The author of a recent study concludes that an adult diagnosis of ADHD carries with it a reduction of up to 13 years in life expectancy – you’re going to die sooner than those with normal brains.
Why? The study cited “impaired behavioral inhibition” including “low conscientiousness, poor self-regulation, high impulsivity.”
Put another way, ADHD folks do stupid shit and do not get away with it. You know who you are.
Or maybe you don’t.
Dr. Ned Halliwell, one of the most established experts on this subject, puts Taking your diagnosis seriously way up at the top of the list in terms of successfully managing your symptoms. Why then, do so many have trouble looking at their symptoms with the proper seriousness? Well, for us forgetful types, there is always something to crisis about – why dig into this one? Why not wait till the next one – they all seem about the same size, don’t they? Lost my keys, lost my job, lost 13 yrs of my life. Pick one.
Also, because we Just Don’t Listen.
Let me throw in a bit of good news here to lighten things up: On top of representing a serious actuarial debit to your time on earth, being diagnosed with ADHD is also considered the psychological condition with the greatest prognosis if treated. Would you rather have schizo-effective disorder? How bout bi-polar? OCD? With ADHD, you are looking at a truly mixed bag – one the one hand, death much sooner than the normies. On the other hand, if you take your diagnosis seriously, you can probably butt-scootch your way back to a normal life span.
One morning not too long ago, my psychologist put it this way: You have to treat this like Diabetes. That got my attention. That night, I went and looked up life expectancy and ADHD, and that’s where I found the keystone stat for this article.
It’s an important place to start from, because most of us fail to make progress against this very treatable disorder exactly because we don’t take it seriously enough. Alcoholics face the same rotten odds, and frankly, most of them don’t get better. The ones who do find the 12 steps, and work them, can live a full life and die in bed.
There is a really loud voice in my head (ok, it’s not an actual voice) saying “you’re going WAY too negative here. People are going to shut down and stop listening if you key off this heavy bad news right from the get-go. But I am not sure. See, I have ADHD, and I have heard lots of bad news delivered really carefully. I love it when people are blunt.
So here’s blunt: If you’ve just been diagnosed, you’re sitting with some sobering news. It is my hope for you that you don’t just take it in stride and keep muddling on, like you just found out your cell plan doesn’t have a very good data plan, or that you’re allergic to menthol cigarettes.
Finding out you have ADHD takes a while to digest.
If this is you, keep reading, keep listening, keep learning. There is plenty of hope, and plenty you can do. Don’t do it alone, and don’t try to fix it without a plan.
Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to book a free 20 minute consult with me to learn how you can thrive with ADHD.