How does ADHD evolve? Does it heal over time?

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is a very common disorder with early onset in childhood. In fact, it is estimated that between 7 and 8% of school-age children suffer from this disorder. However, contrary to popular belief, the symptoms do not always subside over the years. It is estimated that 50% to 70% of children with ADHD will continue to have symptoms into adulthood, something that also occurs with many other early-onset disorders, such as intellectual disability or conduct disorder, although in In the case of ADHD, the symptoms are rarely accentuated, it is usual for an adaptation to occur.

In general, ADHD with a predominance of attention deficit has the best prognosis over the years, especially when the person learns strategies to improve concentration. However, ADHD with a predominance of impulsiveness and hyperactivity can also decline in adulthood. It all depends on the way in which the disorder changes its characteristics over the years and on the strategies that people develop to compensate for the deficit.

ADHD in adolescents

The main problems of ADHD that will persist in adults appear in childhood but are accentuated in adolescence and youth. In these stages, the ability to adapt fundamentally deteriorates in the middle. It is common for boys to have more learning problems, which causes lower school performance, increases the chances that they will have to repeat a course and they have up to 3 times more risk of being temporarily or permanently expelled from school.

Likewise, criminal, rebellious and defiant behaviors are accentuated, while they are more prone to serious accidents. In fact, studies indicate that around 48 % of adolescents with ADHD have suffered arrests, compared to 20% of adolescents who do not suffer from this disorder. They also tend to have their first sexual intercourse earlier than the rest of the adolescents, by the age of 15 a high percentage of boys with ADHD have contracted a sexually transmitted disease or have had a pregnancy.

Adolescent ADHD

However, many of these problems can be managed if the adolescent receives support from the people around him and they help him develop more effective coping strategies. If this is not the case, the problems may can worsen and the adolescent or young person experiences feelings of guilt and suffers damage to their self-esteem.

ADHD in adults

When ADHD symptoms persist into adulthood, it is likely that the person will have difficulties maintaining a good performance at work, in their social relationships and that they may show some emotional instability. However, this is not always the case.

In general, the educational level of adults with ADHD is often low due to academic problems during their childhood and adolescence. In fact, statistics show that hyperactive adults are twice as likely not to attend college and, if they do, are 7 times more likely to drop out of college. However, there is also a significant percentage of adults with ADHD who complete college and have excellent careers. The key is learning to control symptoms.

When a person fails to develop compensatory strategies, it becomes difficult for them to keep their job. According to studies, it is common for adults with ADHD to change jobs, sometimes due to their impulsive behavior and other times because they have been fired for their lack of competence. And it is that these people find it difficult to take on heavy workloads and have trouble concentrating.

On a personal level, the biggest problem does not lie in finding a partner but in maintaining a stable relationship throughout the time since these people can become very impulsive and find it difficult to give their arm to twist. They can also manifest destructive behaviors marked by distress, tension, anxiety, interpersonal problems, hostility, and depression.