Negative Effects of Not Treating ADHD

Avatar for Cmmelissa
iVillage Member
Registered: 11-13-2008
Negative Effects of Not Treating ADHD
Fri, 11-16-2012 - 2:27pm

Good Morning America reported on a study of men who discontinued treatment for ADHD when they were younger: 

The men with ADHD were seven times more likely to drop out of school, and made on average $40,000 less per year than their non-ADHD counterparts. They were more than twice as likely to be divorced. Some 16 percent of the men with ADHD also had a form of personality disorder compared with none in the non-ADHD group. And 36 percent of the men with ADHD had gone to prison at least once, compared with only 11 percent in the non-ADHD group.

You can read the full article here:

I found that the featured video was also informative.  I think the study shows the risks both mentally and socially of not treating ADHD, and one of the reasons that we started meds for our son.  Do the findings seem accurate to you, do you have these same concerns about your child?  

Avatar for jamblessedthree
iVillage Member
Registered: 10-23-2001
Wed, 11-28-2012 - 11:48am
My school professor's DS is in his thirties now, He was diagnosed ADD 20+ years ago and he's a lawyer now, He was on meds on and off and he still takes something today. This will always be controversial but weed through the depressing findings.



iVillage Member
Registered: 01-21-2011
Mon, 11-26-2012 - 11:28pm

ADD/ADHD is so complex it's hard to make a call based on a single study. I consider just about all studies to be biased - especially reported by the main street media. I work with a ton of ADHD teenage boys and it's very clear that some need medication more than others and that there is a huge maturity component of behavior. But when you consider that children with ADHD also mature a couple of years behind their peers, it's not entirely surprising. I'd be interested to know how much is causal versus correlation in that study. 

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iVillage Member
Registered: 07-08-2011
Mon, 11-26-2012 - 12:44pm
You make some very good points, I tend to take studies like these with a grain of salt. I do think there are dangers for kids that aren't treated at all, whether by meds, diet or other approaches. I wish they would do more research on the risk of long term usage, that is a huge concern to a lot of parents.
iVillage Member
Registered: 05-02-2004
Wed, 11-21-2012 - 11:12pm

I see the same faults as the reviewer.  It didn't compare those who continued taking medication to those who did not.   I also see issues with the fact that the "control" group was picked at a later age than the kids with ADHD.  

I would like to see a better definition of treating beyond medication.   I did treat my son - by getting him vision therapy.   Everyone said it made a huge difference, including him.   Other kids get treatment by controling their blood sugar levels through diet, getting better sleep (treatment for apnea) and such. 

I am not closed to medication - my son may want it some day.  I do disagree with the assumption of the article about "stopping too soon."   From my conversations with adults with ADHD, most who hold jobs or want to run their household, this is a life long thing.   If the meds work, you should stay on them.