Could You Have Adult ADD?
Though the condition has evolved into a punch line to explain everything from misplacing a schedule for a meeting to forgetting one’s lunch on the kitchen counter, the truth is that for many adults ADD (attention-deficit disorder) is no laughing matter. While the disorder is commonly studied and diagnosed in children, an estimated 4.7 percent of American adults live with ADD – and others may not realize they even have it.
With children, teachers often notice the symptoms in the classroom and suggest parents have their son or daughter evaluated. But it can be harder in the workplace to recognize and talk about ADD. Bosses and colleagues may be hesitant to approach the subject, and people themselves may write off inattentiveness simply as a personality trait or as a casualty of multitasking.
So what does adult ADD look like? Kevin J. Roberts, author of the soon-to-be-released book Movers, Dreamers, and Risk Takers: Unlocking the Power of ADHD, suggests looking for these symptoms:
- Difficulty staying organized (such as a messy work area or losing important papers)
- Very distractible, flitting from one thing to the next
- Frequently going off on unproductive tangents
- Starting but not finishing lots of projects
- Passion for ideas but poor follow-through
- Tuning out others or interrupting the flow of a conversation with an unrelated topic
- Consistently being late to work, appointments, and meetings
- Struggling to maintain routines; constant need to do things differently
- Significant struggles simply starting a task and finding excuses to not start
- Inappropriate emotional outbursts and extreme expressions of frustration
Workers who recognize these behaviors in themselves may want to consult a medical expert for information. Medication, biofeedback, and coping strategies are among the possibilities to help deal with the condition.