Much attention has been paid to children with attention disorders, but when these individuals grow up and the condition persists it becomes adult attention deficit disorder, also known as Adult ADD, Adult ADHD and AADD. Adult ADD is a neurological condition that stems from a chemical imbalance in the brain. Symptoms vary from person to person and will change at different stages throughout their lifetimes. There is no cure for Adult ADD, but treatment is possible.
Symptoms of Adult ADD
The symptoms of Adult ADD are fairly obvious and easy to spot. An individual dealing with ADD will be supercharged all the time. It may seem as though they don’t have an ‘off’ switch. ADD suffers talk all the time, incessantly; they will blurt out inappropriate and sometimes shocking remarks not having taken the time to consider their words. ADD patients are extremely driven yet at the same time hugely disorganized, inattentive and unable to focus on the task at hand, as well as impatient, restless and unable to sit still. They are impulsive and compulsive, can be great procrastinators and many experience strong feelings of underachievement. Trying to plan an outing that includes someone with ADD can be a trial in itself as people with this disorder will change plans quickly and frequently and may drive you nuts doing it.
Treatment for Adult ADD
An attention deficit disorder can be very disabling. The lack of the ability to focus can cause major problems at work and in relationships. Even a simple task like driving becomes a nightmlare. Adult ADD suffers are often also dealing with sleep deprivation, which is a problem all on its own. Treatment requires both medication and behavior therapy. A physical exam and psychological assessment will be used to diagnose Adult ADD. Depending on the severity of the disorder, medication such as Ritalin (methylphenidate) may be prescribed. A few decades ago in it’s heyday, Ritalin and was unnecessarily prescribed to children for all kinds of behavior problems but this practice has discontinued due to the side effects the medication presents. However Ritalin does remain effective in the treatment of ADD.
Although a proper diet and regular exercise program are essential to good overall mental and physical health, this poses problems with attention deficit disorders. Dietary and exercise programs require organization and planning way beyond the capability of an individual with ADD because this disorder severely impairs their cognitive abilities. Because of this Adult ADD patients need additional support beyond that of themselves family and friends. Just because a cure for ADD hasn’t yet been discovered the symptoms can most definitely be managed and minimized to provide quality of life.
Adult ADD Diagnosis
Do not attempt to diagnosis and treat yourself if you think you are dealing with ADD. It has been shown in clinical trials that people with Adult ADD are six times more likely to suffer from depression and anxiety or have other psychological issues going on as well. It has also been proven that among ADD patients there is tendency toward addiction. The very nature of Adult ADD means that the mechanism for self regulation is lacking which renders sufferers incapable of accurate self observation. Professional medical evaluation and support is necessary for a successful intervention.