Two in Five Adults With ADHD Report Excellent Mental Health

Rate of complete mental health lower among adults with ADHD compared with those without ADHD

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WEDNESDAY, April 20, 2022 (HealthDay News) -- A significant mental health gap exists between adults with and without attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), according to a study published online April 12 in the International Journal of Applied Positive Psychology.

Esme Fuller‑Thomson, Ph.D., from the University of Toronto, and colleagues compared the prevalence and odds of achieving complete mental health (CMH) among those with and without ADHD and used a sample of 480 Canadians reporting an ADHD diagnosis to identify factors associated with CMH. CMH was defined as the absence of mental illness, substance dependence, and suicidality; the presence of happiness/life satisfaction; and social/psychological well-being.

The researchers found that two in five adults (42.0 percent) with ADHD achieved CMH versus 73.8 percent of those without ADHD. CMH was higher among married and physically active respondents with ADHD as well as those who used spirituality to cope with challenges. CMH was lower among those with ADHD also reporting adverse childhood experiences, debilitating pain, and a history of depression and anxiety.

"Although we were surprised and delighted to find that two in five adults with ADHD were in excellent mental health, they are still lagging far behind their peers without ADHD," Fuller-Thomson said in a statement. "There is still a long way to go in closing the mental health gap between those with and without ADHD."

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