Q:I always feel like my mind's going in a million directions. Should I ask my doctor for Attention Deficit Disorder medicine?
A: Whoa, slow down! In this era of smartphones, BlackBerries, instant messages, and 24/7 news streaming, all of us at times feel distracted, pulled in a zillion different directions, and unable to concentrate. But with ADHD (attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder) this inability to focus, follow through, and complete tasks is pervasive enough to disrupt your life in many ways.
Many people with ADHD have trouble in their careers, quitting out of boredom or getting fired over and over again. They also have trouble focusing on relationships. Other symptoms include impulsivity, restlessness, and being quick to anger. Since ADHD starts in childhood, your doctor can ask you a lot of questions about your symptoms and childhood to determine whether you have ADHD. She'll also consider other conditions that can cause trouble concentrating, including depression, lack of sleep, or even conditions like Lyme disease. If she thinks you do have ADHD, she may prescribe medication (such as stimulants like Concerta or Adderall) as well as counseling.
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