Do I have ADD?
anonymous Asks ...
I just got dumped again. I do not have a good track record with relationships. My brother in law says he thinks I have ADD. I am always drifting off and not staying focused on what people are saying so it always seems like I don’t care about other people even though I do. I am also hopeless about remembering important stuff, like birthdays and anniversaryes. I am 34 and I always thought I would just figure things out when I grew up but maybe that’s not going to happen. I am not sure what to do?
Penny Bell Says ...
Attention Deficit Disorder, or ADD, affects around 5 percent of children and it is now quite well established that it continues into adulthood. Symptoms begin in childhood, and some of these are poor concentration, inattentiveness, being easily bored, easily distracted, and impulsive. If hyperactivity is also present, there is restlessness and an inability to relax.
Adult ADD can look a little different from childhood ADD. Rather than repeatedly leaving the seat in the classroom, running, and excessive climbing (part of the childhood criteria) and so causing difficulties at home and at school, there can be problems at work, in relationships and even with the law. The latest thinking is that at the core of the disorder is impaired inhibition – the ability to deliberately suppress a thought (or impulse) in order to achieve a later goal - and this “disinhibition” drives other regulatory problems in the individual.
If you are suspicious that you actually do have this disorder, it’s important that you have an assessment so that you can take the next steps in learning how to manage it. If it turns out that you don’t have it, my advice is to seek counselling to help you explore your “bad track record” with relationships and discover some new ways of connecting and staying connected.