Adult ADD

ADD doesn't only affect kids. And it could be the source of marital strife.

Comments (61)

(61) Anonymous, March 17, 2019 4:38 AM

The Elephant in the room

I am a successfully integrated baal teshuva who has a very special wife, yet I feel we have one big "secret" in our lives which causes a huge amount unnecessary suffering: my wife has Adult adhd. I say unnecessary suffering because Adhd is treatable today through meds, coaching, dietary changes, exercise, and in general just having an awareness that , "yes, I do have a problem which needs attention." I call living with a spouse with untreated Adhd as having a "broken life machine": the functionality of a healthy balanced marriage just doesn't exist in these homes. Imagine living a life where you never know when your wife is going to wake up, if they are going to be working full time, part time , or not at all that week. If they are going to make you dinner. If they will answer the phone that day when you call. If they are out on some impulsive shopping spree emptying out your bank account, impossibility to budget. Contradictary educational practices in the home, spoiling kids with constant gifts, food items, clothing. In general your life is chaotic because you never know what "surprise" your going to get that day. A sudden trip to america she is taking. She wants to take all of the kids to america even if it is not good for their spiritual well being. The list goes on and on.
I am actually quite surprised that this topic gets so little attention in leading Jewish publications and psychological forums because it can cause incredible destruction in a jewish family. One leading psychiatrist told us that she is working with a family where the parents were getting divorced because of this condition and it is very sad because the non-Adhd partner feels "depleted and completely not taken care of" . That is an emotional byproduct of living in the roller coaster called the Adhd-partner's life. I wish that the Pyschologists would place much more of an emphasis of treating this condition. It would save alot of marriages.

(60) Anonymous, February 15, 2015 6:45 AM

diagnosed in college

Thank you for this video! I am 21 and I was just diagnosed with adhd. Of course, I had these symptoms my entire life but when I began college they exacerbated to the point where I could not function. I was put on medication and it made a huge difference. However, Im nervous about it because in the frum world it is so judged and looked down upon. Anyone on meds is thought to be "off." I am very smart and productive and most people don't suspect that I have adhd, they just see that I have a lot of energy. What if I need these medications to function and be a good wife and mother?? Can I stay on them for years at a time?

(59) Anonymous, December 26, 2011 5:02 AM


Thank you Rabbi Salomon for addressing this topic. It was a great source of chizuk. Over the last 2 week I was diagnosed with ADD. Baruch Hashem I am dealing with amazing people, however this topic does not seem to be addressed by Rabbis. Would l it be possible for Rabbi Salomon to speak about this again in the near future. Thank you very much

(58) sandler, September 7, 2010 3:09 AM


Those of you whom have taken many meds like myself- use them when we need- but don't like them - because of effects we have from using them. It is frustrating, and I deal with it- as I'm sure others do because experience along with experience of the effects of how we should 'think' when under the influence of the medications such as adderal - create behavioral patterns we can recreate when not on the medications-with that said, those with problems marital- I would recommend taking a cautious approach and if trying the adhd treatments under a physician whom prescribs for adhd type diagnosis - I can 'recommend' the non-stimulants type of medications such as strattera over stimulants.In general adhd has its pros and cons- its a love hate thing for me.I'm married and I know if I was on stimulants I may not have been able to do 'husbandly' duties. so- in short- JEWS have a predisposition for certain mental illness. anxiety- is the most common I feel over all this may have to do with anti semitism/holocost/ our literal history in the world of running- defending ourselves, and being slaughtered. ADHD is a very small thing and a stupid plug here without real purpose other than- perhaps the writers need to push therapy on jews and medications into jewish bodies. Look closely at the way life for us has changed in the past 20 yrs even there were only 3 types of jew when I was growing up- reform- conservative, orthodox. now I don't know how many. there are so many persons due to the sect and re-definition of jewish law and life that makes many of the jewish community at odds with each other. the worst of this is - like the randomness of the video of adult adhd and marrage by Rabbi Solomon- that make in some instances 'us' (the jewish people) to be truly our own worst enemy. we 'judge other jews' like treif

(57) Anonymous, September 1, 2010 5:39 AM

I have Adult Add and found out after my daughter and son were diagnosed. My daughter told me that I was worse than she is, and so I tested and I have had it all my life but growing up I didn't like school. I would skip lines reading and half the time I didn't understand what I read. I have a such a hard time with my timing and judging time. I am scattered and disorganized and I do take vyvance and it helps. My husband doesn't understand no matter how hard I try to be on time he gets so upset with me and I get so stressed out, I drop things, and I lose or misplace things all the time. My having this makes him angry, resentful, mean, and takes it personal making him look bad if I am late. Now he takes a seperate car to the same yoga class or whereever we go it is seperate or we don't talk because he is always on time and early. He just doen't get it. The older you get the less tolerable he gets with my flaws. I am always working on getting better and going to counceling and being the beautiful soul that I am. Thank you for bringing this subject to help other become aware of the struggles that are the hurdles that we have to jump over.

(56) colin, August 29, 2010 7:21 PM

Spinning Spinning

Thanks, I get to the point of TOTAL despair.I'm 48 I never thought I had ADD but at work with all the tasks i need to get done, I get spinning, i know i have to get a machine fixed but as Iwalk to get a tool I see another task such as tools not put away & BAM! I change directions, then catch myself 5 min. along my new path . Sometimes it is so intense I feel like dying, Wierd Huh! I don't think those around me understand the outta controlness I am experiencing. I am very talented in my job but need HELP sometimes .What SHOULD I DO..Colin

(55) chava, August 3, 2010 2:38 PM

these (and many) drugs have many long-term side effects --- think twice

Check up all the possible side effects for these drugs and think lots of times, not just twice, before you try them. Slightly amusing, but serious, is this song:

(54) Mike lampard, August 2, 2010 9:53 AM


I have been a social worker in the \Uk for over 35 years, and have encountered ADHD in youngsters, but not in adults. i was informed by the medics that this condition usually reduces once adulthood is reached. Is that not the case? Or is it that ADHD can sometimes develop in adulthood when it has not previously been recognized in childhood/adolescence? Maybe you could enlighten me? many thanks, Mike Lampard.

(53) Ronit, August 1, 2010 3:00 PM


I was diagnosed with ADD when I was married thirty special-education teacher before the separation from my husband. I was happy to blame all the problems of life in ADD-I thought all the problems will take with this medication. I read books about women with ADD, but unfortunately it did not correct my life and the disorder in my life. Today I know that ADD is a gift I received from heaven I am so creative my leaps from subject to subject bring me to places I would not come without the ADD.

(52) Bobby 5000, July 31, 2010 2:54 PM

Evaluating ADD

Some comments 1. Medication is not always the answer and we are an over-medicated society. Depressed, here's a drug, attention deficit, another drug. Many successful people have what was called attention deficit disorder. In terms of what is normal, we are becoming more, not less ADD, as people go on the internet to search one thing, on the cell phone for another, and struggle to do 10 different tasks. Taking drugs is a tough choice. 2. Consider gender differences. Boys and men are disproportionately labeled ADD. Use a compliment sandwich to make suggestions. Tell a man, Bob you always forget to get the stuff on the list, so make sure. .. A man will focus on why he is being criticized, why he is angry about it, things she does wrong, and the second part of what he was supposed to do is forgotten. 3. Help on organization. Work with the tool that works for him Data can be collected in Outlook, on a cellphone, or in a notebook or daytimer. If something is important, take a few minutes to review schedules and todo items so they get on the computer. Don't give him something to do in the middle of what he sees as an important football game on TV. 4. Limit Stress Stress will aggravate organizational problems and problems like ADD.

(51) , July 30, 2010 5:44 PM

Please I wan to add my voice to this situation and for that matter Hardship, Difficulties and a lot of problems has have been destroy Human life is absolutely serious indeed. Please believe you me I am also facing the same thing in my life which sometimes I want to Harm myself and get out of this Crazy World. So therefore I also need Solution to this my Problems. Please help me thank you very much for replying me.

(50) Beverly Kurtin, July 30, 2010 5:19 PM

Stroke and ADD

I was "normal" until I experienced a massive hemorrhagic stroke (bleeding into the skull). I was prescribed Dilantin to help prevent Grand Mal seizures, but like any psychotripic medicine, staying on it too long can cause a whole encylopedia of side effects. Make sure that tardive dyskensia is not listed as a possible side effect. Because my neurologist kept me on Dilantin longer than required, I now have PKC, paroxismal kinesegetic choreathosis. MOST DOCTORS ARE NOT AWARE OF THIS POSSIBILITY even though that is their speciality. I had to rip out a page of the Physician's Desk Reference because he wouldn't look at page two where it warned of that possibility. I now have polyneuropathy in which the nerves to my feet and toes are so painful that I cannot walk unless I take a very strong med. My hands and legs will suddenly twist or bounce in a dance-like movement. ANY psychotripic drug can cause this painful side effect. So be very careful and talk with your physician about starting any new psychotripic drug. I was forced to retire early when another side effect, spasmodic dysphonia, prevented me from talking; I had to have Botox injections through my throat (not painful). Now that plastic surgeons and others are using it to smooth out wrinkles (heaven forbid anyone should look their age) the price has shot up and some folks simply cannot afford treatment causing suicides when the pain reaches the breaking point.

(49) Anonymous, July 30, 2010 2:09 PM

married to add

After 20 years of marraige, hubby was diagnosed with add - probably always had it - just never diagnosed. all those years of marital strife - aruguing over stupid stuff - I walk into kitchen and every door is left open or he goes to take a shower and 3 hours later he still had not showered but got sidetracked doing lots of other things... It helps me as I read and learn about ADD to see it not only in him but in myself and our oldest daughter. I am guessing at least one of our 2 younger children may have symptoms already as well, but hard to tell where normal toddler issues stop and ADD begins. LOL! KNOWING the diagnosis is helping our marraige get back on track. Working with counselors and therapists to manage the ADD etc.

(48) Yoni, July 29, 2010 9:25 PM

Teen ADD

I am a 17 year old with ADHD. I was diagnosed with ADHD in 2nd grade and my parents put me on Ritalin. Thank G-D, I responded brilliantly. I am now in Yeshiva and loving it. I take Concerta(basically like Ritalin but lasts for 12 hours) every morning. I don't know where I would be had G-D not sent me Ritalin. I have found that it allows me to channel the extra energy very productively-I am pretty active in my learning! Bottom line-if you have been diagnosed by a proffessional with ADHD, medication could change your life.

(47) TMay, July 29, 2010 7:22 PM

Don't forget..

If you are mentioning conditions that make it hard on a marriage, don't overlook Obsessive Compulsive Disorder("OCD"). There is the lovable Adrian Monk on the TV series but in that scenario, he knows he has a problem and accepts the world as it is and tries to cope. Now imagine if Monk had decided that he was correct and the rest of the world including a wife was crazy. In fact, conceptually speaking, the wife is in the target zone more than the rest of the world because of proximity. Granted our society likes OCD types because they are usually punctual, clean, organzied, responsible and law abiding. Look at the IRS which expects every citizen to keep track of tiny little purchases and amounts during the year and then turn in a report and a $check on a specific date. Amazing! Some professions lend themselves to the skills of an OCD. For instance I can imagine that a certain amount of obessessive attention to detail is important for a computer programmer where any error can cause a bug in the system. Where was an OCD person when they prepared the Hubble, and sent it out into space? Later they discovered that someone who worked on it used the American system for math and measurements while the rest of the people used the metric system, the default for science, for the math and measurements.This meant that once the Hubble was launched out into space, they discovered that it did not work, a problem which had to be solved, and which was. But the ability to adapt, and to take risks, (like having a child), are skills which are fairly important in life, and they are weak points of a person with OCD. OCD people are risk averse. Certainly there is less risk in not having a child, than in having one. If a person is dedicated to "being in control" of life, and the people around them, and to not being surprised, and then look at how much happens in life that is out of one's control, you can imagine the problem.

(46) Anonymous, July 29, 2010 1:32 PM

Great video - timely and important

Thank you Rabbi for another great video. There are disorders that are similar to ADHD/ADD and one of them just happens to be Bipoloar which has several strands. I bring this up because both of them, and others, involve our sense of self. There is great shame for a lot of people because they cannot distinguish between the disease and their selves. If it is a broken bone then it seems to be a different matter, but something that involves the brain automatically triggers a different reaction: something is wrong with us. That is the first hurdle to overcome: there is nothing to be ashamed of. We are not crazy. Our parents are not somehow deficient if we have ADHD or any of the other disorders. (By the way, did you know that the biggest concentration of Bipolar people in the world is in Jerusalem? Did you also know that the smartest people in the world are Bipolars? Did you know that Hungarians as a nations are the most depressed? Did you know that Japanese as a nation have the most narcopeptics?....) There is nothing to be ashamed of and we need to know that our brain is not our self even though we identify it to be. Are you aware that in the old days that the heart was identified as the self? The brain is necessary but not sufficient. Mind you, as is apparent, if it goes wrong, then we have to get it repaired. If you are an adult who suspects he or she has ADHD/ADD please see your family physician. You will be referred for testing. It takes couple of hours with a psychologist. Then the doctor gives you a prescription. Note that there are many different prescriptions. Do not be satisfied if the first one does not work. Consider the side effects. Keep trying until you get it right. You will know very quickly.

(45) Basya, July 29, 2010 11:02 AM

Not all bad...

I have a friend who's husband has ADD (they knew before they were married). She actually finds a lot of advantages. She does not deny the difficulties, but she enjoys the exuberance and I think other things which go along with it. I am sure this helps both him and her. This is true of many conditions. For example, in another comment I mentioned Asperger's Syndrome. I know couples who see it as a terrible thing, a wife who talks about "if I had a normal husband....", etc. I also know couple's who view it as a challenging difference and see it as contributing positive things (ability to focus on a special interest and not be distracted, thinking outside the box, and more) and negative things (for example difficulty in social situations, poor understanding of nonverbal communication) to the person and to the relationship. With the second viewpoint, it is much easier to build a loving, supportive relationship and work around the challenges.

(44) Basya, July 29, 2010 10:57 AM

important topic ... ADD and more!

Thank you for bringing this up. There are several conditions which can seriously affect life, marriage, etc. which can go undiagnosed -- and which people forget can exist in adults as well as children. ADD is one of them. Just for information, another one is autistic spectrum disorders, especially Asperger's Syndrome. (It is also often exists together with ADD -- a common combination). I bring it up because it is similarly often undiagnosed, and can wreak havoc on a person's self esteem and ability to function -- not to mention destroy a marriage. And, if diagnosed, there are ways to work with it and function well, or even brilliantly!

(43) DDay, July 29, 2010 2:23 AM

Well ... let me say something...about ME.

Playing an interactive game of electronics is better than me, simply because I conk out totally and am unable to lift my arms sometimes during the day. I feel suffocated by my body and I just want out of it!!!!Does anybody like to OB? I OB (out of body with my friends on a regular basis, doing creative things such as play music and run around seeing others that like me that are like myself!!!!! OY OY!!! OYE OYE!!!!

(42) Susan, July 28, 2010 11:03 PM

My experience

I started with panic attacks and not functioning well if someone would get the slightest bit upset with me. I couldn't think straight. I was put on anti depressant Zoloft and later, Adderal. I continued on them for 6 years. I felt so much better but it didn't last. I went to a seminar/workshop and met the speaker and he suggested something that changed my life. He told me to find the help of an Upledger Cranial-Sacral Therapist. I was also led to a holistic chiropractor who with his help discovered that my digestive system was a total mess. He put me on probiotics, gave me some natural supplements for candida, and supplements for my brain, we worked together and totally changed my diet. I learned that the percentage of your neurotransmitters in your gut are much greater than that is in your brain. I fixed my gut, my brain got better. No more ADD or depression/panic attacks. and no more medication. This however is not everyone's problem. It is my story. He also discovered that I didn't crawl as a toddler. He gave me cross-crawl exercises to do along with some brain gym techniques. I use what is called "eyelights" that wakes up the non dominant side of the brain. I no longer fall asleep when I am reading and am focusing like I should. When I start to struggle, on go the eyelights. I feel that G-d gave us these tools too and they are all natural. Don't get me wrong, the meds saved my life. I literally was close to losing it and putting myself into a hospital. Not being able to think, focus and panicking about it is not fun. I learned from it though. I now work for a holistic chiropractor. The body puts it there, the body can take it away with Prayer, the proper tools and the love of a good Doctor. and yes, it did save my marriage! We both prayed for a solution and that led me to where I am today. Thank you for letting me share this. Baruch Hashem!

(41) Anonymous, July 28, 2010 9:28 PM


seriously this sounds like me!! i CANNOT stick to a schedule i'm always lost in a conversation alsways very spaced out etc... the worst of it all is that i'm the BIGGEST Procrastinator! I never finish my school work, i cannot ever finish a book unless its an amazing story- not like a learning book etc... i'm only 21 and since i was 13 i thought i had ADD bec my friend who was diagnosed said that she thinks i have it to. I told my parents and they told me that its not true bec i have A LOT of patience (which is true).... i seriously dont kn ow what to do bec my procrastination and disorganization is really affecting my life... i seriously need help but i dont know who to turn to and i'm also embarrassed

(40) Anonymous, July 28, 2010 6:31 PM

a correct diagnosis of ADD/ADHD may be difficult

My opinion on the diagnosis of ADD/ADHD is based on experience of close friends and family members. There is a risk that a diagnosis of ADD/ADHD is incorrect. When a person is in an abusive situation (any type: emotional, verbal, physical, others) it is very possible, almost expected, that they can present "symptoms" similar to ADD. In these cases, the concerned party may be very quick to label the other person as having a problem when, in fact, they are trying to work with an ongoing, emotionally exhausting situation. Another point to consider is allergies (any type, mild to severe). Allergies oftentimes result in nasal swelling and pressure. In order to understand how this could affect someone, try to remember how it feels like to concentrate when you have a really bad cold. Fuzzy? Imagine what it must be like for someone who has enough of an allergic reaction to cause an ongoing foggy-feeling. (Those with seasonal allergies may understand this better than those who do not.) An example of this may be a family who does not want to give up the family pet even though it is causing another family member tremeandous allergy symptoms. (The case I am thinking of involves a child who was taken to an "ADD clinic" for a diagnosis.) It seems that there are individuals who can be correctly diagnosed with ADD/ADHD, but parents/partners need to be extremely honest with themselves in the process. There are people available to help work through difficult situations.

(39) Anonymous, July 28, 2010 5:22 PM

Just my experience

Thank you for bringing up this important issue. Growing up I often felt that I was not as bright as my classmates. Everyone else seemed to read faster, complete assignment faster and with less mistakes. I believed that my intelligence was lacking. When I was diagnosed with ADD and began taking medication, I was able to focus and to complete my assignments and to actually succeed in school. I believe that HaShem helped me to get the help I needed to become successful. I do not see this is "drugging" myself, and I do not think that mere awareness of having ADD would have resolved the problem. Baruch HaShem, I see now that I am bright and capable, but very easily distracted :)

(38) ruth housman, July 28, 2010 11:52 AM

ADD: what adds up and what doesn't

Life exists in a state of paradox, and surely some people willingly take these medications and do feel helped, but there are many others, who feel the medications are taking away a piece of themselves that is unique, and integral to their very soul being. Yes, God provided medications and God provided us all with dilemmas and conflicts to solve, and it is not a one fits all world in terms of any medication. I do know as someone involved deeply as a psychotherapist and human being, who examines ethical issues, that there are really cogent reasons to respect the individual, and to perceive the gifts within the so called disorder. I just watched a movie, so beautiful, called Stars on Earth, that speaks to this issue, and often we, the "professionals" fail to look outside of the box. We are generally quick to label and not so quick to explore, to learn about another person, and what truly makes them "tick". We are a society that feels pills are the answer, and there is nothing different from this pill popping mentality, that "cure all" that is so different, after all, when you examine this closely, from the "ADD ictions". We want to solve problems but often we miss the individual, the soul of that person, also God given, and not always God given to medicate this out of them. There is a comment about this on Aish by a person who has ADD. Now people often feel reassured knowing they have a particular way of seeing and being that is different. But be so careful of these lavels, and realize that all medication comes with a "price", and nothing does not have side effects, emotional and physical. Yes, medications have helped a lot of people, and they have also harmed a lot of people. God provided all this, all of us, for a reason, and perhaps that reason goes deeper. I know a wonderful young man with ADD. He cannot stand medications. He is working now in something that gives his passion and creativity an outlet,

(37) rf, July 28, 2010 8:31 AM

#34, I really think maybe YOU need a psychologist! ADD/ADHD is a VERY big problem for thse suffering or living with someone suffering with it. B"H there are medications and treatments to help. Rabbi solomon owes no retraction , he is bringing up a very real and painful topic that needs to be addressed. What does ORthodox have to so with being realistic????

(36) Anonymous, July 28, 2010 8:29 AM

It's not true ADD when it is selfish.

My former son-in-law had ADD. He used that as an excuse for everything he didn't wish to do. He forgot when he was supposed to pick up his children at the park then asked my daughter to do becauase he was "tired and it wasn't his fault, it was ADD and he wanted to play on the computer." He forgot there was a court order barring his brother and Mother from contract with his children. However; he never forgot a scheduled role playing game sessions with his friends. He also never forgot when the newest DVD he wanted to see was being released. I feel that sometimes people with ADD use this as a reason to justify selfish behavior. If your spouse claims they have ADD, look carefully at the things they forget, if they only forget things for others and never for themselves, don't accept ADD as an excuse.

(35) Valerie, July 28, 2010 7:47 AM

From a spouse of an ADD individual in response to #34 comment

I am grateful to the many advances in medicine, therapy and an increasingly open forum to discusss the many complex issues involved. I've gone to for solace, comfort and understanding.. A 'good' physician will insist on meds, parallel therapy (includig couples) and limiting the dosage to the lowest necessary amt. Yet, in spite of it all or because of it, I found #34 comment so limited and narcissistic. Creativity, enthusiasm and spacial thinking are all well and good, but putting all of the responsibility to balance the chaos and an expectation on everyone around the whilring dervish of unbridled 'gifts' to be embraced isnot the answer either. When a diabetic needs insulin to adjust the levels so he may live, no one considers it drugging but rather adjusting. A person with an untreated ADHD/ADD may spend his life trailblazing yet doing an enormous amount of damage to their loved ones and totally lack the focus to allow for empathy, reliability or basic courtesy. Each new interest becomes the sole focus and all else pales in comparison. I know how it feels to be on the receiving end of the 'hidden treasures (which) lead to greatness'. My 46 year old (ex to be) husband's untreated ADHD led him to spend his life jumping from one relationship/career/project to another. He always started with great enthusiasm and failed to live up to the expectations and forged ahead leaving ruins and severed relationships and hurt behind. Routinely by everyone else's inability to 'get' his greatness, he also built a successful career in the IT sector and only acknowledged his patterns, loneliness and sensory confusion when faced with dire circumstances. Once the pressure let up he returned to his pattern. He began to drink heavily, eventually turned to cocaine and crack and destroyed everything around him. He may no t live through it. It is not a matter of 'drugging' but 'BALANCING'. Understanding only goes so far.

(34) Anonymous, July 28, 2010 3:50 AM

ADD is not a PROBLEM

Rabbi, I am surprised that an orthodox Rabbi feels that there is not a purpose for ADD. As a person who has ADD, I do not feel it is something that should be treated with HEAVY narcotics like Ritalin, or other Methylphenidate substances. Why not just use Cocaine? It has a similar effect on individuals with ADD. You also failed to point out that Steven Spielberg, Joan Rivers, Roosevelt, Tom Cruise, Terry Bradshaw, George Burns, Beethoven, Alexander Graham Bell, Prince Charles, Salvador Dali, Paul Erdos N Albert Einstein all had ADD. It is often called the "Genius Disease." There are definitely issues which can cause problems in marriage N necessary steps to managing a life with someone w/ ADD (by both spouses.) However, drugging down 1 or both of the spouses is not a solution. ADD is a blessing. It enables me to be INSTANTLY more creative N see things that others can not see. I say instantly because the mind of someone with ADD works like a "swarm" of bees each multi-tasking toward a solution to a problem. As children we have been told N as adults as you have eluded to in your video that "this is bad." That possessing this is wrong N is counter-productive to a "normal" life. I say that this line of thinking is wrong. I agree that it can make a relationship difficult, but generally difficulty in a relationship is caused by lack of understanding. When 2 people care about each other create a work around for their differences. Not by means of psychostimulants. If you have ADD or your partner does, I suggest you do some research N learn as much as u can about it. Discuss it w/ your partner N embrace it. It is a hidden treasure N is a seed to greatness. A true Blessing by G-d. Rabbi, I feel that you owe a retraction to your constituents. Your suggestion of drugging people out of there "suffering" is just wrong, antiquated thinking N quite frankly it is akin to electric shock therapy. ADD is not suffering. ADD is a Blessing. Learn to deal with it. G-d Bless.

(33) Mimi Kahan, July 28, 2010 3:14 AM

The advantages of treating adult ADD

Kudos for enlightening people on this important issue. I was diagnosed with ADD as an adult, too. B. H., I found a terrific Dr. who has been helping me treat my ADD for many years now. With the proper medication and a lot of behavior modification my life has improved dramaticaly. (Ask my family!) As far as feeling any stigma about this, I can just say that it's probably no surprise to anyone who knows me that I have ADD - I'm actually proud that I am taking care of it. The best tip I can offer is using a Blackberry. It's great for shopping lists and keeping general notes. Using the alarm feature on the calendar is one of the best advantages - I don't forget my MD appoints anymore.

(32) Anonymous, July 28, 2010 2:27 AM

ADD well into my eight decade

Dear Rabbi, I only wish I had ran into your comments 60 or 70 years ago. I have been endowed with great intelectual and physical assets, have always made a great living and held terrific jobs all over the world. Yet, always managed to run into trouble quite often from elementary to graduate school, have runnins with workmates and superiors as an employee, managed to dilapidate fortunes made on my own, several times over and antagonized people who were close at one time. Now, I am pushing 80 y.o. and only wish as I said, to have known about ADD when I was younger . Actually, my only purpose in writing this is for someone else to get a clue as to what is coming unless they pull themselves up from their shoe laces. Best of wishes.

(31) Anonymous, July 28, 2010 1:39 AM

IF you can tolerate the meds

As and adult ADHD, I found the pills very helpful. I was able to use them for about 2 years, and then the side effects became too dangerous for me to continue. Please be careful if you have any kidney issues. They can affect your kidneys in a negative manner.

(30) Anonymous, July 28, 2010 12:01 AM

My experience with ADD

Thank you Rabbi Solomon for bringing up this topic. For many, medication helps quite a bit with ADD or ADHD symptoms, and for those people it's a G-d send. However, it's not the total answer, especially for me, since I tried several medications that either didn't work or had a bad effect on me. It's very important for adults with ADD or ADHD to be married to the right spouse that loves them for who they are and not for who they will become. It's also very important that the place where adults with ADD or ADHD works is ADD-friendly enough so that they can express their talents in a healthy way. I ended up in an abusive marriage without even realizing it. Thank G-d for helping me get out of that mess and for helping me be married to someone who's such a mentch. The second time around I really looked for a man who wasn't high-strung and didn't get angry easily. That was the most important thing for me because I'm forgetful and in order for there to be peace in our house, my husband has to be able to not get angry over little things. One sign I can remember when we were dating was that we were supposed to meet somewhere and I left my keys in the car and the motor running. Had I not left my cell phone in the car with all of my contacts in it, it may not have been so terrible; I would have called my husband-to-be and explained to him what happened. The problem was that I didn't even know his phone number by heart, or the phone number of anyone who did, for that matter. It wasn't until about 3 hours later that Triple A was able to open the car door for me. When I told my husband-to-be what I did, he didn't get angry at me at all, and he patiently told me that this could happen to anyone. After that, I really wanted to marry him! And, thank G-d we've been married for over a year now and we don't even have to get outside help to work out our day to day challenges. There's truely no greater blessing than a peaceful home!

(29) Kathleen, July 27, 2010 10:45 PM


From childhood I suffered from ADHD and the beginning symptoms of chronic fatique. I went for decades not knowing what was wrong. I had a hard time accomplishing things but didn't know why. The upshot of it all is I started suffering "little breakdowns"--I had to rest to be able to function again. The breakdowns came more often, stress did me in, until ten years ago I had the final breakdown. It's only been the last ten years that medicine has been able to help. I now take meds that have helped greatly. Course now, I've gotten too old to do much.

(28) Anonymous, July 27, 2010 9:09 PM

My husband has ADD

I was married in the past year and just a few months ago, with my urging, my husband went to a psychiatrist where he was diagnosed with ADD. Previously he had a very difficult time focusing on his work and working productively throughout the day. He has always claimed he has ADD but never took any steps to get a diagnosis or any formal help. His ADD has impacted him his entire life, from trouble with accomplishing schoolwork to managing his money in a financially responsible way. While he was previously hesitant about receiving a formal diagnosis, he saw how much it meant to me and was willing to try medication to see if it would help. What a difference! He is now much more focused and I no longer feel the need to accuse him of being "lazy" or "irresponsible." He was told he does not need to take medication every day and only takes it when he needs to really be able to concentrate. While before he would do work and three other things at the same time, he can now focus with just one screen open on his computer and work more efficiently. He feels better about himself and I feel better about our marriage.

(27) Anonymous, July 27, 2010 8:30 PM


Thank-you rabbi for bringing this diagnosis into the light. It doesn't need to be a stigma...It's manageable and treatable, thank-God. I urge all spouses who's husband's/wives are telling them that they may be have ADD, that they're distractible, unorganized, etc., to please, PLEASE listen and get evaluated. Consider the feelings and lives of your loved ones, and get a professional opinion. It may very well change your life for the better, as well as those around you at work and at home. It's not a's just a difference in the brain's processes and responses.

(26) Barbara, July 27, 2010 7:58 PM

People are very judgmental

I have ADHD. I am a little odd because I am very hyper and like to be social. When I got divorced, rumor had it that it was my fault because I am a little "off". No one would ever assume that my husband was abusive. But people talk just the same.

(25) Meira, July 27, 2010 7:12 PM

America used to find a quick fix with medications.

Everything starts with the name: if you call it ADD, ADHD you might find best treatment with modern medications; if you call it neurosis ( of any kind: motor, depressive, infantile, hysteric etc.) you will find better results with old fashion massage therapy, hydro therapy ( relaxation mineral bathing including) , autogenic therapy etc.

(24) Hana R, July 27, 2010 6:41 PM

alternative approaches

Good for you Esther and good for you Mark! There are so many ways to treat...Nutrition helps a lot too. The Omega 3-6-9 oils found in health food stores or Kosher vitamins on line...Learning certain types of breathing exercises together with whatever you chose to do, adds to your repertoire of tools. Go educate yourself in these approaches. The draw back is that insurances do not cover their costs infortunately...But again remember that educating yourself, breathing, eating a different diet, drinking water, exercising, sleeping enough etc do not require money. All you need is the right information available from good friends and neighbors that know about healthy living, books in the library, on line free info, classes in the shul or neighborhood (people are interested and want to share and discuss, exchange info). Go to the health food store and start looking at the announcements about free demos for cooking, and alternate living habits...Even the up to date, best hospitals now have what they call integrative medecine and programs of the sort... go look and search and you will find, each for what they need and what works for them...

(23) Anonymous, July 27, 2010 6:34 PM

My reply to Esther's posting of July 26th....

Esther, I read your posting with great interest, especially since I was finally granted my EMigration from a psychiatric facilty where I spent the last five years before moving to Israel as MY "Aliyah". I was NOT diagnosed with any sort of ADD, (though my son Joshuah 11 years was diagnosed by my now Ex-wife.) I suffered and survived a "near-FATAL" plane crash,- lost one eye, had a portion of my frontal lobe removed, spent one month in coma and NO DOCTOR gave me any chance in hell that I would EVER survive this! (Well, here I am: "alive & kicking" and all people around me, after listening to my story could only comment: "...And you let them do THIS to you?!?!" Yepp...!! Even BEFORE I woke up from my coma, I was already given a certificate saying: * Aggressive * Short-term-memory-loss * Unable to make "sound decision" and needs a 'conservator'! Granted, this accident left me in shambles. For the last five years I am taking severe Anti-Seizure medications,- twice a day. I playfully call it my psycho-pharma-cocktail, but whenever I ask(ed) a doctor: "What are THESE good for?" They only reply: "They are GOOD for you!" Anyhow, these days I live in Rishon LeZiyyon and even though I travelled over 40 times to Israel, it was THIS time that when I arrived at the arrival hall at "Ben-Gurion-Airport", I took the time,- looked around, fell on my knees & hands and kissed the ground: "Thank you, oh' Allmighty in Heaven, for finally bringing me home to MY promised land!" Since the "Superior Court of the State of California" certified me as 'meshuggah', I am currently "conserved" and will most likely remain as such, for the rest of my life. At least, in the first half year of 2009 I had to report ALL my activities and ALL my requests via email or telephone to my 'conservator' in California. However, as of January 2010, I will STILL have my FINANCIAL conservator in California, but my sister has become my PERSONAL conservator :-) ! Thank you, David

(22) Anonymous, July 27, 2010 6:02 PM

Why oh why oh why

Why does he double park the car for alternate side of the street parking and then leave it there for two days? Why does he fall asleep during sex? Why has he been paying all our bills with cash advances on major credit cards, such as Visa, Master Card, Discover? Three simple letters: ADD Reader, I divorced him.

(21) Anonymous, July 27, 2010 5:43 PM

I am married now for almost 39 years. We have two adult children, our son was diagnosed with ADD in the second grade. Our daughter was not diagnosed until her second year of medical school. She takes medication to help her focus. He does not, but he did try meds for a few months. He did not want the side effects. He has managed to learn coping skills that work fairly well for him. My marriage was extremely difficult. Many times I felt that I had three children instead of two, and the biggest one was the most difficult. My husband never agreed that our son accept treatment for ADD, and he really does not beleive that our daughter also has ADD. He also questions whether our son was correctly diagnosed ! Of course he himself will not agree to be evaluated. Meanwhile, our marriage is deteriorating because of his behaviors and moods, and I'm at a loss as to what I can do to keep it together. As he has aged, his behaviors are escalating. I am beginning to question my own sanity in wanting to hold on to this marriage. We share a lot of years, a lot of family history, but is it worth sacrificing my own mental health? I have come to the conclusion that it really does take two to make a marriage work. Now I am struggling with how not to feel guilty about leaving, and how to make a new life for myself. I would feel differently if my husband would educate himself on how ADD/ADHD affects relationships. Both our children want very little to do with him. And he blames me for that. I am devastated.

(20) George Weil, M.D., Ph.D., July 27, 2010 5:15 PM

Why shouls Rabbi Yaakov Salomon "prescribe" drugs?

Shalom Bais is a real and increasing problem. ADD, depression, stress and other psychological disfuncionalities affect millions of people. Rabbis should not "suggest" the use of medicines or drugs, beside the fact that they have rabbinical experience with couples and problematic people. I'm aware that Rabbi Yaakov Salomon has a degree as CSW, not convinced that he can recommend prescription drugs. This is physician’s job.

(19) Anonymous, July 27, 2010 5:05 PM

Painfull? ADHD can be a plus due to hyperfocus. (Just diagnosed 2 wks ago)

Good timely message. As a 59 yr old with ADHD (inattentive subtype) my life is testimony to the fact that there are many good aspects to ADHD. At 37 I became a volunteer fundraiser and since then ideas that I have had have brought well over $2 billion to charities since then (22 yrs). My charitable work is due to hyperfocus. So now I will clean up my clutter frequently so it does not pile up and I will make a point of remembering what I went into room X for and not to start another project before I finish the ones that I started. There are obviously worst cases than the one that I have but there are actually many good points to ADHD and one with ADHD should try and take advantage of them. My one regret: At 20 I was advised what my level of intelligence was but I could not study/absorb enough to fulfill my potential.

(18) Hanna, July 27, 2010 4:24 PM

wow Its the first time that I see something about this one a religion site! I have dyslexia they tought ADD and later ASD I just live my life normaly I work and do everything I look normal and I want to be so normal! But i am divorst and I am afrait and this is my fear for a shidduch, people dont have any idee end see me as a nice person end yes I try but its complex to deal with me in everyday life :-) BH G'd is always there!!!

(17) Anonymous, July 27, 2010 4:17 PM

Learning to cope

Rabbi, you've hit on an extremely important topic. Your timing for me couldn't be better because I was recently diagnosed with ADHD. Growing up, I always knew something was different about me, but I could never quite pinpoint it. I thought I was just weird and had some serious psychological problems. I was originally diagnosed with depression, but I somehow felt that wasn't right. When I learned about ADHD and more importantly, learned about the coping skills, my life changed completely. I now recognize potentially awkward or challenging situations and either avoid them or mentally prepare for them. On a positive note, ADHD has given me wonderful creativity that I would not have had otherwise. As long as I'm constantly "on guard," my problems have been significantly reduced. The world contains all kinds of people, and those of us who think outside the box have been given both challenges and fantastic opportunities to use what Hashem gave us.

(16) Anonymous, July 27, 2010 4:10 PM

Painful and Controversial

I appreciate the need to discuss this to a wider audience and applaud your efforts to make the issue known (though many people know about it). I was slightly disturbed by your saying that the topic was "Painful and Controversial". Why is that the case? It is no different than any other "challenge" that we have in life, why discuss it with the same distancing/apologetics that we discuss issues that are self inflicted? When you describe it as "Painful and Controversial " you do a greater disservice to the people who have ADD than not having the issue known. ADD is something that should be dealt with, with some means. Why is that "Painful and Controversial"?

(15) Anonymous, July 27, 2010 3:36 PM


bs'd Finally.....some good sense. Thank you for bringing this clarity and hope into the world of relationships.

(14) Anonymous, July 27, 2010 2:54 PM

Stop the Stigma

There's so much stigma associated with the word "medication". People think ADHD is akin to psyciatric illness!! ADHD is common & is very much part of the normal spectrum. Once upon a time the world was divided into hunters & farmers. The hunters had ADHD. Nowdays everyone is supposed to be a farmer, this is very frustrating for someone with ADHD. We have 2 sons with ADHD, the oldest refused medication (due to the stigma) at 14, he's older now & not coping with a rigorous learning schedule due to his ADHD, yet refuses to try Ritalin because he's nearing the age of shidduchim. Knowing he has ADHD has enabled him to develop stategies of controlling his anger, impulsivity to a greater extent and develop organisational stategies. Having ADHD has given him an incredible drive to achieve and made him very creative. There are many positives to having ADHD & knowing about it & working with it. We had our son diagnosed at 6years old & his brother around 10 years old. With the help of Ritalin we have been able to not only overcome potential learning issues but also correct others. We've been able to help them become self aware of their behaviour & its effects on others. The positive aspects of ADHD has enriched our family in many ways. No it hasn't been easy & as we near shidduchim it will probably be very challenging. But we were not prepared to have our sons suffer because of misguided stigma or Ch"S drop out of Yiddishkeit & self medicate. How many people have addiction issues which could have been prevented with Ritalin. If you're a parent reading this & you think your child has ADHD please have pity, not giving Ritalin to a child or adult who needs it is in my opinion abuse.

(13) Carolyn Feder, July 27, 2010 2:53 PM

Holistic and Healing

Thank you Rabbi Salomon for addressing this important issue which is only becoming more and more prevalent in a society of noise and the need to have so many things. The most obvious least understood factors that affect those with learning differences of any age ...... the spaces they live, work, learn and are treated in. The chaos and lack of organization is a symptom of a problem and perpetuation of the chaos only aggravates the situation. It's a terrible vicious cycle. My specialty has become helping children and adults with learning differences understand how to create spaces that are healing and being able to maintain them. There are numerous and wonderful "prescriptions" that Hashem puts in front of us everyday and few pay attention....natural colors, scents, sounds, open spaces, etc. We have reached the point of being so focused on the forest we truly are unable to see the trees.

(12) Stuart, July 27, 2010 2:53 PM

It happened to me, and almost led to divorce

Whether or not it was in reaction to trauma, I don't know. But I changed careers and started an extremely stressful job with an extremely abusive boss. I developed panic attacks and some behaviors akin to ADD {treated with ADD drugs) and some obsessive/compulsive behaviors (not to be detailed here) as well. The result hurt my marriage, career, and finances. All I can say is, get help and get exercise.

(11) Anonymous, July 27, 2010 2:36 PM

I think i have it!

Please help me to find a doctor to diagnose me well. i live in Nassau, Long island and need lot of help.

(10) Anonymous, July 27, 2010 2:21 PM

diagnose saved our marriage

Being spouse of someone with ADD can be very challenging. I always got the feeling i was a nuisance,disturbance, not interesting, not important(not being able to concentrate on a conversation, promising things and then forgetting etc etc) after 9 years of such hard work, trying again and again our last hope was counseling. bH the counselor advised my spouse to be tested and he was a classical ADD case. Retalin changed our lifes, saved our marriage,our family life. my spouse is a rising star in his field of work. I thank HKBH daily that He send us the right person at the right time cause i doubt if our marriage would have ended well. After 9 years we started a new life together with the bonus of 3 fantastic children bH. Even if he wouldnt be on Ratalin,but knowing its not the man but the ADD that makes him behave a certain way already helped me, knowing it was not him, not me but something neurological. bH for right people at the right time and bH for Retalin.

(9) Dinah, July 27, 2010 1:36 PM

Medication has literally changed my life

Thank you Dr. Salomon for bringing Adult ADD to the public's attention. I believe the prevalence of Adult ADD/ADHD is a lot higher than we know because of the reasons you mentioned in your video. I was not diagnosed and treated until I was well into adulthood. Thank G-D for Adderrall because it allows me to really focus and accomplish without becoming too overwhelmed. Unfortunately, had I been properly diagnosed as a child, I may have been able to better achieve my goals. However, it is never too late and I am excited and blessed to be able to accomplish them now (I am in my 50s).. Medication, when used properly and appropriately can change lives....I am proof of that!

(8) Ed, July 27, 2010 1:28 PM

I was helped

After many years of being frustrated as to why I never was able to do well in school, why my employees found me frustrating to work for and having a short temper, I was diagnosed with AADD. I have started taking Welllbutrin SR for almost fifteen years ago and the results were almost immediate. My employee's wanted to know if something was wrong because I was staying calm and focused. Not what they were used to. It has made a world of difference in my relationship with my wife, children and friends. It should not be taken lightly. It has really changed my life for the better.

(7) CB, July 26, 2010 10:34 AM

Thank you Rabbi

for bringing this issue out in the open. The shidduch system is broken when so many go into the parsha with the expectation they will find the perfect spouse, that someone with ADD or other issues is 'damaged goods'. There are so many people with excellent middos AND issues like ADD that are treatable. I hope the system is fixed before my daughter is that age...

(6) Esther, July 26, 2010 10:25 AM

Married with dyslexia and adhd

When I was 11 years old I was diagnosed dixlexia in South Ameica. BH my parents were there for me even thou it was a tabu those those. My story is very simple: My oldest twin started taking ridolin when she was 8 years old. So One day out of curiasity I took my pill to understand exacly the feeling and how I could help my child much better. Wow, it was a new world for me. I could not believe how much I could do and I stopped being in lala land. I went to Psycaitrist to explain what happen to me. I was 32 years old. I could not read or write English, I could not read a magazine, I could not go with my husband to a movie because end up sleep. I started taking different medications; it took 2 ½ years to find the right the medication. I continue working with psychiatrist making sure I am doing well. I was very aggressive, did not have patience for my children, I could not understand my husband. I was miserable. My twins tell me I have changed so much and I am really a great mom. “What a Bracha” I do get angry, upset at them, but I can understand their needs and can comprehend that there are not perfect. Please it is not worth it to go each day miserable and not able to enjoy each day as beautiful as it is. Hashem create doctor, scientist that works to create different medication is for a reason because Hashem wants us to have a beautiful life and able to help others that suffers with the same challenges than us. Thanks

(5) Mark Douglas Obenour, July 26, 2010 9:36 AM

Try something different it may work for you!

I tried anti-depressants in the past, One gave me nasty mood swings. Others made me more lethargic and non-productive, I simply slept all the time. Not wanting to become Rip VanWinkle. I kept trying...I went back to my M.D. and told him about the bad side effects from the Therapies I had tried. I was working with a "holistic" physician who used more than drugs from pharmaceutical companies...he had other things to try than just pills. I wound up trying homeopathy...and it worked for me. Basically homeopathy is using extracts of natural substances (The natural substances are what the drugs are made from anyways). I was cleared up in about 2 months with the homeopathy handled by my M.D. where I had taken pills for YEARS and suffered undesired side effects. Like the Pepto commercials used to say..."Try it, you'll like it" when it comes to something different. You may be the person that the 'something different" works for!

(4) Anonymous, July 26, 2010 3:53 AM

Very well thought out presentation.

I sometimes think that I may be suffering from A.D.D. I will discuss this subject the next time I see my physician. Thank you Rabbi Solomon, for bringing up this sometimes thought of as taboo subject. We all need to be more educated about it.

(3) Anonymous, July 26, 2010 3:24 AM

Living with ADHD

It was a surpurise to be diagnosed with ADHD as an adult. But with the help of medication and other management, I am able to lead a very productive life. Although I am single, I am familar with the destruction that undiagnosed ADHD has on a family. Countless stories of broken relationships and divorces. Indeed it is very troubling. People must understand there is a lot of misconceptions about ADHD, not to mention the stigma attached to this. This is a medical condition, not an issue of poor character. Sometimes it may seem as though staying undiagnosed is the better option. But nothing feels as good as getting your life in order.

(2) Anonymous, July 26, 2010 12:09 AM

Thank You for Reminding Me of Something Very Important

i was finally diagnosed with ADD @ 18 years old. Medication has helped me tremendously and I now can't believe that I survived for so long without it! For a long time I've carried the bitterness of 18 years worth of difficulties and failure. No one at school or home ever knew quite what to do with me and I always felt so alone and out of control, it hurt so badly and I also never knew what to do with myself! I hated the way I acted and I hated myself for not being able to be in-control like everyone else. The pain was so great and still is, but I try to find comfort in my current successes. While I am familiar with the concept of adult ADD and how it can negatively affect marriages, I never really thought about how that would manifest itself in my life. In the next few years, I will enter the world of dating and shidduchim. I always worried about how any boy would want me, what with my wild behavior and backround. Now I realize that I should actually be VERY THANKFUL to Hashem that He helped me solve this problem before going out on shidduchim. I feel hopeful about life, now. Because eventhough this problem truly RUINED my childhood and teens, it will be successfully managed in my life as an adult and wife, I"YH. There is tremendous signifigance in the fact that I was diagnosed at such a transitionary stage in life, and I hope to learn to sincerly and completely accept appreciate this, one day.

(1) L, July 25, 2010 4:44 PM

Married to ADHD

My husband actually was diagnosed as a kid, but was always under the impression that he was supposed to grow out of it. He didn't. After a year and a half of marriage, we finally went for help, and found out that indeed, most people never outgrow it, and the way to treat it changes. We have been using the resources, and while he still has a long way to go in terms of really putting his life together, the therapy and medicine have been a God-send. Also, I am thankful we went for help while still in our early 20's, when it's easier to make lifestyle changes. Thank you Rabbi Salomon for bringing this up!


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