Ready to Change Your Life as an Adult with ADD?
Is your mind driving your crazy because it doesn’t ever stop darting from one thing to the next? Do you feel chaotic and wonder how others seem to focus so easily and get things done? You might have Adult ADD or ADHD.
I often describe Adult ADD as the “crowded room” because there’s so much going on all
the time it can feel that there’s no space. It can be painful to live with untreated Adult ADD in our modern world. It can be like constantly swimming upstream, feeling like you’re always buzzing and can’t turn off. It can be very frustrating to have a cluttered mind and feel like you can’t get things done the way others do. Adult ADHD treatment can help you with that.
There are many negative stereotypes or words used about people with ADD that are simply unfair and inaccurate. As with most things, this just comes from a lack of understanding. People with ADD aren’t lazy, disorganized or unmotivated, their brains just work differently than others. Don’t worry, we will embrace the strengths ADD gives you and help you develop skills to cope with the behaviors that frustrate you. Despite what you may be feeling, one thing you should know is that people with ADD are often highly creative and intelligent. Many people with ADD are tenacious high achievers who work well under pressure. They can be great problem solvers, adaptable, energetic, able to see patterns, think outside the box and create order from chaos. They can also be compassionate, helpful, social and entertaining. It’s useful to look at both sides of the coin so you can value and emphasize your strengths and develop skills for areas that get in your way and perhaps make your head feel like it’s going to explode.
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) do not just affect children. Adult Attention Deficit Disorder can affect your success at work, your ability to manage your personal life, and can cause stress in your relationships. Our adult ADHD treatment in Houston, Tx can help you get your life back on track and maximize your focus on your strengths.
Adult ADD Symptoms:
Many people with ADD were diagnosed as a child and thus, always knew they had ADD. However, many others may have been overlooked as children, have milder cases, had atypical symptoms (ie., many girls), or simply learned skills to cope with their ADD symptoms. If you are feeling unsure about whether Adult ADD applies to you, review the following list of adult add symptoms. This list is not meant to be a technical diagnosis of Adult ADD, but rather a list of common symptoms or characteristics to help you recognize some of these behaviors in yourself. If you or someone you love has been wondering if ADD applies to you, this might help. You don’t need to identify with everything on this list, but simply use it as a guide to explore with your counselor. It may at least help give you an explanation for why you feel the way you do. Keep in mind that some of these symptoms are similar to those of anxiety or depression. To get the best help it will be important to distinguish between symptoms of anxiety/depression and symptoms of ADD.
- Unwilling “tuning out” – suddenly realizing you haven’t heard anything that’s been said, don’t remember what you’ve just read or seen
- Short attention span or distractibility EXCEPT around areas of high interest and motivation
- Feeling that you either can’t concentrate or you hyperfocus – focusing in on one thing only to the exclusion of the world around you
- Feeling chaotic because you started one thing, which led to another thing, which reminded you of something else and then started you on something totally different (if you follow this, there’s a symptom of ADD!)
- Feeling as if you lack a template for how order comes about. You might get started on it, but just feel overwhelmed
- Difficulty with spatial relationships of things
- Verbal impulsiveness; finding that you interrupt others when talking, blurting out thoughts as they occur to you
- Impulsiveness may also show up as impulse buying or impulse eating
- Hyperactivity; physically difficulty in keeping still, a feeling of restlessness, fidgeting (others may perceive this as anxiety)
- Hyperactivity may show up verbally vs. physically (especially in girls) – excessive talking without physical restlessness
- Hyperverbality – rapid fire speech. Do you feel that the words go by in your head so quickly you have to speak at a fast rate or you’ll lose them?
- Aversion to boredom, lack of stillness, constant “white noise” in your mind; constant feeling that you have to be doing something
- Unfinished tasks and projects that were initially exciting and energizing when started
- Openness with personal boundaries and difficulty recognizing the space and personal boundaries of others (touching when talking, etc)
- Difficulty finishing a thought
- Feeling as if the speech center of your brain isn’t connected as quickly to the thought center – you know, the thing, the doodad, whatchamacalit, what’s the word for??
- Jokester, class clown
- Rapidly shifting moods, from excited and exuberant to down and disappointed in the next moment
- Lack a concept of time – continuously misjudging how long something will take, or stopping to do “one more thing” on your way out the door that ends up making you late
- Procrastination – not due to difficulty per se, but the lack of immediate reward or motivating adrenaline rush that comes with a last minute deadline
- Memory lapses – where did I put those keys? Leaving the house and forgetting something, what was I doing?
- Feeling pulled in multiple directions – having one idea and then getting a second, then a third…
Remember, many of these symptoms exist alone in people without adult ADD and are by
no means indicative of a diagnosis of ADD. For more a more typical, brief ADD assessment, you can take our short online ADHD quiz. If you checked six or more items under the Hyperactivity section, this suggests symptoms of ADD. If you checked six or more items under the Impulsivity section, this suggests symptoms of ADHD. It’s also important to look at your history and feedback from family and friends. A counselor can help you do a thorough assessment to see if ADD/ADHD is a possible factor for you and if you should seek ADHD treatment.
Adult ADD Treatment:
Treatment for Adult ADD is really more like coaching and skills development in addition to the consideration of medication. Because of the way an ADD brain works, it’s important to practice and learn certain behaviors and skills to help you from getting too overwhelmed, feeling chaotic, manage organization and prioritize tasks and so forth. Often ADD runs in families so your parents might not have been able to help you learn these skills early on. It’s not about getting rid of ADD (sorry, it doesn’t work that way), but rather managing ADD symptoms and learning how to work with it in a way that works for you and helps you to have a successful life.
There are some interesting things we’ve learned about what is effective in managing Adult ADD. For example, studies around the world show that ADD adults exposed to green space (outdoors) have higher levels of concentration and focus immediately afterwards. This gives us insights into tools that can be helpful and strategies you can implement in your daily life. There are a wide range of these types of skills that might be helpful for you. Working together we will examine your particular environment and situation and determine what strategies might be most effective for you.
Personal Coaching for Adult ADD/ADHD Can Help You:
- Understand the impact of ADHD / ADD in your life and your relationships
- Develop strategies and skills for coping with distractibility
- Create a work environment in harmony with the way your brain works
- Deal with procrastination
- Develop strategies and skills for coping with hyperactivity and impulsivity
- Communicate effectively with people affected by your ADHD / ADD so that you can develop a partnership in managing your Attention Deficit Disorder
- Recognize the symptoms and impact of ADD in your life (the ones you might not have realized were part of your ADD)
- Develop a sense of self-esteem so that you don’t lose track of your strengths
- Optimize environments and career to align with gifts of creativity, intelligence, and energy
- Find ways to relax, slow down, and reduce the restlessness and chaos
Adult ADHD/ADD Medication:
Adult ADHD treatment involves a multi-prong approach. Counseling and medication together to help you control and manage your symptoms. Working with a medical doctor to manage your ADHD with medication can also be helpful. As therapists, we do not prescribe medication, but we can refer you to a psychiatrist (medical doctor) who does. Typically, a doctor just prescribes medication, but doesn’t provide ADD behavioral coaching, which is what a counselor or therapist provides. Talk with your counselor if you have questions or concerns about medication. There are several other ways to live with ADD without medication such as diet, nutritional supplements, exercise, a good-fit career, engaging in creative activities, and living a life based on your strengths.
Counseling For ADHD / ADD
Let us help you take steps to living a satisfying life with adult ADHD. Using the available adult ADHD treatment services that we offer can help you to manage the chaos and help bring you back to a productive life.