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Changing Focus

Adult ADHD is getting the attention it deserves

Changing Focus

When we hear the words Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) or Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), we might visualize a child in a classroom wandering aimlessly, unable to sit still, while other classmates busily complete what's been asked of them. In fact, when we think of these disorders, we may think of them as pediatric conditions only. 

That's why it was perplexing for many of us to hear of Lisa Ling's recent diagnosis of an attention disorder — at age 40. She is, after all, a successful television journalist — a role model for our children. 

However, inspired from working on an episode about ADHD in children for “Our America with Lisa Ling,” the journalist wanted to know if she, too, might suffer from an attention disorder. She decided to be evaluated by an ADHD/ADD expert on camera. 

“As a journalist, when I'm immersed in a story, then I feel like I can laser-focus. But if I'm not working, my mind goes in every direction but where it's supposed to go,” Ling said during her report. “I've been like that since I was a kid.” 

Ling also revealed she had “focus issues” in elementary school. In high school, she said she could “go through an entire period and not retain a sentence if I [wasn’t] interested in the topic or the subject matter.” When asked how she did in college, Ling answered, “I dropped out.” 

With testing complete and cameras still rolling, Ling got her diagnosis. “Dr. (Craig) Liden believes I actually do have ADHD, the kind without hyperactivity often called ADD,” she said. 

While it was surprising to learn Ling had ADD at age 40, it also was inspiring for other adults who might be suffering from the condition but not yet know it.

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