Health Watch: Adult Attention Deficit Disorder On The Rise
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Moms feeling overwhelmed, never getting to the bottom of their to-do lists. Many have a disorder commonly diagnosed in children. 3 On Your Side Health Reporter Stephanie Stahl says they can end up being depressed too.
Gina Overholt is a mom, wife, and works full time. And she over-commits herself to people and projects, she doesn’t have time for. Her life is chaos.
“I think if I were to draw myself, it would be like a person going after pretty shiny things. Like ‘oh look at that, that’s so interesting.’” “‘Oh look over there that’s so interesting.’” But then when I don’t follow through with it or it’s not so shiny or pretty when I realize how much work is involved, then ya know then I’m depressed about it, or what a loser I am,” described Gina.
She says her lack of concentration has always caused problems, with work and parenting. Most recently her marriage. After 14 years, she and her husband have separated.
“Whether it is a factor or not, I can understand it would be difficult to be with someone like me, who’s all over the place, who’s over committed, because it’s over committing his time too,” said Gina.
She became depressed. Then came a startling diagnosis. Gina had Attention Deficit Disorder, something increasingly being diagnosed in adults.
“Rare that we’ve ever seen somebody with attention deficit that doesn’t also have maybe depression or anxiety,” said Sarah Ferman, a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist.
She says about nine million American adults have ADD, like Gina. The disorder, that is more commonly diagnosed in children, is marked by the inability to focus.
“You could go from activity to activity and feel like nothing got accomplished, but you’ve been busy all day long,” said Sarah.
Adults with ADD are often not accurately diagnosed, like what happened with Gina. Now she’s getting help and has some important advice for other moms with ADD.
“Instead of beating yourself up and looking at all the things you didn’t do, look at what you did accomplish and love yourself for that,” said Gina.
It’s not known what causes ADD, but when accurately diagnosed by a doctor, it can often be effectively treated with medication and therapy.
Reported by Stephanie Stahl, CBS 3