Adults with high symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are more likely to experience anxiety and depression than those with high autism traits, according to a new study led by psychologists at the University of Bath in the UK. high.
This study is the first to show that ADHD is more predictive of poor mental health in adults than other neurodevelopmental conditions such as autism.
To date, information on the impact of ADHD on mental health decline has been scarce, with far more research focusing on the impact of autism on depression, anxiety and quality of life. As a result, people with ADHD often struggle to access the clinical care needed to manage their symptoms.
The study authors hope their findings will inspire new research on ADHD and ultimately improve mental health outcomes for people with ADHD. A neurodevelopmental condition characterized by sexuality and impulsivity. The condition is estimated to affect between 3% and 9% of the population.
Blue Monday (January 16th) – The third Monday in January, described by some as the most depressing day of the year – said lead researcher Luca Hargitay. It’s been a long time.
“Researchers also struggle to statistically separate the importance of ADHD and autism for mental health outcomes because ADHD and autism frequently occur together.”
Our aim was to accurately measure how strongly ADHD personality traits are associated with poor mental health, while statistically describing autistic traits.”
Luca Hargitay, Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Bath
A new study from the University of Bath, University of Bristol, Cardiff University and King’s College London was published this week in a prestigious journal. scientific reportIn the same month, two British television personalities, Johnny Vegas and Sue Perkins, opened up about their recent ADHD diagnoses.
“This condition affects many people, both children and adults, and the fact that more people are willing to talk about it should be welcomed.” It is hoped that more research will be done in the field, resulting in better resources to help individuals better manage their mental health.”
Overly active, as if driven by a motor
This study used a large nationally representative adult sample from the UK population. All participants completed a gold standard questionnaire on autism traits and ADHD traits, and were asked to answer questions such as “I am often obsessed with one thing” and “I am overly active like you.” How often do you feel compelled to do something?” motor drive? ”
Researchers have found that ADHD traits are very useful in predicting the severity of anxiety and depression symptoms. The higher your level of ADHD traits, the more likely you are to experience severe mental health symptoms. Through innovative analytical techniques, the study authors further confirmed that anxiety and depression were more strongly associated with her ADHD personality traits than with autistic traits. .
These results were reproduced with 100% ‘recall’ in computerized simulations. This indicates with great confidence that ADHD traits are almost certainly associated with more severe anxiety and depressive symptoms in adults than autistic traits.
Shift the focus of research and clinical practice
Hargitai said: Managing ADHD Symptoms – Can be implemented early to have a greater impact on improving people’s health. ”
According to senior author Dr. Punit Shah, Associate Professor of Psychology at the University of Bath, another important aspect of the new research is to advance our scientific understanding of neurodevelopmental conditions.
“By addressing the shortcomings of previous studies, our study provides fresh information about the often overlooked complex relationship between neurodiversity and mental health in adults.
“More research is needed to understand exactly why ADHD is associated with poor mental health, especially with respect to the mental processes that drive anxiety and depressive thoughts in people with ADHD characteristics.
“Currently, ADHD research, especially psychology research, is underfunded. This is especially noticeable when compared to the relatively high level of funding directed to autism.
“Now that we have evidence that ADHD is not just a childhood condition but a lifelong condition, research plans need to be adjusted to better understand ADHD in adulthood.”
Commenting on the new findings, Dr. Tony Floyd, CEO of the Neurodiversity Foundation’s ADHD Foundation, said: He has uncontrolled and untreated ADHD.We hope this study will lead to more research being commissioned in this area and that it will lead to changes in the design and delivery of healthcare services. I hope
“The cost implications for the NHS of leaving ADHD untreated, and the need to better train health workers in both primary and secondary care, are now becoming more evident. Of course, there are other costs that need to be considered as well: UK citizens with ADHD and their family life, employability and financial well-being.These costs are often hidden but substantial. .
“This study from the University of Bath adds to the growing public debate and business case for a national review of health services for ADHD across the lifespan of individuals.”
Hargitay, LD, and others. (2023) attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder traits are more important predictors of internalization problems than autistic traits. scientific report. doi.org/10.1038/s41598-022-26350-4.