The following is an article that was first published in 2010 on Edexpat is long gone, but thanks to the internet archive, the text of this article was recoverable. What follows has been edited and slightly updated Have you ever wondered why some people have to be mobile when they’re on their mobiles, or doodle in meetings, or continually play with a stress ball? You might think that they are not paying attention, but, in fact, the opposite may be true. The reason may be linked to a disorder commonly associated with kids but rarely applied to adults’ behaviour, Attention Deficit Disorder or ADD.

The term ADD is a misnomer. It is not really a deficit of attention. It would be better described as an executive disorder. People who suffer from ADD do not have a deficit of attention; they just have a problem controlling their attention and their working memory (the memory that we all use to buffer information while we process it) and can be very easily distracted. This can lead to a loss of focus and poor organisation skills. However, regardless of the accuracy of the name, as many papers and books have already been written on the subject it isn’t going to change any time soon so ADD it is.

ADD is not a binary condition it is a spectrum disorder. That means that everyone, you included, has ADD to some degree.

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