ADHD is a pervasive
complex and a heterogenous disorder. A chronic condition marked by persistence
of symptoms into adolescence, and often into adulthood for a majority of children
First recognized over 100
years ago as hyper activity, this abnormal disorder was found to be a result of
biology rather than bad parenting. 1 At its core, ADHD is believed
to be a product of Dopaminergic Destruction, thereby causing a cohort of
disorders in the prefrontal cortex, the basal ganglia and the cerebellum.
As the name suggests,
this disorder has manifestations of both inattention and hyperactivity including problem solving, planning,
orienting, alerting, cognitive flexibility, sustained attention, response
inhibition, and working memory 2, 3
It has 2 major presentations.
Subjects with the latter tend to be diagnosed early on, whereas
inattentiveness is commonly mistaken for a lack of will to focus.
This wide array of complications is matched only by its equally diverse
etiology. It is believed today, that multiple genetic and environmental
factors, as opposed to a single predisposing culprit as seen in many diseases,
act in concert.
Pre, peri and post-natal environmental factors
influence the pathogenesis as well. For instance, prenatal alcohol exposure is
known to induce brain structural anomalies, especially in the cerebellum 4
Maternal smoking produces a 2.7-fold increased risk for ADHD 5. Moreover, many
neurobiological disorders such as Tuber Sclerosis Complex, Prader Willy
Syndrome etc., while expressing themselves, cause common downstream effects on
Cognitive Behavioral therapy, Coaching and most of all meditation and
regular exercise; these are some of the most effective antidotes to ADHD other
than medicines of course.
Although there is no
global consensus, meta-regression analyses have estimated the worldwide
ADHD/HKD prevalence at between 5.29%(16) and
children and adolescents. However, ADHD is a grossly underdiagnosed entity in
India, even in children. A common
misconception of ADHD is that it is endemic to children. However, it is now
thought to persist into adult life in 10
to 60% of cases 8,9
The true population prevalence of the disorder is likely to be higher
since under-reporting of symptom severity is common and because of problems
with current diagnostic methods applied to adults, 10,11 Such Adults may attain lower levels of occupational
attainment, are susceptible to substance abuse, antisocial behaviors along with
psychological distress. Often regarded
as misfits in the society, Adults with ADHD often face social isolation.
ADHD coach, Brett Thorn gave a brilliant analogy to describe what goes
on in a patient,
“ADHD patients do not suffer from a lack of Attention. It’s like they’re
switching between 30 different channels and someone else has the remote”. ADHD
is basically a mind that is simply wired differently.
In the wake of paucity of Indian studies
regarding this subject, this study aims to contribute to the Data pool and help
in developing a better understanding of Adult ADHD, starting with diagnosing
Indian university undergraduates. This study will be carried out using the ASRS
v1.1 scale which has been taken from the WHO Composite International Diagnostic
Review. This is a universally accepted scale and has been used in scores of
studies relating to adult ADHD in the West. However, only 1 other study has
been conducted regarding adult ADHD in India.