Most people still think of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) as a psychiatric disorder affecting only young children and adolescents. During the past decade, however, researchers have become convinced that ADHD is not always outgrown with age. Instead, they insist, it very often persists in later life and is a common psychiatric disorder in adults.
Paul H. Wender, who has been studying and writing about this disorder for more than 25 years, is the ideal candidate to sort out the current controversy surrounding the often undiagnosed ailment. When Wender's acclaimed The Hyperactive Child, Adolescent, and Adult, directed at both lay readers and clinicians, was published in 1987, the American Journal of Psychiatry greeted it as "very clearly written and free of technical jargon," and declared that it "should be in the personal library of every clinician of any discipline who deals with children with attention deficit disorder, adolescents, or adults on a regular basis." Now, in Attention-deficit Hyperactivity Disorder in Adults, Wender for the first time gathers together the important new breakthroughs he and others have made in the diagnosis and treatment of ADHD in adults. Written for psychiatrists and non-medical therapists, but also of interest to the lay reader, the book emphasizes the commonalities that emerge from the research literature and winnows the factual from the sensational or overly simplistic reports in the popular media. Wender points to possible relationships between ADHD in adults and other psychiatric disorders, and discusses the impact of the disorder which can produce marital discord, academic failure, and disrupted careers.
Reviewing what we know about ADHD, its symptoms, its life course, its etiology, the usefulness of various drug treatments, and the value to the patient of education about the disorder, Wender brings together a wealth of information not available in any other volume. A clinician who has treated patients with ADHD for many years, he offers compelling firsthand accounts from men and women who offer dramatic insight into what it feels like to have ADHD and how it responds to medical treatment. Combining the insights of his clinical practice with his innovative research on pharmacological treatments of psychiatric disorders, Wender builds a powerful case that ADHD in adults is a common genetically transmitted disorder. However, he also offers evidence that drug treatments can dramatically reduce symptoms and, when necessary, render patients more amenable to treatment for any residual psychological symptoms. Further progress, Wender maintains, requires that more precise clinical trials go hand in hand with molecular genetic research.
Destined to become a classic in the field, Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder in Adults is an indispensable guide for clinicians and family counselors, and a source of help, hope, and understanding for adults who suspect that they or someone they care about may suffer from this much misunderstood disorder.