Do I Have Adult ADD?

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Reader’s Question

I am a 21-year-old male from India currently studying engineering. I took a screening quiz on your website that indicates I might have Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). My score on the test was 85, which according to the site indicates a very high probability of ADHD.

By reading various blogs and other materials on Attention-Deficit Disorder (ADD), I felt that those symptoms are the ones I encounter in my day to day life and that the symptoms affect my studies, relationships, family and other factors.

What are the possible remedies for this disorder? What can I do to reduce or stem my symptoms?

Psychologist’s Reply

Some time ago, professionals thought that ADD and ADHD were childhood conditions that remitted in adulthood. We now know differently. Although individuals untreated for the disorders often learn compensatory strategies over time, many individuals with attentional deficits have symptoms that persist a lifetime. And, as you so rightly mention, we also know that these symptoms can affect not only a person’s academic life, but also their ability to function adaptively, both socially and occupationally.

You can take heart in knowing that there are several effective treatments available to adults with ADD or ADHD and that not all of the treatments involve the use of stimulant drugs. Assessment procedures have improved as well. Simple self-administered screening tests can’t reliably assess the true nature of the difficulties you might be having. And sometimes there are co-occurring issues that can affect one’s attention, concentration, and cognitive functioning. My best suggestion: consult a medical or mental health professional who specializes in adult ADD and ADHD assessment and treatment. You’ll be glad you did.

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