Everyone has questions about ADHD. Especially if they think they have it. Or think someone they love has it. Or they were diagnosed and are desperately trying to prove it’s not true.
Then there are those seeking support for their belief that, “There’s nothing wrong with you. It’s just another excuse to be lazy and self-centered!” (I never get tired of the look on those folks faces when they discover that this is a gene-driven, situational, neurodevelopmental disorder.
In this video I address 12 common questions about Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. Eventually. With a little support from my wife. As always. By time the video ends I’ll have inadvertently answered the question, “How can ADHD show up in adults?
*** In a hurry? Rick answers question1 at 2:00
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Common ADHD Questions
After more than a decade of interviewing doctors, researchers, authors, and countless adults who have
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder I have compiled a list of the top 12 questions that people have, a list that I then lost or else I accidentally trashed it on my computer. This is the problem with ADHD.
12 Common Questions about ADHD
Q – Is ADHD a mental illness?
No it’s a disorder, an illness you get and then you either recover or you have people gathered around going he was very nice, unless you’re a woman then it’s she was so lovely, whether they mean it or not. So no it’s not an illness, it doesn’t come and go, depression you fall into, what’s the matter with George? Susan’s not herself, and then Susan’s herself again.
This is more about how we come into the world, how we are wired. I’ve asked people we if you could cure it with the snap of your fingers would you? The people who’ve been at it for a while say I kind of have it mostly under control and a lot of other people who’ve been at it for a while say “No it’s now my superpower.”
Q – Can adults really have ADHD?
Yes adults can really have ADHD about 70% of kids who have ADHD are still struggling with the same problems and challenges and symptoms in adulthood, maybe not as severely, they’re a little more organized, they’ve got structure and so on, and then some people do develop and grow out of it. ADHD is a neurodevelopmental disorder so yes we can have it and about 1 in 25 adults has ADHD so it’s not everybody, although these days everybody may feel like they have it.
Q – Is There a Cure for ADHD?
No there’s no magic pill, there’s a holistic approach with a whole bunch of strategies and of course the most controversial and the one everyone asks about is medication. We have tons of videos about medication so you can get the facts and make a rational decision but is there a cure not yet. Some people wouldn’t want it cured that’s just how they see the world and they kind of like it.
Q – Is There a Blood Test for ADHD?
Not yet, and the problem is if you’re looking say for a specific marker, like a gene they’ve already identified 105 different genes which are either strongly or weakly associated with ADHD. What does that mean? It means yeah this one shows up in a lot of people with ADHD it’s switched on and this one shows up in more than average number but not that much more, but of course 105 who has them all switched on and off?
Q – If I Suspect I Have ADHD Should I See my Doctor?
Yes you should see your doctor, be prepared for your doctor to say I don’t believe in ADHD it’s just bipolar II or whatever, but yes see your doctor and get a referral to an ADHD specialist. Once you see the ADHD specialist, which can take anywhere from a couple of weeks to four years depending on where you live and how much money you have, you will have a diagnosis of yes or no.
Q – What Can I Do While I Wait for an ADHD Diagnosis?
While you’re waiting for the ADHD diagnosis read all you can about ADHD, try a bunch of strategies that work for the issues that are causing you the most frustration. Whatever’s working for you it’s very personalized; your ADHD is slightly different from the next person, so see what strategies work for you. You should see your doctor, get a referral to a specialist and then it’ll get diagnosed.
Q – How is ADHD Diagnosed?
ADHD is diagnosed through a series of quizzes that help screen it out so that they can go “No, you know what, you said that you’ve been this way since your divorce”, that’s not ADHD, ADHD is ongoing.
ADHD is diagnosed really by an interview, by going over a person’s life and if the person can’t really remember much of their early life yeah that’s a sign of working memory, it’s not just attention it’s a whole bunch of stuff. It’s not even deficit of attention, it’s the worst name ever, a better term is executive function disorder.
Q – Do I Have to Take ADHD Medications?
No. Nobody can come to your house and force you to take medications and yet millions do. Why? Because they got the facts about medication for ADHD, and we have a bunch of videos about medication, tried them and found they helped. Others thought, no I don’t want to do that, but for me it made a difference a huge difference. So you don’t have to, but get the facts, stimulant medications have been around since 1937.
Q – What are the Symptoms of ADHD?
The basic symptom of ADHD is problems with attention, uneven attention, too focused on something like sorting the pencils by color, or the crayons and then you know grabbing them and they’re a mess anyway. So it’s getting hyper
focused or just not being able to focus at all. When I’m writing a comedy skit for example, I can just vanish, my wife can come in and say something to me and tell me a few things and I have no idea what she said. So now she gets my attention by sticking post-its on my screen. I kind of look around and then I’ll see them… eventually.
Other than problems with attention, there’s also hyperactivity, restlessness, driven. There’s also impulsivity “Hey you want to make a documentary about the most controversial mental health disorder called ADHD?” sure!
We’re impulsive, we blurt things out, we interrupt people, we can’t wait to get out, there’s no such thing as listening we’re just waiting our turn. By the way there’s a couple of great ADD tests on our site.
There are a lot of ADHD symptoms and it’s very individual and it shows up in different ways. I talk about how I figured out why I didn’t like to go to the beach, and it was because of ADHD.
Q – What if I Don’t Have All the Symptoms of ADHD?
Nobody does, or they have it in varying amounts. So you won’t have all the symptoms, you may not have problems with time management, you may have problems with some other things. Also, you may not be good at time management but time management may not be critical for you, if you’re working at home and you’re making pottery time management may not be that big an issue, except maybe setting the timer on the kiln. It’s whether the symptoms you have are impairing you to the point where it’s affecting your life.
Q – Why Wasn’t ADHD around 50 years ago?
ADHD was around 50 years ago, it was being described back in the 17 and 1800s by doctors. Children who had these symptoms of restlessness, of knowing what to do and not doing it, blurting out, of interrupting, of causing trouble, being a disturbance, or day-dreamy. So it was around but the diagnosis wasn’t around. It used to be called a defect of moral control. It was a moral issue, you were a bad kid, that was helpful.
Then there was minimal brain dysfunction, I don’t mind that name so much because that’s slightly what it is, but it’s a dysfunction in terms of this world that we’re living in, back in the fourteen hundreds it being this kind of jumping wires might have actually been a real factor in surviving, and there’s some interesting theories about that.
I won’t get into them, there’s other videos about that but nomadic people have much higher levels of ADHD genes turned on and the more nomadic or the farther they’ve traveled like from across Russia down through North America, the natives down all the way to the tip of South America have the highest level because they’re like yeah okay, now we’re bored, now we’re bored, now we’re… oh there’s nowhere to go, we’ll stay here.
Q – Is ADHD Caused by Diet, Sugar, Food Additives, and Video Games?
No. You can have allergies to food additives and that can look like ADHD. You might start using a different fabric softener and that’ll look like ADHD because you’re fidgeting from discomfort.
Is ADHD caused by diet? No but a good diet can help. ADHD has been around long before sugar was freely available, long before food additives, it is how we are wired.
Q – What are the Two Main Subtypes of ADHD?
The predominantly inattentive subtype having problems organizing, finishing tasks, losing things, managing attention, focus, distractions, not listening, tuning out, forgetfulness, and avoiding large complex or lengthy tasks.
Whereas people with the predominantly combined subtype also struggle to manage hyperactivity and impulsivity which and can be driven, restless, fidgety, blurting out, interrupting, and overly talkative.
Q – Is There a Quiz I Can Take for ADD?
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