Never too late for ADD diagnosis

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We think of Attention Deficit Disorder as a childhood issue, but the symptoms carry over into adulthood.

A lot of adults, who don't know they have ADD, often struggle through life needlessly. A diagnosis can change everything.

The hallmark symptom of ADD, is the inability to focus. ADHD involves attention deficit with hyperactivity- being figity or distracted.

When you have one, you have the other, says Hurley Behavioral Health counselor Recco Richardson, PhD, "It's just part of how the brain works. And you can get adjusted to it, you can manage it and have a successful life."

Hyperactivity can be managed more easily than the lack of focus, Richardson says, "It's difficult to concentrate in different environments with sites and sounds, and noises, and people and interruptions and light- things along those lines."

Also, living with symptoms can be frustrating, and if you don't understand why it's happening, it can harm your self esteem and have a negative impact on your life.

"Losing keys, losing documents, not being able to remember what they did, forgetting meetings, showing up for meetings on the wrong day, that can be seen by others as unorganized, uncaring or arrogant," Richardson says.

A lot of adults have no idea ADD is behind their issues because they weren't diagnosed as children, when doctors typically pick it up.

"There are some who will lose jobs as adults because of threir hyperness, inattention, and can't remember things, and forgetfulness and rushing through things," Richardson says.

ADD can affect finances, personal relationships- every aspect of your life.

If you suspect you have ADD, Richardson says, it's worth getting checked out, "It all starts with knowledge. You have to know yourself. I am who I am, you are who you are. And the acceptance of that, the good and the bad, helps us move forward in life."

Drugs, behavior modification, organization techniques, therapy- there are a lof of ways to manage ADD, but you have to know you have it.

"It's not the end of the world to be ADHD as an adult," Richardson says, "It's not the end of the world, by any stretch of the imagination. It's just who I am and how I operate in the world."

For more information about Attention Deficit, visit ADD.org.


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