There are certain jobs that attract people with Adult Attention Deficit Disorder. Those individuals “find” where they are comfortable and “settle” in those positions, sometimes for life. Others move on quickly from job to job, even becoming drifters of the work force. There are some you would expect, and then there are those you might never expect to have ADD.

What they have in common is that the front lobes of the brain under-function in mundane jobs and tasks: doing paperwork, cleaning up, reading or following instructions, listening to directions. If a nuclear scan of the ADD brain is performed while reading boring materials or watching a boring instruction video, you would see a large “hole” develop in the front part of the brain – it literally shuts down. Their eyes get heavy, they may actually fall asleep under the scanner, and they never finish reading the material. If, however, the patient is exposed to a fast-paced video game, especially with endangerment or fright, the “hole” in the frontal cortex of the brain literally slams closed and the entire brain lights up. In other words, ADD is a chemical inaction of the brain unless under stress. Those without ADD have normal brains with either boring or exciting exposure while under the nuclear scanner.

Those who never finish high school invariably have ADD. They end up in the trades: welding, carpentry, plumbing, electricians— jobs with physical activity requiring hand-eye coordination that could result in injury with inattention—excitement of sorts. Most struggle in the trades until they are treated with medicines that “close” the hole in the brain. Then they get promoted, often get pay raises (especially if paid on production), and I’ve had more than a few start their own companies. They certainly make fewer mistakes and suffer fewer injuries. NONE regress.

EVERY great bartender has ADD. The intense incoming orders, mixing, multitasking, and feeling the pressure is just like a video game. Most make great tips. I had a new patient bartender yesterday making a solid six figure income. Yet, when he goes home, he can’t take out the garbage, clean the car, or finish any necessary task asked by the spouse: it is boring. Treatment makes these guys/gals more money, happier spouses, and often moving to more independent positions.

ER Doctors: they need the adrenalin. Without it they struggle. The ultimate adrenalin junkie.

Aestheticians: constant hand activity, multiple functions at once, creativity with each different client. Many have ADD. Contractors: Surprised? Probably not. How many times have you been disappointed about a job you’ve paid good money for, but just couldn’t get the final details right? Treat contractors and invariably their business explodes: double, triple. I had one successful contractor go from a solid six figure income to a very generous eight figure income within 18 months of starting treatment. Much of the work in contracting is detail, tedium, coordinating, planning, then motivating.

Entreprenuers: these people jump around from business to business, often time having multiple businesses at once. Most fail. Why? Because they have ADD and never finish the tedious part of making any business successful—it’s all in the details. But dreaming of great projects, earth changing inventions, or expanding rapidly—it’s all like a video game—exciting. They rarely finish the job where the success really occurs—in the details. Then there is Elon Musk!

Accountants. Yes, accountants. You would not expect that someone who can enjoy the tedium of numbers would have ADD. The ones that do have Overfocused ADD. They can’t move on. They get stuck. They are always behind. Most of the accountants I treat with ADD are young. The old, successful ones without ADD persisted. The young ones with ADD move to another occupation UNLESS they get treated. Then, it is truly shocking to see them transform right before your eyes. Work accelerates, production explodes, the boss is astounded, and then, invariably, they leave to start their own business.

Many with successfully treated ADD become mad, especially at their parents who denied it existed, scolded or ridiculed their child for not trying, and heaped the most humiliating insults you can imagine on a child, truly believing that will help! Humiliation will not close a chemical hole in the frontal cortex of the brain! It takes quite a while for them to forgive and forget what they didn’t do, couldn’t accomplish, or failed to try.

It is real. It is chemical. It is treatable. It is never too late.

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