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Dr Hallowell ADHD and mental and cognitive health

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Dr. Hallowell on the Today show discussing Adult ADHD

While ADHD tends to be associated with childhood, we’ve learned that it is far more widespread among adults than previously understood.  While there are some children with ADHD who will outgrow it, we now know that the vast majority will not.  Listed below are criteria for adult ADHD that we developed from our clinical experience:

  1. A sense of underachievement, of not meeting one’s goals (regardless of how much one has actually accomplished).
  2. Difficulty getting organized.
  3. Chronic procrastination or trouble getting started.
  4. Many projects going simultaneously; trouble with follow through.
  5. A tendency to say what comes to mind without necessarily considering the timing or appropriateness of the remark.
  6. A frequent search for high stimulation.
  7. An intolerance of boredom.
  8. Easy distractibility; trouble focusing attention, tendency to tune out or drift away in the middle of a page or conversation, often coupled with an inability to focus at times.
  9. Often creative, intuitive, highly intelligent
  10. Trouble in going through established channels and following “proper” procedure.
  11. Impatient; low tolerance of frustration.
  12. Impulsive, either verbally or in action, as an impulsive spending of money.
  13. Changing plans, enacting new schemes or career plans and the like; hot-tempered.
  14. A tendency to worry needlessly, endlessly; a tendency to scan the horizon looking for something to worry about, alternating with attention to or disregard for actual dangers.
  15. A sense of insecurity.
  16. Mood swings, mood lability, especially when disengaged from a person or a project.
  17. Physical or cognitive restlessness.
  18. A tendency toward addictive behavior.
  19. Chronic problems with self-esteem.
  20. Inaccurate self-observation.
  21. Family history of ADHD or manic depressive illness or depression or substance abuse or other disorders of impulse control or mood.

Recognizing and treating ADHD is just as important for adults as it is for children, as it has a wide ranging impact in careers, marriages and families.

Next Steps

1) Keep learning about ADHD! Some good places to start:

2) If you believe that you or your child or spouse may have ADHD, get a professional diagnosis:

  • The Hallowell Centers specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of ADHD, for those in or near Boston MetroWest, New York City, San Francisco and Seattle.
  • For those not near a Hallowell Center, we have a page to help you find a referral to someone qualified who can diagnose ADD/ADHD
  • Ask your doctor about getting tested for ADHD

3) Remember that you are not alone! There is a tremendous community to support and help you. A few places to look, depending on your needs:

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