Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder

From 43FoldersWiki

Revision as of 15:54, 8 March 2006 by RobertDaeley (Talk | contribs)
(diff) ←Older revision | Current revision (diff) | Newer revision→ (diff)
Jump to: navigation, search

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a mental disorder characterized by inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity. Roughly 3-5 percent of all children in the United States have ADHD, and it is believed that the vast majority retain the disorder through adulthood.

There are three recognized types of ADHD:

  • hyperactive-impulsive. Also called "classic" ADHD or just ADHD, hyperactive-impulsive sufferers are often restless, inpatient, and talkative.
  • inattentive. Also called by its misnomer, Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD). Inattentive sufferers are "space-cases," often easily distracted and quickly bored.
  • combined type.


[edit] "Pseudo-ADD" and Situational Attention Deficit

ADHD is a delibilitating disorder which can profoundly harm your productivity and ability to cope. However, Edward Hallowell, a psychiatrist and expert in the field, also recognizes what he calls "pseudo-ADD" in his recent book Delivered from Distraction. Pseudo-ADD is a recognition that many modern cultures celebrate the multitasking that can lead to ADD symptoms. The distinction he makes is that people with pseudo-ADD cease showing symptoms when they are removed from the problem environment; i.e., when on vacation.

[edit] So You Think You Have ADHD

ADHD is similar to clinical depression in that it is common for healthy people to exhibit some of its symptoms occasionally. The factors to consider in determining whether a professional diagnosis is needed are 1) the severity of the symptoms; 2) an inability to overcome these symptoms, even when it is critically important to do so; and 3) a constancy to their presence. The following is a list of symptoms of ADHD. Some of these symptoms are part of the diagnosis requirements of ADHD, while others are ancedotal.

  • You make careless mistakes and have problems paying attention to detail.
  • You feel constantly driven and in motion, and find it impossible to stop.
  • You are easily distracted, especially from things that don't hold your complete interest.
  • You have problems "waiting your turn."
  • You find it hard to pay complete attention to someone when they talk to you.
  • You have problems completing projects, especially something you don't find interesting.
  • You find that stimulants like caffine and nicotine have a calming effect or no perceived effect at all, or you use these stimulants to a much higher degree than most people.
  • You have problems comprehending instructions.
  • You are loud, overly talkative, or frequently interrupt people when they talk.
  • You are forgetful, and often misplace important items or miss appointments.
  • You often answer questions before the question is finished.
  • You cannot plan ahead, and maintaining structure seems impossible.
  • You have a poor grasp of time, and are frequently late.
  • You feel disorganized, and have problems finding what you need to accomplish tasks.
  • You feel like your brain is constantly running.
  • You can focus on something that interests you, but only at the exclusion of everything else.
  • You are groggy when you wake up in the mornings, and it's hard to get out of bed.
  • You feel unable to cope with the demands of your life, and are overwhelmed or depressed as a result.

ADHD can only be diagnosed and treated by a qualified professional. There are many other problems that may masquerade as ADHD, as well as environmental factors that may lead to ADHD-like symptoms. Do not seek treatment or claim you have ADHD without being diagnosed. Likewise, do not try to treat ADHD with stimulants without proper medical supervison. If you believe you have ADHD, talk to your physician or mental health care provider about being tested.

[edit] Life Hacks and ADHD

Life hacks are a favorite method of dealing with inattentiveness, disorganization, and forgetfulness for many ADHD sufferers. Life hacks and other such tricks are easy to remember and follow through with, frequently requiring little to no mental overhead. Likewise, ADHD minds benefit from the novelty of life hacks, employing the "ooh, shiny!" factor to turn routine tasks into something worth focusing on.

Flexible productivity systems like GTD also are widely utilized by those with ADHD. Traditional productivity systems often fail for those with ADHD, because they are not easily changed and force the individual to conform to them. Flexible systems, however, are infinitely adaptable and can be customized to each individual.

Likewise, both life hacks and flexible systems encourage simple routines that ADHD sufferers benefit greatly from. Routines are automatic and often aren't actively thought about, which bypasses many of the problems that the ADHD mind has.

ADHD coaches and psychotherapists often teach lifehack-like tricks and simple productivity systems as a method of overcoming ADHD. These tricks tend to be a cornerstone of ADHD treatment, allowing ADHD sufferers to overcome their symptoms and function normally.

[edit] ADD Links

  • myADDstore - Large selection of ADD related products and gifts.
  • Yahoo ADDwomen Group - Women-only Yahoo Group for Women with either Hyperactive-type ADD or Non-Hyperactive Type ADD; 550+ members strong

[edit] For More Information

Personal tools