Last updated: May 19, 2009
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ADD symptoms can mimic those of both depression and anxiety, says Tracy Latz, MD, a psychiatrist and associate clinical professor at Wake Forest University Medical Center.


Women who are clinically depressed or suffering from chronic anxiety, for example, often report being unable to concentrate. And people who suffer from chronic anxiety may wring their hands, jiggle their legs, or twirl their hair—all activities that can be mistaken for the hallmark fidgeting of ADD.

To identify ADD, first look at how long your symptoms have lasted, Dr. Latz says. ADD first shows up in childhood, although some experts argue it can appear as late as adolescence. The bottom line: If your symptoms developed in adulthood, they arent the result of ADHD.

The next step? See a board-certified psychologist or psychiatrist, who will fully evaluate you and recommend treatment, if appropriate.

Some ADD sufferers find it helpful to work with an ADD coach (either in addition to or instead of a therapist and/or medication), who teaches them specific strategies—such as time-management skills—for living with ADD.