The more I write about ADHD, the more there are people whom feel related. It’s actually quite normal as the majority of adult people with ADHD are not diagnosed. Yesterday someone commented that it even frightened him. So I guess that before I scare too many people with more stories I’d better try to get you relieved from that paranoia. I’ll talk about Symptoms and we’ll finish with What’s Next.
However: if everything I say here hits home, it can be a very emotional experience and you are up for a roller-coaster.
Born to be wild
ADHD is a physical condition that you are born with. It’s not something you ‘get’ nor is it something you can ‘get rid of’. The fact that it has always been there is important in the case of a diagnose. That’s why, if diagnosed at a later age (30 in my case), the emotional roller-coaster takes you through your whole life. It’s also genetic. Chances are that either one of your parents had it and that (one of) your children will have it as well. In your parents case and yours it shows that ADHD is a condition that is perfectly able to hide itself.
- After a conversation, in person or on the phone, you hardly remember what has been said.
- If two or more people speak at the same time, you can freak out. It’s almost impossible to focus on that one person talking to you.
- You interrupt everyone at all times. When you do, you know you did and you’ll apologise to yourself. One minute later you do it again.
- The reason you interrupt is because you know exactly what they are going to say so the rest is a waste of time.
- You talk more than you listen. When you do listen, you stare. And not necessarily to the person talking.
- In an open office space you have heard every single phone-call every person has made.
- In a crowd you could become the outsider within your own group. When it becomes too much for you, you try to escape.
- There is absolutely no way to shut down the brain. Even when you are physically relaxing, you are building sky-scrapers and saving the rainforest at the same time.
- Fidgeting, tapping your feet or fingers, … some part of your body is always in motion
- Although people feel you are successful, you feel you never really accomplished something. This goes from being a school drop-out to starting new projects that hardly get beyond the point of birth.
- Big tasks/projects feel overwhelming, resulting in not starting in the first place to avoid failing again.
- When you start a project/task it is utterly hard finishing it up. There are always open details that make closure impossible.
- You are easily distracted by anything from a notification to birds singing. It makes it impossible to focus on the task at hand.
- When you are focussed, you are hyper-focussed. Nothing else in the world exists and when you step out of that focus, a few hours have passed by. This happens when reading a book or watching a movie as well.
- Your family/friends say you lack emotion.
- You may lack a feeling of authority
- You lose everything. From car keys to your car, even when they are in plain sight (have you tried finding the butter in the fridge?).
- You make impulsive (buying) decisions. Sometimes for the better, mostly for the worse.
That’s me, what’s next?
EVERYONE has a few of these symptoms from time to time. It’s when you have a majority of these symptoms at all time and they cause problems in your personal and professional life when you need to start talking to your psychiatrist and psychologist.
Here are a few good books to get you started on reading about this. Just click on them to bring you to the Amazon book store. The first book “Here’s to not catching out hair on fire” is the must-read feel-good book about ADHD. It’s written by Stacey Turis and she just shares her life story. After reading this you either feel comforted as someone with ADHD that you’ll get through this life one way or another. If you don’t have ADHD it’s the easiest and funniest way to understand what happens in the life of someone that has.
The 2nd and 3rd book are pure practical books. All the life hacks that I have tested and will be writing about are somehow to be found in these two books. The last two books are great for both people with ADHD to learn how to appreciate their relationship more and dealing with the “issues” you cause and they are also a good way for spouses to understand how you can cope with this on a permanent base.