Adult ADHD

The Saturday Evening Post has an article, written by Sharon Begley, about ADHD in adults.

I challenge you to read it and not see yourself in at least one of the ADD adults that Ms. Begley profiles.

Ms. Begley walks you through some common symptoms of ADHD and points out the differences between having ADHD and not having it. Here she explains it perfectly:

But, even so, there are misconceptions about what it takes to qualify. For example, inability to focus and being easily distracted—with no other symptoms—wouldn’t be enough. You do not have ADHD if you simply like to flit from task to task at work. You do not have ADHD if you get bored doing housework. You do not have it if your mind wanders when reading dense, boring prose on a topic you have no interest in; if you get fidgety during boring sermons or hours-long presentations from a financial planner; or if you start reading another book or magazine before you finish the previous one you’ve started.

Moreover, the symptoms must appear in at least two settings: If you only show these behaviors at work, then you do not have ADHD. You probably just don’t like your job.

This article comes at a time when the American Psychiatric Association is readying to release the newest version of their Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. In it, they have changed the criteria for diagnosing ADHD by lowering the number of symptoms that must be present over a period of time. For a list of symptoms can be found here. Please note that the old standard was 6 or more; the new one for diagnosis is 3.

In addition to Ms. Begley’s article, there is a companion piece by Patrick Perry called “ADHD: Living in Overdrive”.

In it, he profiles well known celebrities who have ADHD and has them talk about how it has affected their life, both good and bad.

I like this quote from Ty Pennington:

“ADHD affects so many aspects of life, including your confidence level,” Ty says. “You have to believe in yourself. When people are challenged with ADD, especially ADHD, they really have to find an outlet where they can shine. For me, that was in art. I put myself through art school and people began praising me for the talent. I had not had that experience before—people praising me for something.”

I love the positive nature of this quote and the article in general. Take some time to check out each one.


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