It has long been known that ADHD, a neurodevelopmental disease defined by impulsivity and hyperactivity, interferes with day-to-day activities. A recent study clarifies the effect it may have on mental health.
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) has been linked to a higher risk of melancholy, anorexia, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and even suicide attempts, according to research.
It has long been known that ADHD, a neurodevelopmental disease defined by impulsivity and hyperactivity, interferes with day-to-day activities. This latest study clarifies the effect it may have on mental health, though.
The study found that those with ADHD are 30% more likely to try to suicide and are 9% more likely to develop serious despair.
What the research says
The findings imply that major depressive illness and ADHD are risk factors for suicide attempts, presumably as a result of hereditary characteristics linked to impulsivity in both conditions.
The likelihood that someone with ADHD may try suicide increases to a startling 42% once despair sets in.
Additionally, having ADHD increases the risk of acquiring PTSD following a traumatic experience by 18%. If a person has both ADHD and depression, their risk increases to 67%.
The research also demonstrated a connection between anorexia nervosa and ADHD. People with ADHD are more likely to use severe methods to maintain a low body weight, such as vomiting or abusing laxatives. There are “neurocognitive deficits” in impulse control that are common to both ADHD and anorexia, which may explain their link.
The main symptom of ADHD, impulsivity, is thought to be caused by anomalies in the reward and impulse control pathways in the brain. These deficiencies may account for the increased risk of anorexia in people with ADHD.
These results, while not entirely unexpected given how frequently ADHD coexists with other mental health problems, still emphasise the value of individualised care and early detection.
Clinicians must be aware of the possibility of sadness, suicidal thoughts, or anorexia in ADHD patients in order to provide prompt intervention and support.
This study sheds light on the complex association between ADHD and mental health issues by employing a statistical technique known as Mendelian randomisation, which investigates how genetic variation effects health outcomes.
In contrast to bipolar disorder, anxiety, and schizophrenia, there was no evidence of a causal relationship between ADHD and major depressive disorder, PTSD, or suicide attempts.