“Seek the Lord and his strength; seek his presence continually!” 1 Chronicles 16:11
ADHD or Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder is classified by the CDC as: “one of the most common neurodevelopmental disorders of childhood. It is usually first diagnosed in childhood and often lasts into adulthood. Children with ADHD may have trouble paying attention, controlling impulsive behaviors (may act without thinking about what the result will be), or be overly active”. https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/adhd/facts.html
However, this is just a definition on a website. It does not encompass the entirety of what life with ADHD is like. Most people do not even realize that they have ADHD, and have lived undiagnosed since childhood.
(If you relate to any of these things, this does not automatically mean that you have ADHD!!! I do not have a degree in psychology, and I am not a licensed therapist; these are just symptoms I have seen from myself and people I know who have professionally been diagnosed with ADHD.)
- Forget most things as soon as you hear them
“I’m sorry, could you repeat that?” or “Say that again?” or maybe just the ever-popular “Huh?” are all frequently used phrases in your daily life. After you hear some lengthy set of instructions, you feel embarrassed because you cannot recall many parts of what was just said. You were listening earnestly, giving the speaker your full attention, but it does not matter. You still cannot remember. If this is true for you, you might have ADHD.
- Need to have some sort of background noise or activity most of the time
You often leave a TV show or music in the background while working on school or work. If you don’t, you think you will quickly become bored with the task you are working on. You think, “This does not affect the quality of my work. It just keeps me entertained while I do it.” The truth is, you feel that being distracted while you work is inevitable, so you want to control what you will be distracted by. If this is the case for you, you might have ADHD.
- You find it really hard to finish things
You have roughly three movies, 4 TV shows, two books, and countless projects you are in the middle of and have forgotten about or “just put on hold.” You just lost interest in most of these things, but you want to continue working on them or finishing them at some undetermined later date. There is just a much more exciting show, movie, book, or project that you are really interested in at that moment.
- You get overwhelmed in noisy, busy places
Shopping malls and department stores are some of your least favorite places, especially during huge sales or events that make said locations more hectic and chaotic. You are always on edge whenever you are in those places and feel entirely drained once you leave. You feel exhausted from having to focus on so many different factors at once – like the blaring music, the people moving around you and trying to focus on what you went into the store to get, as well as the employees asking you questions, trying to assist you. You dread having to go shopping because it always makes you too exhausted to do anything productive once you leave the stores. If this is a common occurrence for you, you might have ADHD.
- You always have to be doing something with your hands or feet
People point out how you pick your nails, drum your fingers on surfaces, or play with your hair. You are sometimes surprised when people point it out, because you do not always realize that you are doing it. It just kind of happens whenever you are deep in thought. It feels like this helps you get in your mental rhythm. If this is something you have noticed is true for you, you might have ADHD.
I want to make something clear. This post is in no way meant to be accusatory or saying that if you relate to any of these things, that there is something wrong with you. The opposite is true. I have often found that it is nice to hear that there is not something wrong with you – your brain is just wired differently than those around you. And when you process differently, doesn’t it make sense to learn differently?
Alas, that is a post for another time.
I hope this list was able to offer some clarity on common symptoms of ADHD. If you relate to any of these, I encourage you to do more research into Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder and even reach out to a psychologist and psychiatrist that you trust to talk through these symptoms and figure out whether they are signs of ADHD.
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Until next time!