Adult ADHD Makes It Harder To “Have It All”
It’s hard to be an adult in the modern world. Life is hectic. The demands on a working person are tremendous. Successful people in today’s world are organized, efficient and in top of their game every day. Try to accomplish that if you struggle with attention deficit disorder, Adult ADHD!
The demands of modern life are harder for an adult with ADHD. And so many well-meaning people say the dumbest things to the ADHD’er; none of which help them feel good about themselves or to be more successful.
Adult ADHD people are out of the box thinkers. But due to the way their brain is wired this creative way of relating to the world comes with a cost. ADHD adults struggle with:
- time management
- following through on commitments once the fun parts done
- keeping relationships alive and healthy
- avoiding addictive and destructive habits
- staying focused on the job at hand until it is completed
- a hyperactive nature that shows up more as an internal restlessness with an inability to rest and relax
- difficulty managing emotions
ADHD is exhausting if you are the person dealing with it. If that’s not enough to deal with every day, the stupid things other people say to you due to their misconceptions about ADHD. Many otherwise well meaning people try to deny the existence of adult ADHD by discounting the experience of the Adult ADHD’er.
Here are a few of the common things those of us with ADHD often hear from others. Have you ever said any of these things?
- Everybody has a little bit of ADHD. Not true! Sure our rapid pace of life, the internet and our cultural tendency towards instant gratification makes everybody less patient but that isn’t ADHD. ADHD takes that experience and magnifies it for the Adult ADHD’er to the point of overwhelm. It isn’t just difficult to keep up with everything; it’s nearly impossible.
- Only kids have ADHD. Again not true! Research shows that at least 50% of children diagnosed with ADHD still have attention, concentration, organization and impulsivity problems as adults. Research indicates that it is consistently under-diagnosed in adults. To complicate things further many people are never diagnosed as children so they are flailing around as adults and wondering what’s wrong with them. Then when they figure it out other people come along and try to tell them it’s not possible.
- You can’t have ADHD. You’re not bouncing off the walls! Adults with ADHD are rarely hyperactive. It’s the one part of ADHD you grow out of. The rest stays with you. However, adults with ADHD are restless. It’s more of an internal experience of being fidgety combined with an inability to be still and relax.
- You sure your not bipolar? People with ADHD often feel their emotions very intensely and take longer to process them and move past them. As a result they often display more emotional range then the people around them. Since being bipolar is sort of cool these days and there’s plenty of movies, TV shows and other popular media on the subject it’s not unusual for the ADHD person to be suspected of bipolar disorder. Research again shows that many unskilled clinicians mis-diagnose adult ADHD as Bipolar disorder.
- You can’t have ADHD. You get so sucked into that computer that I can’t even interrupt you. Yes, a common part of ADHD is the ability to hyper-focus on certain activities in a way that causes you to forget the other important things in your life. For ADHD’ers it is often machines with glowing tubes that become the item they hyper-focus on. So TV, computer programming, and the internet in it’s varied forms; including online gambling, pornography, chat rooms, social media and just about anything else can absorb all of the ADHD’ers time and cause them to neglect the rest of their life.
These are just a few of the many misunderstandings that surround ADHD in adults. What other things have otherwise well-meaning people said to you? Feel free to post your response below.
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