My Adult ADHD Symptoms
I was diagnosed with ADHD in kindergarten after I stood up on a lunch table and started singing and dancing to welcome people touring my elementary school. My symptoms are usually so recognizable that when I tell people I have ADHD, they usually respond with “I could see that” or “That makes sense.”
I’ve learned to handle my ADHD so that I can succeed through medication and skillsets I’ve picked up over the years. Even then, I still let it come out. At the end of the day, I get hooked on distraction. I can’t do homework after a work day or I’ll make stupid mistakes. I can recognize almost instantly if I’m at work and didn’t take my medications.
But overall, I have been quite successful despite my ADHD, and I’d love to go over how to succeed with it as an adult. But first, I’m going to go over examples of how my symptoms manifest themselves in me, an adult with ADHD, so you can determine if you have it too and recognize that you’re not alone.
1. Driving – I am the worst driver I know. I’m hardly dangerous, but I blast over curbs and back up into cars because I forget to check behind me. Good thing I have lifetime alignments. Most people opt to drive when they’ve been in the car with me for over 30 minutes, and I let them.
2. Distracted – When I get into work in the morning, thanks to the help of my medication, I can hone in on what I need to do. If I forget my medicine, usually about an hour after I arrive at work I get curious as to why I am still on Facebook. I then recall that I didn’t take my medication. Hopefully, I have a spare or I’m useless.
3. Hyperactivity – If you know me well, you know I love to sing and dance and be overall energetic. I can talk fast and get distracted. I feel like I am a squirrel, always switching my attention to different things. This can be great for multitasking, but not great when one task requires my complete attention.
4. Forgetfulness – Good grief. Good thing phone calendars exist or I’d forget everything. I will go into another room and forget what I was looking for several times in one go! I once left my keys in the ignition of my car when I was doing a job interview. That was embarrassing, especially when I had everyone look for them with me.
5. Always Late – I always have complete faith I can get to places on time. I always get to them late. I’m not sure why I am so overconfident, but I think I just end up taking longer than I expect or challenging myself and failing. I can’t help it!
6. Disorganized – I think this is a trait that many people with ADHD can’t related to well. In class, when the teacher asked if we thought our email inboxes were organized, I raised my hand to say yes mine was. By organized, he actually meant all emails were organized into folders and old emails were deleted. I thought he just meant that we had no unread emails. I have post-its on my desk from months ago because I keep adding on to them.
7. Impulsivity – Why yes I can take in all the grocery bags, I think, as I drop all the grocery bags in the middle of the parking lot. I’ve dropped so many things and made so many simple mistakes. Once I vacuumed over my boyfriend’s charging cables for both his phone and computer. I just don’t think too much before I act.
8. Indecisiveness – I can spend hours deciding between two products that are almost exactly the same. Should I get this floss or that floss? Which SAT book should I choose? I’ll do tons of research in the store, weighing pros and cons, and then probably not even make a decision.
9. Trouble Finishing Tasks – Yes, I am still working on the blanket I’ve been making since I was 8 years old. I love starting tasks but it takes me so long to finish them. At least medication helps with that, and I’ve managed through other tasks to figure it out too.
Now that I’ve gone over my symptoms for people who think they might have ADHD, in my next post I’ll address how each can be turned into a positive and how to manage the downsides with helpful tips. Sure, I have ADHD, but it doesn’t have to be so bad.
Also, just because you don’t have some or all of the symptoms on the list doesn’t mean you don’t have ADHD. It manifests in different ways for different people! Understanding you have it is the first step towards getting the help you need to become successful.