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ADD/ADHD- In Children and Adults

Recently more adults have become aware that they might have what traditionally children have been diagnosed with -- Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). This is a disorder which begins in childhood but may be untreated until the person get to college or in jobs that require a lot of concentration. The diagnosis really requires considering three separate issues.

1. Inability to focus, to pay attention, and to follow through with a task.
2. Impetuousness, such as doing things before thinking, resulting in bad consequences

ADHD has a third component.
3. Hyperactivity, causing a person to feel unable to sit still as if constantly driven by a motor.

A person with the first two is considered to have Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD). Whereas a person having all three is considered to have Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).

Both ADD and ADHD cause the person significant stress because they have difficulty in many parts of their lives, such as at school, on the job, at home or in the community. This leads to poor functioning in these areas and a sense of failure and depression, anger at themselves or others, and anxiety about what next problem they will have. Without treatment they often will end up in dead end jobs or using drugs to try and cope.

There are several steps needed to identify and treat the person with these problems:
1. Identification: doing a thorough assessment with that person, and others who know the person.
2. Learning about the entire scope of the problem. Otherwise, the person feels belittled, stupid or not wanted by others.
3. A program of behavior management helps the person gain control of his behaviors, including being disorganized, easily frustrated, procrastination, and unable to complete projects. Children will need the help of parents and teachers while adults need friends to help them deal with issues at home.
4. Finally, They will often need small amounts of medication to help regulate the speed at which their brain functions –something one cannot control by just wishing it to be different.

If you think you may have, or a family member might have, ADHD or ADD, please have them get in contact with a qualified therapist to help. A person with ADD/ADHD can be very productive and happy with themselves and their life when they get professional help. 
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