Melinda Beck is a columnist for The Wall Street Journal, writing the weekly Health Journal column in the Personal Journal section and related features. Previously, she was editor of the Journal’s Marketplace section, a position she held since May 2000. She joined the paper as deputy Marketplace editor in June 1996. Prior to joining the Journal, Ms. Beck had been with Newsweek magazine since 1978. She worked for a variety of the magazine’s sections, first as a reporter, then as a writer and later as a senior editor. While at Newsweek, she wrote more than 25 cover stories and received numerous journalism awards. From 1981-1992, she served on the Yale University Council/Committee on Yale College and has been a member of the board of directors of the Yale Daily News since 1989. She has won awards from the Arthritis Foundation, the AARP, the American Society on Aging, the American College of Emergency Physicians, the National Institute of Health Care Management and the American College of Health Care Administrators. Ms. Beck received a bachelor’s degree from Yale UniversityThe 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. You can take an on-line test here.
How do you know you have ADHD, which experts compare to having a mind like a pinball, with thoughts flitting in multiple directions. Maybe you're just overcaffeinated and overworked? And if you do have it, will there be a stigma? Should you try medication? Will it work?
Parents of children with suspected ADHD face a myriad of similar questions. But the concerns can be just as troubling for adults, whose ADHD often goes unrecognized.
An estimated 8% of U.S. children have ADHD, which is also known as ADD, for attention-deficit disorder, and some 50% of them outgrow it, according to government data. 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.