ADHD/ADD is neurobiological disorder/disability caused by an imbalance or deficiency of certain chemicals in the brain that regulate its ability to regulate behavior. It is not a moral issue—in adults, this 'disregulation' causes challenges in executive function including:
The acronym stands for attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), also more formally referred to as attention deficit disorder (ADD). The umbrella definition was recently created by the DSM-V edition.
It is also very important to know that there is a wide spectrum of functioning associated with ADHD and it often coexists with other challenges such as anxiety, depression, substance abuse, bi-polar disorder etc. Meaning that it is important to have a proper diagnosis in order to function optimally and effectively. The worst part of ADHD is not knowing that you have it.
ADHD ISN'T JUST FOR KIDS. HOW COMMON IS IT IN ADULTS?
ADHD starts in childhood but according to the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, nearly half of children with ADHD continue to meet the criteria for the disorder into adulthood. In the US alone, an estimated 4-5% of the adult population is ADHD, which conservatively is probably 10-12 million and today 80% of them are undiagnosed and untreated.
WHY IS IT AN IMPORTANT SUBJECT?
ADHD potentially costs an average of $10,000/year in lost income per person – a national total of $77 billion annually according to the results of a survey released by the American Psychiatric Association.
WHAT ARE THE POSSIBLE CAUSES?
The exact causes are not conclusively known, yet it comes down to brain wiring and body chemistry. Scientific evidence suggests that in many cases it is hereditary and caused by an imbalance or deficiency of certain chemicals that regulate efficiency (as referenced above) with which the brain controls behavior.
AS ADULTS WHAT ARE SOME OF THE CHRONIC BEHAVIORS WE SEE?
Lack of focus and control
Issues with reliability
Challenges with time management and self-management
Difficulty planning, staying on task and following through
Procrastination and disorganization
Failure to remember appointments, return calls, etc.
Routine loss of keys, phones, papers, etc.
Anxiety, frustration and crisis of confidence
Do any of these behaviors resonate with you? If so, you are not alone and it might be worth exploring further. The good news is that there are great solutions and concrete strategies for overcoming it all if you are motivated, ready to stop struggling, get unstuck and get on track once and for all.