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Do I Have Adult ADD?

Question:

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p>Every since I was a child I have been high-energy and very distractable. I am 29 now and work with children with special needs. I have always felt that my “hyperness” has helped me more than hindered. Over the past months I have been re-evaluatign this opinion. I am very scattered and disorganized and find it difficult to keep paperwork in order and frequently forget meetings and appointments. Although I am very successful in my work with kids I feel that at somepoint my lack of oranizational skills (not to mention my tendency to say things impulzively and put my foot in my mouth…..)and forgetfulness will impact my career. I am already takign prozac to deal with depression and anxiety problems and am reluctant to medicate for ADD. Are there any tretment options (specific type of therary, dietary changes) that ciould help withmy symptoms?

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Answer:

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p>The symptoms you describe certainly match those of Adult Attention Deficit Disorder. By the way, the correct term is Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, whether a person has the hyperactivity part of it or not. Therefore, the correct term is ADHD.

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p>What I suggest you do is consult a psychiatrist who specializes in ADHD. There is a very simple test that he can give you to determine whether or not you do have this disorder.

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p>Part of what makes it difficult to diagnose ADHD in adults is the fact that it resembles Bipolar 11 Disorder. The sensation of “hyperness” or high energy and distractibility you experience, along with the other symptoms could be indicative of a manic-depressive type of problem. Nevertheless, the overall impression that I get from your description is of ADHD. The reason for this is that if you had a Bipolar disorder the Prozac you take would increase your hyperness.

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p>Depression and anxiety often accompany ADHD. The reason for this is that people with this disorder become discouraged from the distractibility and the other problems that interfere with performing tasks. It is common to prescribe an anti depressant for this disorder along with a medication for the ADHD.

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p>What I am saying is that if, after seeing a psychiatrist, you are diagnosed with ADHD you need not fear an additional medicine. Of course, some people do not like the medications for ADHD because they are stimulants and can cause uncomfortable feelings. However, the benefits gained from the medications usually outweigh any uncomfortable stimulant side effects. I can report to you that everyone I have seen who has been diagnosed with Adult ADHD have used the medicine and have experienced wonderful results. They report to me that their ability to concentrate, focus their attention and attend to tasks at home, school work and in their personal relationships improve vastly.

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p>For those who reach a point where they cannot tolerate the stimulant side effects, there are now newer non stimulant medications for ADHD.

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p>It will be important for you to see a therapist who specializes in ADHD so that you can learn strategies to help you organize yourself better. This is not a replacement for the medications but an addition to medication. Since the medication cannot do everything it does become necessary to learn the skills to enhance your performance. This will help the meds work even better.

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p>I want to encourage you to see a psychiatrist and get yourself onto ADHD medication and into Cognitive-Behavioral Psychotherapy to help you learn about and control the symptoms of this disorder. As of now, there is no cure for this so that you will most likely have to remain on the medications. Perhaps the Prozac will become less important later on.

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Comments
  • Diane

    Hi I am 47 years old and am out of work due to injures, I'm not sure if my friends and family even believe me but I feel I am being shut out from the world, like it is closing in around me, does anyone think I am just very depressed or is it adult ADHD? I have had multiple surgeries and still need one or two more, this is the time I need my friends and family why are they or why do I feel like I am being shut out? can anyone please give me an answer?

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