What is ADHD?

At times, everyone has trouble sitting still, paying attention or controlling impulsive actions.  However, for some people, the problems can be so chronic and prevalent that they can interfere with all areas of their life:  home, academic, social and work.

ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) is a well-known and common neurobiological disorder affecting between 5-12% of the population worldwide. People are often surprised to learn that it also affects at least 4.4% of adults as well. ADHD is characterized by developmentally disproportionate degrees of inattention, impulsivity and hyperactivity.

People with ADHD can be extremely successful, happy and fulfilled. Yet, without proper diagnosis and treatment, ADHD can have very serious consequences, including failure at school and/or work, depression and anxiety, family stress, relational difficulties, substance abuse, or even criminal behavior. People need to be diagnosed and begin treatment as early as possible.

The three types of ADHD are hyperactive and impulsive,  inattentive, and combined type (hyperactive and inattentive). Symptoms are different in each person, ranging from mild to severe, leading to variability in skills and maturity levels.

What Does ADHD Look Like?

There are many common traits shared by people with ADHD, which is often diagnosed in childhood and can continue into adulthood.

ADHD In Kids

Lots of parents have probably thought their kid was ADHD at one time or another. Little ones are extremely active, can’t sit still and barely have any attention span. But a true diagnosis goes beyond these common behaviors. The ADHD child takes these traits to the extreme and they get in the way of learning, friendships and home life. When the symptoms happen in various settings, over a long period of time, it’s possible your child has ADHD.

 

ADHD In Adults

You’re probably not going to see a hyperactive adult bouncing around the office because ADHD is most often subtler in grown ups. You might become easily distracted by external noises and activity, have difficulty focusing on a task or unable to complete tasks, or not be an effective listener.  Adults with ADHD can have trouble keeping jobs and managing finances, struggle in relationships, and often suffer from feelings of embarrassment, frustration, hopelessness and disappointment.

ADHD Affects All Areas Of Life:

Staying Organized

A messy desk doesn’t indicate ADHD. Feeling chaotic and the inability to prioritize tasks is the kind of disorganization that a person with ADHD must battle.

Giving In to Impulses

Patience is not a virtue for those with ADHD. There’s lots of speaking before thinking, interrupting others and rushing in to situations.

Coping With Extreme Emotions

ADHD anger can feel intense.  One can feel easily frustrated, have trouble managing feelings and may also struggle with low self-confidence.

People diagnosed with ADHD often have many of these characteristics:

  • Being unaware of time and deadlines        

  • Thinking in terms of  “black and white” or “all or nothing”

  • Having poor self-awareness and low self-esteem

  • Trouble maintaining friendships

  • Feeling bored

  • Identifying as an underachiever

  • Having trouble transitioning between situations

  • Appearing disorganized

  • Needing constant approval from others

  • Difficulty learning from past experiences

  • Inability to see other perspectives

  • Being easily distracted (either being multi-focused or unfocused)

  • Difficulty paying attention

  • Exhibiting hyperactivity

  • Having physical and mental restlessness

  • Using poor judgment

  • Always procrastinating

  • Lacking impulse control (blurting things out in conversation, etc.)

  • Having a need for immediate gratification

  • Losing things

  • Trouble maintaining close relationships

  • Having poor self-regulation

  • Issues managing money and keeping a job

  • Sleep difficulties

  • Poor social skills

  • Negative self talk

  • Executive Function Deficits

© 2019 by JT ADHD Coaching.

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