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Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

Relationship Between ADD and Psychological Disorders

07/13/2000

Question:

Is there a correlation between ADD and psycholocial and psychiatric problems?

Answer:

In general, yes, there are demonstrated correlations between ADD and psychological problems. These findings come from group studies involving many participants so that they may not be applicable to a specific individual. However, the studies tend to show that individuals who grow up with ADD may have greater risk for developing depression in adulthood. In addition, if the ADD is associated with a behavior disorder in childhood, especially antisocial and aggressive behavior disorders, there is increased risk for behavior problems in adulthood. Other studies examining patterns of psychological disorders in families show that families of individuals with ADD tend to have more individuals with mood disorders (such as depression) and, alternatively, that within families of individuals with diagnosed mood problems, there is a higher rate of individuals with ADD. Again, these are group studies, and the results do not necessarily predict the course of psychological problems for any particular individual. It is important to remember that there are many individuals with ADD who are emotionally well adjusted and sucessful in life. ADD is one of a number of factors that determines one`s overall adjustment.

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Response by:

Robert Krikorian, PhD
Associate Professor
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati