At its heart, ADHD isn’t a deficit in attention, but a failure in the system of the brain that easily and mostly unconsciously sifts incoming information and decides how important it is, and therefore how much attention it deserves. In people with ADHD, their attentional focus, and their ability to consciously direct their attention, is out of whack, causing problems in many life areas, including time-management, organization, goal-setting, emotional balance and relationships.
I’ve found that MANY people who’ve been diagnosed with chronic anxiety or low-level depression (known clinically by the term “dysthymia”), have undiagnosed, “hidden” ADHD. Such people may go to therapy for months or even years, and take anti-depressants or anti-anxiety medications, yet get little relief. But once their ADHD is diagnosed and treated, they begin to feel and do better.