Adult ADHD

Could you have this disorder?

For years, society thought only children suffered from Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD/ADD), which affects about 20 million Americans. However, studies now show that ADHD isn't something children necessarily outgrow. That means about 2 to 3 percent of adults are likely to suffer with ADHD's effects—and up to 50 percent of those adults are women.

The majority of these women have add—Attention Deficit Disorder without the hyperactivity—and are often misdiagnosed as depressed, since depression is one of its symptoms. They may feel as though they're spending all their energy combating a tendency to be disorganized; they struggle with feeling inadequate because they're constantly trying to keep life from caving in. Dr. Edward Hallowell, a psychiatrist who works with ADHD patients, compares the disorder to "driving in the rain with bad windshield wipers. Everything is smudged and blurred, and you're speeding along, and it's frustrating not being able to see very well."

Many sufferers don't think they have ADD because they believe high levels of stress and disorganization are the norm in our fast-paced culture. But those who have ADD suffer from constant, severe stress and disorganization. Such was the case for former schoolteacher Katherine Bond, who discovered she had ADD after attending a workshop on the disorder for the children she taught. Here's how she copes. —The Editors

It was 2 A.M., and report cards for my junior high English classes were due at 8. I still had 40 stories to evaluate in order to complete the grades. My young children were sleeping, but soon they'd be awake and need me. Why didn't you start sooner? I screamed at myself. But I had started sooner. I'd begun the stories a week ago, only to be sidetracked by lesson planning. Now I couldn't find the plans and would have to "wing" today's lesson.

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