Adults Increasingly Diagnosed With Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

CHICAGO (CBS) — It’s a disability usually associated with children. But  Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is not just a school-age issue anymore.

An increasing number of adults are getting the ADHD diagnosis.  But confronting the disorder head-on can change lives, CBS 2’s Dana Kozlov reports.

Trouble focusing?  Easily distracted restless?  Do you daydream or have bouts of anxiety?  Donna Tague says she experienced all of those issues and more.

Last summer, the 52-year-old lifelong Chicagoan was diagnosed with ADHD.  She wasn’t surprised.  Her 15-year-old son was diagnosed as a child, and Tague’s issues mirrored some of his.

The diagnosis was a relief of sorts, she says.

“It was a relief because it took away some of the feelings of guilt about my personality faults,” Tague says.

ADHD expert Mark Stein says the large number of new adult diagnoses is due partly to increased awareness that the disorder doesn’t just affect children. In fact, Stein says, one in 25 adults has ADHD, which is frequently found in other family members, too.

“It’s not just having the symptoms. It’s having symptoms that result in some impairment,” Stein says.

That impairment almost derailed Ruth Princess’s life.

“At one point things got so bad, I thought i had a stroke. I didn’t know what this was called,” the 47-year-old says, gesturing at one of her buttons.

Word recall wasn’t her only problem.  She couldn’t find things and would lose total track of time.  Since her diagnosis eight years ago, Princess has learned coping strategies such as setting a timer.

She attends support groups to keep working on ways to manage the disability.

“It’s not so much, ‘Oh, I have a disorder.’ It’s, ‘These are where my assets are; these are where my deficits are,’” Princess says.

Donna Tague is starting that journey now.  She’s attacking it with a positive point of view.

“I would forget the thought about labeling. Labels will last for two minutes, but the help can change your whole life,” she says.

Dr. Stein points out that ADHD symptoms vary for different people.  But if you are concerned, see your doctor to rule out other issues first.  If more evaluation is needed, you’ll likely be referred to someone else for that.

Treatment includes counseling and lifestyle changes. Medication like Ritalin or Adderall may be prescribed. Stein says medication typically is more effective in children than in adults.

More from Dana Kozlov
  • Schwantzen

    I’ve diagnosed them with ugly mug disorder

  • tom Sharp

    Madigan, Quinn, everyone in City Hall–Get Help!

  • Dr. Jack Maggiore

    For answers to your Adult ADHD questions visit or call a Portrait Health Center Nurse Navigator at 847-868-3435. Immediate appointments are available.

  • Jim Hamilton

    Why is it that very time a lawbreaking menace gets killed it’s always the cops fault?

    Darrin Hanna’s mother, blasting out murder when that’s just not true.

    Imagine police called they have a pregnant woman and an out of control Black guy in a dark apartment. Police aren’t going to back down so Black man better come out and surrender. If I’m a cop going into that situation and run into a combative suspect black or white, mexican it don’t matter. I’m going to do all I can to make sure I bring this guy down and that I come out alive and he is no longer a threat to the pregnant girl and her sister. At this point I’m not real worried about the pregnant woman beaters safety either, if he don’t comply, it’s dark, he don’t want to come out he’s going down before me or any of my fellow officers and I can just imagine all of the officers there were feeling something like this.

    Darrin was not murdered he brought this unfortunate instance upon himself. Stop blaming the police officers here’s the story.

    He had an arrest record, mostly (I wonder what they are hiding behind this word) for retail theft, he was going through drug problems according to family

    Hanna was arrested Nov. 6 by North Chicago police after the sister of his 21-year-old pregnant girlfriend called police because the couple was fighting at his apartment in the 1700 block of Park Avenue and she heard Hanna threaten her sister. Police said officers entered the dark apartment and they had to physically restrain Hanna when he was injured and then taken to the hospital. He died at Vista East Medical Center, Waukegan, on Nov. 13.

    Complements of

    Now Darrin’s mother can’t see the menace that her son truly had become He was a drug using, thief (mostly retail but maybe a few cars I don’t know) woman beating thug. Darrin studied a little bit of criminal justice and still chose the way of life that brought about his untimely demise.

  • Jim Hamilton

    Darrin may have played some basket ball, and believed in Jesus when he was little but he left all that behind and chose a of life of crime that gave him a criminal record and he was still actively being a criminal at the time of his death. He was well educated on right from wrong even his mother taught him that. Now she is angry and lashing out. Those police officers didn’t wake up in the morning and say hey lets go murder Darrin Hanna today, they were sent there summoned by the violent actions of Darrin, a known criminal and now a mad, pregnant woman beating, thug.

  • Jim Hamilton

    Now Darrin‘s mother, in her blind lov for Darrin

  • Jim Hamilton

    Now Darrin‘s mother, in her blind love for Darrin, is trying to ruin the lives of the fine, upstanding , brave men in uniform, that were just doing there civic duty, These police officers had no idea what they were going to encounter in that dark apartment and when they did meet up with Darrin, obviously he didn’t give up peacefully they had to subdue a combatant, angry, black man in the dark.

blog comments powered by Disqus
Daily Weather Reports Delivered To You!SIGN UP NOW: Get daily weather reports every morning from meteorologist Steve Baskerville!
CBS Sports Radio RoundupGet your latest sports talk from across the country.

Listen Live