Adult ADD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder)

October 8, 2010

Some with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder come into adulthood having been diagnosed in childhood, and having figured out the best way to manage their symptoms. Others come into adulthood with low self-esteem, having either struggled through life, or with a shock at the difficulty of managing college, a family, or a career, when they were able to get by with their symptoms before. A diagnoses of Adult ADD may actually come as a relief to many.

ADD is thought to be genetic, although there is no specific, proven cause. Since many ADD symptoms overlap with other problems (from the mild chronic lack of sleep to the more severe Alzheimer’s), it is extremely difficult and subjective to diagnose. Some children will grow out of ADD.

People with Adult ADD (and Adult ADHD) not only experience procrastination, distraction, and the chaos of managing/organizing complex tasks, but have difficulty overcoming these obstacles, whereas people without attention deficit only occasionally struggle with them. ADD symptoms are usually severe enough to interfere with the relationships, school, work, etc. of the individual.


Other problems people facing Adult ADD may face:

  • Inability to stay focused (especially when faced with distractions)
    • Inner noise/distractions (a racing mind)
    • Difficulty finishing projects
  • Difficulty with memory
    • Especially remembering appointments, tasks
  • Organization
    • Prioritizing tasks
    • Organizing a living space

Many people with Adult ADD may also experience Hyperactivity (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder). Signs of hyperactivity include:

  • Impulsivity
    • Blurting things out (a la Tourette’s)
    • A mind that flashes between subjects
  • An Addictive personality

Other possible causes (or causes that may appear as ADD but can be remedied) include a malfunctioning thyroid gland and nutrient deficiency (anemia, or missing a vitamin, for example, may cause symptoms of ADD). Since stimulant medication (the most common treatment) can be dangerous for those with heart disease, or who suffer the ADD symptom of addictive tendencies, it’s important to rule out non-ADD sources for these symptoms.

Alternative treatment includes working with the people in your life to create and stick with routines, as well as systems for completing projects. This not only helps with symptoms, but to repair relationships that may have been strained before diagnoses. Some people find that adjusting diet (reducing processed sugar and flour consumption and increasing whole, natural food consumption) makes a huge difference. Another strategy is meditation, which trains the mind to be calmer and more focused.

Treat your brain and body well by getting proper nutrition and making healthy eating choices. Some supplement lines even offer thyroid-focused formulas. See a doctor when symptoms grow beyond your ability to manage them.

What strategies that you use to stay organized, motivated, and focused could be useful for people suffering from ADD?

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