The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

ADD affecting more adults, research reveals

By Kelsey Mobbs/reporter

Lack of focus, restlessness, disorganization, excessive impulsivity, procrastination, difficulty starting and finishing projects, losing things frequently, planning and pastime management skills and forgetfulness are common symptoms commonly associated with adult attention-deficit disorder.

Not every person with ADD has all of the symptoms nor do all people with ADD experience the symptoms to the same level.

These symptoms may interfere with school or work and get in the way at home or with relationships.

“ADD interferes in my daily life, especially when it comes to accomplishing schoolwork,” NE Student Kersten Kee said.

Many adults do not realize that they have adult ADD until their own child is diagnosed with the disorder.

Only then do they recognize the pattern of problems they have faced since childhood.

NW Student Lauren Henderson said, “Life was so stressful because I didn’t know what was missing until I was given the proper medication for attention deficient disorder.”

Many adults are relieved that there is a name for the frustration they have felt all their lives, and there are therapies and treatments designed to help.

Most people believe that ADD is a childhood disorder, but gradually it has been realized that the hyperactivity component that weakens the attention and impulsive aspects can continue into adulthood. 

Currently, the medical community uses ADHD for both children and adults, and this term is becoming more widely accepted.

ADHD is very likely caused by biological factors that influence neurotransmitter activity in certain parts of the brain and have a strong genetic basis.

“I hope that I don’t genetically pass it to my children, but if I do, I will take proper actions on treating this disorder,” Kee said.

Studies at the National Institute of Mental Health using a PET (positron emission tomography) scanner to observe the brain at work have shown a link between a person’s ability to pay continued attention and the level of activity in the brain.

Researchers measured the level of glucose used by the areas of the brain that inhibit impulses and control attention.

In people with ADHD, the brain areas that control attention used less glucose, indicating that they were less active. It appears from this research that a lower level of activity in some parts of the brain may cause inattention and other ADHD symptoms.

The Attention Deficient Association said much evidence suggests that ADHD runs in families, which is suggestive of genetic factors.

If one person in a family is diagnosed with ADHD, there is a 25-35 percent probability that any other family member also have ADHD, compared to a 4-6 percent probability for someone in the general population.

The positive side is many adults with ADD are highly intelligent and creative people. A number of treatments are available. Sometimes stimulant medication is helpful with the most commonly used medications being Ritalin, Dexedrine and Adderall.

“I recommend to anyone who has some of these symptoms to get the help they need so they don’t have to struggle any longer,” Henderson said.

Also, behavior therapy and cognitive therapy are helpful to modify certain behaviors and to deal with the emotional effects of ADHD.

People who think they might have this disorder should see an experienced psychiatrist or a family doctor who treats adults with ADD.

For more information, visit http://www.add.org/index.html.

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