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Approximately 5% of the population suffers from ADD, with majority of them being children. However, it is possible for ADD to carry on into adulthood due to a lack of treatment. Whilst there is insufficient research to support the causes of ADD, it can be due to genetics, prenatal conditions or neurological damage.
ADD is a condition whereby the reticular activating system is impaired, reducing the amount of norepinephrine in the brain, which causes difficulty in communication within different regions of the brain. The symptoms of ADD are similar for children and adults, although adults are seldom diagnosed as they have a better ability to cover up their reactions. There are many forms of ADD as well, ranging from Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Attention Deficit Behavior Disorder (ADBD) and Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD) to Conduct Disorder (CD).
In general, the symptoms such as inability to focus and agitation are known to carry over into adulthood. For our purposes, we will be identifying the various symptoms without distinction towards adults or children. This is due to the likelihood of symptoms carrying over as the children mature.
Inability to Focus Due to the short attention span of individuals suffering from ADD, they find it difficult to focus on any one task or thought process at a time. This causes them to appear as bored, and they tend to be forgetful. Misplacing items or having wandering thoughts during discussions are very common for them.
Disorganization For individuals who suffer from ADD, they tend to be restless and inattentive, making it difficult for them to focus on one task at a time. Hence, they tend to be more disorganized as they jump from one object to another, and most of the times they are unaware of their environment, giving them the appearance of being highly disorganized and flighty.
Hyperactivity Especially for children, it is easy to observe symptoms of hyperactivity. These is usually reflected in their ability to remain in the same position for more than a few seconds. For children, there is a tendency to ignore instructions and be immersed in playing or running around the room. For adults, it may be subtle signs such as fidgeting in the seat continuously, or playing with their hands and feet.
Impulsiveness This could be manifested in the need to talk excessively, or cutting into conversations before the other party has finished. For children who are playing, it could be sudden actions or a stubborn streak to halt playtime activities. In the classroom, they tend to speak out of turn without waiting for the teacher to call on them, or even before the teacher has finished asking a question. In adults, there is a dangerous tendency to indulge in dangerous activities without careful considerations of the risks or consequences.
Low Self Confidence Adults and children alike who suffer from ADD tend to have low self confidence due to self directed frustration at their inability to focus and complete tasks at hand. They also suffer from the social stigma and the fear that they are not good enough due to comments from people around them.