Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) is a popular term that describes many behaviors in children, but also affects adults. ADD is caused by a combination of genetic, nutritional, and social factors. Here are some signs:
1. Attention problems
Attention problems may show up as difficulty focusing, difficulty paying attention, or time lost in multi-tasking without actually finishing anything. One woman found herself struggling to comprehend what was being presented in business meetings, and a man was frustrated that he could work all day on assignments but not get any of them finished.
Impulsivity may show up as poor judgment, buying on impulse, risky behaviors, sexual acting out, or difficulty filtering verbal comments. One woman was frustrated with her husband who often went out for lunch even though they had agreed to a budget and she packed lunches for him. Another man noticed his wife bought things for which she didn't have money, even though she was the one who determined the family budget.
3. Difficulty sitting still
Hyperactivity is not always a part of AD(H)D, and even someone without hyperactivity may struggle to sit still. Difficulty sitting still can look like fidgeting, leg bouncing or finger tapping, or restlessness. One woman had trouble sitting through church services on Sunday if she didn't take a long run the day before. A man found it helpful to stand up at his desk at work instead of sitting in a chair.
4. Incomplete tasks
Enthusiasm for new projects or big ideas that never happen are common symptoms of ADD. Completing assignments, finishing projects, and working with a task from start to finish may be a challenge. A man was known for his quality work, but his boss was frustrated that the man often missed deadlines. One mother was really good at sewing, but often stopped short of the final details to finish items for her family.
People with ADD often are dreamers with great vision, but they may struggle with connecting to the sensate world. This makes it hard for them to make their dreams reality. One man was the smartest man in his office, but often missed assignments given while he was staring out the window. One woman scored excellent ratings for her customer service interactions, but usually had to stay later than everyone else to finish paperwork others finished in the afternoon.
Treatment for ADD includes therapies which help reduce the symptoms and improve functioning. Psychotherapy helps clients improve focus, increase attention, and utilize coping skills. Medication therapy helps reduce symptoms related to focus, distractibility, and hyperactive behavior. Together, these therapies increase positive interactions with others and improve functioning.