LOS ANGELES (CBS) — If you’re a mom pulled in a million different directions — work, soccer practice, a dinner party, play dates — you’re not alone. There are plenty of moms out there who are depressed because they never can get through their “to do” lists.
As Lisa Sigell reports, there may be a reason you’re not getting to the bottom of that list and a reason you might have to write out so many lists in the first place.
Gina Overholt from Lakewood is the mother of a pre-schooler, a wife, and a full-time writer.
And like other women, she over commits herself to people and projects she doesn’t have time for.
Says Overholt, “I think if I were to draw myself it would be a person going after pretty shiny things. ‘Like, oh look at that! That’s so interesting, look at that.’ Then when I don’t follow through with it or it’s not so shiny and pretty when I realize how much work is involved, then I”m depressed about it. What a loser I am.”
Overholt says her lack of concentration has created challenges throughout her life.
She’s had some fender benders. She’s lost jobs over it. “Let’s just say I’ve been let go quite a few times!”
And within the last year a separation in her marriage from her husband of 14 years.
“Whether it is a factor or not,” she believes, “I could understand it would be difficult to be with somebody like me — who’s all over the place, who’s overcommitted because it’s over committing his time, too.”
She had trouble focusing when it also came time to parent their child. “Well, mommy might go by the office and see the computer and see that some emails have come in and start dinking around with the computer. And then daddy will see that [our son] is still not in his pajamas and his teeth aren’t brushed and kind of take over. ”
Gina’s inability to follow-up and follow through led to a depression. And then a startling diagnosis. Attention Deficit Disorder, increasingly being diagnosed in adults.
Sarah Ferman doesn’t treat Gina, but she is a licensed marriage and family therapist. Ferman believes moms like Gina are more common than we think.
Says Ferman, “You can go from activity to activity and feel like nothing got accomplished but you’ve been busy all day long!”
Moms who don’t have ADD simply know how to say “no” more often.
Ferman doesn’t just treat ADD, she once suffered with it. “Not that we’re not smart,” she maintains, “but executive functioning in how we organize, how we prioritize, how we can distinguish what’s going on, is how we remember and how we do things.”
Ferman says if you believe you have the disorder, see a doctor and have yourself checked for low iron, magnesium and anemia…all can be confused for ADD.
And once you have been diagnosed, consider therapy or a coach that specializes in treating the disorder. Whatever you do, Ferman says seek out support.
Overholt wholeheartedly agrees. “Instead of beating yourself up and looking at all the things you didn’t do, look at what you did accomplish and love yourself for that!”
For information about the groups Moms With ADD, click here.
For information about the disorder ADD in children and adults, click here.
To get a copy of “Driven to Distraction,” what many consider the definitive book on ADD, clickhere.