The most common complaints people with Adult ADHD have included:
- being and feeling disorganized,
- having difficulty paying attention (especially to things that don’t interest them),
- being fidgety,
- having great difficulty getting started in projects, staying on task or following through,
- having difficulty managing their time, which often leads to chronic lateness,
- an inability to sustain focus for any length of time,
- losing things all the time,
- forgetting important details or appointments,
- impulsivity that leads to poor decision-making,
- chronic procrastination,
- perfectionism and ruminating over perceived mistakes,
- excessive or inappropriate risk-taking and more.
Of course, not everyone with Adult ADHD will have all of these issues or have them to the same degree.
ADHD is a bit of a misnomer. Attention Deficit Disorder is not about a deficit in attention at all. ADHD is actually a deficit in the ability to control attention, resulting in impulsivity and hyperactivity. To make it more confusing, while people with ADHD may struggle to keep their attention on a conversation or on an activity that doesn’t interest them, when they are involved in an activity that captivates or stimulates them or which plays to their strengths, they can actually hyperfocus, which means they can focus on that activity to the exclusion of everything else. In a way, this means that ADHD is also somewhat situational.
Just reading through a list of Adult ADHD symptoms might lead you to think everyone has ADHD. Most people experience ADHD symptoms at least occasionally. It’s important to understand that in ADHDers, the symptoms are so numerous, severe and far-reaching that they often touch most aspects of the ADHDer’s life, often with a very negative impact. Adult ADHD can be severely detrimental to their quality of life.
This can be extremely frustrating, because people with ADHD don’t lack intelligence, abilities, strengths or talents. As with the general population, we find a wide range of intellectual capacities among ADHDers. They have the same potential as anyone else but the fact that their brain wiring works differently from how society expects us to function often means they struggle to fit in and fail to live up to their amazing potential.
Having extensive and up-close experience with ADHD through my ADHD family members and, of course, with my clients through my coaching practice, I have found that many, if not most, adults with ADHD are extremely creative, out-of-the-box thinkers who excel as entrepreneurs, artists, and in other careers that demand quick-on-their-feet, innovative thinkers.