2 Myths About Adult ADD
There are many people who feel anxious, depressed, impulsive, or prone to anger, and they think the problem is “all in their head” or purely psychological. However, one of the clearest things we at Amen Clinics have found in our research is that these problems often do have a biological basis in the brain.
We are talking, of course, about adult attention deficit disorder (ADD), which is also known as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
Although ADD is a large umbrella of symptoms that can be most often noticed in those children bouncing off the wall in the doctor’s office, we often forget that hyperactivity is just the most visible effect of a much more complicated disorder. There are many different types of ADD, and they aren’t all quite as obvious as the screaming child running laps in the parking lot. In fact, at Amen Clinics, we prefer the name ADD, as ADHD highlights the hyperactive component of the disorder (H) and discards half the people who have it, particularly females, who are typically not hyperactive.
Myth #1: Children outgrow their ADD problem by adulthood
Fact: While ADD is most often diagnosed in children, for two-thirds of them the disorder persists into adulthood. Over the past few decades, the conversation on mental health has grown and more adults with the disorder are now being diagnosed.
ADD is highly heritable, and adults often are diagnosed for the first time when they bring their child in seeking help. However, there is no such thing as adult-onset ADD. These adults have often been living their entire lives unaware, but with the constant feeling that their brains worked a little differently.
Just because these adults haven’t been identified as ADD until later in life, doesn’t mean they haven’t been living with the disorder’s effects. Treating adult ADD starts by understanding the disorder itself and the effects it has on you and those around you, in order to begin succeeding with ADD, not in spite of it.
Myth #2: ADD is just an excuse for the habitually distracted and disorganized
Fact: There is a difference between an excuse and explanation. Just like anyone else, ADD adults have to hold themselves accountable; they are skilled and often incredibly creative people who are capable of great things. However, they cannot deny the effects the disorder can have on their lives.
We have scanned tens of thousands of brains and seen the clear differences in brain function between an adult with ADD and an adult without it. Among the many signs, lower blood flow to key areas such as the prefrontal cortex (the brain’s decision maker) and lower levels of adrenaline are often seen in ADD adults, causing them to sometimes be impulsive or craving excitement. Knowing this can help you understand this complicated disorder, and act to explain rather than make excuses, taking steps to minimize the challenges adult ADD presents.
Amen Clinics has helped tens of thousands of people with ADD/ADHD from all over the world. With targeted treatment, you CAN change your brain and change your life. If you feel that you or a loved one could benefit from an evaluation, contact the Amen Clinics Care Center today at 888-288-9834 or schedule a visit online today.