Is a short attention span the same as ADHD?
One of the challenges from the ongoing! pandemic is the recognition by some students and parents that they are having a really hard time with paying attention. Perhaps this had been a challenge before for some students but working from home really brought the challenges of staying on task to the forefront. An increasing question by students and parents has been is this ADHD? Any quick search for ADHD can confirm that difficulties with attention can indeed be a sign of ADHD and is certainly one of the most common symptoms that brings it to the attention of clinicians. An overview of ADHD can often resonate with students as they complain about not being able to keep track of information, remember to do tasks, or start and finish their work.
Have you ever had a stomachache and looked online and decided that it was cancer? Diagnosing online can be a tricky endeavor and there are a lot of factors to keep in mind. The reality is that the problems described (which are problems with the executive functioning of our brain) can be caused by a few different things. People who are depressed or anxious will often have a hard time with focus and attention and with starting and finishing tasks. Underlying medical conditions can also be the cause of problems with attention. Individuals who have experienced trauma also struggle with self-regulation and can present with the same symptoms as ADHD.
It could also be ADHD. People with ADHD who had a structure to help them be organized and on top of their work have found themselves floundering without that structure in place.
If you have questions about your attention span, consult with an experienced clinician to figure out the underlying cause. Understanding the nature of a problem is an important first step in getting a solution.