A new study about the negative effect ADHD has in a life over the course of decades is getting a lot of press. Pediatrics Journal released it online on March 4, 2013. You may have seen articles on it in Forbes.com, PsychCentral.com, UPI.com, The Chicago Tribune and other places all with headlines that highlight nearly 30% of children with ADHD still suffer from it as adults and that many of those adults have mental health issues.
That ADHD casts a long shadow over mental well being was studied by the Child Study Center at the NYU Langone Center and reported by Time.com Oct. 16, 2012. In both studies higher rates of drug abuse, incarceration and psychological disorders were documented.
I went to the new source, the article on the study in Pediatrics.com, because I wanted to find out what medical and/or therapeutic treatment the ADHD group received when they were children. I was surprised to find no mention of the treatment. Interventions can have a significant effect on outcomes. I don’t understand what use the study is without it. For example – an extreme example – perhaps most of those ADHDers who are struggling with mental disease as adults were not given any medicine, therapy or support, and perhaps 90% of those were were ADHD and are not now, received family therapy? (I made that example up.)
Reading this report is like reading a study on the long term effects of pneumonia without including whether the patients received antibiotics or not.