Attention and Concentration Disorders in Adults
Attention and concentration disorders in adults pose difficulties in a number of areas, including:
- The achievement of academic goals
- The successful completion of selection and pre-employment assessment exams
- Difficulties communicating in a couple-relationship and communicating with authority
- Difficulties communicating and maintaining social relationships
Attention and concentration disorders are extremely common in adults and are found in approximately 4% of the general adult population (over the age of 18). Most adults who attest to suffering from attention and concentration disorders experienced symptoms in childhood, and the difficulty the condition poses is not foreign to them. In adults, attention and concentration disorders do not fade with the passage time, but hyperactivity disorder may become more moderate. Studies show that adults with attention deficit disorders tend to display signs of psychiatric/emotional injury, such as anxiety, depression, antisocial personality-disorders, and dangerous solutions involving addiction to drugs, alcohol, and sugar.
- Poor concentration abilities – Adults attest to being unable to concentrate for extended periods of time on reading, intense conversations, or lectures.
- Lack of order – Adults suffering from attention and concentration disorders tend to work in a disorderly working environment without filing or order, with a desk covered with papers and many different documents open on the computer screen at once.
- Easily distracted – Adult’s suffering from attention and concentration disorders are easily distracted by almost anything, including noises and movements in the work environment.
- Impulsive responses – The need to respond quickly, without initial filtering. Such impulsiveness can manifest itself in verbal responses or flight from a place in which unpleasant stressful conditions are present.
- Procrastination – The tendency to delay everything to a later time in order to avoid contending with the task at hand. Procrastination can result in legal complications stemming from the failure to pay bills, bank obligations, and fines in a timely manner.
- Lack of interpersonal communication – attention and concentration disorders in adults can create difficulties in social and couple-relationships. Procrastination is translated by spouses and partners, and by society in general, as a lack of seriousness, laziness, and non-dependability, and for this reason individuals suffering from attention and concentration disorders often find themselves socially isolated.
- Hyperactivity – Some adults with these conditions must be in almost constant movement, which can be physical (as in moving around the room or movement while watching television) or reactive (impatience and short and annoyed speech) in nature.
Diagnosis of Attention and Concentration Disorders/Learning Disabilities in Adults (ADD/ADHD)
Attention and concentration evaluations that are suited for children and adults:
Two widely used computerized diagnostic tests are TOVA and BRC.
The TOVA (Tests of Variable Attention) test is a computerized assessment of extended attention functioning that assesses the attention faculties of the individual vis-à-vis the standard norm for his or her age group. The aim of the TOVA test is to serve as an auxiliary tool for the diagnosing physician in selecting a medicinal treatment. Once the other evaluative steps have been completed, the results have been assembled by the physician, and a determination regarding the existence of an attention and concentration disorders has been made, the focus shifts to the selection of a treatment method.
Didactic evaluation assesses a person’s learning skills and abilities in the fields of language, memory, reading, writing, and math. The evaluation is conducted by a didactic diagnostician, who is an educator specializing in learning disabilities. The evaluation, which generates recommendations in the realm of learning and corrective instruction that are valid for a period of six years, is forwarded to the relevant educational institutions.
Psycho-didactic evaluation is meant to supplement didactic evaluation and is therefore conducted after it. It recognizes the importance of the psychological/emotional aspect of the condition, in addition to its impact on didactic abilities, and is carried out by an educational or clinical psychologist. Its results are assessed as an adjusted average of the didactic and psychological evaluations and forwarded, along with the recommendations, to the relevant educational institutions as a basis for academic accommodations and supplementary educational treatment at school.
Neuropsychological evaluation is a special assessment conducted using a series of structured computerized tests/questionnaires. The evaluation is performed by a neuropsychologist who, based on its results, suggests methods of psychological and behavioral intervention. The evaluation provides tools for identifying non-verbal learning disabilities.
Comprehensive Psychiatric Evaluation
Although this is not a common evaluation, it is performed in the event of concern regarding the existence of a personality disorder or mental illness. A comprehensive psychiatric evaluation consists of a series of psychological tests and report questionnaires, aimed at confirming or ruling out the existence of a serious emotional disorder, and is conducted by a psychiatrist.
Attention and concentration disorders can be treated by natural means without the use of medicine. However, because many people elect to treat the condition using medicinal treatment, we feel it is important to present you with the relevant information regarding the common medications available in pharmacies today. This information constitutes neither a recommendation to use medication to treat attention and concentration disorders nor a recommendation to refrain from doing so. However, we at the Ora Golan Center believe that there are also alternative treatment solutions that can help solve the problem.
The medications prescribed as treatment for attention and concentration disorders include:
Ritalin is the common name for methylphenidate. It is a stimulant which, instead of producing a more active state, causes enhanced concentration and attention in individuals suffering from attention and concentration disorders. Ritalin was first identified as a stimulant over half a century ago. It was first used to treat depression, but after it became evident that it also alleviates the symptoms of attention and concentration disorders and improves concentration, it was decided to use it to treat adults and children that have been diagnosed and found to be suitable to take it.
Methylphenidate, or Ritalin, impacts the central nervous system. Its effect is like that of caffeine but at a much higher intensity, similar to stimulants such as amphetamines. According to a study conducted in the United States, Ritalin increases the release of dopamine, thereby improving our ability to concentrate and focus.
Information regarding the side-effects that can result from the use of Ritalin:
The use of Ritalin sometimes results in side-effects, such as:
- ⦁ Headaches, difficulty falling asleep, stomachaches, involuntary twitches, and drowsiness, although the effect of the drug ceases completely when the individual stops taking it, which is its major advantage.
- ⦁ Loss of appetite or increased appetite (when the effect of the medication wears off).
- ⦁ A sense of fatigue and dejection when the active ingredient wears off, which can last for a number of hours.
- ⦁ Restlessness and irritability, which can sometimes be resolved by changing the time at which the medication is taken.
- ⦁ Taking large quantities of Ritalin can cause anxiety.
- ⦁ Individuals suffering from high blood pressure or diabetes must consult a physician before taking this medication.
Adderall is a medication from the amphetamine family used for treating attention and concentration disorders (particularly ADD and ADHD). It is related to Ritalin but distinctly different. Adderall is a prescription drug in use in the United States, Canada, and other countries. It has been in use for more than three decades and is taken by millions, yielding extensive experience with its use.
Information regarding the side-effects that can result from the use of Adderall:
The side-effects associated with the use of Adderall are similar to those of Ritalin but are less common and reported by only some people who take it. They include:
- Stomachaches, loss of appetite
- Headaches, irritability
- Sleep problems
- Mood swings, dizziness, dry mouth, heart palpitations
- In adults, the use of Adderall is dangerous for people suffering from heart problems and thyroid problems, and for people taking anti-depressants.
Strattera is a relatively new medication for the treatment of attention and concentration disorders and is the first medicinal treatment for these conditions that is not a stimulant (as are Ritalin and Adderall). Strattera is a prescription medication in use in the United States, Canada, Germany, England, and many other countries.
Information regarding the side-effects that can result from the use of Strattera:
Like all medications, Strattera may have side-effects, the most common of which are nausea and fatigue. To overcome these side-effects, the medication should be taken in the morning and can also be taken after eating. In the event it results in extreme fatigue, it should be taken before going to bed at night. To minimize side-effects, it is advised to begin taking the medication gradually, under the supervision of a physician. In adults, Strattera may also result in problems sleeping and erectile dysfunction.
Treatment at the Ora Golan Center
One of the most common causes of attention and concentration disorders (such as ADD and ADHD) is emotional blocks. While still fetuses in our mother’s womb, we receive emotional information via our mother, which feeds our emotional system. Emotional blocks incorporated at early stages of development continue to influence us in our adult lives. Such blocks can affect our capacity for concentration, attention, and interpersonal communication.
Reasons for Seeking Treatment of Attention and Concentration Disorders (such as ADD and ADHD) at the Ora Golan Center
- ⦁ Difficulty dealing with noises
- ⦁ Inattention to detail
- ⦁ Difficulty studying for exams
- ⦁ Difficulty completing tasks according to schedule
- ⦁ Difficulty completing academic assignments
- ⦁ Difficulty planning
- ⦁ Difficulty organizing material
- ⦁ Difficulty beginning tasks
- ⦁ Difficulty filtering stimuli and focusing on the main issue
- ⦁ Difficulty finishing tasks
- ⦁ Difficulty maintaining focus for an extended period of time
- ⦁ The inability to repeat what was said
- ⦁ Difficulty distinguishing the main issue from tangential information
- ⦁ Procrastination and the avoidance of performing tasks
- ⦁ Recurring careless errors
- ⦁ Scattered and lost belongings
- ⦁ Excessive movement and restlessness
- ⦁ Frequent sudden subject changes
- ⦁ Difficulty with interpersonal communication
- ⦁ Impatience
- ⦁ Impulsiveness
- ⦁ Difficulty planning
Results of the Ora Golan Center’s treatment for attention and concentration disorders (such as ADD and ADHD) have been impressive on all levels and represent a significant change in the treatment of these conditions, as well as other learning disabilities.
The Treatment Consists of Two Main Stages
Stage 1: A six-part emotional treatment geared towards the improvement of self-image, capabilities, and behavior.
Stage 2: A brief and focused series of structural/physiological chiropractic treatments by Dr. Ora Golan.
In the course of treatment we assess:
- Listening and attentiveness
- Reading comprehension
- Spatial orientation and sense of time, distance, and weight
- The ability to contend with solving math problems
- The impact of disorder and disorganization on day-to-day functioning
- The ability to contend with written material
The completion of treatment for attention and concentration disorders (such as ADD and ADHD) at the Ora Golan Center is followed by significant visible improvement, including:
⦁ Improved thought organization and self-image
⦁ Improved interpersonal communication with colleagues, family members, and fellow students
⦁ Improved grades on tests and assignments
Measures that can be taken at home to ease attention and concentration disorders (such as ADD and ADHD):
- Emphasis on ensuring adequate sleep and quality of sleep
- Aerobic athletic activity that requires coordination, balance, and spins (such as dancing, martial arts, gymnastics, etc.)
- Regular diverse and nutritional meals containing proteins, complex carbohydrates, fruit, and vegetables
- Meditation, guided imagination, and other relaxing activities
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