Good Morning America: Lisa Ling Diagnoses with ADD
Lisa Ling, former co-host of The View, discovered she had ADD at the age of 40 while working on a piece about the explosion of ADHD diagnoses in America. She talked about this on Good Morning America.
Ling started to notice the symptoms of ADD sounded familiar to her, and she was soon diagnosed with attention deficit disorder, all while the cameras were rolling.
Ling is a working mom and wife and said, “If I’m not working, my mind goes in every direction.” She long suspected that something wasn’t right. She said she’s been the way she was since she was a kid, and didn’t realize she was suffering from the disorder.
GMA: ADD Diagnosis in Adults
Some 15 million people are diagnosed with some form of the disorder, but Ling’s diagnosis at 40 is unusual. The average age of diagnosis is 7. Because the disorder is so common, ADD is now more accepted, but many people don’t think of it existing in adults.
But the diagnosis of ADD for an adult is critical because it can dramatically change your life for the better, allowing your whole life to come into focus. Ling said, “While the diagnosis confirmed what I had always expected, I don’t feel inhibited. Rather, I feel I have more clarity.”
She said she had been fighting her inability to focus, but now feels much better.
Good Morning America: Dr. Richard Besser on ADHD
Dr. Richard Besser, Good Morning America’s chief health and medical editor, said the preferred term is now ADHD, but it’s really the same as ADD.
He said it’s not surprising that Ling was diagnosed, because 1 in 25 people will have it. But it was surprising that she was diagnosed so late. He said it means it was probably missed along the way.
GMA: Signs of ADHD + ADD Medication Side Effects
So how do you know if you should be checked of if you’re just overburdened? Dr. Besser said everyone can perform better in their life if they go on ADD medicine, but that doesn’t mean you have the disorder.
He said you should look for people have trouble with basic tasks in their life and having trouble staying focused at work as well as having relationship problems. He said whether it started in childhood is the key.
But there are side effects to ADD medicine. He said often times people feel pressure to go on the medications, but addiction is a possibility. He said there is a series of questionnaires for teachers and families about how the person is function. Doctors want to talk to people around them to see if the person truly has ADHD or their just too busy.
Dr. Besser also made a point to say that just because you are diagnosed with the disorder doesn’t necessarily mean you need the medication. There are also behavioral approaches that work really well. It just depends on the case.