In my experience ADD in adulthood is often misdiagnosed, especially if the person happens to be intelligent. Many times the person is diagnosed as suffering from depression. The diagnosis of depression may be correct, but it is the result of the problem, not the root cause. ADD in adults often leads to recurring failure and under-achievement and this may lead to depression.
Recommended book on coping with ADD as adults:
Mastering Your Adult ADHD: A Cognitive-Behavioral Treatment Program Client Workbook (Treatments That Work)
This book brings helpful coping mechanisms for people that suffer from ADD. Almost anyone could benefit from using these skills.
The main skills discussed in the book are:
1. Get a calendar, whether a paper one, or a computerized. My inclination is to direct people to a computerized system, unless they are not computer Savvy. Most people with ADD have awful handwriting, and their writing tends to be very messy.
2. Get a to do list, organized by priorities, and with a deadline. People with ADD tend to go for low priority tasks because they are easier, or more attractive. Putting a formal list in place with priorities, helps people organize their day in a more appropriate way.
3. Learn how to break each task into small steps, so that they are not overwhelming.
4. Mange your environment, to minimize sources of distractions.
5. Find out how long you can work on a single task without being distracted. Use a watch for that purpose, studying your own performance as you go about your daily tasks. Once you have an idea of the optimal period in which you remain focused, break any task you need to do to smaller ones that can be accomplished in that time frame.
6. Deal with the depression that is associated with ADD, otherwise you will find it difficult to make the necessary changes in your life.
7. Learn better study skills.
While medication prescribed for ADD can be helpful, it is insufficient. Additional work is often required for the person suffering from ADD to reach his or her full potential.