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Depicting ADHD 
In Adulthood

Depiction Priority

Contrary to some misconceptions, one can live a gratifying life with ADHD; it all depends on perception and how successfully the disorder is managed.
  • ADHD is neurobiological, and its makeup is different for each individual. Demonstrate that one character’s successful coping methods may not provide benefits for another character’s ADHD. For example, stimulant medications that help one individual may cause problems for individuals with high blood pressure.
  • Treatment and management of ADHD involves much more than just prescription medication. Consider including other important therapies, such as coaching and maintenance of routines, as integral parts of the character’s treatment plan. For example, show that cognitive-behavioral therapy tailors specific learning experiences for each individual to help foster the greatest success in managing ADHD.
  • Although it is necessary to manage ADHD, it is also valuable to recognize that individuals with ADHD have strengths of their own that allow them to think in unique and creative ways. Consider highlighting these strengths in characters throughout the challenging  process of ADHD management.
 Adapted from Picture This: ADHD
In collaboration
with Shire, Inc. EIC held ADHD for Storytellers, a briefing for the Creative Community at the Screen Actors Guild in Los Angeles, to promote accurate storytelling about Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).

Check out these clips of our expert panel!

(Click the Thumbnails to view)

Ilyanne Morden Kichaven Hollywood Executive Director, 

Andres Torres, 
Major League Baseball Player

Ana Romero,

Dr. James J. McGough,

Chusy Jardine,
Film Maker

Missed this briefing?
EIC's Summer Briefing Series is coming up!

Check your email for an invitation or contact EIC at 818-840-2016.

We look forward to
seeing you there!


MYTH: Adults with ADHD experience the same symptoms as children with ADHD.

FACT: As individuals with ADHD age, the symptoms they experience change. Thus, a 17-year-old with ADHD will not exhibit the same symptoms as a 6-year-old or even a 45-year-old. Children with ADHD typically demonstrate poor organizational skills, excessive movement and activity, and difficulty waiting in line or waiting their turn. In adolescence, this constant movement and impatience may manifest instead as inner restlessness, such that an individual remains agitated or unable to relax, fails to complete assigned tasks, and experiences difficulties in social situations. Adults with ADHD may experience trouble concentrating or completing work, particularly in sedentary environments. They may have difficulty taking initiative or following projects through to completion. Adults with ADHD also tend to exhibit impulsivity, along with the propensity to switch attention among multiple unfinished tasks. As a chronic condition, ADHD presents itself differently over time and, therefore, requires age-appropriate treatment and management protocols specific to the individual.

Adapted from Picture This: ADHD

Adults Living with ADHD

Many consider ADHD to be only experienced in childhood but nearly 50% of children will continue to meet criteria for the disorder into adulthood. Currently, 4.4% of adults are estimated to be living with ADHD, but the condition often goes unmanaged and undiagnosed. The infrequency of adult diagnosis may stem from the fact that adults who were not diagnosed as children do not believe ADHD is the cause of the problems they are experiencing.

Although ADHD can prove challenging for children socially, these challenges become even more disruptive in adulthood. Relationships take on new meaning and importance, and the need to multitask effectively and accomplish assignments on a deadline can affect one’s livelihood. Thus, adults often experience challenges in both their professional lives and their romantic and family relationships. Understanding and properly managing ADHD can facilitate the development and maintenance of key relationships while providing crucial tools for functioning in today’s task-oriented and deadline-driven work environments.

For more information about Adults and ADHD visit:
Adapted from Picture This: ADHD

Portions of this newsletter adapted from 
Picture This: ADHD.

First Draft

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First Draft Consultation 
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or call 818-840-2016

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