Attention Deficit Disorder is a condition normally associated with wild school age boys driving their teachers nuts. ADD or ADHD (the H standing for hyperactive) was over-diagnosed during the 90’s when every energetic boy with a nack for talking in class was said to have it. ADD & ADHD have since passed out of vogue as diagnosis, but the real tragedy when conditions are over-diagnosed is the pendulum swing that can sometimes lead to under-diagnosis.
ADD isn’t just a childhood issue. While energetic boys often times settle down into focused young men, those who truly qualify for an ADD diagnosis often experience symptoms into adult hood. This can make excelling in college academics or in the work place difficult. It can also add a lot of stress to a marriage.
So what are the symptoms of adult ADD?
- Often making careless mistakes when having to work on uninteresting or difficult projects
- Often having difficulty keeping attention during work, or holding down a job for a significant amount of time
- Often having difficulty concentrating on conversations
- Having trouble finishing projects that have already been started
- Often having difficulty organizing for the completion of tasks
- Avoiding or delaying in starting projects that require a lot of thought
- Often misplacing or having difficulty finding things at home or at work
- Disorganized personal items (sometimes old and useless to the individual) causing excessive “clutter” (in the home, car, etc.)
- Often distracted by activity or noise
- Often having problems remembering appointments or obligations, or inconveniently changing plans on a regular basis
Many successful and famous people from history, including modern celebrities, have been diagnosed with ADD: Will Smith, Michael Phelps, Sir Richard Branson, Mozart, Albert Einstein, Thomas Edison, Walt Disney and Josh Spurlock.
Wait a minute. That last one sounds familiar. When I see people not hitting their full potential due to undiagnosed and untreated ADD it hits a personal nerve. Understanding my condition and taking steps to address the unique challenges it brings has been key to my success academically, relationally, in business, and in life.
If the diagnostic criteria listed above sounds familiar to you, talk with your physician about a possible adult ADD diagnosis and check out these resources. ADD doesn’t have to hold you back.