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“I’m Newly Diagnosed at 90 — and So Thankful”

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When I was born in 1933, neurodivergence (along with jet aircraft, the atom bomb, and plastic bags) had yet to be. If a child’s behavior did not comply with the norms of the time, as was the case for me, it resulted in punishment, not psychoanalysis.

And so I grew up thinking I was naughty, talkative, lazy, untidy, and slow. I prayed to God every night to make me “good.”A year ago, when I was 89, my psychiatrist said to me after an evaluation, “You are definitely ADHD.” In true neurodivergent style, I blurted out, “At last — I know I’m dotty.”I sought an evaluation after I learned, years prior, that ADHD could be inherited.

My son had been sent to the school psychiatrist at the age of 7 and diagnosed as hyperactive (the term ADHD did not yet exist).

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Atypical Brain Connectivity Linked to ADHD: NIH Study
March 27, 2024ADHD symptoms in children are associated with unusual interactions between the frontal cortex and deep centers of the brain where information is processed, according to a recent report in the American Journal of Psychiatry.1 These findings may help inform additional research into the ADHD brain that leads to more effective treatments and interventions.A research team from the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) and National Human Genome Research found children with ADHD demonstrated heightened connectivity between brain structures involved in learning, movement, and reward, and frontal areas of the brain that regulate emotion, attention, and behavior.“The present findings suggest that these brain alterations are specifically associated with ADHD and are not indicative of general features of childhood psychopathology or influenced by comorbid symptoms,” the study’s authors wrote.Researchers have long suspected that ADHD symptoms result from atypical interactions between the frontal cortex and these deep information-processing brain structures. However, the study’s authors noted that prior studies testing this model returned mixed results, possibly due to the small size of the studies they suggested.The present study examined more than 10,000 functional brain images of 1,696 youth with ADHD and 6,737 without ADHD aged 6 to 18.
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