Have you wondered why you have trouble focusing on things that are boring or difficult?
Perhaps you have a common condition known as Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), or maybe just the Attention Deficit part. Good news – we have learned that people with this trait have a host of qualities, some of them are positive, like thinking ‘out of the box’ and ‘being here now’ sorts of people. Other qualities can lead to deep discouragement and difficulty accomplishing your goals in school, work and even with your personal relationships.
Consider the wise words of Dr. Edward Hallowell, a Harvard graduate who also happens to have ADHD, dyslexia and is a psychiatrist.
ADD is not a disability or a deficit, but a trait, a way of being. It is characterized by a host of qualities, some positive, some negative. Our job is to promote the positive qualities, while limiting the damage done by the negative. The standard medical approach looks at ADD entirely as a disorder. By disregarding the positive attributes, this approach often creates new serious disabilities: shame, fear, loss of hope, lowered self-esteem, broken dreams.
It has been my pleasure to learn a lot about what ADD/ADHD is. Frequently you may have trouble with what is known as executive functioning – impulse control – shouting out an answer or a thought, difficulties with organization, planning, or sustaining attention on subjects that you find challenging and self-regulation. Common symptoms of ADD include losing things, being forgetful, trouble getting final details of a project wrapped up or things organized or even delaying getting started. If you also find yourself being very fidgety or were that kid that had to move around a lot, or still have trouble sitting still in meetings, you may also have the hyperactive part of ADHD.
More good news, people with ADD have many wonderful characteristics. Often you forgive mistakes easily, are compassionate, don’t harbor resentment, are warmhearted, intuitive, fast thinkers, insightful, multi-talented, fun-loving, energetic and resilient people. These wonderful attributes are maintained when ADD is treated with medication.
Contrary to popular belief, ADD is not caused by poor parenting, school systems, too much TV, excess sugar or bad diets. It does run in families and is caused by a decrease in neurotransmitters, namely norepinephrine and dopamine in the front part of the brain.
Once treated with medications which are mostly well tolerated and found to be safe over years, people allow their true abilities to shine through. I have seen clients complete college, improve significantly in their jobs, move on from destructive relationships and build their self-confidence up to a place where they can come to appreciate putting their creative ideas into practice and building a fun and productive future for themselves.
A combination of learning basic organizational and time management skills and taking a stimulant medication that has been researched for 20-50 years can give you immediate results that address a host of problems that sometimes have been masking as depression, anxiety or sleep problems. This is not to say that you might also be dealing with these other issues, but once you are able to concentrate and get things done, you’ll have a very different attitude about the rest of your life.
If you would like to learn more, visit the website, www.add.org or read the book So You Mean I’m Not Lazy, Stupid or Crazy? by Kate Kelly and Peggy Ramundo.
Consider coming to see me, I will do an initial 90 minute assessment and if you meet the criteria for ADD, I will offer you treatment and education that will take effect immediately. Read more about new client appointments here.