ADD/ADHD is a common medical problem that I diagnose and treat. There is alot of confusion and misunderstanding about this topic, and it is often misdiagnosed and not properly treated, so I will try to clarify it.There is written and other types of testing, which can be cumbersome with regard to time and expense.It is really a clinical diagnosis in my opinion, which is figured out by taking a good history, based on suspicion about the diagnosis and the diagnostic skills of the doctor.
The key clinical ADD and ADHD symptoms are:
- Poor focus and concentration
- Easy distractibility (for example, when the person is distracted by something else it can be difficult to get back on track
- Difficulty with multi-tasking (for example, when the person has several things to get done, it can be difficult to prioritize and finish tasks because of being overwhelmed by the volume of what needs to be done
- Impulsivity (doing things impulsively without being able to control oneself and not considering consequences of their actions and
- Difficulty with reading and absorbing/comprehending what is being read, necessitating reading it over and over, and
- Not listening and interrupting frequently, which creates difficulty with relationships and at work.
ADD and ADHD symptoms result in difficulty at school by having difficulty paying attention to and understanding the teacher, by being easily distracted, by being inattentive and sometimes being hyperactive, by having difficulty completing assignments and homework, and by having difficulty with test taking. On average, people with ADD are more intelligent than people who don’t have it, but they have diffficulty translating that into good grades at school and performance at work.
ADD and ADHD symptoms typically stars in early school years, then becomes more of an issue by 3rd to 4th grade and beyond, with worsening into middle school to high school. Some drop out of college early. Work performance is also difficult due to inability to multitask and complete projects on time. They may be very creative with great ideas, but they have difficulty with the actual work part of making their ideas happen. Kids and adults with ADD are not easily able to achieve their full potential. Their self-esteem may suffer because they feel “stupid” and lazy, though that’s not typically true and they really can’t help it.
It’s not all bad news though. In my next blog, I’ll discuss solutions and treatment options for those that suffer with ADD and ADHD symptoms, so stay tuned. If you, a family member or friend have this, call my office to be seen. Bye for now.