Classic Signs of ADD/ADHD | cannabisMD

Classic Signs of ADD/ADHD

Classic Signs of ADD

These days, it seems like everyone is being treated for ADD, anxiety disorder, or depression. Many people feel that doctors are too quick to diagnose and treat these types of conditions, and it hinders them from seeking help and looking into treatment options. Being trigger shy to get treatment isn’t a bad thing: it’s true that misdiagnosis happens often, especially when it comes to ADD. But being trigger shy to get informed and potentially putting off proper evaluation and treatment can be damaging as well, as many times conditions like ADD rarely get better on their own.

Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) is one of the most commonly misdiagnosed psychiatric disorders. This could be largely due to the fact that it is often being diagnosed in children, who may not be able to express their needs and symptoms accurately. In society today, it can be difficult to determine when a child has ADD or if the child is just being…well, a child. Children are often diagnosed with ADD and put in behavior therapy when in actuality, they may have a learning disability or another condition that appears similar to ADD. Many people don’t know that ADD-like symptoms can surface in conditions like autism, depression, or other brain related disorders, making it difficult to accurately diagnose. While you can’t 100% self-diagnose ADD, it is possible to do some at-home preliminary checks to help you recognize the signs and know if it’s something that needs to be discussed with a medical professional.

Did You Know?

ADD is considered to be an outdated term for a specific type of ADHD. There are three types of ADHD: Inattentive ADHD, Hyperactive/Impulsive ADHD, and Combined ADHD. All three come with slightly different symptoms. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders has clear guidelines explaining what symptoms must be displayed before a patient can be diagnosed with any type of ADHD.

ADD describes a type of ADHD called Inattentive ADHD. Symptoms of inattention are mostly described as trouble focusing, retaining information, and listening. According to this manual posted by the ADHD Institute, if you display 6 or more of the following symptoms consistently for 6 or more months, you are likely a good candidate for inattentive ADHD evaluation:

  • You often fail to give close attention to detail, and make careless mistakes as a result
  • You often have difficulty paying attention during tasks or activities
  • You can’t seem to listen or it doesn’t appear that you are listening when spoken to directly
  • You have difficulty following through on instructions, and fail to finish your duties and responsibilities
  • You have a difficult time organizing tasks, and staying organized throughout the task
  • You often avoid or procrastinate tasks that require sustained mental effort
  • You often lose things
  • You are easily distractible
  • You are often forgetful, even in daily routines

Hyperactive/Impulsive ADHD is what most people think of when ADHD is referenced. People diagnosed with ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) will have problems focusing, but other symptoms manifest themselves in much more external ways. The criteria for ADHD diagnosis requires the person to present 6 or more of the following symptoms for at least 6 months:

  • You often fidget or tap hands and feet, squirm in your seat, or display other physical “nervous habit” type behaviors
  • You can’t seem to stay seated still for long periods, even when required
  • You often feel restless, leading you to move or act in other situationally inappropriate ways
  • You have difficulty engaging in leisure or slow paced activities
  • You are often on the go
  • You talk excessively
  • You blurt out answers or finish other people’s sentences before the question or statement has been completed
  • You have difficulty exercising patience
  • You often find yourself interrupting others

The third type of ADHD is Combined ADHD, where you display inattentiveness, hyperactivity and impulsivity. One must show 6 of the symptoms on both spectrums (inattentive ADHD and hyperactive/impulsive ADHD) for 6 months or more before being diagnosed with combined ADHD.

Other symptoms of ADHD

Other factors to consider are the “side effects” of ADHD. Paying attention and taking note of any of the following symptoms can help you and your doctor know how to approach further testing and diagnosis. These side effects can be things like:

  • Mood disorders, like mood swings or angry outbursts, often surface with ADHD. This is sometimes mistaken for signs of depression or bipolar disorder. How to know the difference: mood swings linked to ADHD are often short-lived and fleeting, and can usually be traced to a specific event or set back. Moodiness as a result of depression, on the other hand, can last for weeks or months and oftentimes the sufferer isn’t aware of why they feel the way they do. Alternatively, depression and ADHD can go hand in hand for a variety of reasons, especially if the person is not properly diagnosed and the ADHD is being untreated. The frustration as a result of untreated ADHD can lead to feelings of self-doubt, anxiety, and depressive behavior. As if this isn’t enough, many ADHD medications can actually cause mood swings and personality disorders, so it is really important to make sure you have been properly diagnosed and are aware of all your treatment options.
  • Difficulty sleeping is a common side effect of ADHD, as the person tends to be up at night with racing thoughts and anxieties. Falling asleep tends to be the biggest problem with ADHD, but once asleep, you can usually stay that way.
  • Trouble reading social cues can also be a sign of ADHD: social anxiety, speaking too loudly, too much, or out of turn, and having difficulty being in the “present” when others are around can be the result of your brain having a hard time keeping up with your surroundings.

Think you’ve developed ADHD?

Some adults fear they may have “adult onset ADHD,” meaning, they’ve developed ADHD later in life. As life gets more and more hectic, some of us note to ourselves (or are pointed out by others): “you have ADD lately.” This can cause a bit of panic, but don’t stress: ADHD is a neurobehavioral condition that develops in childhood and manifests itself early on in life. Children will carry these symptoms into adulthood. There’s no way to “catch” or develop ADHD as an adult. Keep this in mind when you are taking any self-diagnosis test. If you are feeling like you’re suddenly showing some ADHD-type behaviors, it could be symptoms of stress, depression, or something else entirely. Talk to your trusted medical professional and never attempt to treat or diagnose ADHD on your own. Conditions and drugs that alter any type of brain activity (herbs and plants included) should be researched thoroughly and any contraindications or side effects should be discussed and considered. ADHD can seem like a debilitating condition to live with, but it is absolutely possible to manage with proper care and attention. If you have taken self-evaluations and feel you need more insight, make an appointment with your trusted medical professional so you can take the necessary steps to taking control of your mental health again.

For more info on treating ADD, read Everything You Need to Know About Treating Attention Deficit Disorder with CBD.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *