Elizabeth Nolan Brown // Blog

media. music. feminism. food. city-dwelling. story-telling. and other things.

Adderall Nation

with 2 comments

The symptoms of adult attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder seem to describe half the people in New York City: restlessness, impatience, impulsivity, procrastination, chronic lateness, and difficulty getting organized, focusing and finishing tasks.

A significant proportion of youngish people I know (in many cities)  have either been diagnosed/treated for ADHD, or suspect they should/could be.

Tyler Cowen points out that this WSJ article, “ADHD: Why More Adults Are Being Diagnosed,” is one of few that suggests that “some adults with ADHD are highly intelligent, energetic, charismatic and creative, and are able to focus intently on a narrow range of topics that interest them.” It’s also one of few I’ve ever seen that suggests a lot more adults could have ADHD and benefit from treatment:

About 4.4% of U.S. adults—some 10 million people—also have ADHD and less than one-quarter of them are aware of it.

That’s because while ADHD always starts in childhood, according to official diagnostic criteria, many adults with the disorder went unnoticed when they were young. And it’s only been since the 1980s that therapists even recognized the disorder could persist in adults.

Even now, getting an accurate diagnosis is tricky. Some experts think that too many adults—and children—are being put on medications for ADHD, often by doctors with little experience with the disorder. Others think that many more people could benefit from ADHD drugs and behavioral therapy.

I can’t decide if I’d like to see more or less of my friends running around popping adderall, which is the very-scientific method I’ve devised for solving this debate …

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Written by Elizabeth

April 6, 2010 at 10:55 am

2 Responses

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  1. Very awesome post! Truely.

    Earnest Downey

    May 27, 2010 at 11:38 am

  2. Hah am I honestly the first comment to your great article?!?

    Charity Serrano

    May 30, 2010 at 5:24 pm


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