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The environmental ADD: Attention Deficit Trait (ADT)

Updated on March 17, 2012

A couple of days ago, I ran across an article published by The Age, titled "Why smart people underperformed." This news article starts with the sentence, "If you're a slave to your iPhone or Blackberry (but what about the Android phones?)...", as it is about: Attention Deficit Trait, or ADT for short.

What is ADT? Here are some key facts:

  • ADT is a term introduced by the psychiatrist Dr Edward Hallowell, the founder of The Hallowell Centers
  • The symptoms include lack of patience, easily distracted, impulsive, restless, a sense of "gotta rush, gotta do this now"; people with ADT find it difficult to remain focused and eventually become less productive
  • ADT is most prevalent among working adults, especially among people who are conscientious and crave for high simulation
  • ADT is basically driven by the rapid changes of the today's world; enabled by the modern technology and aggravated by job insecurity, workplace and global competition
  • More specifically, by attending (too) many tasks, answering/writing emails, text messages, constant accessing information on the web, and other, increase brain simulation leading to a 'brain jam' (like a traffic jam) - at this stage, Dr Hallowell believes that the brain then enters 'survival mode', making it hard to think clearly and intelligently
  • ADT symptoms come gradually and when series of emergencies arises, people with ADT will begin to question their ability to perform, and apparent to co-workers, the reduction in productivity
  • ADT may share similarity to Attention Deficit Syndrome (ADD), but as it is environmentally based, ADT symptoms improve once the environmental stimuli are eliminated or significantly reduced, so ADT is not ADD
  • Medication is not the proper treatment for ADT, rather behavioral modification such as finding a proper balance of when to switch off the phone, tablet, or computer and taking time off from all distraction to just sit and think

That news article that I mentioned earlier, it has a number of good points to combat ADT, including taking care of oneself...


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