Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, or ADHD, is a pattern of persistent inattention and/or hyperactivity, most often evident before age seven. The inattention causes impairment in at least two settings, such as school and work, and it is more severe than what is usually seen with others of the same age and developmental status.

Many students experience periods of time when they are restless or have trouble concentrating. In fact, almost all students will go through some adjustment strains from the time they arrive at college, and may have very similar attention problems as a result. Also, there are other problems that can mimic ADHD, such as anxiety disorders, traumatic stress, and alcohol or drug abuse.

If you have arrived on campus with a history of ADHD, it is important to continue with your treatment and to provide your local health care practitioners with documentation of your past diagnosis and treatment. This will improve continuity of care and perhaps prevent unnecessary problems in school.

It is unlikely that ADHD will suddenly appear in a student’s adulthood. Yet sometimes students are convinced they have ADHD and take medications offered to them by friends. Please know this may do you no good at all and, in some cases, can actually cause you harm. Diagnosing an adult with ADHD involves a sophisticated evaluation by professionals, and should be undertaken with great care so that other possibilities are ruled out.

If you suspect you have ADHD but you have never been formally diagnosed or treated, call the Counseling Center at 348-3863 for assistance.