What Does It Feel Like to Have ADHD?
HereТs a metaphor: having ADHD/ADD is like having an iPhone loaded with apps and enabling notifications for all of them. If you did this on an iPhone, youТd get overwhelmed with Уsomeone tagged you in XФ УSo and so checked in at XФ УYouТve received a . Nov 14, †Ј Having ADHD does not Уfeel likeФ anything. Unlike a physical problem Ч a broken bone, say Ч ADHD is invisible. People offer sympathy when you are in pain. Trying to explain ADHD without seeming to make excuses is tough.
To understand what it really feels like how to make chocolate christmas ornaments live with symptoms of attention defict, read this honest talk from ADDitude readers. Everyone thinks I do dumb things on purpose.
My friends tell me that everyone has attention deficit. Sometimes I just feel stupid. Imagine that you crawled on your knees your whole life, but everybody around you walked on two legs. Crazy, frustrating, and sometimes the funniest thing ever Ч once you learn to laugh at yourself!
And we all need to. It is like watching a PowerPoint presentation that never stops. I tell someone something and, in the middle of a sentence, I go blank. It is embarrassing to have to ask the other person what you were talking about. Unlike a physical problem Ч a broken bone, say Ч ADHD is invisible.
People offer sympathy when you are in pain. Trying to explain ADHD without seeming to make excuses is tough. Every day is a struggle, but you make the best of it. You take things people say literally. It is as if you are driving through thick fogon a dark road, trying to get to where you know you are supposed to be.
The problem is, you lost the directions and have no GPS to guide you Ч and, in the background, the radio is playing loud songs that are changing. Having ADHD is like having a nonstop conversation with yourself.
To me, I have described my ADD as dyslexia of thought. I have the one charger in my hand that I need for my phone, but its tangled with 50 others. I want to separate my charger from the rest, but as I start to delve into it, I lose track of my charger.
This only became apparent to me once I got medicated. My medication seems to untangle all my thoughts and I have the option to choose which thought I want as if they were phone chargers nicely mounted on a display wall.
Who knew!? When I took the first stimulant med, within 30 minutes, my life changed. I remember clearly that day, pill taken, 30 minutes laterЕ I am looking at my hands, as I waved them in front of me, marveled by the slow motion of it all.
From that moment on, clear was correct! That was a tough few years, getting to know myself as a medicated ADHD women versus the person who was just surviving, and thinking a lot about everythingto a women who knew she needed to take control back into her lifeЕ after waking up from a fog and noticing that chaos was all around her me.
ADHD is something that everyone has heard of, but no one knows anything about. Even as I type this, my feet are moving around, and my eyes keep darting away from the screen to look around the room. There are many verbal symptoms of ADHD, as well. Because my mind works faster than my mouth, I will often interrupt myself to get out a new thought before it vanishes from my mind.
I will bring up seemingly unrelated things during conversations because my mind formed a connection between them somehow. Short-term memory is also affected by ADHD. I could describe with intricate detail a trip to New York City I took when I was three years old, but I will forget about an important assignment or meeting only minutes after being reminded of it. I am well acquainted with the sinking feeling of panic that comes with remembering something when it is too late.
ADHD also affects sleep. When we are tired, our symptoms increase, which makes it difficult to sleep. There is also the fact that people with ADHD are not good with time or schedules-we tend to misjudge how long things will take, how to stop drinking caffeine if we hyperfocus on something, it will not be easy to leave it and sleep.
Once we are actually in bed, our minds are still racing. The lack of dopamine in the ADHD brain can lead to many complications. We get bored with things very easily, because our brain is desperate to find a new form of stimulation. This results in an inability to complete things, including things that we actually want to do and enjoy. This can also complicate our relationships, because we may be unintentionally using a friend or significant other as a temporary source of dopamine, and we may begin to lose interest after a while.
ADHD is misunderstood to the point where its very name is inaccurate. We do not have an attention deficiency. Actually, we pay too much attention to things. What is e26 base light bulb problem lies in that we pay attention to everything.
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Nov 21, †Ј ADHD ADHD Adults: "What It Feels Like to Have ADHD" Your brain and you everyday experiences feel different with ADHD. Posted Nov 21, | Reviewed by Abigail Fagan. To the person with ADD it feels as if everything is happening all at once. This creates a sense of inner turmoil or even panic. The individual loses perspective and the ability to prioritize. He or she is always on the go, trying to keep the world from caving in on top. Museums. (Have you noticed how I skip around? Sep 10, †Ј But Sarah does vividly remember how she felt: frustrated, anxious and, at times, consumed by an overwhelming urge to move. She felt that at school, too. Sarah was eventually diagnosed with ADHD, but not until grade Kids who have ADHD canТt usually put into words how they think and feel because itТs their Уnormal.Ф.
I came upon this description while doing some research on Quora and thought it perfectly described what having ADHD feels like. I wanted to find out exactly how a person with ADHD thinks and feels, and there were so many wonderful answers, from real people, describing their world in stunning detail. I collected some of the best answers to help shed more light on what it feels like to have ADHD, and also to give everybody options for how to describe ADHD to someone who doesn't have it.
This analogy comes from Colin and is absolutely fantastic. It explains what mornings feel like with ADHD. Have you ever driven a car without power-steering? It's a practical example of what the understeering effect is really like. You have to work extra hard on something that normally shouldn't take much effort, just to avoid going off the road. A bad ADHD day can feel like this.
It's frustrating when you have to work harder than usual to complete a simple task. Here's a visual of what understeering looks like :. Ever used an old Macbook with an outdated operating system and tried opening more than one application at a time? Having ADHD can feel like an itch that needs scratching, only it's in your mind. Spencer Reed describes more in his Quora answer:. Anne K. Sometimes, when you're caught in the symptoms of ADHD, and you feel stuck , life still doesn't stop for us to catch up.
Lisa Perry uses some humor to describe what can happen next. ADHD can come with some ups-and-downs for sure. Valerie Fletcher gives our next account , and it teeters between frustration and hilarity. She uses the example of how misplacing your keys can turn into a downward spiral. This first excerpt comes from Kyle Pennell, who earned a Quora Top Writer 13' Award, and who's profile bio reads, " Fascinated by nearly everything ".
Kyle goes on to describe how he has to balance out his curiosity, and finishes with an incredibly insightful metaphor for what having ADHD feels like:. This third excerpt is from Rachel Binfield. She also chimes in with an analogy about what medication is like for ADHD. Randall Munroe's creates comics for the web on his website www. One Quora user simply posted one of Randall's cartoons as her response. It comes from his website, and it's labeled, "ADD".
In his response he talks about how, with his ADHD, he resolved to simply doing things a little different , and lists a few examples. Note: To help make this article more digestible, we've added an infographic containing descriptions from this post and contributors from the comment section. You are welcome to save this infographic for future reference or even republish it on your own blog if you do, please upload the image directly to your blog and add a credit link to this article.
I would love to hear more examples. What is your experience with ADHD like? Tell us your story in the comments below. I look forward to hearing it, and saying hello. I love my work and my job, and yet I can go multiple days that I get almost nothing done. But the second something urgent comes through, I get the laser focus and bang it out. Great analogy, Catherine. The emotional stimulation of a real threat is energising.
Not threat- or reward-driven. Having someone check-in with you on progress may be better than nothing at all. However, a better trick is getting honest with yourself and designing a situation with REAL and higher stakes. I was just diagnosed with ADHD two years ago at the age of 38 years old. My boyfriend and I just had an argument because he says I hijack all our conversations.
I also get frustrated easily and get angry easily over stupid things and my anger can be intense sometimes. Maggie, I have exactly the same problem of interrupting people and especially blurting things out without thinking. I am over emotional and can get upset very easily but I also get over it quickly. But the blurting things out and people looking at me as if I have said something terrible is a problem that really affects my life.
I am also the most disorganized person ever. Clutter everywhere. I write better than I speak and people often tell me my gift is my sense of humour. I would rather be focused and think before I speak. I have felt so different and not in a good way all my life. But was able to work for the Education, Municipal, or Healthcare markets even if the clients were jerks because I perceived the work worthy of the effort it takes for me to focus on the actual work. Maggie I have similar experience of the interrupting conversations and what I find is if it shut down and try to stay engaged but end up switching off and shutting down.
It always took me longer to get stuff done keep focused and sit down long enough and ignore the distractions of other people stuff and poor prioritising. I am trying to be kinder to myself and find ways that keep me on track and engaged.
Thanks for the posts and info. Holy moly I can relate to this. I know I am two years late and this probably is not a thing any more. But my adhd makes me feel like my entire existence and personality is a semi automatic assault rifle in a war zone.
That sounds negative but I also view it as a blessing to be quick and that I really really have no fear. My girlfriend always makes comments like I am fudging around in the car to much. Or the one that seems to bother me is that I am was to high energy for her. I believe she has just labeled me and tied my whole being to ADD.
I can say nothing and she will tell my my energy is to high. So how do I make her understand that? Help please. In certain cases, it can be understandable to feel that way.
For sure talk to her about how it makes you feel. She may not realize this is happening and want to change this dynamic. But when you get down to it, if you persistently feel you have to be less of yourself around someone, you may not be with the right someone. It totally diminishes my real, legitimate joy and excitement for any given thing. I stopped sharing my joys with her and that has become just one part of a complete degradation of our relationship. I just realized you can love someone but they might not be right for you.
My days are spent losing and finding things. I can watch a whole TV show and not be able to tell you what happened on it. Its like my brain is scrambled eggs.
Also like the multi tabs open. I often wonder what career path is a good fit for me, as I have a real problem with focus. I also find that if something involves research or some challenging issue that is like a puzzle to solve I am your go to employee.
He liked having me in the office to do all the complex paper work no other former employee would delve into. For me, it was a mission. My other greatest concern with my career success if timeliness. I have such a hard time getting to work on time.
I try to get creative about my excuses because I feel like the real excuse sound to silly to my bosses. The real reason is something like the example of trying to find keys. For example, what I thought was five minutes was really twenty minutes. This is all a lot to explain to a boss and to hope they can process and truly understand. Because I know my bosses have never really understood or known why I have really been late for work so often, I feel anxiety every time I am late for fear of getting fired.
The flip side of being late most days is that I have stayed later than other employees and have been more invested and successful with the duties of my job than others. I wish bosses would understand this and put less focus on being late for those of us with ADHD and more focus on the core contributions made.
I can spend 2 days and go through thousands of tabs researching something to figure something out without getting tired. My peak energy hours are at night, so most of my mornings are widdled away unproductively anyways.
My inability to get things done in the morning always leads me to working late at night. Not to mention, they have made my lifelong sleep problems even worse. Ashwagandha was helpful with anxiety, though, and I still occasionally take it increases GABA and reduces cortisol. One huge benefit is that I used to have an explosive temper with people, but with my years of meditation, that is all gone.
Sounds like every single morning of mine. I found the best thing for me to get to work just on time was to work afternoon shift.