Is there a test for ADHD? Is ADHD real? Transcript
Rick Green - hi Tammy yesterday on Facebook you sent me this message "How do you know if you have attention deficit disorder? I really do want to clinically know how they diagnosed this" and then of course the next comment was "hey Tammy here's a video by a doctor who says it's not real" I thought well that's great that's really that's helpful yeah there's doctors who don't think AIDS is real.
There's been 4,000 scientific studies done on ADHD we're learning more about it but it's complicated but anyway it's real they've even started to identify many of the genes involved. Now I have to say I've been there 13 years ago I had no idea I had ADHD and when I was diagnosed I was so impressed with the transformation I made two full-length programs that have been running on PBS ADD & Loving It?! and ADD & Mastering It! we created a website TotallyADD.com which has hours of video featuring scores of doctors experts coaches researchers you name it. I'm going to give you a quick history though before I explain how it's diagnosed.
The first really good description was from 1840 and it was a poem called fidgety Phil written by a doctor about Fidgety Phil can't sit still lob lob and it beautifully listed the symptoms if you want to call them symptoms the behaviors of kids with ADHD especially the hyperactive boys back then. Around the turn of the century in 1900 the name was changed to a defect of moral control. Well that's helpful it's your morals let's let's work on those. Then came in the 50s minimal brain dysfunction which sounds awful but is actually a better name than attention deficit hyperactivity disorder because a lot of people don't have the hyperactivity they're just the more daydreamer type and it's not a deficit
of attention it's uneven.
When I'm interested in something I can focus like you can't believe. You should see my model railroad so eighty dears when we're interested we are laser the problem is three months later we're interested in something else altogether this is my new job this is my new career
this is my and so on and so on and so on. The core issues there's three of them one is this uneven attention forgetfulness not really remember not hearing not able to process things necessarily second thing is there's the hyperactivity but in adulthood that becomes internal
restlessness that feeling of being driven, energy pent-up hate traffic hate lineups standing at an ATM machine. When we are on the phone we're pacing when we're brainstorming we have to get up and move around we often have to go out and just burn off energy, and then there's the impulsivity which is the saying yes to everything blurting things out sort of acting without thinking and everybody has those right everybody's a slightly impulsive or impulsive to a degree has problems with in attention and attention especially these days and his restlessness is restless, but this is really a spectrum so it's like sadness right we've all been sad but there's a difference between sad and grieving and clinical depression.
It's a major difference. So when we're looking at ADHD on the bell curve you know if this was height this would be three feet this would be seven feet and that would be average five foot eight most people here a few way at the age well with ADHD we're talking the top four percent one in 25 people these are people who are extreme in terms of restlessness uneven attention impulsivity go-go-go. What's interesting is it's not just that the statistics that that these people are suffering and they're going to their doctor. They're concerned they don't come in saying I think you have ADHD they say I'm depressed I'm anxious I'm overloaded I can't focus I have terrible memory I'm drinking too much or I'm smoking too much I'm addicted to caffeine or cannabis.
There's this feeling they have that they have low self-esteem even if they're really successful they've been through bankruptcies divorces they have a higher rate of traffic accidents seven times the rate of multiple car accidents where you're at fault. If your teenager is ADHD you want to know. Higher rates of STDs and unplanned pregnancies because we're impulsive we don't think things through which also lead they can lead to higher rates of suicide.
We drop out more there's that underemployed turn they use means you're working in the job that's kind of beneath you because ADHD people are often very very bright. So there's this feeling of never living up to your potential your paperwork's a mess your finances are never great you've got lots started but not much finished. You're great at starting and as they say you're self-medicating. Well there is a test actually that you can take it is called the adult self reporting scale it's a really fast test I think it's 18 questions altogether and the first six are really juicy you'll find it on our website TotallyADD.com in the tools section you just sign up become a member it's free no obligation but it gives you access to all kinds of really great stuff scores of videos and scores of experts the ASRs the adult self reporting scales in under the tools
take that test that will tell you if you have ADHD that will catch it and say yeah this this could well be a factor.
The danger is if you're suffering from depression it'll catch that as well and say you might have ADHD so you have to follow it up of course by seeing a doctor and going through a full life history an interview looking back over your life. It doesn't really matter so much where you are right now it's have you always been this way?
ADHD is not an illness to fall into you're wired this way my dad was wired this way my grandfather was wired this way and guess what they're identifying the genes involved so it's got to be there from the beginning of your life all the way through it's ongoing and the other thing you want to look at is that it has to be there in multiple situations so if someone says I really have trouble focusing at that job I hate mm-hmm that's probably just cuz you hate that job, but if it's in every area of life that if this is your way of being.
Then you might consider it's ADHD. So start on the website start looking and educate yourself there about what it is and what it is not and then if you think it's likely head to your doctor and if you want me to talk more Tammy I can talk to you about some other topics I'm happy to talk about some of the science we interviewed I think 60 doctors and researchers in the past six or seven years. I can tell you a lot about how it looks in adults it's different in everybody everybody's situation I can talk about some of the holistic treatments that are available some of them really do make a difference.
Number one is exercise and hey you do is Zumba right Tammy? I can talk about the strengths that come with ADHD very interesting I can talk about some of the famous people who have ADHD Richard Branson and many many others and I can even talk about if you want medication
let me know.
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