15 Things Only a Person With ADHD Will Understand
We’ve all walked into the room to search for something, only to forget what we were searching for in the first place. For people diagnosed with ADHD, it is a common occurrence along with many other symptoms that make ordinary life a challenge. Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder or ADHD is a learning disorder that affects people from the age of 6 years and above. Individuals affected by ADHD face challenges focusing on tasks, organizing things, and following instructions.
Here are a few things people affected by ADHD can relate to:
1. You’re A Multi-Tasking Legend
Well at least in your mind. Do you often find 30 tabs open in your web browser? Because it can be hard to focus, to people with ADHD it can seem like they’re doing a million things at once. These aren’t finished as smoothly as they were started.
2. Your Mind Is Always On
ADHD doesn’t allow your mind to settle. It always seems like there is something important that deserves your attention even if you’re trying to get to sleep. There is no off switch to all the thoughts that are racing through your head.
3. Your Daydreams Are Like Hollywood Blockbusters
When a person zones out, it can be because of a preoccupied mind or a tiring day at work. If you’ve been affected by ADHD, your day dreams are the stuff of legend. Your train of thought will be full of twists and turns, and you will zone out for what will seem like ages to anyone around you.
4. There’s Nothing You’re Not Passionate About
You may have impulsively signed up for a Save The Whales campaign and are extremely passionate about the cause. You want to do all you can to impact the movement positively. The only problem is there are an infinite amount of things you’ve cared about before, and you have limited time to work on all of them.
5. You Are Passionate About Everything
There isn’t anything in the world that is interesting enough to keep them interested for more than 15 minutes. Even their interests and hobbies are brushed aside quickly, leaving incomplete work and missing pieces. Crossword puzzles are the usual victims.
6. Spontaneous Is Your Middle Name
Have you signed up for something on an impulse? If you’re living with ADHD, every situation can lead to an inevitable outcome. They often commit to things without fully understanding the implications.
7. Everything Is A Distraction
Do you have that career-defining day at the office tomorrow? Preparing a presentation that will knock your bosses socks off? Oh wow! Look at the way the water drips from the faucet. Is that a new doorbell my neighbor is using? It is a challenge to stay focused even when there isn’t something terribly excitingis even more so for children affected by ADHD. They find it difficult to follow their regular classes and feel pressurized by the workload.
8. Organizing Your Desk Is A Nightmare
Is your room a mess only a minute after you cleaned it? Is it impossible to find something in your desk drawer? This can happen a lot. ADHD makes it a challenge to organize anything. Even making lists can be a daunting task.
9. May The Focus Be With You
There is another side to the disorder. You may suddenly feel so connected to one particular thing, that everything else is merely a blur in the background. People with ADHD can experience this tunnel vision like situation for random subjects they had no prior interest in.
10. Staying Calm Is Not As Easy As It Sounds
If you’ve ever misplaced something you know the panic that comes with it. For a person with ADHD, it can get much worse. They can become frenzied and disillusioned and will make the situation worse than it is. If you’re around them when this happens, don’t blame them for being careless. Help them find it and try to keep them calm.
11. You Lose It When Someone Messes With Your Schedule
Organizing anything can be such a challenge that it will give you profound satisfaction to stick to your plan. Someone messing with even the tiniest of details can trigger panic. It makes you either lose your temper or lose interest in the program.
12. Emotional Responses Are Common
If you’re living with ADHD you know it can be challenging to restrain your emotions. You can find yourself feeling extremely cheerful and upbeat for even the most mundane things. The flipside is getting depressed about everything.
13. Patience Isn’t Always A Virtue
Do you feel the need always to be on the move, getting things done? People who live with ADHD often come across as impatient. They may seem restless to other people. This is especially true if they’ ve been forced to be quiet for some time.
Because your mind can seem full of endless possibilities, you often end up starting a lot of projects without finishing any. To the untrained eye, this may look like you just keep putting off things.
15. Time Can Fly Faster Than You Realise
Because you are preoccupied with all of the interesting and important things going on around you, you may forget a few. Suddenly looking at a calendar can lead to panic attacks as you realize that there are bills due and birthdays you’ve forgotten.
Conclusion: Use It To Your Advantage
ADHD can be limiting, but it doesn’t have to control your situations and outcomes.
There are many inspirational stories of people overcoming their challenges and climbing heights even they never imagined. There are also plenty of professors, artists, lawyers and other professionals that are living with ADHD. It has no influence on a persons intellect. Highly intelligent people can still achieve success even with the disorder. You can achieve everything you set your mind to if you receive the right support from those around you.
10 Things that Make People with ADHD Highly Successful.
What have Richard Branson, Ty Pennington, Katherine Ellison, Paris Hilton, and Solange Knowles all got in common? They all have ADHD and they have been very successful. It has not always been easy for them as they have had to cope with hyperactivity, short attention span and the side effects of medication. But ADHD does have quite a few benefits which are rarely talked about. With the right guidance, these weaknesses can betransformed into strengths. People with ADHD have a lot going for them. Let us look at 10 things which actually help them to be successful.
1. They have enormous energy.
One of the typical symptoms of a person with ADHD is that they are always on-the-go, have boundless energy and are hyperactive. Michael Phelps, the great Olympic swimmer who holds 13 world records, has ADHD and is an inspiring example. Once he discovered swimming as an outlet for his astonishing energy, he was able to use that to to develop his athletic talents and become a world champion. Adam Kreek who won a gold medal at the Beijing Games talks of a similar experience. He says that once a child with ADHD is encouraged to follow a sport of his choice, then anybody with ADHD can use their incredible energy to help them overcome some of the difficulties associated with this disorder.
2. They can hyperfocus with great results.
One of the characteristics of ADHD is that you can remain hyperfocused on a task which you find stimulating and rewarding. Lots of kids with ADHD are brilliant at computer games, for example. Michael Phelps was able to use that with great effect when training. Other people too have had great success when taking advantage of this great benefit because they were able to exploit it. The secret is to harness this ability and channel it in the right direction.
3. They know how to exploit their creativity.
Many people with ADHD display remarkable creativity which shows itself in amazing talent in drawing, music, dance, and many more creative activities. Problems arise when this creativity is not recognized because there is far too much emphasis on being organized. What a pity! When this talent is developed, many ADHDers go on to pursue careers in writing, marketing, performing arts and architecture. Examples such as Frank Lloyd Wright spring to mind. Another inspiring example is Albert Einstein who also had ADHD and used his creative mind to revolutionize Physics.
“When I examine myself and my methods of thought, I come to the conclusion that the gift of fantasy has meant more to me than my talent for absorbing positive knowledge.” – Albert Eisntein
4. They want to solve problems.
A person with ADHD often thrives on problem solving and can find a solution intuitively which will leave the rest of us scratching our heads. This makes them ideal leaders in politics and in business. The founder of JetBlue, David Neeleman, is an excellent example. He claims that it is his ADHD which has helped him a lot. He summed it up perfectly:
“I can distill complicated facts and come up with simple solutions. I can look out on an industry with all kinds of problems and say, ‘How can I do this better?’ My ADD brain naturally searches for better ways of doing things.” – David Neeleman
5. They are prepared to take risks.
One of the symptoms of ADHD is impulsivity and taking risks without thinking of the consequences. If this takes over, it can create problems in relationships and when driving. But it can, when used well, lead to innovation in business, the arts and science. We only need to think ofIngvar Kamprad, the founder of IKEA who was prepared to risk creating flat-pack products which would be assembled by the customers themselves. It was risky but it worked. This is often typical of the person with ADHD who will take action on an opportunity while the rest if us stand around analysing to death the risks.
6. They love to multi-task.
ADHD people love to multi-task because they actually enjoy flitting from one task to another. Their attention span is so short that this is perfectly natural for them. Doing a secondary activity such as doodling, fidgeting ordoing some mindless task actually forces the brain to stay on track for the main task.
Many entrepreneurs who suffer from ADHD have been successful in start-ups where juggling so many things is actually the best way of doing such a complex job. There is no one else to do the work at the beginning so it is perfect for ADHD multi-taskers.
7. They will not give up very easily.
Society demands that deadlines are met and people are focused. People with ADHD have difficulty meeting these demands but they have one quality which can often put the orderly ones in the shade. They really excel at sticking it out although some people might say they are stubborn. But persistence is a quality that ADHDers have in abundance and it can really help them to succeed. A great example is Dustin Hoffman who had ADHD:
“In my room as a kid…. I’d play a fighter and get knocked top the floor and come back to win.”- Dustin Hoffman
8. They thrive on support and encouragement.
With the right support, people with ADHD can thrive. A good example isPaul Orfalea, founder of Kinko’s. He remarked that ADHD lets him think of great projects and he gets people to handle the day to day practical details.
All too often, ADHDers are put in the back seat and rarely learn as they are being disciplined all the time. What a pity teachers cannot channel the talents of ADHD kids because they can often bring joy and enthusiasm to learning. Too often, kids with ADHD are made to feel as if they are different. Ty Pennington has said that when he went out on his own he started to build up his confidence. Finally, the ADHD label was forgotten and he was able to display his talents.
9. They are sensitive and caring.
It may come as a surprise but 75% of people’s success will depend on their emotional intelligence and how empathic they are. The other 25% is made up of actual skills and qualifications. ADHD people tend to be hypersensitive in both the emotional and physical sense. This can mean over reaction at times. The good news is that such sensitivity makes you a better person to work and live with so, if you have ADHD, you should always keep that in mind. The secret is to stay connected. A wonderful example is Dr. E. Hallowell who has ADHD and is now regarded as a worldwide expert on this disorder:
“Never before has it been so easy to stay in touch with so many people electronically, but rarely has it seemed so difficult to maintain genuine human closeness.”.- Dr. Edward Hallowell
10. They are enjoyable and funny.
Laughter helps to reduce tension and stress in the home or office. This is where many kids and adults with ADHD come into their own. They have a playful sense of humor and this is an asset they should be proud of. They are the ones that can lighten the general mood and remind everyone around them that life is a lot more than doom and gloom. The famous actorWill Smith has ADHD and once described himself as “the fun one who had trouble paying attention.”
4 Things I Do To Help My ADHD and Depression
When you have ADHD and depression, every day can feel like Alexander’s terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad day. Depression is present in adults with ADHD 2.7 times more than adults in the general population. The depression can either exist concurrently with ADHD or as a byproduct. While your first course of action is to see a professional for the proper diagnosis and treatment, there also are some habits you can bake into your daily routine to help.
I’ve been trying to follow these four steps to start living a more intentional, inspired life and have found that it’s helped both my ADHD and depression. Combined with the proper professional medical care, these four things have really moved the needle for me.
Regular exercise is mood-lifting and can keep you motivated. Modern science credits exercise helping ADHD by increasing dopamine and norepinephrine in the brain, which is linked to regulating attention. Similarly it releases endorphins, which deliver feelings of euphoria.
When maintaining a healthy lifestyle, it was important for me to be able to set realistic benchmarks that I could track easily. Setting a daily step goal and using a fitness tracker ended up being the best option for me. Because you’re sporting wearable technology, you don’t have to worry about tracking workouts, and a lot of these devices already have nice, clean dashboards that do all the guesswork for you.
The only challenge will be to keep your fitness tracker charged. For me, this means always keeping my charger in the same place where I can access it at any time – my make-up bag that stays in a larger tote bag that goes to work with me. My personal choice is the FitBit Charge, but anything that tracks steps will do the trick.
Engaging in activities to occupy your mind benefit both depression and ADHD by giving your mind something to focus on that’s positive, like gardening. Boredom, frequent in ADHD-ers, can commonly trigger symptoms of depression. Pack a one-two punch and listen to podcasts and audiobooks during your exercise routine. Keep a collection of adult coloring books in the house.
Believe it or not, for me having this blog was key in keeping my mind engaged. Before I started writing about my battles with ADHD, I pretty much just watched A LOT of TV. While I’m not bashing Netflix binging (and I still manage to get in plenty of hours of it), I have noticed an improved mood after finding something that I can really be excited about day after day. The challenge will be maintaining that level of engagement over the long-term. By being more organized with my time and planning ahead, I’m hoping that I will avoid burning out. So far it’s been working well for me.
Meditation can alleviate depression by interrupting negative thoughts and improving your mood. In fact, a 2014 study reveals that it can be just as effective as antidepressants. According to psychiatrist Dr. Lidia Zylowska, meditation also helps ADHD-ers by improving the ability to control their attention.
I have to say that I was at first skeptical that meditation could be so powerful, but after working with a hypnotist over some anxiety issues, I completely believe it now. There’s something powerful that happens when you focus your mind on themes and ideas that build you up as a person rather than bring you down. I used to think my grandparents were mystical in their ability to be able to harness this power; I know now that they probably just put in the work.
Any deficiency in nutrients can impair the body’s ability to function properly. Conversely, eating foods rich in protein and omega-3 can help both depression and ADHD. In addition, sticking to quality foods will keep your brain clear and alert and your body feeling better.
As you design your own vision of what living with ADHD and depression will be like, you may consider healing your relationship with food either through therapy or a support group. I have always been a fan of Weight Watchers, although I must be careful not to be so focused on the scale that it threatens my relationship with food.
If you’re battling ADHD and depression concurrently, it is my hope that you’ll also enjoy the snowball effect of how helping one condition also enhances the treatment of the other and vice versa. Along the same token, I’ve found that when I don’t practice these acts of self-care, I tend to experience the drawbacks on both fronts.
If You Love Someone Who Has ADHD, Don’t Do These 20 Things
You wonder if everybody’s life is as chaotic as yours. Something’s not right.
Your child doesn’t act like the other children in the class. Homework assignments guarantee a night of fights, slammed doors, and tears shed. The teachers call you in for conferences weekly. Your husband gets fired again claiming all his bosses are jerks. You work overtime so your car isn’t repossessed. Your sister cancels every time you plan to meet for dinner. Your teenager is hanging out in the local piercing parlor. And your daughter can’t find her car keys whenever she’s walking out the door. Your relationships are constant conflicts.
You’ve considered splitting up, but you can’t afford to live on your own. You’ve thought of quitting your job, packing your bags, and running away. You’re tired all the time. You’re trapped, choking, and you cannot breathe.
Loving someone who has ADHD can make your life crazy if you don’t get a grip on it. The doctors prescribe medication. The therapists tell you what to do, but your home is as wild as a college frat house.
A person with ADHD can be hard to live with. The thought patterns and behaviors of a person with ADHD never go away. They are manageable, but that too, is a full-time challenge.
Without proper care, ADHD can lead to substance abuse, overeating, unemployment, toxic relationships, divorce, constant conflict, academic failure, insomnia, stress, anxiety and panic attacks. A person with ADHD has an active thought process of options, possibilities, and scenarios the average person cannot even imagine.
Eventually, reality bites. The rent is due, the electric bill is unpaid, and your checking account is overdrawn again. You’re exhausted from staying awake worrying all night. You want to run away, but your problems are like misspelled tattoos that stay with you wherever you go. There is hope. It doesn’t have to be that way. As a person with ADHD has to work through his challenges, you as his lover, parent, sibling or friend also have to learn coping skills to improve the situation. Don’t do these 20 things if you want to have a happier life together.
1. Don’t live in denial – Admit the truth.
Call the problem by its name: Attention-Deficit/Hyperactive Disorder. Your life will become easier when you identify it, own it, talk about it, and stop running from it. Admitting that it exists is the first step to freedom. There is no reason to feel ashamed. Many of history’s greatest contributions have come from people with ADHD. Scientists, authors, artists, musicians, and entrepreneurs have become successful because they have a creative vision that average people do not possess.
2. Don’t criticize – Judge favorably.
Realize that your loved one with ADHD is trying his hardest, even though it’s not good enough for your standards. Lighten up, go easy, and give them time. They will accomplish what they have to do, but not on the schedule you have in mind. Allow them time and space to accomplish their tasks. Influence them with love, not with criticism.
3. Don’t accept excuses – Encourage and inspire them to achieve their goals.
ADHD isn’t an excuse for an irresponsible lifestyle. It just means that what comes easy to you, may be difficult for them. It doesn’t mean that they can’t do something, it means that it’s harder for them. Simple tasks that you take for granted; such as opening mail, trashing junk mail, and placing your bills in a “to be paid” folder, feel like a climb up Mt. Everest to a person with ADHD. It doesn’t make sense to someone who doesn’t have it. Try to be encouraging, in spite of your doubts and disappointments. Point out the times when they suceeded.
4. Don’t be a coach – Be a cheerleader.
Stand on the sidelines; grab your pom-poms and start cheering. Words of encouragement have more power than insults and put-downs. Coaches arein-your-face critics. Their job is to point out the negative. Cheerleaders stand on the side, rooting for success, believing in their teams ability to achieve. Let your loved one with ADHD know that you are on the same team.
5. Don’t make unrealistic demands – Stay with the possible.
When a person with ADHD gets stressed out, an obsessive thought pattern of “what-ifs” begins. Screaming and shouting, “Just do it already. Stop making such a fuss,” will not break through compulsive thinking. Accept the fact that they may not be able to do what you want, when you want it, or how you want them to do it. If it’s something important, be specific.
6. Don’t give instructional lectures – Be respectful.
Lectures are not helpful if a person feels like they are being spoken to like a child whose baseball broke the neighbor’s window. If you have something to say, be sure to choose the right words at the right time. The timing of your conversations determines if you will be heard or ignored. Schedule a time to talk. Rehearse your speech so that it comes out as love, not control.
7. Don’t be impulsive – Practice patience.
Someone with ADHD is impulsive. If you are the rational thinker in the relationship, your ADHD loved one is depending on you to be wise and patient. Two impulsive people reacting emotionally and regurgitating information at each other, does not make for a happy ending.
8. Don’t be a martyr – Call for backup.
Have a support team to help you through the struggles. You don’t have to manage everything alone. Call a friend, a therapist, or a loving relative. Find someone who just listens. If you don’t want advice or suggestions, a comforting shoulder to cry on can strengthen you and change your outlook
9. Don’t forget your goal – Prepare for a positive outcome.
Sometimes words come out that you later regret saying. They can’t be taken back. Hurtful words leave deep wounds. Keep your goals in mind. What would you like to accomplish? Ask yourself, if I say this will it lead to a negative or a positive outcome? It’s up to you. You determine the outcome. Go slow. Think before you speak.
10. Don’t feel guilty – Know that you are doing your best.
Feeling that your loved one is hard to love, or that you don’t like their behavior is a sad feeling to experience. If you’re a parent and are upset about your child’s behavior, guilt runs through your veins. It’s not your fault. You’re doing the best you can. You’re in a tough situation and you aren’t always sure which is the best way to handle it. Be gentle with yourself.
11. Don’t try to control them – Control yourself.
Intimidating or threatening does not inspire change. Trying to control people is never effective. When you don’t know how to motivate your loved one, think about how you can change your approach. You can’t control other people; you can only control your words, thoughts, and reactions towards them.
12. Don’t lean in – Step back.
Intense emotions are negative emotions. Leaning in and pushing a person to perform isn’t the most effective way to reach the result you desire. When stress is high and you feel like screaming, back off. Stepping back gives you time to breathe, relax, and readjust your thoughts.
13. Don’t label them – Be compassionate.
Judgment is easy; compassion is hard work. Don’t box them in as a “forgetful, lazy, disorganized mess,” or “someone who will never succeed.” Labels create pre-determined expectations that last for years. People become what you see them as.
14. Don’t say “never” – Nothing stays the same.
When times are tough, it’s hard to remember that tough times don’t last forever. Things will get better. Believe it. “Never” is a word of hopelessness. Start saying, “not yet.” The only thing constant is change.
15. Don’t say “Just do it” – Understand that they can’t.
An ordinary thinker cannot understand how a person with ADD/ADHD can’t accomplish the simplest tasks such as paying bills, organizing papers, and putting their clothes away. These tasks may be easy for you, but remember, the person with ADHD also has a hard time understanding why they can’t pay a bill or manage their mail.
16. Don’t be afraid to help out – Offer a helping hand.
It’s important to teach your loved ones how to be responsibly and independently. But also remember, that there are times when it’s okay to offer assistance. Even Einstein had a helper. His wife cooked for him, cleaned up after him and did his laundry because his high-powered mind was too busy discovering the quantum workings of the universe to take time to put his dirty socks in the laundry bin.
17. Don’t have unrealistic expectations – List what you love about them.
Accept your loved ones as they are. Just like with any other relationship, you have to look for the good, and stay focused on it. Never lose sight of the awesome qualities of your ADD/ADHD loved one. If it’s your partner, remember that their fun-loving, impulsive personality is probably why you fell in love with them. Go back to the beginning. Love them again, as if you first met them. If it’s your child, remember the feeling of holding your newborn baby in your arms for the first time.
18. Don’t neglect other family members – Spend time alone with them.
ADD/ADHD can take over your home environment, subliminally controlling everything and everyone in it. Spend time with other family members. They need you, too. Go to the movies or go get some ice cream with them. Remind them that they still exist for you. Hug them and hold onto them.
19. Don’t get mad – Pause for peace
Make peace in your home and your life your priority. The other lessons will soon fall into place if your home is a loving environment. Anger is easy. Staying quiet takes strength. Put your relationships before your feelings. You don’t have to veerbalize every comment that comes to mind. Place your ego on the side until your anger subsides.
Don’t ever accept abusive behavior of any type. There are certain relationships that are unhealthy, toxic, and need to end. Seek professional help.
20. Don’t forget to love yourself – Do something that makes you happy
ADHD relationships can suck the joy out of life. You realize that you haven’t laughed in a month. You forgot how to smile, and you can’t remember the last time you had fun. Make time for yourself. Do something that makes you happy. Have fun again, and do it often.
Let this little story inspire you:
After she received an ADHD diagnosis for her 7-year old son, a woman went to to the psychiatrist. Frustrated and distraught that she couldn’t handle her own child, she cried, “What more can I do? I’m doing everything I can. I don’t know how to handle my own child.” He looked at her and quietly answered, “Love him more.”
That wasn’t the answer she had hoped for. Through her tears, she pleaded for answers, “Love him more? I’m giving this child everything I can. I’m empty inside. I’ve got nothing left. How can I love him more?” “Try harder. Dig deeper. You can do it,” he answered.
When you love someone who has ADHD, they are a part of you. They live in your head and in your heart. You were chosen for this task. Love them more.