Scientists have found that ADHD is more predictive of poor mental health in adults than other neurodevelopmental conditions such as autism.
The study, led by psychologists at the University of Bath in the UK, found that high-level adults Attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) Symptoms are more likely than adults with high autism traits to experience anxiety and depression, it said.
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 authors of the study, published in Scientific Reports, hope the findings will spark new research into ADHD, ultimately improving mental health outcomes for people with ADHD. said.
ADHD A neurodevelopmental condition characterized by inattention and/or hyperactivity and impulsivity. The condition is estimated to affect between 3% and 9% of the population.
“Scientists have long known that autism is associated with anxiety and depression, but ADHD has been somewhat neglected.
“Researchers also struggle to statistically separate the importance of ADHD and autism for mental health outcomes because ADHD and autism frequently occur together,” Hargitai said. said.
“Our aim was to accurately measure how strongly ADHD personality traits were associated with poorer mental health while statistically describing autistic traits,” Hargitai said. says.
“This condition affects many people, both children and adults, and the fact that more people are willing to talk about it should be welcomed.
“We hope that increased awareness will lead to more research in this area and better resources to help individuals better manage their mental health,” Hargitai said. said.
This study used a large nationally representative adult sample from the UK population.
All participants completed a gold-standard questionnaire, one for autistic traits and one for ADHD traits, and were asked to answer questions such as “I am often obsessed with one thing” or ” How often do you feel like you are hyperactive and have 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 ADHD traits than autistic traits, the study said. said.
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.
“Our findings suggest that research and clinical practice must shift focus from autism to ADHD.
This can help identify those most at risk for anxiety and depression, so preventative measures – such as managing and helping children and adults Symptoms of ADHD – It can be introduced early to have a greater impact on improving people’s well-being,” said Hargitai.
Another important aspect of the new research is to advance the scientific understanding of neurodevelopmental conditions, according to senior author of the study, Dr. Punit Shah.
“By addressing the shortcomings of previous studies, our study provides fresh information about the often overlooked area of the 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 in terms of the mental processes that drive anxiety and depressive thoughts in people with ADHD characteristics.” said Shah.
“At the moment, ADHD research, especially psychology research, is underfunded.
“Given evidence that ADHD is not just a childhood condition but persists throughout life, research plans need to be adjusted to better understand ADHD in adulthood,” said Shah. I’m here.
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