Risks of ADHD Continuing Into Adulthood and The Unique Risks of Having ADHD
The study just published March 4th in “Pediatrics” on Mortality, ADHD, and psychological adversity in Adults with childhood ADHD, is a well written review and offers some important insights. This study looked at over 5000 individuals born between 1976 and 1982. 7% (367) were diagnosed as having ADHD, and 4946 did not have ADHD. For those with ADHD (cases followed for an average of 27 years), there were 7 deaths (2%) compared with <1% for non-ADHD. Those with ADHD had a 42% chance of alcohol or drug addiction and the suicide rate was much higher (1% vs 0.1% in the non- ADHD group). 3% of those with ADHD as children were incarcerated and 30% of those with childhood ADHD had ADHD as adults.
ADHD is a label, as is autism, autism spectrum (ASD), PDD-NOS, depression, anxiety, bipolar, etc. These are based on a group of symptoms that all reflect something going on with our brain and neurotransmitters. ADD or ADHD is not a Ritalin deficiency, just as anxiety is not a Xanax deficiency or bipolar a Seroquil or other drug deficiency. Medications may have their place, as we don’t want our ADHD children to end up one of the statistics listed here (death, incarceration, and addiction are not what we wish for our children), however I feel strongly that the focus must be healing.
HOW DO WE HEAL?
We must understand that most chronic illness (all these are chronic) is a result of nutritional deficiencies and toxin exposures, especially during critical times such as while in the womb and early infancy. But everything is genetic right? We all have genetic predispositions. Our genetics make us more vulnerable to toxins. If you are genetically predisposed to be an alcoholic (think our ADHD, etc. kids) and you never drink, will you become an alcoholic? No! If you are genetically vulnerable to toxins and you never were exposed to those toxins, would you develop ADHD or autism or anxiety, etc.? No! This is why I will continue to teach and blog and YouTube about the importance of avoiding toxins – AS IF YOUR LIFE DEPENDED ON IT. Knowing your unborn child as a 5% chance of dying or being incarcerated should be enough to get you to stop smoking and drinking, drop aspartame (diet drinks and most gum), take your prenatal vitamins, take extra Vit D, and eat organic if you can afford to do so. We heal by avoiding ongoing toxins, eating an organic, produce-based diet, and taking supplements where needed. At the very least, everyone needs extra Vit D.
These statistics are from the 1970’s. The rates of ADHD and related disorders are likely 400-700% higher now. The severity is definitely higher now. I was a bit ADHD, and my kids are much more severe. Parents, you cannot say to yourself, “well I was that way and I did ok”. Your child likely has a severity 10X what you had.
Take this information as a call to action. There are a lot of things that can be done and if your family has any of these risk factors, alcohol and drugs just cannot be an option, or I will be seeing you in my addiction clinic where 70-80 of the young adults on heroin have ADD, ADHD, or anxiety that preceded their addictions. Untreated ADHD children will look for relief and self-medicate. Please don’t ignore that and think they can just “buck-up”.
I am passionate about this. Most (99%) of our ADHD, autism, etc., children are of above average to superior intelligence. There are complex reasons for that. We can help them, but don’t wait until they are dropping out and their self esteem is in the toilet. There are many positive things about these very intelligent children. We must uplift the positives, provide opportunities for them to build on their strengths, and get them the help early, which I feel should include nutritional analysis, food sensitivity testing, and much more, and may require medication while they are healing.