This year Canadians have shifted from a week to an entire month of ADHD awareness, addressing the overwhelming need for ongoing education and conversation. As many of our readers already know, the continued lack of understanding and abundance of misinformation continues to fuel unnecessary stigma and stereotypes around ADHD.
This year we are focusing on adult ADHD as well as our ongoing messages of overall awareness. As medical research on adult ADHD only begun to reach the media – and therefore the public – in the past 10 years or so, adult ADHD remains hugely underdiagnosed and undertreated. Due to a number of barriers that include, among many others, a lack of awareness and a shortage of physicians who are knowledgeable about adult ADHD (or even believe the disorder exists), 90% of adults with ADHD remain untreated.
In a recent CADDAC survey, a third of adults identified that they found it difficult to access an assessment and diagnosis due to the fees charged over and above provincial coverage as well as the lack of available and knowledgeable physicians. In addition to these issues, adult ADHD is also more complex than childhood ADHD, in that 85% of adults with ADHD are also dealing with an additional mental health disorder such as anxiety, depression or addiction.
Throughout the month of October 2014, CADDAC will be blogging, tweeting and posting messages on a number of social media channels to increase knowledge on ADHD in general and adult ADHD, so stay tuned!