Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is characterized by three main components: inattention, hyperactivity and impulsivity. Distractibility makes it tough for children and teens to perform well at school and for adults to be successful at work. Distractibility is the inability to block out distractions such as a dog barking or a fellow student getting up to ask a question during a test.
Symptoms of Inattention
One of the main symptoms that many teachers and parents notice first is a child's inattention or distractibility. The child might make careless errors on homework and tests, have difficulty paying attention while the teacher is giving instructions, have trouble following through on classroom instructions and chores and have difficulty staying organized. An adult who suffers from ADHD and distractibility might start cleaning the kitchen, get distracted by her dog that needs to go outside and forget to finish cleaning the kitchen.
It's important to realize that you're not stupid, a bad person or worthless because you get easily distracted. This symptom is due to a mental health disorder that can be treated. You're not scatterbrained and disorganized. Instead, you're suffering from ADHD. It's part of the diagnosis, not your personality.
Treatment for Distractibility
When a child, adolescent or adult suffers from ADHD, a therapist can work with that person to devise a personalized treatment plan. Each person experiences symptoms differently and responds to treatment differently, so it's important that each person take time to work with a mental health professional on a treatment plan. For instance, one child might respond really well to medication on the first attempt and only need cognitive-behavioral therapy over a short period of time. It could take another child with severe distractibility and other mental health issues such as anxiety longer to find the right combination of medication.
Types of Medication
According to ADDITUDE, medication can help someone suffering from distractibility by helping the person's internal filters work more efficiently. This will not cure the problem, but it can definitely help. The Mayo Clinic reports that the most common type of medication used to treat ADHD and distractibility are stimulants such as Ritalin, Concerta, Adderall and Dexedrine. Straterra, a non-stimulant medication, is often prescribed if stimulant medications aren't effective or produce negative side effects.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
The most common form of therapy used to treat ADHD in children, teens and adults is cognitive behavioral therapy. A therapist working with someone with distractibility problems helps the person to understand how his thoughts affect his emotions and behavior. For example, someone with this disorder might blurt out things at an inappropriate time during a meeting, because he's afraid he'll forget them. The therapist might suggest that the person write down his thoughts so he can share them at an appropriate time.