Attention Deficit Disorder is a collection of symptoms usually thought about in terms of children who are struggling in school, children who seem impulsive, easily distracted and fidgety. Increasingly, children are getting a diagnosis, and then one of their parents becomes shocked to realize that their child’s symptoms are the same as his or her own from childhood. Instead of being diagnosed with ADD and benefiting from treatment, this earlier generation was told they were difficult kids, losers, dumb or simply bad. Sadly, many of them/you grew up believing that all of that was true, and it shattered your self-esteem and became a self-fulfilling prophecy as you struggled with underachieving at work and having difficulty in relationships.
But the diagnosis in children has liberated some adults to go back to find out if what they thought was simply being a difficult person was really ADD.
Symptoms may look similar to your child’s symptoms, or be very different.
Overall, the problem is the sensation that thoughts are hard to hold onto, that you are often distracted by new thoughts before you got to complete the last one.
- There is both a distractibility that makes it hard to follow a sequential line of thinking or task completion, and also possibly a hyper-focusing on something that especially catches your eye, to the exclusion of anything else.
- Feeling a rush to impulsively act on whatever comes to mind (in combination with a low tolerance for frustration) means you are a person who may say or do things that don’t seem terribly appropriate at the moment.
- Overall organization is difficult and so nothing gets completed, just lots of bits and pieces.
- A mental and physical restlessness pervades, making it hard to relax without feeling anxious or tied down.
On the flipside many adults with ADD are highly intelligent and creative people, many are high-achievers. They can feel exciting, zesty and spirited in all kinds of great ways. There are a number of treatments available. Most are aimed at coping skills to contend with the weaknesses created by ADD, while boosting the individual’s strengths. Sometimes medication is helpful, but often it is not needed, or needed for only a short while. See an experienced psychiatrist who has lots of expertise in treating adults with ADD.
For more information on ADD or ADHD go to www.DRHallowell.com