8_From Hyperactive Children to ADHD Adults - Conrad and Potter (1)

8_From Hyperactive Children to ADHD Adults - Conrad and Potter (1)

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From Hyperactive Children to ADHD Adults 565 suicidal ideation, he was diagnosed with ADHD by a psychologist whose specialty was learn- ing disorders. Wolkenberg then began reinterpreting several clues from early in his life (e.g., impulsivity, distractibility, disorganization, and emotional volatility) as signs of the disorder. This highly visible testimony of someone not previously diagnosed with ADHD as a child put the idea of "ADHD Adults" into the public realm. No one had diagnosed him as hyperactive as a child, yet now, he was attributing "seemingly inexplicable failures . .. all unnecessary and many inexcusable" (p. 62) to ADHD. He suggested it was a neurobiological dysfunction "of genetic origin," thus attributing his life problems to a chemical imbalance. As the notion of ADHD in adulthood was filtering into the public, the psychiatric profes- sion was also turning attention to this new problem. Clinics for adults with ADHD were estab- lished at Wayne State University in 1989 and two years later at the University of Massachusetts in Worcester (Jaffe 1995). In 1990, Dr. Alan Zametkin of the National Institute of Mental Health and several of his
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