What You’ve Always Wanted To Know About ADHD

Available with English captions and subtitles in Spanish.

Many kids—and adults—with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD, report feeling like it’s hard to stay focused or organized. The inattentiveness, impulsiveness, and nonstop energy of ADHD can impact schoolwork, friendships, jobs, and relationships. With ADHD, it can feel impossible to keep up with others, be on time, and handle small—often boring—details.

While it’s a common diagnosis, it still has a lot of stigma associated with it—especially when adults are symptomatic and are looking for help with the condition. But it’s important to remember that it’s never too late to recognize and treat ADHD as well as its commonly occurring mental health conditions.

Audience Questions

Dr. Roberto Olivardia explains what ADHD is (and isn’t), offers tips and tricks to make the condition more manageable, shares his experiences of living with ADHD, and answers audience questions about the condition both in childhood and adulthood.

  • Can you elaborate on what ADHD is—and is not?
  • Based on what you just described, can you tell us what we know about the ADHD brain?
  • What can ADHD look like in kids?
  • Is there a relationship between ADHD and speech impediments in children?
  • How is ADHD linked to anxiety and depression? How is ADHD linked to other mental health disorders?
  • Is ADHD sometimes misdiagnosed as a different disorder? If so, which ones are most common?
  • How often are people able to successfully manage their ADHD without the use of medication?
  • Is it possible for adults to develop ADHD? Or is ADHD a condition that starts in childhood and may come to the forefront in adulthood?
  • At what age can ADHD be diagnosed?
  • How do you work with young children who may have ADHD, especially ones who can’t focus or sit still?
  • What are your thoughts on an ADHD coach for a child?
  • How do you suggest parents approach their teenagers who are feeling relief from their ADHD symptoms by using cannabis but should not be using it?
  • How often do young people diagnosed with ADHD self-medicate with drugs or alcohol? Is anyone doing research on the outcomes of those that do?
  • Any recommendations for those who have sleep issues related to their diagnosis?
  • You explained ADHD adults will experience boredom due to lack of stimulation/interest, which can lead to poor time management at work. What advice do you have for ADHD adults who are seeking long-term careers but have struggled with maintaining interest in previous positions?
  • Which books do you most often recommend for individuals or parents of those with an ADHD diagnosis?

The information discussed is intended to be educational and should not be used as a substitute for guidance provided by your health care provider. Please consult with your treatment team before making any changes to your care plan.


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About Dr. Olivardia

Roberto Olivardia, PhD, conducts diagnostic evaluations at The Pavilion at McLean Hospital. He maintains a private practice in Lexington, Massachusetts, where he specializes in the treatment of attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) and obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), as well as issues that face students with learning disabilities. He is a nationally recognized expert in eating disorders and body image problems in boys and men.

Dr. Olivardia is co-author of The Adonis Complex. He specializes in evidence-based psychodynamic and cognitive-behavioral treatment. He currently serves on the Professional Advisory Boards for Children and Adults With ADHD (CHADD), The Attention Deficit Disorder Association (ADDA), and serves on the Scientific Advisory Board for ADDitude. He has spoken on numerous webinars and presents at many talks and conferences around the country.

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