Could I be suffering from ADD?

by Megan

I am not sure who to ask this question before seeking actual care.

I think I may be suffereing from ADD. Lately, I can't seem to concentrate on anything. I went to community college last semester, and ended up only going two or three times because I just couldn't force myself to go. I found it almost impossible to sit through the lectures unless my professor let us use our laptops in class, which meant the only reason I went was because I didn't have to pay attention. Things in textbooks a lot of the time do not make any sense to me and I have to reread them over and over, a lot of the time still not understanding. I had a four page paper due that was assigned at the beginning of the semester, and wasn't due til the end of the semester. I still couldn't force myself to do it.

My work is also suffering. I work at a grocery store, and if I'm working as a cashier, I find it very difficult to just stand there and wait on people. I get very, very irritated when I even see someone come up to my line and am often irritable toward the customer. The only way I can really stand to be at work is if I'm working as a bagger, where I can go bring carts in from outside or walk around the store doing things constantly.

I also have no motivation to do anything. I told myself I was going to go back to community college, and could never make myself do it.

My house and car are completely messy and disorganized. I always tell myself I'm going to clean it - but I'm going to do it tomorrow or later in the week.

I get very stressed out and very angry with my boyfriend. We live together, and sometimes I can start arguing and start a full out fight over the most minor thing possible. I can go from completely content to very angry about something very small. I often say things I end up regretting later. A lot of the time, my mind is in a thousand different places.

I am also always in a hurry and can't really manage my time. If I know I have to be at work at 1:00, I have to start getting ready at 11:30, in which case I still end up rushing by the time 12:45 rolls around when I should be leaving. I am late a lot.

I have tried taking Adderall, and it really helped me. I was able to stay on task and work was a breeze! I was so pleasant to everyone around me and I was able to get the things I needed to done. Should I seek advice from my local doctor and maybe asked to be prescribed this?

Ben's Answer:

Everything you are describing sounds like ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder) or ADHD. And the most telling thing is that everything was a "breeze" and you were able to stay on task when you were on Adderall. I'd say it's pretty certain that this fits the bill. Why suffer this way if you don't have to?

There are more and more studies now that show that Fish Oil (high dose Omega-3 Fatty Acids), daily, can alleviate the symptoms of ADD. So looking into a more nutritional approach might be another option, since there may be some negative effects of taking Adderall in the long run.

On the other hand, if your life is a mess without it - it might be worth the risk. I've seen adults go from being incapacitated, to living good and happy lives after getting on an appropriate treatment for their ADD.

Meditation is another thing that when practiced daily, can really help people with ADD to learn to focus and feel more peaceful and organized. Using a guided meditation would be the easiest way to get started.

Good Luck,
Ben Schwarcz, MFT
Santa Rosa Psychotherapist

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