Visualize and assess 25 ADHD traits and understand how they affect your life.Learn more
Understanding Adult ADHD Struggles
Many people might become suspicious when someone says she is already 29 years old and had only recently been diagnosed with ADHD🤔. For some, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is only present in children, particularly those who cannot sit still for more than five minutes or have unruly behavior in school. Misconstrued perceptions surrounding ADHD can sometimes be concerning for those who struggle with the symptoms. Come to think of it, some of these perceptions might invalidate our feelings and make us less of a person.
That's why we have been enthusiastically raising awareness about Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. Through our little ways, we aim to make more people understand how ADHD affects us. Hopefully, with their support, we can better manage our symptoms and make life a little bit easier👌. Understanding an ADHD brain can sometimes be complicated, but it is worth a shot to try.
Many things happen when a person is struggling with Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder. Whether you've been categorized under Predominantly Hyperactive-Impulsive Type, Predominantly Inattentive Type, or a Combination of both, there will be common symptoms that you might experience daily. We want to share these common traits or symptoms to help people better understand that ADHD can affect our normal functioning and can develop as stressful experiences, hindering us from doing well in our daily lives.
Being Forgetful Every Time
According to the American Psychiatric Association, one of the common ADHD struggles a person can experience involves being forgetful. A person with ADHD might find it hard to remember things just said a few minutes ago or follow instructions. Plenty of research says that an ADHD mind 🧠 can have difficulties with short-term memory, which can be vital in performing tasks at work or at home.
Forgetfulness always gets the best of me when I do grocery shopping. The things I was supposed to actually buy at the store usually slip my mind and I end up impulsively buying something I don’t actually need (but looks delicious) 😅. I could have prevented this from happening if I had only made my shopping list and prepared just enough cash, but, even that slips my mind!
Another troubling thing when it comes to forgetfulness is when I misplace something important to the extent that I spend hours looking for it😭. Often, this does not go well: either I’ll find that item in weird, unexpected places after hours of searching, or I'll quit looking for it, and just buy another one to move on. Sometimes I find it later, after I have already bought a new one!
My forgetfulness also extends to my workplace. Once you see my space, you'll see lots of reminders 📝, post-its, and sticky notes about almost anything I might forget. I need to visualize my schedule to remember important dates, like deadlines, appointments, and even a colleague's birthday.
Huge Task? Procrastination, Here I Come!
When I tend to get overwhelmed with activities that I believe to be hard, there's a huge chance that I'll push it off for tomorrow or until the very last minute. Procrastination can result from our ADHD symptoms, often making things more difficult. The urge to do something can depend on how interested I am in doing them or whether I have no choice but to do it.
Routinary tasks will most likely be held off until they catch my attention. This is usually the case with my mail. When I see the mailbox, I won’t bother with it until that box is full📩. Even though I know that utility bills, important invitations, and documents can be mixed up with a pile of other letters, I'll dig into them only when I absolutely have to.
Maintaining Interpersonal Relationship
There was a time when I almost developed depression and social anxiety as a newly hired associate in a company. I had difficulties maintaining successful relationships with my colleagues, and my social skills could not keep up with their expectations. Sometimes, I even overshare information with them - bits and pieces about myself that are just too personal.
Besides oversharing information, I also have issues when my impulsivity kicks in. While having conversations with people, I could get too excited: I end up speaking all over the place and start to disregard the other person. Blurting out unnecessary things is often the case with some people who have ADHD. The thing is, this particular behavior can affect the other person; they might feel offended once they realize we are continuously talking and are not listening to them🥺.
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) can also affect our self-esteem negatively, especially when our symptoms make us feel bad about how we treat others. It can make us feel too comfortable with other people because we might lack the ability to read social cues. Low self-esteem can make us more vulnerable when it comes to maintaining good interpersonal relationships.
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Racing Thoughts and Inattentive ADHD Brain
Another misconception about Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder revolves around "hyperactivity." Many people still think that when a person has ADHD, they will appear to be physically energetic - walking around without pause and not being able to sit still. While this is true for many ADHD adults (particularly those under the Hyperactive-Impulsive Type, please remember that hyperactivity can occur in the brain🧠. Often this results in difficulty falling asleep, being inattentive, or getting easily distracted.
We might have racing thoughts during long meetings, whether virtual or in-person. Come to think of it, it is difficult for us to focus on what the speaker is saying for hours. As a result, our brain starts thinking about other things that are not related to the discussion. This can make us lose focus quickly, get lost in our thoughts, and miss some important discussion points.
Now, here’s another problem: daydreaming. Some adults with ADHD daydream extensively, failing to accomplish the tasks for the day. To cover up for the lost time, our brains choose to be active at night.
And it makes sense! After all, daytime challenges can be a handful: noisy environment, bright light, and more people to interact with. The night seems the best time for an ADHD brain to think and develop new ideas. However, we cannot fully control what goes inside our minds which can further affect how we sleep🥱.
When adults with ADHD have racing thoughts, especially at night, the trouble of getting a good night's sleep increases😪. Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder can be one of the reasons why we cannot catch some rest and be prepared for the next day. Dealing with a hyperactive mind during nighttime can significantly make it challenging for us to keep a healthy lifestyle.
Getting Excited with Novelty
During my young adulthood, I never understood why I was so interested in almost anything I saw. That time, I briefly explored crocheting, being a part of an online celebrity fandom, and other things that I eventually stopped doing because the interest faded away as soon as I saw another prospective hobby.
Getting too attracted to novelty is an ADHD experience that I seem to enjoy, yet it can be very difficult. In my teen years, my family and friends initially supported me with what I wanted to do. However, after a while of continuously changing interests, they stopped helping me because they felt I was just wasting time and resources. Those were the times when I wasn't diagnosed with ADHD yet, and these challenges hit me hard.
When I got my official ADHD diagnosis, I underwent several psychological counseling and guidance from my mental health professional. The doctor told me the importance of understanding ADHD symptoms and how our brains are wired differently. Everything seemed clearer to me after my diagnosis🙋♀️ . Eventually, the anxiety, depression, and struggles I felt before became more manageable.
Getting More Serious about Adult ADHD Difficulties
According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, ADHD is one of the leading neurodivergent disorders that can co-exist with anxiety disorders.
Of course, the effects of adult ADHD symptoms on a person can significantly influence the person's career, social life, family relationships, and mental health. The struggles we encounter can make us feel bad, especially when things go south due to our actions.
For instance, when we make frequent careless mistakes in our workplace, we often beat ourselves up and become hard on ourselves. We could even doubt our capabilities, affecting our mental state.
Even if we know we are doing things correctly, we still tend to check or ask for support from our friends or family to inspect our work because we don't want to make any error whatsoever. These instances can lead to other struggles, such as having low self-esteem, mood disorders, and social anxiety.
How Do We Manage These Difficulties
After an ADHD diagnosis, life won't automatically be easier. Instead, an ADHD diagnosis will lead you to understand more of your efforts, accepting that every struggle you have is valid and it is not entirely your fault that you have such difficulties💪.
Adults with ADHD often seek support groups to gain more insights about the disorder and how to manage it 😘. These ADHD communities talk about their experiences on handling their troubles, and you can learn many things from them. They can also relate to your hardships and support you in taking the course of treatment that you'll take.
Surrounding yourself with people with ADHD can significantly improve your sense of belongingness. You'll feel less alone in dealing with these problems brought by Attention Deficit Disorder. These people with whom I share the same difficulties can be considered one of the best teachers to help me get my mental health together and reduce the chance of developing other disorders❤️ .
But of course, nothing beats contacting your mental health doctor👩⚕️, as only they administer the treatment suited best for your situation. They can recommend a different treatment method, such as taking behavioral therapy or stimulant medication for you to power through your ADHD journey.
ADHD and Five ADHD Struggles: FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions).
Is it true that ADHD only affects children?
No, it isn't. ADHD can affect anyone at any age. In fact, there are many cases where the diagnosis happens in adulthood.
What are some of the most common difficulties experienced by an adult with ADHD?
Regardless of the type of ADHD you have, you might experience being forgetful, having racing thoughts, procrastination, having difficulty in maintaining interpersonal relationships, and getting excited with novelty.
How can adults better manage their condition?
The first important thing to do is to get an official diagnosis from a board-certified mental health expert. Afterward, they can advise you on the treatment steps best suited for your condition. Joining support groups will also be of great help.