How common is adult ADD? Is it hard to get diagnosed? What are the signs?
- 14 Aug 2009 by conversate
- 8 July 2013
- attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (adhd)
Talk to a psyc. doc if u are feeling unfocused, cant read and comprehend. Also if u never finish started projects or always starting things and never finishing them. u can have aggression, unorganised.everyone is diff. and has other symptoms. talk over concerns with doc.and ask options!hope this helps!
I was diagnosed as an adult, but it is a contraversial issue. The Insurance Company even questioned it when I went to fill my script. They needed a letter from my Dr.
ADHD doesn't begin as an adult. If you have recently been diagnosed, it will be something you have had since childhood. The problem for most of us adults is that back when we were children, ADHD wasn't as well known or it was just 'he's hyperactive' or it was just written off. My younger brother went through it for years before being diagnosed and even afterwards. Teachers didn't care if you had ADHD, they just wanted you to sit and pay attention. But many children and young adults muddle through without being diagnosed. This is more common for girls they say, who more often have the unattentive symptoms. I was one such person. Again, growing up with a sibling who had it ... no one gave a thought that I could have it to. Because I 'coped' better. Some find ways of getting by and so they go undiagnosed.
It wasn't until I was older and things came all together and got more difficult and I began to examine and research that I discovered I could have it too. Once I was diagnosed, all the symptoms came into focus (no pun intended). Although I was very good in school as a child, I found myself daydreaming or missing things the teacher would say; I hated waiting in lines or waiting my turn for things; I always finished my work first - I know many ADDers are the opposite; but the reason I finished first was because I was bored and wanted to get it 'out of the way'. Either I knew an answer or I didn't. If I didn't, I just wanted to move on rather than mull it over. I would sometimes make careless mistakes because of that. There are many signs and symptoms and everyone is different. Try some of the ADD sites and groups for more info.
The thing about adult add or adhd is that many of the complaints can actually be symptoms of other disorders or you may even have more than one it really just depends on the type of imbalance of chemicals in your brain. that being said my own story is that I was not diagnosed until i was an adult and only then because i read a book which described what adult symptoms were. many adults with adhd don't per say get up in the middle of a meeting but they lose focus or more frequently hyper focus, which means for instance to focus on one thing somebody said think about it furthur and not pay attention to what they say after that point. also foot tapping, feeling antsy or even fidgeting frequently are problems adults have. many adults with add cope well by choosing careers that are exciting ,ever changing, or very difficult, to keep us from becoming bored.
the good thing is that even though many add'ers do not get good grades, most are usually very bright :n) in adults most complain of racing thoughts or like "getting a million ideas at once". also adults often get sleepy in the middle of the day or feel run down after only being awake for a few hours. and it is said that happens because of the amount of brain activity that occurs in the add mind basically just tires it out. in the book they compared it to someone running through the day as opposed to walking. which made sense to me. adhd adults frequently have trouble sleeping do to a feeling of "not being able to shut off their brain" even though they feel very tired.(even with out stimulants) and lastly many are workaholics. if you think about a lot of these symptoms many could be caused by things like too much caffeine ,too little sleep, depression, and anxiety. so, like the others said ,the best thing would be to go to a psych md and have testing done to see what type of disorder, if any, you may have.
Don't worry about how common it is. Just worry about whether you have it. Fond a Psychologist or Psychiatrist who specializes in diagnosing it. Try to stay away from one who does mostly kids. And realize it can be either with, or without the hyperactivity. The symproms therefore are not the same for everyone that has it.
Adult ADD does start as a child, in grade school I couldn't sit still and my mind raced thru the whole school scene I couldn't stay focused, I was bored, and uninterested in the class participation process. I don't know how common it is however there seems to be an abudnant supply of the narcotics prescribed in our community, whether or not everyone has this disorder, probaly would not be accurate, as it is pretty easy to be diagnosed,
and it seems like anyone could "appear" to be diagnosed with his disorder, But I know that my medicine helps me to stay on track!
It appears that adult ADD is pretty common; especially those of us in our 30's or older. There seem to be many symptoms that point to ADD, simply talking to your doctor about a typical day-in-the-life-of-you should help. I was diagnosed with ADD about 5 years ago when I commented to my doctor about the difficulties I was having staying on task at my (new) job.
After some detailed Q&A he prescribed me Daytrana; it is a patch that I could wear while at work or whenever I knew my full focus and attention would be needed. I found it very beneficial. I stopped taking it when I quit working about 2 years ago, but am considering getting it again so that I can stay on task with my daily household duties. It's very frustrating not being able to complete the simplest of tasks (washing dishes, folding laundry, etc.)
Adult ADD is just as common as childhood AD(H)D, mainly because it's what childhood AD(H)D develops into. In most of our cases, it's because it was written off as "he just daydreams" or "he's hyper"; we developed coping mechanisms to get by, and usually you don't think of it until those coping mechanisms catastropically fail.
As with the other poster, talking to the psychologist about what you experience day-to-day (and don't hold back; you aren't "lazy" or "scatterbrained", no matter what you may have been told) will result in a proper diagnosis (though the drugs they choose may require many more visits; it took 2 visits to get strattera (bleh, which they prescribed alongside trileptal(?!)), and about a month and a half to get Metadate (also bleh, but no side prescriptions).
Signs? Lack of focus, impulsivity, inattentiveness (that doesn't result from boredom), and a whole host of other behaviors that your mental health specialist should be able to diagnose. My personal favorite? Hyperfocusing (which sounds like a great thing but really isn't).
So, in short, ADD sucks, and can frustrate you to the point of depression (another can of worms). Fortunately, there's no shame in the diagnosis, so look into it.
Adult ADD does exist [fool around too much/trouble concentrating/procrastinate, etc.] but it is played out FAR MORE in the media when a new AD|HD drug comes out. I remember when Concerta came out. They basically targeted the untapped "Adult ADD" marke. The symptoms that they were listing were ludacris. "Are you bored? Have trouble staying focused at your job?" Seriously?? >Everybody does!
Most adults are bored or have trouble focusing 100% on their job because they are unsatisfied. Another 'symptom' was "While watching T.V. - Do you change channels frequently?" Once again - Seriously?? > I know I do, cause I dont wanna watch commercials... LOL!
Conversate - It does exist in maybe 18-35% of Adults, but they most likely had AD|HD when they were adolescents. Its slightly harder to diagnose than ADD in a child.
It seems to be more and more common from what I've been reading. I was just diagnosed with adult ADHD a little over 6 months ago. I lived until then considering myself not only normal, but more intelligent then average. I experienced a major traumatic event in 2006 resulting in the death of two friends which triggered PTSD. While getting treated for this and finding that nothing was helping I thought I was at a loss. I started receiving counseling again about a year ago and ADHD was one of the new suggestions. Did a screening for it and what do ya know! For me the signs were: failing college courses, could never keep my sh*t together, meaning tasks, finances, appts, etc. I would read into books or instruction manuals and five pages later I'd realize I was thinking about working on my car and couldn't even remember a word I had read. Things like that. The biggest hurdle for me was to get the idea out of my head that I was broken because of ADHD.
Like I said, I thought I had always been exceedingly smart. You CAN be smart and have ADHD, in fact, many of the cases of people living with it for so long is because they could 'think' their way around certain things, thats what I did. It may not be a case of just thinking you have it. Like myself, some people may have something else trigger themselves into noticing the signs. Confusion/regular misunderstanding of things, and disorganization are good clues, though. Hope I helped you.
A survey conducted nationwide, supported by the National Institute of Health, found that the rate for adult ADHD was 4.1% (compared to 6.7% for major depressive disorder and 3.1% for PTSD). http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/the-numbers-count-mental-disorders-in-america/index.shtml#ADHD
rev: you comment that bright people can have ADD too... for sure!
Dr. Thomas Brown of Yale University did a study of adults with ADD and high intelligence (>120). Google his name and "high IQ" to find a report on his study, or check out his website. Interesting stuff...
i've been told all my life i'll grow out of it. well at almost 50 i;d better hurry. i've tried all the new meds with high cost low affect, the only drug that works for me is desoxin as it did as a child can't afford the new drugs and can't get prescribed the one that does work
When my husband was a child,he was diagnosed with ADD,and was on ritalin,for 10 yrs. of his life. Not,that he is an adult,he is diagnosed with bipolar,and is taking trileptal,and paxil. How do we know if he has ADD or bipolar?
I had ADHD as a child but 43 years ago, i wasn't labeled with it and got no help for it. My son has it. I see myself in him. Now as an adult I take Ritalin also to maintain focus and drive and remove distractions. I take it everyday, although I have friends with ADHD that only take it when they need to extra concentration. I've heard there is no cure for this disorder, but many adults find ways of coping and living around their deficiences. Good Luck to you
You cannot develop ADD or ADHD as an adult. It is something that you would have had your entire life, beginning as a child. Not all children are tested for it, and some parents do not believe in medicating their children, so it does escape notice until adulthood in some cases when it interferes with work, projects, socializing, completing tasks, and paying attention.
It is not difficult to diagnose. The best person to diagnose you would be a licensed psychiatrist. There are tests that can be given to you to see whether or not you have it. If you feel easily distracted, unable to concentrate for long periods of time, start multiple projects that you rarely finish, have a hard time focusing on one thing in a crowded room or busy subway, or feel that you have your own personal reasons to getting tested, ask your psychiatrist about assessment tests for adult ADHD.
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