The challenges of diagnosing ADHD in adults

December 23, 2013
ADHD in adults

“ADHD isn’t just a childhood disorder anymore” [Dec. 17] usefully discussed how symptoms may prompt a diagnosis but unfortunately did not discuss two important snares.

First, the kinds of symptoms noted can be found in lots of other problems, including stress, anxiety and depression, and be features of some personalities and some personality disorders.

Second, the psycho-stimulant medications usually given for ADHD are precisely those drugs that everybody finds will increase one’s efficiency, organization and focus. And folks can and do become dependent, and can develop tolerance, addiction and withdrawal dangers.

Richard R. Palmer, MD, Washington

The writer is a psychiatrist.

The value of exercise

Is exercise the elixir of youth?” [Dec. 17] is on the mark. I am 73 years old and in fantastic shape. I can bench-press 225 pounds. My routine is I lift weights one day and run the next. I have been working out all my life, five or six days a week. I have always believed that exercise is the great elixir and was a big fan of Jack LaLanne. I promised myself that when I reached his age, I would look and feel the same. It’s not just the looking and feeling great, though. It has a tremendous effect on your outlook on life.

Michael Denino, Oakton

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