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What is Attention Deficit Disorder?

Learn the symptoms and treatments of this popular disorder.

By
Rob Lamberts, MD,
October 28, 2009
Episode #020

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Today’s article is really special and makes me really excited because it is a topic that is very personal and it’s something many people have asked me to cover. Today we are covering…uh…today’s…uh…article…huh…

Enough nonsense. Today’s article begins to cover the topic of attention deficit disorder. Like diabetes, this is a topic that is too big to cover in a single podcast. Today I’ll define attention deficit disorder, and a future podcast will cover its treatment.

Let me state clearly that this episode will be different my other articles. It is largely based on personal experience and opinion. I am not going to spend time spouting statistics or speaking Latin, but instead give you my “insider’s perspective” on attention deficit disorder.

I need to also say that what I am calling attention deficit disorder includes both those people with and without hyperactivity. There is a difference between these two entities, but they have basically the same cause and are treated much in the same way.

What is Attention Deficit Disorder?

So what is attention deficit disorder? I do not consider ADD to be a disease-- something that needs to be fixed, or even a disorder--something that is wrong with the person. I consider ADD to be a description of a certain personality.

People with attention deficit disorder have the following characteristics:

  • They are easily distracted, they daydream, and they often lose focus--especially with things that don’t interest them.

  • They have difficulty following directions--some of this is due to a wandering mind, but some is due to a propensity to question others’ decisions.

  • They talk a lot, and often do so out of turn--tending to interrupt others or blurt out answers before they are asked.

  • They are constantly in motion--often squirming or fidgeting enough to drive people around them to consider using duct tape or a tranquilizer dart.

  • They often don’t finish things they start--losing interest or getting bored with things quickly.

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