Stylistic changes may be coming here--posted by Tony Garcia on 8/02/2006
Adults are more likely than children to realize that they might have ADD/ADHD. However, because the very nature of the condition makes a person likely to be poor at self-observation, it is important to seek a professional diagnosis.And there's more...
The behavior of people with ADHD goes beyond occasional fidgeting, disorganization, and procrastination. For them, performing tasks can be so hard that it interferes with their ability to function at work, at home, at school, and socially.Very true.
* In adults the problem is often an inability to structure their lives and plan simple daily tasks. Thus, inattentiveness and restlessness often become secondary problems.
Other symptoms observed in adults include inattention, impulsivity, and restlessness as well as frequently accompanying behavioral, learning, and emotional problems.Please, do go on.
Adults with hyperactive-impulsive symptoms feel restless and constantly "on the go" as they try to do multiple tasks at once. They are often perceived as not thinking before they act or speak.
"In adults, it's a much more elaborate disorder than in children," says Russell Barkley, Ph.D., a psychiatry professor at the Medical University of South Carolina. "It's more than paying attention and controlling impulses. The problem is developing self-regulation." This self-control affects an adult's ability not just to do tasks, but to determine when they need to be done, says Barkley. "You don't expect 4- or 5-year-olds to have a sense of time and organization, but adults need goal-directed behavior—they need help in planning for the future and remembering things that have to get done."
For adults the most common symptom is a sense of underachieving. According to Hallowell, "No matter how well you are doing, you always have a sense of missing a lot in work, school, jobs, relationships. That is what most often finally brings adults in for diagnosis and treatment."You got that right.
The Hallowell Center identifies the following indicators to consider when ADHD is suspected and recommends that individuals with at least twelve of the following behaviors since childhood—provided these symptoms are not associated with any other medical or psychiatric conditions—consider professional diagnosis:So, why do I mention this here publicly?
1. A sense of underachievement, of not meeting one's goals (regardless of how much one has actually accomplished). (My wife has been crucial in keeping me grounded on this...keeping me focused on the step-by-step accomplishments.)
2. Difficulty getting organized.
3. Chronic procrastination or trouble getting started. (Captain Do-It-Tomorrow here to save the day...later.)
4. Many projects going simultaneously; trouble with follow through. (I used to think this was overconfidence in my ability to 'multi-task' but there is an incredible difference that is difficult to articulate.)
5. A tendency to say what comes to mind without necessarily considering the timing or appropriateness of the remark. (Some of you may think this applies to me, but it is not a 'tendency'. It does happen, as with almost everyone, every now and then.)
6. A frequent search for high stimulation. (In every aspect of my life, this holds...even with the mundane. Counting cars passing by to pass time is not good enough. I try to track in my head the number of vehicles, cars vs trucks, one color vs the rest, etc. And when I miscount, lose my place or get distracted I feel I have failed...see #1 above.)
7. An intolerance of boredom. (The main reason I got a PDA was to give me something to do while standing in line at the grocery store, waiting for the bus, etc. If there was 60 or more seconds of 'waiting' then the PDA came out.)
8. Easy distractibility; trouble focusing attention, tendency to tune out or drift away in the middle of a page or conversation, often coupled with an inability to focus at times. (You should see my drafts folder sometime...I have posts that 'I'm going to finish' from last fall, winter and spring.)
9. Often creative, intuitive, highly intelligent. (So I have been told many times...I think they're full of it, but they see me more objectively than I see myself.)
10. Trouble in going through established channels and following "proper" procedure.
11. Impatient; low tolerance of frustration.
12. Impulsive, either verbally or in action, as an impulsive spending of money. (This has been one of the few aspects I have been able to actually control.)
13. Changing plans, enacting new schemes or career plans and the like; hot-tempered.
14. A tendency to worry needlessly, endlessly; a tendency to scan the horizon looking for something to worry about, alternating with attention to or disregard for actual dangers. (Yep...and this has led to some pretty poor decisions in my past. Thankfully, my wife is strong as a rock and able to get us through.)
15. A sense of insecurity. (Some of the perceived ego of mine is reality...some of it, admittedly is a facade during my insecure moments.)
16. Mood swings, mood instability, especially when disengaged from a person or a project. (I think Marty can atest to this one.)
17. Physical or cognitive restlessness. (Both...in large quantities. That's why I get an average of 4 hours of sleep.)
18. A tendency toward addictive behavior. (I recognize that and struggle with this one in many facets. Have you ever noticed I do not drink at all? This is why. In high school and the military I lied and said it was because I was allergic. Now I lie and say I don't like the taste. Truth is I had an 18-ouncer, pounded it really, when I turned 21. It did nothing for me or to me and I was craving more of the taste. Poverty and homelessness prevented me then.)
19. Chronic problems with self-esteem.
20. Inaccurate self-observation. (Yeah, but who doesn't? This one doesn't count.)
21. Family history of AD/HD or manic depressive illness or depression or substance abuse or other disorders of impulse control or mood. (I'm finding out that this is very predominant in my bloodline.)
Not for sympathy...none is needed.
Not for immunity...that is stupid.
But as a warning to the readers. You may see a change in style on this blog. It may be a drastic change. I don't know. But this is why...and if you like the changes, great. If you don't, well, sorry. I won't be taking medication on the weekends so maybe the old style will be there then. And if I get a full time radio gig where I can quit the office world I will dump the medication as well.
The biggest reason I bring this up is that in going through all of the examinations and research and everything else for the past 6 months or so I have discovered a few things that I want to uncover.
There is a huge misconception of what Adult ADD actually is. In fact, the misconception starts in the name "Attention Deficit Disorder". It quite literally is only a different way of processing information and mental stimulation. Most people are able to think in a very linear manner. Hence the ability to remain focused, etc. ADD adults think in many different directions, hence the impatience and the constant drive for stimulation.
Even the websites dedicated to the "cause" of ADD do a poor job of educating anyone. They seem to want to include everyone and it makes it difficult to learn and properly assess anything.
THAT is the reason for this posting. All of the bold face items above seem "normal" on their own. Even maybe a few of them together seem "normal". The sheer number of them is what becomes very intrusive and a big obstacle in the "normal" world. Office settings, for example, are very difficult to survive in with all of these 'tendencies'.
BTW, I still think that ADD in children should go untreated until no earlier than high school!
So, please, if you have questions about any of it feel free to ask...send me an e-mail, comment...whatever. If you have anecdotes or personal stories, share them. Let's hear it.