Living With ADD As An Adult
Adult ADD Causes, Symptoms and Treatment Options
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a mental health condition that causes inattentiveness, hyperactivity, impulsivity, and physical restlessness. ADHD is most commonly associated with children, but roughly 60% of children who are diagnosed with ADD continue to experience and exhibit symptoms into adulthood. It is estimated that about 5% of American adults have ADD (around 6 million people).
Adults who are living with ADHD often find that their symptoms cause problems in their professional life, at home, and in their relationships (both platonic and romantic). What's worse is that, if not diagnosed, adults with ADD are commonly viewed as lazy, incompetent, reckless, selfish or unintelligent, which could not be further from the truth.
The truth is, some of the most brilliant and successful people who ever lived had ADD. For example, Michael Jordan - one of the best basketball players of all time (if not THE best) - admits to struggling with Attention Deficit Disorder. Albert Einstein is believed to have had ADHD, as well as Emily Dickinson, the famous poet who wrote about her wandering mind in her poems.
The point is, ADD can not only be overcome, but it can be harnessed for increased productivity and creativity. The important thing is to get diagnosed by a professional and get on a proper treatment plan. Whether the plan includes therapy, behavioral modification or medication (or some combination of these), it will definitely help.
If you think that you might have Attention Deficit Disorder, ask yourself the following questions:
- Do I misplace things (like car keys, wallet, purse, cell phone, etc.) a lot?
- Do I have trouble finishing tasks?
- Do I interrupt people when they're speaking?
- Do I have trouble concentrating for long periods of time (for example, during movies, presentations, etc.)?
- Do I get bored with mundane tasks like data entry or administrative work?
- Do I grow tired of my job easily and look for a new one?
This is by no means an official test but if you answered "yes" to several of these questions, you might want to look into adult ADD. The best option is to do some research online and then contact a local psychologist or psychiatrist who can evaluate your condition according to the official criteria. Here are some of the best resources online:
- AdultsWithADD - This is a website created by a group of adults who have lived with ADD for their whole lives. They aren't doctors, but they are very knowledgeable about the condition and offer some great advice. They also link to additional ADD resources like books and websites.
- Dr. Hallowell - This is one of the most trusted mental health resources on the web, and the ADD/ADHD section is full of great info that is written by professionals.
- ADD.org - This nonprofit association is dedicated to helping adults with ADD live better lives. They host regular webinars and have a members section on their website.
- NIH National Library of Medicine - This is the official NIH page for ADD and ADHD. It's full of all sorts of information about causes, treatments and expectations.
Do you know what it's like to live with Attention Deficit Disorder? Please leave a comment below if you have any additional advice about treatments and resources, or maybe some inspiration for anyone else who is struggling with adult ADD!