ADHD and ADD Articles

Scapegoating ADHD — Because It’s Popular

Wednesday, April 23rd, 2014

Scapegoating ADHD -- Because It's Popular

As if people with a mental illness didn’t have enough to worry about.

One of the favorite media topics to write about is attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), a potentially serious mental illness that affects millions of Americans. It causes them to not be able to focus on everyday tasks that most of us have little trouble with. Many people with ADHD can’t sit still, interrupt others, and can’t wait their turn. Others find any kind of task that requires sustained attention simply impossible.

In the modern world, with so many devices and services competing for our attention, ADHD is at the heart of a perfect storm for those afflicted. While most of us juggle our attempts at multi-tasking seemingly well, those with untreated ADHD have a hard time just getting started.

So it makes me wonder: why are so many journalists quick to pick on ADHD?

7 Tips for Getting Chores Done for Adults with ADHD

Monday, April 21st, 2014

7 Tips for Getting Chores Done for Adults with ADHDAn ADHD brain thrives on interesting tasks. So it’s not surprising that most adults with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder have a hard time getting chores done. Chores such as cleaning, washing dishes, and doing laundry are tedious and boring.

According to Terry Matlen, MSW, ACSW, a psychotherapist and ADHD coach, “Broadly speaking, chores are typically left undone, poorly done or often put on the back burner unless there’s a sense of urgency.” That sense of urgency might be guests coming over or not having any clean clothes.

7 Tips to Help Adults with ADHD Stay Organized

Saturday, April 19th, 2014

7 Tips to Help Adults with ADHD Stay OrganizedOften the hardest part of organization for adults with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) isn’t getting organized, it’s staying organized, write Abigail Levrini, Ph.D, and Frances Prevatt, Ph.D, in their book Succeeding with Adult ADHD: Daily Strategies to Help You Achieve Your Goals and Manage Your Life.

Staying organized requires daily, weekly and monthly maintenance. That’s because you’ll naturally amass more paperwork, you’ll get more mail every day, your clothes will get dirty, and you’ll need to put away your groceries, among other things.

Does Sluggish Cognitive Tempo (SCT) Exist?

Wednesday, April 16th, 2014

Does Sluggish Cognitive Tempo (SCT) Exist?Sluggish cognitive tempo is a long-time component believed to either be a part of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or may be its own stand-alone concern.

Parts of what we now call sluggish cognitive tempo (SCT) has been around since the 1960s, but it was in the late 1980s — long before any attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) medications existed — when researchers first demonstrated that SCT symptoms are probably a unique condition or sub-type of ADHD (Lahey et al., 1988; Neeper & Lahey, 1986).

In other words, the scientific foundation for sluggish cognitive tempo has been around for nearly 30 years. It’s not new. And it’s hardly news. Scientists regularly identify dozens of proposed syndromes or symptom constellations in their research. Only a tiny minority of them ever go on to become a recognized mental disorder or diagnosis.

But does SCT really exist? Is it its own condition or disorder?

Cutting Down on Chronic Lateness for Adults with ADHD

Tuesday, April 1st, 2014

 Cutting Down on Chronic Lateness for Adults with ADHDPeople with ADHD have a distorted sense of time. Sometimes, the passage of time is excruciatingly slow. “Waiting in line feels like hours,” said Roxanne Fouché, an ADHD coach and consultant.

Other times, time flies. What feels like 15 minutes of engaging in a fun activity is really 45 minutes, she said.

According to professor and ADHD researcher Russell Barkley, Ph.D, many people with ADHD are “time blind.” They forget the purpose of their task and feel uninspired to finish it.

How Adults with ADHD Can Become Better Listeners

Monday, March 31st, 2014

How Adults with ADHD Can Become Better ListenersBecause adults with attentive deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are easily distracted by their environment and their own thoughts and feelings, listening to others is a challenge, according to Beth Main, a certified ADHD coach.

It’s a challenge in all kinds of settings, from one-on-one conversations to classroom lectures to work meetings.

After all, “Inability to sustain attention is one of the hallmark symptoms of ADHD.”

Fidgeting Strategies that Help People with ADHD Focus

Saturday, March 29th, 2014

Fidgeting Strategies that Help People with ADHD FocusWe’re taught that we need to sit still and focus on one thing when we’re studying, writing, working or engaging in other activities.

But for people with ADHD those things usually don’t work. They’re especially ineffective when they need to focus on tedious or mundane tasks. People with ADHD often work best when they’re doing something else, too.

Why No One is Talking About the Possible Overdiagnosis of Autism

Friday, March 28th, 2014

Why No One is Talking About the Possible Overdiagnosis of AutismWith the latest CDC figures out, it appears autism is now appearing in about 1 in 68 children in the United States. The disorder — now officially known as autism spectrum disorder — is being diagnosed at a rate that represents a 30 percent increase from 1 in 88 two years ago.

What’s amazing to me is that I couldn’t find a single media report that floated the idea that this increase represents an overdiagnosis of the disorder. While “overdiagnosis” seems to be the first thing suggested when the topic is attention deficit hyperactivity disorder’s (ADHD) huge jump in diagnoses over the past two decades, it’s not mentioned in any description of autism’s increase.

Why the double-standard?

When People Are Dismissive of Your ADHD

Wednesday, March 26th, 2014

When People Are Dismissive of Your ADHDIt seems like everyone has an opinion about attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). And that opinion may not be grounded in fact, according to Roberto Olivardia, Ph.D, a clinical psychologist and clinical instructor in the department of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School.

“ADHD is one of the most misunderstood conditions.” And that misinformation leads to a litany of misconceptions, he said.

ADHD doesn’t exist. It was invented by drug companies to make money. It’s just an excuse to be lazy. Can’t you just try harder?

Everyone has ADHD. You can’t have ADHD. You have a college degree. You’re too smart.

ADHD doesn’t affect adults. It only affects kids.

As an adult with ADHD, hearing such remarks is no doubt difficult, especially if they come from loved ones. (Even mental health professionals hold these myths, Olivardia said.)

10 Daily Habits That Help You Manage ADHD

Saturday, March 15th, 2014

10 Daily Habits That Help You Manage ADHDThe first key in managing attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is making sure you’re getting effective treatment. As Stephanie Sarkis, Ph.D, NCC, a psychotherapist and ADHD specialist, said, “appropriate treatment can make a world of difference.”

The second key in managing ADHD is building healthy habits that help you sharpen your focus, navigate symptoms and accomplish what you need to accomplish.

Below is a list of 10 habits that may help you better manage ADHD.

9 Tips to Deal with Forgetfulness in ADHD

Wednesday, March 5th, 2014

9 Tips to Deal with Forgetfulness in ADHD

Forgetfulness is a symptom that “can impact everything” for adults with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), said Mindy Schwartz Katz, MS, ACC. Katz is a coach who empowers clients with ADHD to get over, around and through the obstacles that get in the way of living their unique life.

It can affect how you work. For instance, one of Katz’s clients, a contractor, bought the wrong paint color for a job, costing him extra time and money. Another client got fired from a production line because they forgot a safety procedure.

It also can affect your home life. You might forget to pay the bills, run important errands and acknowledge special occasions. Your spouse and family may interpret your forgetfulness as a sign that you don’t care about them, Katz said.

Should You Consider Medication in the Treatment of ADHD?

Monday, March 3rd, 2014

Should You Consider Medication in the Treatment of ADHD?There are many treatment options available for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Sadly, most people turn to their general family physician or pediatrician to discuss these options — well-meaning medical professionals who can prescribe a quick ADHD medication to help.

Increasingly, some people and doctors seem reluctant to prescribe an ADHD medication, due to misunderstandings about their use (and abuse) by some patients.

That’s why it was a breath of fresh air to come across a blog entry that examined the issue from one doctor’s perspective.

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