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Adult ADD and ADHD: Know the Signs

Adult ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder) and ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) are conditions that have to do with the way you think. Unfortunately, they can seriously affect adults when it comes to their job, relationships, and their finances. It's true that they have to do with not being able to concentrate, but there's a lot more to it. Some of the signs include:

  • "zoning out" during conversations, or daydreaming
  • not remembering being told something
  • being late or forgetting to show up when expected
  • speaking without thinking first or interrupting others when they talk
  • talking fast or excessively, and hopping from one topic to the next
  • getting easily frustrated or bored
  • procrastination or difficulty staying focused
  • not finishing what you start (projects, books)
  • low self-esteem or insecurity
  • impulsive behaviors, quick to get angry

There are also some really positive "gifts" if you have ADD and ADHD? Want to hear them, then

  • Adults with ADD or ADHD may also be able to maintain intense focus on something that they are greatly interested in. This is called hyper focus, where people can be engaged for hours with a lack of awareness for others or time. They can be super determined and have high energy and enthusiasm for something if it sparks their interest. Einstein and Da Vinci had this ability and look how successful they were!!
  • People with ADD or ADHD are also great at creative thinking, problem-solving, and brainstorming ideas. Scientists, inventors, artists, musicians, and doctors can benefit from this type of brain.
  • Intelligence, flexibility, and spontaneity are also character traits of someone with ADD or ADHD.
  • Dear's Advice: If this sounds like you, and your symptoms are preventing you from living your life the way you want to, I would definitely talk to a therapist. They can offer suggestions for ways to help with the symptoms that get in the way of your job or having the relationships you want, possibly prescribing drugs to lower the symptoms of these disorders. Plus you'll feel better talking to someone who understands and supports you.


Join The Conversation
isabel-d isabel-d 8 years
My little cousin has ADD and I heard that there's a certain diet you can follow instead of taking pills but I can't seem to find it.
darkside44 darkside44 9 years
well i have ADHD and i found this site looking for answers. This helps a little but i have advise for people with ADHD or ADD. This may be a little differant because im only 17 but here goes. I used to take medication for my ADHD and i was so dopped up that i can hardly remember my childhood. I was always sleeping from the medication and i hated it. Well my mom and dad split up when i was nine. It was hard for me and my sister to cope with it but we got through it. We lived with my mom for about four to five years. Then we found our dad, then we moved in with him. My dad took me off the meds and since then ive been amazed at how much ive progressed in 3 years. But kicking the meds and dealing with it myself helped out tremendously. So for all you ADD and ADHD people hang in there and try to deal with it yourself. Unfortionatly i have bipolar so i get depressed alot (mainly because im sad because im single). My life seems to be hell on earth. Most of the posesions i have are breaking continuesly and my famly has money problems. So my life sucks but im trying to not give up. But a a year or two back i heard from a teacher that was ADHD that most people with it are guinuesess(forgive me for my spelling erors). So i decided to study ADD and ADHD for a little.Well im runing short of time so please send me messages and comments, ok please and thany you.
hvnly34 hvnly34 9 years
Although childhood ADD/ ADHD is overdiagnosed, adult ADD/ ADHD is actually under diagnosed. I was diagnosed as a child and was only on meds for a short time. I sought treatment as an adult after my life was spiraling out of control. Alot of adults with ADD/ ADHD have developed compensatory strategies like the use of PDAs. I had great success with Strattera, but stopped taking it when I got pregnant. Now that I have stopped nursing, I am considering getting back on the Strattera.
zoeskk zoeskk 9 years
i know this debate is kinda over, but i just wanted to add this: i was diagnosed with ADD when i was the age of four by johns hopkins.. my brother has a severe form of ADHD and several learning disabilities and was diagnosed at the same time i was. i KNOW ADD and ADHD are both overly diagnosed diseases, and yes, it's a huge shame how so many people DO abuse the medications given to them by prescription that are used for ADD/ADHD. i won't deny that, ahah, so many people out there abuse both the diagnosis and medication. but there was a time where ADD/ADHD was not well known, where being diagnosed with it was a serious deal, and not just the 'go to thing' where you read a checklist and wondered 'hey, do i have this?'. i HATE being lumped together with the group of people that others call BS, it's like being told my disorder is a lie, and quite frankly, it is not. let me just say this: if you had a brother who, for the first time in 20 years, can finally JUST NOW communicate to you when he's feeling ill, you wouldn't call it BS. just comprehend how that might feel, your brother gets angry and has severe rage, and just now is able to calm down enough and get his words out about how he's feeling physically. on top of that, if you had to deal with all of the issues i deal with on my own everyday, you wouldn't call BS. if you experienced it on hand, you wouldn't call it BS. if you had to worry about your future children possibly having it simply because you do, you wouldn't call it BS. it's a disorder that i wish to god i didn't have, because maybe then i'd be normal and things in my life would be so easier to manage, and all the little issues i have wouldn't be issues. next time you go to call ADD/ADHD BS, please consider what i've said. thanks for reading.
wieland wieland 10 years
Fab4....on your "BS" sad you are so small minded and obviously uneducated. I hope for your sake you don't currently have or plan on having children... dysfunction passing on dysfunction to the next generation. EDUCATE YOURSELF!!!
miss-britt miss-britt 10 years
DANG, i have most of those symptoms. I don't know if I am ADD or ADHD for having them though. But it is something i might look into.
jjinbrugge jjinbrugge 10 years
i just have to point out that DearSugar might have ADD - there is one bullet point with nothing next to it - after the point about hopping from one topic to the next!
Karma-Co Karma-Co 10 years
Holy Smokes I hav 8 of these symptoms... Hmm.
jem2 jem2 10 years
wow a very intense topic for everyone!! so many views i think as life educates each of us over time our views may change. i know my views have changed numerous times on this topic!!! i am still not sure what my views are ... but i guess that is the ADHD or is it? i have been dealing with this for over 30 years
biggiefootie biggiefootie 10 years
I have a simmilar story to cgmaetc... I made it through 3 years of university before I was diagnosed, after reading a book called Women and ADHD. When i read the checklist in this book, i ended up in tears because i finally began to understand why I felt so different. Living with ADHD is both a blessing and a curse. I am blessed because i am typically the person in a group to think outside the box, and to come up with a creative solution to a problem. I am also very spontaineous. I find that some of the curses that come along with being ADHD that i feel are; a diminished sense of time (20 minutes and 2 hours feel the same to me...I also can't grasp time on a clock) I alos hyperfocus, but it's often on things that do not get my task accomplished.(facebook,sugar network...) Project management (such as writing a paper) is difficult to plan out and sustain. Social settings are difficult, because it is hard to maintain focus in one place in a busy surrounding. Although it sounds like there are more curses, i wouldn't trade my life for anything. Since i was diagnosed, i have learned more about myself then i ever had. With the conflicting views surrounding ADHD, and i to have been told that i should just work harder... it is just not this simple. Those with ADHD work extremely hard, especially to manage day-to-day life. tasks that are taken for granted by most of the population can be VERY difficult for those with ADHD. Please do not tell somebody with ADHD to work harder, if you are a friend of someone, help them to work EFFECTIVELY. Lastly, i would like to share something that i found when i was first diagnosed- sorry for being so long winded. this movie helped me... cheers
ellenmarie ellenmarie 10 years
I definitely have most of these symptoms. I always believed that I had it. I'm a pre-k teacher so it's the perfect career for ADD...Things are always moving and changing so I don't get bored.
cgmaetc cgmaetc 10 years
I've got ADD... wasn't diagnosed until college. I always had great grades, high IQ, but behavior wise I was a pain. I wanted to sit still & be good, I just couldn't. It was very frustrating to ALWAYS be in trouble and out of control. I don't take medication for my ADD because I haven't found the right one. Nothing against anyone hwo takes meds (what works for one may not work for another) but I just didn't want to deal with the side effects. One made me too lethargic, another makes me gain weight, another made me lose too much (yes, that's a bad thing), another acted as a super stimulant. I'm going homeopathic, taking vitamins and herbs, getting lots of exercise, eating right (preservatives and soy set me off), and I'm doing well without meds. The biggest help learning organization techniques. I have a special watch that goes off every 10 minutes to keep me on task. I also have an assistant who coagulates all my thoughts (from post-its) into task lists. She ends up costing the same as the meds would. I will admit that it's over-dignosed and kids are generally over-medicated. However, when I taught elementary school, I had a few ADD/ADHD kids. I can tell you that out of the 10 students that I taught who were diagnosed, 9 of them were FOR REAL cases.
WhatTheFrockBlog WhatTheFrockBlog 10 years
*slammed Brooke Shields.
WhatTheFrockBlog WhatTheFrockBlog 10 years
This is exactly why I started hating Tom Cruise - because he publicly slammed her for taking medication when she suffered from post-partum depression and insisted that vitamins and exercise would cure her. Sounds very familiar. I find it so offensive when people dismiss psychiatric problems as BS. How can someone judge anyone without walking in their shoes?
pk9000 pk9000 10 years
fab4, if you think ADD/ADHD is overdiagnosed and you never needed medication, maybe you never had it. ADD/ADHD has an actual organic cause that can be treated with medication. Maybe all you really needed was to "try a little harder" because you were just generally unfocused rather than suffering from a chemical imbalances in your brain.
butterflyforaday butterflyforaday 10 years
I was diagnosed with ADD and I indeed do have it I keep my medicine on hand for times when I ABSOLUTELY need it such as working on major projects and concentrating for tests. But other than that I dont really use it at all. It makes me loose my appetite. Meh I try not to use pills.
facin8me facin8me 10 years
fab4 fab4 10 years
facin8me facin8me 10 years
It's not different in that "just trying a little harder" isn't going to make things any better. There are plenty of people who think that smoking cinnamon sticks down in Mexico and singing Kumbaya all day long is going to cure their cancer, or that cutting Nutrasweet out of their diets is going to cure their multiple sclerosis. Likewise, there are people who think that just pretending that you don't have a neurological problem is going to make everything go away and that everything will be sunshine and rainbows. God bless those who have the strength to help themselves and not be deterred by people who would insinuate that they are lazy or should just "try a little harder."
fab4 fab4 10 years
ok, fascin8. I think cancer and ADD are JUST a little different. Don't compare them or the situations associated with each. Apples and oranges. I'm done with comments on this one. have a nice day. God bless.
facin8me facin8me 10 years
My argument exactly- the sentiment that if one would just "try a little harder" they wouldn't have any problems. That's really the point I was making above. Nobody would ever suggest that people with cancer or MS "try a little harder" to get better- it would simply be ridiculous. But that is the point you've made here- that you've somehow managed to overcome a disease by "trying a little harder." Sure, doctors overdiagnose ADD and people lie about symptoms to their doctor but that does not negate the fact that it exists. To use your anecdotal experience and a possibly questionable diagnosis of ADD to bolster your claim that ADD is a bunch of BS is intellectually dishonest. There are many behavioral and cognitive tricks that people with ADD/ADHD can use to help them in their daily lives, but for many people this simply isn't enough. If you broke your leg, you wouldn't refuse a crutch and insist that if you "tried a little harder" you could walk fine. It's simply ludicrous.
fab4 fab4 10 years
and I do beleive that doctors overdiagnose ADD and ADHD and I know people that went to the dr and lied just to get aderall. You never know who really has it and who doesn't.
fab4 fab4 10 years
Just FYI, facin8, I was diagnosed with ADHD 3 years ago and I've nver taken one medication for it. I just try a little harder. There was no need to go the route you went with cancer. No need at all.
facin8me facin8me 10 years
You're right on fab4. You know what other diseases are bs? Cancer. I think cancer is bs too. Those people are just not thinking positively enough to rid their bodies of tumors. And probably MS too. Probably just bad diets. If people would just get rid of sugar in their diets, I'm sure all of their muscle weakness would go away. I think people need to get past viewing problems that do not have direct physical manifestations as bs. There are plenty of problems that are difficult to diagnose and treat, but that does not negate the impact that they have on people's live or their reality. I'd love for people who think that ADD/ADHD is bs to walk a mile in my shoes. Sure, my life is not the end of the world and there are people who have it way worse off, but I'd like you to try to imagine having conversations with your husband, friends, co-workers, etc. and not being able to concentrate on the words coming out of their mouths. It makes social situations a bit awkward. I'd like you to try to imagine sitting in a class where it is imperative that you listen to the professor because the information you need is not in books or published notes, but instead the whole hour seems like a blur and you have missing time and incomplete notes. The list goes on. There are many people who are helped by medication for this kind of thing, myself included. Just because these types of diseases tend to be overdiagnosed does not mean they don't exist.
Masqueraded_Angel Masqueraded_Angel 10 years
I was already diagnosed with adult ADD when I started going to college. I always knew when I was a child that something was wrong...but I was never put on any medication or anything.
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