Fifty years ago, Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) was an unknown acronym.

However, now it is part of household terminology that everyone knows and understands.  In the last few years, an extended version of the disorder has arisen known as adult ADD.  Never before was it thought that an adult could suffer from similar symptoms as a child with Attention Deficit Disorder.  What exactly is adult ADD and does it really affect people like it is believed to?

Often times the question has been asked whether ADD is a real disorder or an excuse for parents that are not willing to discipline their kids.  The same doubt is sometimes experienced with Adult ADD.  After all, it is easier to say you have a medical reason for not being able to pay attention to someone as opposed to just saying you do not really care what they are saying.  However, the truth of the matter is that many people actually do suffer from extreme distractibility and a short attention span.  What is the difference between normal behavior and ADD?  When this lack of concentration actually interferes with everyday life.  At some point all of us experience a little bit of distance from our surroundings…a little distracted.  However, when this is ongoing, everyday behavior and it interferes with being able to accomplish things, there is usually more at hand.

Adult ADD is often treated in similar manners as the children’s counterpart.  They may be given stimulant medication or be treated with behavior modification to improve their abilities to deal with Attention Deficit Disorder.

So, it comes down to the original question – is adult ADD really a problem?  The answer, according to most doctors, is yes.  ADD does not fade away as a child grows into adulthood, although many learn to deal with their distractions.  The underlying issue continues through adolescents and into adulthood.

However, an interesting phenomenon has taken place as adult ADD becomes more commonly diagnosed.  Many adults that were never treated as children are being recognized as having ADD.  Therefore, people that were once thought to be unintelligent or “scatterbrained” are finding the underlying cause of their issues.  Because treatment is fairly straightforward and easy, these people can easily find help in becoming more organized and able to deal various aspects of their lives.

Adult ADD is often accompanied by psychological issues, such as depression and low self-esteem.  For this reason, more extensive treatment may be necessary in these instances.