How Do You Know If You Have ADD?


Quick Answer

People with attention deficit disorder, or ADD, have difficulty concentrating and paying attention, according to HelpGuide.org. This includes zoning out, struggling to complete tasks and possessing poor listening skills. Some people also hyperfocus, which means they become completely absorbed in activities they find rewarding, losing track of time and neglecting responsibilities. ADD also causes disorganization. Those who have ADD tend to procrastinate, misplace things or have poor organizational skills.

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Full Answer

People with ADD are sometimes impulsive and reckless, according to the Mayo Clinic. Symptoms range from frequent mood strings to trouble coping with stress. People with ADD tend to have unstable relationships as well.

ADD is often used interchangeably with the term ADHD, or attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder. The term ADD, however, technically refers to a sub-type of ADHD called the predominantly inattentive type, according to the National Center for Learning Disabilities.

Because the symptoms of ADD can mimic those of other psychological conditions, doctors should make the diagnosis, according Mayo Clinic. A physical exam and series of questions help doctors rule out conditions such as an anxiety disorder, hypoglycemia and side effects of medication.

Doctors treat ADD with medication, psychotherapy and education, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. Adults can learn how to manage their symptoms by learning organizational skills. Cognitive-behavioral therapy can help individuals restructure their thoughts and manage behaviors. In some cases, physicians prescribe antidepressants or stimulants to treat ADD symptoms.

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