Attention deficit disorder (ADD) is a neurological disorder that makes it hard to concentrate and can cause a wealth of behavioral problems, including impulsivity and hyperactivity. It is associated with a broad functional impairment. Because there are several forms of the disorder, it can be incorrectly diagnosed and completely misunderstood. Consider the following ADD stats and the different methods of treatment.
Attention deficit disorder is the most common neurobehavioral disorder in American children, according to the National Institute of Health. According to other ADD statistics, approximately 5% of all children between the ages of five and 11 and 11% of children between 4 and 17 have been diagnosed with the condition. Also, approximately 3% of all adults have the condition. It is typically diagnosed when a child enters school and begins causing disruptions in the classroom or has issues completing and understanding classwork assignments. According to ADD stats, the condition tends to affect boys more often than girls.
Based on the data collected by the National Survey of Children’s Health, the average onset of ADD was around 6 years of age. Some severe forms of the disease may be diagnosed as early as age 4 while mild cases are diagnosed around the age of seven.
Of those children who have been diagnosed with the condition, approximately one-third still require treatment or have symptoms of the condition when they get older. However, this number is thought to be significantly underreported because only around 10% of adults with ADD receive treatment as opposed to 85% of children.
According to a survey by Children and Adults with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (CHADD), how many have ADD among race is as follows:
- 10.7% were black
- 8.4% white
- 6% Hispanic
- 9.1% non-Hispanic/Latino
- 6.6% other
ADHD Among College Students
ADHD is a disorder most commonly associated with childhood. However, according to one study, as many as 70% of people continue to experience this disorder into adulthood. ADD statistics based on data gathered from nine countries show that about 16% of college students worldwide have ADHD. Of those students, nearly six in 10 have at least one comorbid disorder such as a learning disability or depression. About 30% of those surveyed had two or more comorbid disorders.
ADHD has generally been seen as a disorder that’s present primarily in males. However, as mental health professionals have achieved a greater understanding of how the disorder presents differently in females, there’s been an uptick in ADHD diagnoses in girls and women. Among the college students surveyed for the study, the prevalence of ADHD in males and females was similar.
ADHD can have a profound impact on a college student’s ability to succeed academically. Based on this study, as many as a fifth of college students may be trying to navigate the challenges of pursuing higher education while managing a serious impairment. For those students, more information on ADHD, its symptoms in males and females and effective treatment options can support short- and long-term success.
Deaths Related to ADD
According to researched performed by The Lancet, individuals who have been diagnosed with ADD have a lower life expectancy than those without the disease. These premature ADD related deaths are typically the result of accidents and unnatural causes including ADD suicide deaths and unintentional injuries, which are more than double the risk than those without this diagnosis. Because of ADD and suicide statistics, it’s important for health professionals to closely monitor the psychiatric condition of ADD patients. Women were at greater risk than men and those who received a diagnosis at 18 or older were four times as likely to die from a premature death than those without.
According to a 2016 parent survey in the United States of children and teen ADD statistics, three in four children from ages 2 to 17 receive treatment for ADD. While there are several options for treating ADD the most common forms were medication and behavioral treatments. Approximately 62% of children of all ages received medication, and 47% received behavioral treatments. Of these children, 30% used medication only to control symptoms while 15% used behavioral therapy as a treatment option. In addition, 32% of children used both medication and behavioral therapy.
In school, a parent may request an individualized education program (IEP) for a child with an ADD diagnosis. After a complete assessment, nine out of 10 children with ADD received school support or accommodations and help in the classroom setting while an additional six out of 10 children received some form of behavioral treatment and skill training, including peer interventions and social skills training.
In 2015, the United States Census Bureau estimated the number of children worldwide with attention deficit disorder was around 7.2% or 129 million. Based on the diagnostic testing of approximately 11,422 adults in 10 different countries, the number of adults with ADD worldwide is around 3.4%.
Public Opinion of ADD
There are many misconceptions about those with ADD. This is partially due to the lack of public education on the subject. Some of the most common beliefs about the causes of ADD include a lack of parental affection, too much time spent on the internet or watching television, coming from a broken or a split home and problems with friends or with parents.
ADD can be hard to diagnose because children with a lot of energy are also often accused of having ADD. Uninformed persons can sometimes believe erroneously that ADHD is entirely situational and can be easily “fixed.” Some common societal myths about ADD/ADHD are presented below.
- A child or adult’s environment is the main cause of attention deficit disorder. If you make changes to the home environment, the condition will solve itself.
- The child is acting out with behavior, so modify or teach the child how to act correctly and the disorder will go away.
Stigma of ADHD
While there’s nothing shameful about having ADHD, persisting stigmas can be a significant challenge for those living with this disorder.
In some cases, these stigmas come from other people. Both children and adults with ADHD may be labeled disorganized, unreliable or unmotivated. According to ADD stats, children with ADHD have challenges with making friends and maintaining relationships. This can further worsen problems with regulating emotions and controlling antisocial behaviors. The disorder and the medications used to control its symptoms are widely misunderstood, and some erroneously believe that an ADHD diagnosis is an excuse for a lack of discipline and that treatment is an easy way to avoid accepting responsibility.
Some stigmas are internal, affecting how people view themselves. Too often, those with this disorder internalize these criticisms and begin to believe they’re true. They expect to face criticism from peers, and by adulthood, they’re very aware of public stigmas regarding ADHD. This is hard to overcome, especially as the individual tries to find ways to compensate for the challenges they face.
Unfortunately, these stigmas are a roadblock to getting professional help. For those with ADHD who believe their challenges are due to personal shortcomings rather than a treatable condition, seeking help from a professional may not seem like an option.
Health Care Costs
The cost of managing ADD treatment can be extremely expensive due to the high out-of-pocket costs, increased deductible and over-priced monthly insurance premiums. In a survey by Attitude Magazine, approximately 16% of all respondents stated they struggled constantly to meet the cost of therapists and for medications for their children and sometimes for themselves. The total cost for these services often comes in excess of more than 10% of a family’s income. Eight percent said their insurance paid 100% of the cost of treatment, and 7% said their insurance wouldn’t pay for anything.
Individuals who are lucky enough to have insurance that pays for the cost of treatment typically find themselves with higher health care costs due to common co-existing conditions like autism, depression, anxiety, sleep disorders and addiction. Of those with insurance:
- 56% had insurance through an employer
- 16% had a small employer plan
- 4% had state health plan coverage
- 6% were on Medicaid
- Less than 2% had no coverage at all
Statistics of Living With ADD
Women who have been diagnosed with ADD before pregnancy may find their condition worsens after having a baby. According to postpartum ADD statistics, the changes in hormone levels can make it difficult to stay focused, hard to concentrate and can even cause sleep deprivation. Other statistics on living with ADD include:
- Males are three times more likely to have ADD than females
- Close to 13% of all men during their lifetime will be diagnosed with ADD
- The average age of an ADD diagnosis is 7 years old
- ADD isn’t just a childhood disorder
If you or someone you love needs treatment or diagnosis for a mental condition, contact one of the caring counselors at FHE Health at (833) 596-3502. Our staff is on call 24/7 to answer any questions you might have and to help you get on the road to recovery.