Mar 072013

Adult-ADHDDo children with Autism, Asperger’s Syndrome or Attention-deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) develop Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) as adults? A new study leads researchers closer to an answer to that question. The study by Boston Children’s Hospital and Mayo Clinic has revealed that ADHD doesn’t just “go away” but in fact, follows children into adulthood. Children with ADHD are more likely to have additional psychiatric disorders as adults. They also appear more likely to commit suicide and are often incarcerated as adults.

It has been noted by Alexandra Philipsen (2008), in the British Journal of Psychiatry, that ADHD in childhood is highly associated with the diagnosis of BPD in adulthood and is a serious risk factor for BPD.

ADHD occurs in at least 25% of people with Borderline Personality Disorder, 5 times more often than it does in the general population.

The symptoms of ADHD include:

  • Decreased attention and concentration
  • Easily distracted
  • Difficulty in the completion of tasks
  • Poor management of time and space

These symptoms of ADHD result in impaired school, work and social areas.

Children, teenagers & adults with BPD who have some symptoms of ADHD are often misdiagnosed with only ADHD which leads to ineffective treatment as well as inappropriate medication. Identifying the symptoms of ADHD in patients with BPD is essential for their treatment.

A lead investigator in the study, William Barbaresi MD, of Boston Children’s Hospital says, “We suffer from the misconception that ADHD is just an annoying childhood disorder that’s over treated. This couldn’t be further from the truth. We need to have a chronic disease approach to ADHD as we do for diabetes. The system of care has to be designed for the long haul.”