What’s your Distractibility score? 8 questions for you.

Last week 100 of you skimmed through my email on ADD, hit reply to say, ‘Dr. Sara, that’s me!’ but then forgot what you were supposed to be doing, and went to the kitchen for a snack.

This happens to me a lot.

How do you know if it’s a symptom of stress, internet brain, not enough sleep–or if maybe it’s ADD?

To put you at ease, here are the official, Harvard-approved DSM-IV questions–which represent just a sampler of the 18-Item Scale I use in my concierge integrative medicine practice.

(Too distracted? Give this to your partner, who will be happy to illuminate you.)

1. Carelessness: Is your desk so messy that you have trouble finding things?
2. Difficulty sustaining attention: Do you have unusual trouble staying focused on boring or repetitive tasks? [Yes, I’m also terrible at Clue.]
3. Doesn’t listen: Do people (spouse, kids, friends) complain they have to repeat themselves, that you don’t seem to pay attention or respond? [My darling husband filled out the form for me and scored this one “severe”].
4. No follow through: Do you have trouble finishing things (work or chores)? Need deadlines?
5. Can’t organize: Is it hard to prioritize at work? [Professional organizer on speed dial?]
6. Avoids/dislikes tasks requiring sustained mental effort: Do you have to force yourself to do complicated tasks? [Yes, and for me, playing Clue is a complicated task.]
7. Loses important items: Keys? Important work papers? [Children?]
8. Easily distractible: Do you need relative isolation to get work done?

If you’ve answered yes to 3 or more of these, that’s good cause to make an appointment for an evaluation with me or another trusted physician. Don’t settle for getting Kaiserized, as I did recently. Ritalin, Adderall, and the like don’t do your adrenal glands or your dopamine levels any favors. There are other, proven, evidence-based, natural treatments for ADD in adult women. They’re worth looking into.

Here’s to becoming a highly-attuned hormone superhero who is excellent at Clue and never loses the keys,


  1. Heathero on October 27, 2011 at 1:51 pm

    So I guess having 7 of these is a clear sign! 😉

    • Sara Gottfried MD on October 27, 2011 at 2:08 pm

      You’re in good company… I’ll be posting on natural solutions proven to help next!

      • Carrie on October 29, 2011 at 7:12 pm

        I answered them all with a yes. My son was diagnosed in gradeschool and we put him on adderal. By 7th grade he weened himself off. He still has issues. I have never been “officially” diagnosed. I do need help!