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Jul 14, 2016

Healthy Living: Are You Affected with A.D.D.?

Have you been told repeatedly that you’re disorganized? Do you have problems with procrastination? Do you struggle with deadlines? How about being consistently late, no matter how early you wake up?  Have you struggled in trying to get any or all of these habits under control? If this sounds like you, then you may want to pay attention to tonight’s Healthy Living as we look at a well known childhood disorder that affects adults too.

 

Marleni Cuellar, Reporting

The signs of symptoms of these common childhood mental disorders can easily go undetected. In adults, it’s even harder to recognize as the symptoms can easily be dismissed as the actions of an unproductive person. But in reality, the struggle to overcome the disruptive symptoms of this neurobiological disorders can be very frustrating experience for those who may even know that they are affected.

Jennifer Lovell

 

Jennifer Lovell, Mental Health Therapist

“Generally its starts in childhood.”

As a mental health therapist, Jennifer Lovell routinely diagnoses and assists in treating children and, yes, adults with A.D.D. and A.D.H.D.  Lovell herself has lived with A.D.D. for over two decades.

 

Jennifer Lovell

“A.D.D.—attention deficit disorder—this person has no hyperactivity. So this individual may be very forgetful, easily distracted (oh my god can I tell you about that). These are folks who basically will forget things; they leave the house to go to market, then totally forget they were going there and divert and go all over the place and forget to pick up the things that they went for in the same place. They’re always late for things; they wake up very, very early in the morning to get somewhere. For example they have a ten o’clock meeting; they’ll get up at five o’clock, get ready have everything ready and then get distracted in the kitchen because they forget to do something. And then all of a sudden they look up and oh my gosh, I have a nine o’clock meeting and then they can’t find their keys and they can’t find all the stuff because of the forgetfulness, misplacing things; the lack of focus. The A.D.H.D. will have the hyperactivity included. Those folks are going to be your people still highly distractible; the impulsivity…they will just jump up and do things. Just jump up and take off and go somewhere and leave the things that they are supposed to be getting accomplished and things to be done. Time management is a big problem for the A.D.H.D. person.”

 

There is no definitive cause for A.D.D. or A.D.H.D.; it is known to be hereditary. Unfortunately, while teachers are getting accustomed to spot the signs and symptoms in children, the rest of society may not be as empathetic to adults with the disorder.

 

Jennifer Lovell

“Meeting deadlines, getting to work on time is always a challenge because of the distractibility.  They keep losing things—not lose, misplace things. They’ll lose their car keys; so that’s a big one. Real problem with organization, that’s why it’s important that you make lists. Procrastination. The hardest thing for someone with A.D.D. or A.D.H.D. to do is to sit and focus on completing something—especially if it is boring. The hardest thing to do is to finish something that is boring. If you look at the A.D.H.D. brain and you look at a normal brain; you should see the activity on the brain. The brain of a normal person does not have the bright yellows and the bright reds of the A.D.H.D. brain. Think of it like the A.D.H.D. brain has all these things are firing up in the brain all at once. And so that’s the distractibility because we want to multitask and do everything all at once. They can learn how to hyper focus. So you can teach yourself how to hyper focus so that you can get things done and they are very smart people. If someone is out there and they think that they have A.D.D. or A.D.H.D. then go in and get checked. But don’t underestimate yourself like you are crazy or having a mental disorder; you don’t.”

 

So if you’ve been feeling like you’ve been living with undiagnosed A.D.D. or A.D.H.D., know that there are a ton of resources and treatment options out there. And visit a mental health specialist for a proper diagnosis. Know that acknowledging you may have an issue is one of the first steps to regaining control.

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Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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