If we are ever to enjoy life, now is the time – not tomorrow, nor next year, nor in some future life after we have died. The best preparation for a better life next year is a full, complete, harmonious, joyous life this year. Our beliefs in a rich future life are of little importance unless we coin them into a rich present life. Today should always be our most wonderful day—Thomas Dreier, American editor and writer (1884-1976)
Lisa Caplan, Program Counselor for the lawyer assistance program of the Maryland State Bar Association, writes very helpful and instructive “tips pages” for that organization. Today, please read and learn from her fascinating tips regarding adult Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD).
“I often have lawyers come into my office laughing while telling me they think they have Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD). Typically, they are expressing that they have a hard time staying organized, focused and on task. They are surprised when I tell them that adults can have ADD and that it is not just a problem that is exclusive to children. This tip sheet will hopefully shed some light on adult ADD.
Attention deficit disorder can go undiagnosed in childhood. The child may have been able to compensate for his problems only to have difficulties as an adult when his responsibilities increased. When trying to balance, for example, a career, household, finances and family, it becomes more difficult to organize, focus, stay on task and manage your stress. Juggling so many responsibilities is difficult for anyone, but especially challenging for someone with ADD.
Adult ADD can present quite differently in adults and each adult can have very different symptoms. Often symptoms are overlooked because adults don’t typically present with hyperactivity that you see in children. Below is a list of adult ADD symptoms. Recognizing your symptoms is the first step in learning to manage them. You can have as few as one of the following symptoms and still have ADD.
• Poor listening skills – having a hard time remembering conversations and following directions
• “Zoning out” without realizing it, even in the middle of a conversation
• Difficulty paying attention or focusing, such as when reading or listening to others
• Struggling to complete tasks, even simple ones
• Unable to stay on task due to extreme distractibility
• Tendency to overlook details, leading to errors or incomplete work
• Focusing on a task to the extent of being oblivious to everything going on around you
The good news is that adults with ADD typically are high energy, very creative, and think out-of-the-box. An adult with ADD needs to identify their strengths and create a work environment that supports them.”
The MSBA lawyer assistance program is a free, confidential counseling program for Lawyers, Judges, Law School Students and their families. Lisa Caplan can be contacted at email@example.com
There are many ways to assist yourself or a loved one with adult ADD. The first, and probably most important, is to educate yourself and your family. No more jokes about ADD. Get busy and do research. Search the web. It’s possible it could really be an issue for you or your loved one. Find out the many different ways to address and help yourself or others.
There are adult ADD support groups. Google adult ADD or ADHD support groups, Bowie, Maryland. When I did this, I found multiple responses. This will get you started.
Do not overlook the possibility of counseling. If you have a serious inability to concentrate or focus on the task at hand to the extent that it has negatively affected your success in life thus far, it likely would be worth it to consider talk therapy. The old belief that talk therapy continues for the rest of your life and is spent talking about everything that went wrong in your childhood is simply not true, if it ever was. Look around. Talk to your friends and ask their advice. Find a therapist who is interested in practical results that will actually impact your life.
Communication and assertiveness skills are very important in handling adult ADD. There are many seminars and workshops on these particular topics. On the internet, there are more suggestions, tips and ideas than you could imagine. Again, look around for classes on these topics. You will be surprised how many there are, and how often they are offered.
Time management skills and problem solving skills are very important when used as compensating behaviors to attack ADD as an adult. Again, there are so many seminars, workshops, and ideas on these two techniques that you couldn’t possibly do all of them. Return to your faithful web browser for ways to learn more about these techniques.
There are books galore also. Before buying, be sure to look at the copyright date of the book in your hand. If it is more than a few years old, the advice may be outdated. Our world of knowledge moves really fast.
Thank you for reading. Stay well. See you next week