“I’m just stupid”
ADHD or ADD (without hyperactivity) is a neuropsychiatric disorder having strong genetic influence. Intelligence is a separate issue. Often, ADD people are creative and highly intelligent. ADHD occurs in a broad range of intellectual levels.
“Everybody has some of these symptoms”
Yes, everyone has a few of these symptoms and the symptoms come and go during their life or day. People with ADD have most of the symptoms and they have had them chronically since childhood.
“My pediatrician told me I’d grow out of it.”
Although ADD was once thought to be limited to childhood and early teens, we now know that ADD persists into adulthood. Up to 50% of ADD children will be affected as adolescents and adults.
“I think I have ADD but maybe it’s something else?”
This question is very important and needs to be answered by an experienced clinician who will provide a comprehensive initial evaluation. The evaluation focuses on a broad range of psychiatric disorders in addition to the presence of ADD.
“If not ADD, then what’s wrong?”
Often, ADD in adults occurs simultaneously with other disorders. For example, depression and bipolar disorders may occur in up to 30%, alcohol and substance abuse in 50%, panic disorder in 25%, and personality difficulties are common.