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What is Adult ADD?

Adult Attention-Deficit Disorder or Adult ADD is getting much more attention now. In adults, ADD symptoms are similar to those seen in children: inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity. However, the symptoms of hyperactivity tend to decrease with age, or they take the form of restlessness or fidgetiness instead (such as the persistent pencil tapper or foot tapper). Common symptoms associated with adult ADD include lack of focus, disorganization, restlessness, difficulty finishing projects, and losing things. While these symptoms are also very common among people without this condition, in those with ADD, these symptoms are significant enough that they interfere with work as well as with important interpersonal relationships. The good news is that there are treatments available for this condition.

How do you know if you may have Adult ADD? The only way to make an accurate diagnosis is through a complete, clinical evaluation by a trained healthcare provider. However, the World Health Organization (WHO) has several screening questions which may be helpful. Do you often have trouble wrapping up the final details of a project, once the challenging parts have been done? Do you have difficulty getting things in order when you have to do a task that requires organization? Do you have problems remembering appointments or obligations? When you have a task that requires a lot of thought, do you avoid or delay getting started? Do you fidget or squirm with your hands or your feet when you have to sit down for a long time? Do you feel overly active and compelled to do things, like you were driven by a motor? If your answers to these questions are "more often than not", you may want to have this discussion with your physician.

Created: 11/29/2004  -  Donnica Moore, M.D.

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