AD/HD, also known as Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder or ADD, is not a mental illness but a “brain-wiring” issue that affects 10% of the population. While usually seen in childhood, particularly in school settings, it remains alive and well for many into adulthood and can cause problems in jobs and relationships.
This disorder is a biological condition much like near-sightedness or diabetes and needs to be treated. You would not want your child to have to struggle in school unable to see the board in class; you would make sure he or she had glasses to succeed in school.
While it may seem like your child or teen ignores your requests or forgets to do chores, this is not a case of willful defiance or “laziness” or being “stupid,” it can be a symptom of ADHD. Your child or teen does not know what their problem is either except that it upsets their parents and teachers and they feel like they are letting everyone down, failing those that love them.
Untreated, AD/HD leads to anxiety and depression which become more serious issues and can lead to drugs and alcohol use.
Treated, the child becomes more responsive in class, listens to parents at home, does his or her chores and feels better about her or himself,
It is easy for a qualified mental health provider to diagnose AD/HD and, just as important, perform a differential diagnosis to discover another cause of the symptoms, such as trauma or abuse. Behavior techniques or medication can be used to reduce the worst effects of the disorder. As early as 10, a pre-teen can "own" their ADHD and begin to make their own behavioral changes, with or without medication.
If your child or husband or wife is easily distracted, loses things, cannot sit still, starts but doesn’t finish projects or has a difficult time staying organized or even reading a book, taking a look at AD/HD could help to improve everyone’s lives.