It is generally proposed that ADHD is a life-long ailment: It can however be debated as to how much environment effects, especially crises in life or dramatic personal and family dramas and deaths influences the behaviour. Also how much ADHD is suppressed by either the individual, by the discipline in the family, or by the regiment in schooling.
Latency of ADHD, is however in fact a result of the condition "lying sub-clinical" or as in our last discursive essay, being misdiagnosed.
In then a patient presenting clinically so to speak, getting in touch with the health services, then in fact a clear history can be established that is as diagnostic of the disease as the most modern brain activity scans: there will be a catalogue of social, sexual and economic blunders and abnormal behaviour, usually never before being interpreted as such by the patient.
The reasons adults go undiagnosed through childhood and adolescence are as diverse as you may like to imagine most likely any number of explanations on family, school and friends where the behaviour was either interpreted differently, seen as fairly normal to that individual, or over shadowed by general bad social behaviour in the class room and outside school.
In adulthood, ADHD often shows a slow, mild yet insidious progress or pattern. Very often it "presents" to the health profession as stress or reactive-depression, after a particular life crisis is confronted or experienced. It can even be misdiagnosed as post-traumatic-stress-disorder.
The symptoms are however pretty clear for the layman who has a relationship over a long period of time with the subject: Here are some key pointers which will help family, friends and concerned-colleagues to suggest that the person seek help which would help in solving their problems:
1) classic inattentiveness during films, lectures, business meetings or family gatherings.
2) disrupted sleep patterns : typically drowsiness during the daytime at inappropriate times, difficulty in waking and conversely, hyper active late at night with rushing thoughts often beginning after they have actually gone to bed and turned over to sleep.
3) undue amounts of either anxiety or optimism. This is the spiral-up / spiral-down of hyperactive, uncontrolled and "unnormalised" thought patterns. An ADHD sufferer will most likely experience both the euphoric positive thought streams and the overly anxious, exploring many negative outcomes rather than producing a balanced picture around the situation.
4) Uninhibited sexual activity : a lack of judgement making in choosing partners, and an orientation around gratifying sex or frequent casual sex. " Sexoholism " or "nymphomania" can in some cases most probably be associated to ADHD. Unprotected sex, and failing to see emotional consequences of sex with friends and new partners, and failing to take precautions.
5) overly talkative:; lacking in normal conversation skills, and prone to talking very much and not listening to others around, Offering one sided monologue theories and solutions without there being the usual dialogue.
6) variable sociability and variable performance at work and in education or sports: this is somewhat symptomatic of the up and down phases: a real talent for creative thought or actually heightened reasoning can then be contradicted by the subject's failure to be consistent, or to actually tackle mundane daily tasks.
7) A difficulty in being assertive and poor judgement in making life changing decisions
8) Tending to over-react and react with strong emotions to some situations when there is an element of confrontation, or that the load of normal stimuli in a demanding situation which would be tackled by an ordinary person, who may choose to take flight from the situation due to the overload, leads to an emotional status. This is more obvious in Children, and seems to be un-learned if you like in many adults who have had some degree of social modification to their underlying, undiagnosed affliction.
9) Seemingly becoming easily bored and frustrated with jobs, hobbies and personal relationships: the subject may enter into any of the above with a great deal of enthusiasm, which belies the lack of reasoning and reflection which is lacking the ADHD sufferer. However they have difficulty in holding onto a job, becoming bored and frustrating others with their social foibles and variable performances. They may struggle to form lasting relationships, often because they make a poor choice of partner on outset, one who is not compatible enough for the longer term, or do not assert their own needs in a relationship, or the other partner, as with the employer, tires of their behaviour and loses respect and trust for them.
10) failing to consider the consequences of their actions: a failure to weight up alternatives. Impulsiveness.
On their own, any one of these types type of behaviour would not of value in a fuller diagnosis, but in the picture with other traits, the layman should probably discuss with their friend that the types of poor judgement and lack in inhibitions, coupled to "down time" is the bipolar nature of ADHD or other diseases and they should seek medical attention.
It may be that the person afflicted by such symptoms above actually will fall into a different diagnosis, such as hypo-mania, but it is worth encouraging the person to seek help: for family members, partners, close friends or personnel managers, it would be worth getting the person to write down the some of the issues they have had:
" 10 girl friends in 5 years.....change job on average every year....makes sexual-gratification oriented decisions ...does not see consequences of their actions.....does not have a good "take out" from lectures or presentations.....goes off on irrelevant tangents in study, presentation or conversation....tackles creative tasks well, often showing insight, but fails to undertake mundane tasks well.....has a distinct threshold for some types of social situation where they become agitated or behave unusually...have also a threshold for tasks in work, or education, often reaching a low threshold in assimilating information. Failed to cope with an emotionally challenging event in life"