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Understanding and Handling Your ADD

Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) is a serious problem (hence it’s classification as a disorder). It is a neurological condition that affects a person’s ability to manage behavior (particularly impulsiveness), focus or pay attention, resulting in problems in work, health, finances, and human relationships. The condition becomes more complicated due to its “hidden” nature.  Friends, neighbors, family members, colleagues, and bosses don’t see the challenges and as such, may find it difficult to accept the problem as neurobiological rather than an individual’s choice. ADD patients also suffer from feelings of inadequacy, not living up to their potential as well as others’ expectations of them.

Effects of ADDEffects of Attention Deficit Disorder

ADD symptoms vary not just from patient to patient but can manifest differently based on the specific situation (social, work, school, or home). The symptoms could also be inconsistent from day to day; one day, you feel as if you accomplished a tremendous amount of work while on others, you feel exceptionally unproductive. ADD patients can spend hours doing a homework assignment or writing a book report, and then forget to submit it.

On some occasions, they relegate tasks they feel are confusing, boring or challenging to the background (even if the tasks are considered critical to work, personal finances such as doing taxes, or school) and focus exclusively on projects that seem trivial or unnecessary. As such, ADD patients often fail or drop out of school, constantly get fired or have financial and legal problems that could have been easily avoided.

However, with the right treatment, environment, and lifestyle, symptoms of ADD can be mitigated, and patients can live relatively normal lives. A lot of talented actors, writers, business owners, athletes, artists, and inventors had ADD but went on to become renowned in their various professions. They led exceptional lives and contributed immensely to the growth of society.

Diagnosing Adult ADD

The first step in handling ADD begins with an accurate diagnosis of the condition; however, this is not as simple as it sounds. An ADD diagnosis requires a medical professional (who has extensive experience with adult ADD) to perform a detailed evaluation. This evaluation is done using interviews, rating scales, questionnaires, and intellectual screenings, in addition to measuring distractibility and level of sustained attention. The professional then decides if the symptoms correspond with those outlined in the DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders), the official diagnostic manual used in the U.S. 

ADD Diagnosis San Francisco

Handling ADDCoping with Attention Deficit Disorder

Once you’ve been accurately diagnosed with the disorder, the next step is finding a way to handle it. In the past, experts thought that ADD/ADHD affected only children and that they grew out of it as they grew older; however, this is not the case. This was because adults with ADD learned to cope with the condition as they grew older, developing strategies that helped them fit in with social expectations. Fortunately, we now know that ADD lasts throughout a person’s lifetime, from formative years to old age.

Methods Used in Managing ADD

The most common way of managing ADD is through the use of medication. These are divided into two: stimulants and non-stimulants. Stimulants help to increase attention while reducing impulsivity and hyperactivity; however, if you experience too many side-effects or have a history of addictions, your doctor may prescribe non-stimulants. In special cases, a combination of both kinds of medications may be used.

Counseling is another approach to treating ADD. It has been observed that CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) is effective in treating cases of adult ADD. This type of therapy assists patients to learn new ways of behaving and interacting with the world. In particular, CBT helps to address symptoms of ADD such as shame, feelings of low self-esteem and loss of self-confidence.

Other ways of treating ADD include practicing stress reduction techniques, including physical exercise as part of your daily routine and making lifestyle shifts (such as focusing on personal strengths). You could also be eligible for workplace accommodation.

The good news is that ADD is a manageable condition and with the right professional help, you can live a remarkably productive life. If you would like to meet with a qualified physician to discuss your ADD, please schedule an appointment by clicking here or calling our San Francisco clinic at (415) 966-0848. 


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Once thought to be a disorder that affected only children, Attention Deficit Disorder (also known as Adult Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) is now known to affect more than 4.4% of the adult population in the United States and over 7% in San Francisco itself. Marked by an inability to focus, disorganized thinking, distractibility and poor impulse control, undiagnosed ADD can have disastrous consequences on both your personal and professional life. Fortunately, as more research comes to the forefront, ADD treatment options are widely available and those who have suffered in silence for years are now finding ways to get help. The first step, of course, is to get a diagnosis. If you think you might have adult ADD, read on to see what you should know and when it’s time to see a professional ADD doctor  in San Francisco.

Recognize There Is More Than One Type of ADD

When most of us think about ADD, we think of what is now known as ‘Classic ADD’. Core ADD symptoms include hyperactivity, an inability to concentrate, and chronic procrastination. While this is still the most common form of ADD diagnosed, there are actually seven different types of ADD—all of which have slightly different symptoms. Limbic ADD, for example, has the added symptoms of sadness, low energy, and chronic self-esteem issues. Another form of ADD, Ring of Fire ADD, can cause sufferers to lash out with mean or nasty behavior. The point here is that even if you don’t suffer from the typical ADD symptoms, you may still have one of the other types. Take an online self-assessment to see if any of the symptoms you experience match up, then see a doctor for a professional ADD testing in San Francisco.

Interesting Facts About Adult ADHD Test

Ask Yourself These Questions:

To further determine if you are suffering from adult ADD, try asking yourself the following questions:

Do Any of My Family Members Have ADD?

Did you know that more than 25% of those diagnosed with adult ADD have a family member who also has the disorder? If you have a sibling that was diagnosed in childhood or if you have other family members who have been diagnosed, there is a higher chance that you may have the disorder as well.

Are Time Management or Focus Techniques Helpful to Me?

indicators of Attention Deficit Disorder

There is sometimes a fine line between actual ADD and a simple lack of focus or time management skills. If you have tried different techniques to keep yourself organized or to better manage your time and find that you simply cannot stick with them no matter how hard you try, you may have ADD.
Treating ADHD Without Drugs – Read more.

Am I Constantly Late?

It’s one thing to be late occasionally due to weather, traffic, or unforeseen circumstances. However, those with adult ADD symptoms are chronically late—mostly because they get absorbed or distracted by something and completely lose track of time. If you’ve lost friends or jobs because you can’t seem to be on time no matter how hard you try, ADD could be the culprit.

Common ADHD Medications for Adults

Do I Find Myself Being Bored All the Time?

Due to a lack of focus, those with adult ADD often find themselves fighting boredom. While those without ADD can easily get interested in a movie, book, television show, or hobby, the ADD sufferer has trouble taking pleasure in these simple tasks and can be chronically restless or looking for something new and exciting to do. This can manifest itself in risky behavior like gambling or extreme sports or in addictions to drugs or alcohol.

Top 5 Adult ADHD Treatment Centers in San Francisco

If you have adult ADD, you can finally come out of the shadows and get the help you deserve. If any of the above strike a chord with you, it’s vital that you see a professional to get a proper diagnosis and the treatment you need. To schedule an appointment at our San Francisco ADD clinic, please call
(415) 966-0848.


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