“Will this condition ever fade away? Or will I have a mile-a-minute mind & wild impulsive streaks forever?”
Many kids and teens feel this question every time they have a bad ADHD experience. Life’s harsh lessons have a way of making us look inwards, at our perceived flaws.
And boy can it be a question that stings often. ADHD, particularly the hyperactive subtype, can instigate a horrible trifecta of negative feedback from parents, teachers, and even peers.
For someone whose knowledge of the world consists of home, school, and the streets in between, ADHD can feel like the worst kind of punishment (for merely being alive).
So… how long will ADHD stay with us?
Dr. Deborah Serani: It’s lifelong, but can be managed
In an interview with HealthCentral, Dr. Serani states:
“ADHD is a neurobiological disorder that continues throughout life. There are many children who learn how to manage it so that as adults it is hard to detect. However, there are many adults who continue to need treatment, medication and psychotherapy, to mitigate ADHD. So the simple answer to this complex question is not that children outgrow ADHD… they learn to manage it better.”
Other studies are more mixed. Some have shown that nearly 1/2 of children with ADHD continue to experience symptoms as adults as well, based on parent reports.
Having ADHD myself and big involved the circles of peers with ADHD, my anecdotal evidence is that the condition here to stay, but is highly highly manageable.
In fact, I’d say I’m more organized and productive than more “regular” people
It’s the old evolutionary principle in action. Adapt or die.
Ok, maybe it’s not quite that serious. But still — living a life of late-night cramming during exam week, constant condemnation from parents and teachers, I did have it tough during the school year.
So I learned to cope. I studied how to study. I forced new organizational strategies into my life that continue to serve me as an adult.
Basically, I got REALLY good at managing the flawed and error-prone human mind. I figured that mine was the worst (when it came to focusing). So I gave it my best. I learned to BUILD the structure I didn’t get at birth.
ADHD goes away – when you get serious about it
The absolute worst thing you can do is resign yourself to victim status. “I was born this way, and I’ll always be this way.” That attitude shuts down your ability to grow and develop as an adult.
Ignore the siren call of self-loathing. Reject the easy road offered by excuses. Although it may be a lifelong condition, you CAN effectively shut down attention, impulsivity, and hyperactivity issues by getting serious about all the things that are under your control.