Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is often what some people joke about when they can’t focus at work or forget what they were going to say. The “I must have ADD” defense is almost as popular as saying “Oops, I'm having a senior moment”. However, you may wish to take it seriously if you find yourself saying it very often.
The National Institute of Mental Health (www.nimh.nih.gov) explains ADHD this way: “ADHD is one of the most common childhood disorders and can continue through adolescence and adulthood. Symptoms include difficulty staying focused and paying attention, difficulty controlling behavior, and hyperactivity (over-activity).”
In a recent article on AOL Health, "Adult ADHD: 15 Signs You May Have It", the author reported that approximately 4 percent of adults are known to have ADHD, but many others may have it and never get diagnosed.
While almost everybody has problems concentrating once in a while, ADHD is a real condition for adults who probably had it as a child. Doctors or teachers were not as aware of the condition 25 or 30 years ago as they are today, and therefore, did not pick up on the signs.
Opting for a serious take on Jeff Foxworthy’s “You might be a redneck” one-liners, you might have adult ADHD if you:
are always unorganized
are a reckless driver
have continuous relationship problems
are easily distracted
don’t listen well
often feel restless or fidgety
are a procrastinator
are chronically late
frequently forget things
have angry outbursts
don’t prioritize well
have mood swings
are overly sociable or anti-social
smoke or abuse drugs
have poor work or academic performance
ScienceDaily.com also reported evidence that ADHD can run in families with poor emotional control or a control known as deficient emotional self-regulation (DESR).
"Our research offers strong evidence that heritable factors influence how we control our emotions," says Craig Surman, MD, of the MGH Pediatric Psychopharmacology and Adult ADHD Program, the study's lead author. "Emotion -- like capacities such as the ability to pay attention or control physical movement -- is probably under forms of brain control that we are just beginning to understand. Our findings also indicate that ADHD doesn't just impact things like reading, listening and getting the bills paid on time; it also can impact how people regulate themselves more broadly, including their emotional expression."
If you believe you might have adult ADHD, it’s important to discuss it with your doctor and also do your own research.
Adult ADHD: 15 Signs You May Have It. Web. August 1, 2011. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/05/26/adult-adhd-15-signs-you-m_n_867048.html#s283656&title=Youre_restless
NIMH Pages about Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Web. August 19, 2011
Combination of ADHD and Poor Emotional Control Runs in Families, Study Suggests. Web. May 6, 2011.
Insight into the Best Medication for Adult ADHD. Web. January 04, 2011
Reviewed August 22, 2011
by Michele Blacksberg R.N.
Edited by Jody Smith