BMC Psychiatry 2012, 12:223 doi:10.1186/1471-244X-12-223
ADHD is a common childhood onset mental health disorder defined by the presence of impairing levels of hyperactive, impulsive and inattentive symptoms. The disorder has an estimated prevalence during childhood in the United Kingdom of 3.6% . Longitudinal follow up studies find that around two-thirds of cases continue to be impaired by ADHD symptoms in adulthood, with an estimated worldwide prevalence for the disorder in adults of around 2.5% . Despite the high rate of ADHD in adults, the disorder remains underdiagnosed and under-treated beyond the adolescent years . This is a particular issue for adult mental health because ADHD symptoms lead not only to impairments in academic, occupational and social functioning, but are also associated with the development of comorbid disorders including anxiety, depression, personality disorder, antisocial behaviour and substance use disorders (SUD) [4-7].