to looking for or asking about the symptoms of ADHD. Now, another factor that people always worry about is that perhaps substance abusers are feigning the symptoms of ADHD in order to get stimulant medication. This structured interview is geared specifically to the adult population and assesses symptoms that were present during childhood and adulthood. Most adults, in fact, have the predominant inattentive type, and that may be partially due to the problems of their developmental appropriateness of the criteria. So, I think the fact that some of these symptoms are not developmentally appropriate makes it hard to make a diagnosis of hyperactivity type in adults. This mirrors statements by other experienced clinicians, such as Russell Barkley and other people in the field, who conclude that this age criterion is too stringent and should be taken out of diagnostic criteria of DSM-IV. Often the people in charge are not clinical psychologists or psychiatrists, and therefore, the individuals who are running these programs may have little information or awareness of mental health issues, specifically adult ADHD, in their patient population. And also, what is unique to ADHD is that usually people who are depressed are not extremely talkative and wanting to be constantly active. At least most of the individuals that I see with ADHD who have used marijuana have begun before the age of 17.
So again, the diagnosis becomes complicated if they cannot remember their symptoms, either simply because they cannot or because of the direct function of their heavy drug use.
Once you get those 2 timelines, then you can look at the presence or absence of ADHD symptoms prior to drug use and during periods of abstinence. If the symptoms are not present during periods of abstinence or tend to come and go, then this is not consistent with an adult diagnosis of ADHD.

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