Do you know what “type” of ADD you (or a loved one) has??
ADD is a highly genetic disorder and is quite prevalent today, even though it has been known for many years.
ADD is now being diagnosed much more frequently and is increasing in the population, a fact that frightens me, and it should frighten you as well.
One of the best ways to diagnose ADD is to understand a detailed history of a person's life. It is important to note that ADD does not just appear in the teenage years or in adulthood. When you know what to look for, you can see that ADD symptoms have been present for most of a person's life.
When you look at the fallout from untreated ADD, our society may be in for a lot more problems, especially considering that ADD remains underdiagnosed and undertreated.
Statistics from the CDC report that nearly one in five high school aged boys and 11% of school aged children overall have received a medical diagnosis of ADD. The figures showed that an estimated 6.4 million children between the ages of 6 to 17 had received an ADD diagnosis at some point in their lives, a 16% increase since 2007 and a 41% increase in the past decade.
The incidence of it in our culture has skyrocketed as a result of food additives, the increase in watching television, the internet, highly stimulating video games and decreased exercise.
• People who watch the most television do the worst in school.
• ADD highest in kids who watch the most TV.
ADD is the most common learning and behavior problem in children. But the issue doesn't end there: it is also one of the most common problems in adults, and has been associated with:
• job failures
• relationship breakups
• a tremendous sense of underachievement
• drug abuse
• Alzheimer's disease
• type 2 diabetes
Learning/ developmental problems: learning disabilities occur in approximately 40% of people with ADD. Suspect the diagnosis of a learning disability whenever there is a long-standing underachievement in school or at work period medical evaluation and history, family and school history, and clinical observation best evaluate these disabilities. The diagnosis is confirmed by psychoeducational testing.
Other things to look for in assessing ADD
Sometimes these problems are misdiagnosed as ADD, sometimes they occur with ADD.
Psychiatric/Adjustment problems: emotional and adjustment problems can masquerade as ADD, be a result of ADD, or occur together with ADD.
Here are samples of the problems:
· Adjustment disorders or family problems: temporarily, family problems or significant stress can cause a person of any age to have problems with concentration or restlessness. The difference between stress and ADD is history and duration of the difficulties. ADD is a long-standing problem that is relatively constant over time period. The stress of long-term family problems can cause a child to look as though he or she has ADD. It must be determined, however, whether or not the serious family problems are a result of ad and one or more of the family members.
· Behavioral problems not related to ADD: When parents have ineffective parenting skills, they can actually encourage difficult behavior in their children.
· Depression: depression may be confused with ADD, especially in children. Depressive symptoms include poor memory, low energy, negativity, Periods of helplessness and hopelessness, Social isolation, along with sleep and appetite changes. Many of these symptoms are also found in ADD. History is the key to proper diagnosis. ADD symptoms are generally constant over time, while depression tends to fluctuate. Many people with ADD experienced demoralization from chronic failure. And may indeed look depressed when add is the primary problem period. Depression and ADD often occur together.
· Manic depressive disorder: manic depressive or bipolar symptoms may be similar to ADD. Both experience restless, excessive talkativeness, hyperactivity, racing thoughts, and impulsivity. The difference is usually found in the severity, consistency, and course of the symptoms. ADD remains constant; Bipolar disorder fluctuates from highs to lows. People who have ADD are consistently distractible, restless, and impulsive, People with bipolar disorder will have periods of those symptoms, but they often fluctuate with depressive episodes and periods of relative calm or normalcy. The Manic highs of bipolar disorder are not experienced by people with ADD.
· Anxiety disorders: anxiety disorders can also present similar symptoms to ADD, including restlessness, hyperactivity, forgetfulness, and an inability to concentrate. Again, the key to proper diagnosis is history. As with depression and bipolar disorder, anxiety disorders tend to fluctuate; ADD symptoms are generally constant. Moreover, having ADD can breathe symptoms of anxiety or nervousness. When your mind turns off in the face of stress, it can cause nervousness. Fear in work, family, and social situations. It is common for people with ADD to experience significant anxiety from underachievement. These disorders often commonly run together.
· Obsessive compulsive disorder: OCD is marked by a person with obsessions (repetitive negative thoughts), and or compulsions (repetitive negative behaviors), which interfere with their lives. People. People with OCD gets stuck or locked into negative thoughts or behaviors. There is a high percentage of people with ADD who also have features of OCD, especially if there is a significant alcohol abuse in their family backgrounds. The Overfocused subtype of ADD has many features in common with OCD, except serotonin. Enhancing supplements or medications by themselves often make overfocused ADD. Worse. This type of ADD needs both serotonin and dopamine interventions.
· Tic disorders, such as Tourette's syndrome: Tic disorders are more common among people with ADD. Ticks are abnormal, involuntary motor movements, (blinking, shoulder, shrugging, head jerking), or vocal sounds (throat clearing, coughing, blowing, and even swearing). Tourette's syndrome occurs when there are both motor and vocal tics that have been present for more than a year. Up to 60% of people who have Tourettes also have ADD, and 40 to 50% of people with Tourettes have OCD. There is a significant connection between ADD, OCD, and Tourettes.
· History of physical, emotional, or sexual abuse: abuse in any form can cause learning and behavior problems. Many clinicians see an increased incidence of abuse occurring in families with ADD. The increased level of frustration, impulse control problems, and anger found in an ADD family. Causes them to be more at risk. Inaccurate, detailed history is necessary to distinguish between abuse and ADD. People who have been abused present more clearly symptoms of post traumatic stress disorder, such as nightmares, fearfulness, a tendency to startle easily, flashbacks, feelings of numbness or emotional restriction. Yet many people who have ADD feel they have a form of PTSD from the chronic dysfunction they have experienced.
· Medical factors: medical factors also need to be considered in fully evaluating ADD:
o Gestational problems, such as maternal smoking or alcohol, or drug use during pregnancy.
o Birth traumas, such as oxygen deprivation or injury.
o History of head trauma.
o Seizure disorders.
o Physical illness./ disease, such as thyroid disease or lead exposure.
o Severe allergies to environmental toxins or food sensitivities
o medications, such as asthma medications
Information taken from “Healing ADD” by Dr. Daniel Amen & “A Teenager’s Guide to ADD” Antony Amen