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Opening Doors to New Possibilities

Leave Me Alone!

A 48 year old woman says:

I have a lot of trouble being around large crowds. I am perfectly happy being alone. I am married and it really doesn't matter if I spend time with him or my children (who are grown). There are times that I don't even answer the door if someone, even my children, comes to the door. Is this a sign of ADD or simply being stupid and selfish? I thought it was depression but not too sure now after reading some of the articles.

Michele Novotni answers:

You say that you have a lot of trouble being around large crowds but I'm not sure if that is because of ADD related difficulties such as inattention, hyperactivity or impulsivity or something else.

If ADD characteristics are in the way of your social relationships then you could have unlocked a big piece of understanding yourself better. If you do struggle in those areas and that is what makes it difficult for you to socialize with others, I recommend an evaluation with a professional who specializes in diagnosis and treatment of ADD.

However, you also said that you lack desire for even one-to-one contact with your spouse or children. Sometimes people with ADD are so used up trying to cope with the stresses of everyday life that they need extra quiet/alone time and sometimes avoid social contacts.

However, it could also be that you have something else going on. Just because you have ADD that doesn't mean that you can't also have something else going on (like depression or anxiety). If you have something else, that doesn't mean that you also can't have ADD.

When you have more that one difficulty at the same time, we call that comorbidity. Professionals would not view your behavior as stupid or selfish as you fear, but rather as an indication that there is a problem.

I recommend that you seek out the help of a psychologist to help you understand your behavior whether ADD related or not and to help you develop strategies to change. I wish you well in gaining a better understanding of yourself and overcoming the obstacles to connecting to the important people in your life!

Michele Novotni, Ph.D., is a psychologist and coach in private practice in Wayne, Pennsylvania.

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