Myths About ADD
March is Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) Awareness Month, it is designed to help people further understand this disorder. ADD is a chronic neurobiological difference in the brain, characterized by inattention, impulsivity, and/or hyperactivity. It affects close to 5% of the adult population. Although labeled as a disorder, ADD can have many positive attributes such as spontaneity, creativity, persistence, and above-average intelligence. There are many myths and misconceptions about ADD.
1-People with ADD can’t focus on anything-That’s a Myth!
People diagnosed with ADD will sometimes go into hyper-focus. Hyper-focus is an intense focus on something of interest, so much so that the person with ADD becomes oblivious to everything around them. Once hyper-focused on a task, people with ADD can become lost in the task, hours can slip by without interruption. It can make switching to another task difficult and it can be a real asset in being productive and getting things done.
2-You’ve got to be a kid to be diagnosed with ADD.-False!
Although many people are diagnosed around the age of seven, there are many people who explore diagnosis later in life, well into their 60s, 70s and older. It can be beneficial for a person diagnosed with ADD no matter the age. This way they can actively pursue getting the proper support they need.
3-All you’ve got is ADD. –Not true!
Often people with ADD have other underlying issues such as depression and or anxiety. Up to 70% of adults with ADD also have at some point in their life been diagnosed with depression and up to 40% with anxiety.
4-I’m distracted so I MUST have ADD. –Nope!
Many things can cause ADD like symptoms. Lack of sleep of a long period of time and sleep disorders can mimic ADD. Stress can cause us to have the inability to concentrate. Low sugar (hyperglycemia) and low iron (anemia) can also imitate the symptoms of ADD. The other extreme is too much, of caffeine or sugar which can cause ADD like symptoms. Don’t assume that you have ADD. Go seek the help of a doctor who will prescribe rigorous testing to determine the cause of lack of attention.
5-Medication is the only way to alleviate ADD. –No Way!
There are many ways to handle the diagnosis of ADD, some people prefer to take medication and others prefer herbal remedies. Some seek the support of friends and family, while others look to an ADD coach or therapist to help them navigate their new diagnosis. Behavioral and educational training is also available. There are many avenues to take when handling ADD.
In my many years of organizing I have had several clients with ADD, they have all been wonderful as they move through the process of getting organized and learning more about themselves. Denslow Brown, my mentor and dear friend, says it best “What I most often see in adults with ADD who reach out for organizing support is intelligence, enthusiasm, and willingness.”
Margo Crawford is a Productivity Expert and Certified Coach with Wave Productivity. She works with entrepreneurs, small business owners and business professionals to help them get more focused, organized and productive in their workplace. By phone she coaches nationally and in person in Phoenix, Providence and Boston. If you want to get more organized in your office and in your home call 602-677-8275 or email [email protected]