ST. PAUL (WCCO) — If you often lose your train of thought at work or spend too much time focusing on small tasks, you’re not alone. These are characteristics of a condition that is more common in children, but more adults are being diagnosed with.

Bill Johnston was diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) around 2005. Johnston, from St. Paul, sought help after it was getting in the way of running his own business.

“One day I was sitting at my desk and realized that for three days I hadn’t produced anything,” said Johnston, who was 55 years old at the time.

Johnston said he would be at his computer, reach for the mouse, and forget what he wanted to work on.

“I think that’s something people think, ‘well, that happens to me.’ But that happens to me 12 times a day,” said Johnston.

Research suggests that most children with ADHD will take it into adulthood. Since the disorder decades ago wasn’t as prevalent as it is today, ADHD diagnosis are coming much later in life.

“That explains a lifetime of mysteries to me,” Johnston recalled saying when he was diagnosed.

At first, he thought he was depressed. He also suffered from severe anxiety. After seeing his doctor and then a psychiatrist, he was diagnosed with his disorder. The psychiatrists suggested an ADHD coach. That’s when Johnston found Jay Carter who specializes in helping adults with ADHD to be more productive and successful in the workplace.

“We began to identify specific areas where Bill would get off track,” said Carter about when he started working with Johnston.

It was easy for Carter to relate to his clients since he was also diagnosed with ADHD when he was 42 years old.

“The agenda with coaching and specifically with ADHD coaching comes from the client, and the coach is there as a sounding board,” said Carter, whose clients are lawyers, doctors, entrepreneurs and engineers.

After two years of working together, Johnston said he’s living with much less anxiety and has more control over his diagnosis.

“A bad day doesn’t necessarily mean a bad week, a bad morning doesn’t mean a bad day anymore. It’s been colossal,” said Johnston. “When I’m selling, I sell with more confidence because I know if this one doesn’t happen, the next one will.”

Johnston said what really helped manage his disorder was recognizing what was getting in the way of being productive and limiting the amount of time he’d spend working on less important tasks.

The statistics on adults with ADHD vary, between 1 and 10 percent of people who’ve been diagnosed.

Twin Cities psychiatrists say more adults are seeking help for ADHD than in the past. Carter believes that only 15 percent of people with ADHD have been diagnosed.

Carter meets with a client four times a month for 45 minutes the first few months and less often after that. The sessions are mostly conducted over the phone and Skype.

You can find more information on Carter’s ADHD coaching by clicking here.

Comments (17)
  1. Bobby says:

    If someone votes for Obama twice it is likely they are suffering from this affliction.

    Because it is obvious they are not paying attention.

    1. Brown says:

      Yeah, because it was so much better with Bush.

      1. Bobby says:

        I agree, history and the facts speak for themselves.

    2. eathelbard says:

      Oh, come on. Is that the best irrelevance you got? You couldn’t work in Somalis? You just aren’t trying hard enough to be a TRUE whackjob.

    3. pitiful says:

      You have issues. An ADHD article brought out that?

      You need a hobby.

      1. Gary Lee says:

        He clearly doesn’t have ADHD. If he did he would be trying to focus on a lot of different things. He can only see one, and perceives everything else as being the same one. That is a different condition altogether, called SDS.

  2. zee the reporter says:

    If someone votes for GOP twice it is likely they are suffering from this affliction!

  3. Jerry says:

    I suffer from this, and I forgot to vote.

    My first item posted today and I’m getting a message that says, Slow down, you are posting items to quickly. WCCO needs new software for this site.

  4. DEEP says:

    Nutrition-chemicals in the food and water-pills,pills,pills-media propaganda? These news stories make me think of web sites like Fluoride Action Network and Natural News.

  5. ADHD says:

    I suffer from this. I get medication for this as well. Most people assume it’s a silly, non issue disorder but it can really complicate things if left untreated. Depression and anxiety can become severe symptoms when you don’t take proper actions to control the disorder.

    It’s NOT a disorder that is “all of a sudden” appearing either. It’s always been there, many have never been diagnosed.

  6. Frank Lee says:

    oh yes…if you are apt to grab your chain-saw and head out back on a day off yer adhd…your s’posed to sit on yer duff all day in front of a screen watchin’ the mainstream b.s.,same with the kids these days…not normal for a boy to get abit squirrely after sitting for an hour?…bull…

    1. uh huh says:

      LOL Yes they want us to be robotic zombie slaves submitive to establishment ideas.

  7. markH says:

    ADHD is the most over-diagnosed disorder in the medical profession. We have children as young as 3 on daily regimens of ADHD pills that have VERY serious side affects. Meanwhile, pharma companies have made tens of millions of dollars poisoning children with narcotics, while convincing well-meaning parents that excitability and distraction are “disorders” rather than normal childhood behaviors. This is immoral, irresponsible, and criminal on the part of the doctors AND the parents.

    1. Jamie says:

      MarkH, you sound very misinformed. ADHD symptoms are much greater than “normal childhood behavior”. I have a child with this and I myself have this. Anyone who has been involved in my life could greatly see the difference from an ADHD child to one without. My child showed symptoms of this before the age of 3 and was diagnosed at 5. Thank goodness he was diagnosed as the medications were live changing for him. He is able to to control his emotions and focus. Thes narcotics you talk about do wonders for children as well as adults who truly have this disorder. Yes, the narcotics are harmful if taken by someone without this. Consider yourself lucky to not have ADHD or a child that does. There are many people getting diagnosed that truly do have this and the medications save there live

  8. cancel etc says:

    I tend to think it is overdiagnosed in kids. I’ve met teachers who think most kids have it and I disagree.

  9. mark says:

    no such thing, it sis an excuse for being lazy

  10. I have ADHD and would not want to live without it. I get twice as much done in a day as most people I know because I’ve learned how to use it. I have written a post on this here – – I hope this helps get away from idiotic comments like Mark’s. I have taught for 20 years and known many ADHD kids – not ONE of them is lazy.

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