ADHD and Comorbidity: The Tip of the Iceberg

AD/HD Co-Morbidity: What’s

Under the Tip of the Iceberg?

Carol E. Watkins, M.D.



children and adults with AD/HD also experience other difficulties. It seems that

having AD/HD makes it more likely that an individual will also have other

difficulties. If a child meets criteria for AD/HD, it may not be enough to

prescribe a stimulant get a few checklists and do follow up twice a year.  


has been increasing awareness that many adults and children with AD/HD may also

meet criteria for one or more other psychiatric diagnoses. (Comorbidity means

having two or more diagnosable conditions at the same time) There is some

evidence that the incidence of comorbidity is somewhat higher in adults than in

children. However, many of the studies looking at the issue of comorbidity are

difficult to compare. Studies used different criteria for AD/HD and bipolar

disorder, and sometimes got their subjects from different populations. For

example, one might expect to see more complex types of AD/HD in specialized

hospital clinics than one would see in a door-to-door survey or in a primary

care physician’s office. Despite the differing criteria across studies, and

the lack of large general population studies of adult AD/HD, there still

convincing data that several other psychiatric diagnoses are common among

children and adults with AD/HD.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *