The Saturday Evening Post Investigates the Growing Diagnosis of Adult ADHD

Indianapolis (November 5, 2012)—Brook Ochoa, 42, doesn’t fidget or squirm or bounce off walls like an 8-year-old child with ADHD. Still, she’s clearly burdened with an inability to concentrate: “I read seven books at a time, have never finished a project in my life, and when I get bored with a job I just walk way. I never knew until recently that wasn’t normal. If it’s boring I’m done.”

In the November/December 2012 issue of The Saturday Evening Post, on newsstands now, veteran medical correspondent Sharon Begley explains the science behind how adults are learning to cope with their ADHD symptoms.

“Stories of adults who finally learn they have ADHD are as unique as the people themselves, but they have at least one thing in common: a sense that what was once shrouded in mystery is now lit with understanding, that a weight has been lifted and a puzzle solved,” Begley said.

Begley reports that the newest edition of the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, scheduled for release in May 2013, is expected to loosen the diagnostic criteria for the disorder substantially, lowering the number of symptoms required. For adults who were not diagnosed with ADD or ADHD as children—and anyone who was already an adult when the neurobehavioral disorder became widely recognized in children in the 1990s is unlikely to have been—having the diagnostic label affixed to their struggles allows them to finally seek help. The Post includes a symptoms chart to allow readers to see if they meet the basic criteria.

“We so often tend to link ADD and ADHD to children that we regularly fail to recognize adults’ symptoms as ADHD,” said Steven Slon, editorial director, The Saturday Evening Post. “Diagnosis allows them to finally seek help and find solutions to questions they were previously unable to answer and problems they were unable to circumvent.”

While some people may think that ADHD is caused from today’s disjointed world of smartphones, tablets, and the like, or a result of bad parenting, in fact that is not the case. Parents may be responsible for another reason however: ADHD is highly heritable, and there is suspicion that conditions in the womb can increase a child’s risk.

Although much scientific advancement has been made in adult ADHD, there is still a lot to be learned. As with most mental illnesses, a combination of medication and psychological therapy can markedly reduce symptoms of ADHD in adults.

The complete report appears in the November/December issue of The Saturday Evening Post or online at Plus: To read comments from Ty Pennington, Andres Torres, and others with ADHD, visit

For more information or to schedule an interview, please contact Leni Schimpf, The Rosen Group at 646-695-7045 or [email protected].


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