When most people think of ADHD, they picture a 7-year-old boy bouncing around his elementary school classroom. ADHD = little kids can’t pay attention. Right?
Well, sure. That may be the beginning of the story. But it’s certainly not a complete picture.
You see, little kids with ADHD grow up. They go to college and enter the workforce. They get married and have kids.
Those elementary kids who just can’t control their impulses grow into educated, professional adults [who just can’t control their impulses].
There is so much misunderstanding about what ADHD actually is and what it looks like in adults. Research shows that only about half of those diagnosed as kids grow out of their symptoms. And the leading thinkers in research and psychology on the subject believe that there are many, many adults today who have not been diagnosed.
Hi. My name is Kristen, and I have ADHD. I was diagnosed at age 21 when I was double-majoring in college. No one was diagnosing girls in the 90’s, so I lived my entire elementary and high school career with no support for this neuro-developmental disorder. I was 3 years into a 5-year college program before I was finally diagnosed with ADHD and properly medicated.
Even after I was diagnosed and treated for ADHD, I didn’t understand all that it meant for me as an adult. I didn’t realize that ADHD was the reason I had trouble paying my bills on time. I didn’t know that ADHD was the reason that some days I couldn’t get off the couch and other days I was the most productive person on the planet. I didn’t know that my ADHD was the reason I was always running late. I was never told that ADHD was the reason I had trouble following through on promises I had made.
Were you ever given a complete list of ADHD symptoms specifically in adults? Would you like to know more?
Click here to read a psychologist-approved comprehensive list of adult ADHD symptoms. I think many of them will surprise you.
Rather listen to a podcast than read? Click here to listen to episode 1 of the I Have ADHD podcast in which we discuss the difference between ADHD in adults vs. in children.
If you think you may have ADHD but you haven’t been diagnosed, the most important thing for you to do is to keep digging. Keep asking questions. Keep researching. And talk to a medical professional. Only a doctor, psychologist or psychiatrist can give you a legitimate diagnosis.
If you have ADHD, the most important thing for you to do is to learn all you can about this widely-misunderstood disorder. Make it a point to be an expert on ADHD…you will gain so much compassion for yourself as you begin to understand your unique brain. And if you’re feeling discouraged and ashamed of your behaviors, you may want to listen to this podcast on shame.