THE A TO Z OF ADHD

So, you think you might have ADHD but you’re not sure?

How many of these traits give you a lightbulb moment!

ALL are ADHD traits.

If a good few resonate with you, it might be time to get in touch with us!

 

A – Attention

Or Lack of it.  ADHDers find it very hard to concentrate and pay attention,  especially when things get dull or repetitive.  When they REALLY need to concentrate, some may HYPERFOCUS which is where the brain excludes all the peripherals to allow it to concentrate on the one really important thing.

B – Boredom

A killer for an ADHD person.  We will do just about ANYTHING to relieve boredom

C – Compulsive Behaviour

Whether its drink, drugs, food, sex, shopping, gambling …. an ADHDer just won’t be able to stop, even though they KNOW they should and they REALLY want to.  The compulsion is just too strong (meds often curtails this)

D – Distraction

Any noise or activity can distract ADHDers from what they should be doing. Especially if its bright, shiny or new!  Noisy restaurants, busy shops, people taking phone calls – all of it can distract and be incredibly annoying if they want to concentrate

E – Excitement

We need it!  We crave it! If its fun, the ADHDer is always up for it

F – Fidgeting

Can’t sit still.  Shaking legs.  Tapping fingers.  Anything to keep moving.  Fidget toys and mobile phones usually take care of over-active fingers.

G – Getting Organised

Chaos reigns for most ADHD people.  However hard they try to organise their house, finances, diary, car, handbag …it doesn’t last long

H – Hyperactive

Either physically or in the brain.  Needing to be moving, on the go, active. Or racing thoughts/a busy brain that just won’t stop thinking.  Adults get better at hiding physical hyperactivity but often hyperactivity is the first trait showing up with youngsters.

I – Impulsiveness

Why stop and think! An ADHD person will do most things impulsively without stopping to think about the consequences

J – Justice system

A lot of ADHD people, particularly boys, get in trouble with the police from a young age, usually early teens.  ADHDers often have little or no respect for authority and boundaries and rules are there to be broken.

K – Knowing what happened yesterday

Or worse, 6 months ago.  ADHD people have very poor short-term memory and find it hard to recall how long ago something happened.  They also procrastinate and do most things last minute.

L – Losing things

Dropping things.  Breaking things.  It’s a miracle we have anything left!

M – Meltdowns

We can explode usually in frustration at ourselves or someTHING as opposed to someONE.  Unusually though that one burst of anger dissipates ALL the anger, unlike a neurotypical brain which only slowly goes back to feeling calm.

N – Naughtiness

Often the first visible sign of ADHD in a child is naughtiness displayed at nursery or school.  It’s often the naughty child who is actually bored, fidgety, needs more stimulation … which comes out as naughtiness as they try and entertain themselves.

O – Overwhelm

ADHD people spend a lot of their time feeling overwhelmed.  And they can go from ‘I’m ok’ to ‘this is all too much, I can’t cope’ in a split second.

P – Poor listener

Other people can just be so boring and what an ADHDer has to say is SO much more interesting.  Surely!  ADHD people struggle to listen to lengthy conversations, instructions and directions.  We can’t take it all in, or remember it so what’s the point of trying to listen

Q – Queueing  

Not going to happen if you’re ADHD.  We either push to the front or wait till everyone else has gone.  No self-respecting ADHD person can wait patiently in a line!

R – Rejection Sensitive Dysphoria

Only ADHD people have this.  It’s the crippling, hideously painful reaction we have to actual or perceived rejection.  It’s this trait that has meant many ADHD people have been called ‘drama queens’ or ‘over sensitive’ in the past.

S – Sensory Processing Disorder

SPD is often common amongst ADHD people. Most will cut labels out of clothes, be fussy about food textures and what material goes next to their skin.  Weighted blankets help an ADHDer relax at night.

T – Talking  

Usually too loud, too much and over other people.  And we never wait for our turn in a conversation. Having no filter ie saying it as it is gets ADHD people into a lot of trouble.  Yet SOME primarily inattentive ADHD people are very quiet and introverted – it is often these people who go undiagnosed for longer.

U – Unable to relax, chill, take it easy

ADHD people find it almost impossible to feel anything other than wound up and on the go.  This is often described as feeling like you are ‘driven by an internal motor’.

V – Very compassionate, caring and empathic

ADHD people feel emotion more than neurotypicals so they also feel other peoples’ pain and care more.

W – What comes with ADHD – because ‘ADHD rarely travels alone’

Common is Social Anxiety, Delayed Sleep Phase Syndrome, Oppositional Defiant Disorder, Dyslexia, Dyspraxia, OCD and sometimes ASD.  A lot of people diagnosed ADHD suffer with anxiety and/or depression.  Especially before diagnosis when they don’t understand their thoughts and behaviour.  Doctors unaware of ADHD, often diagnose the symptoms as anxiety or depression.

X – Exams

ADHD people find it hard to revise – a combination of poor memory retention and boredom – so they do it last minute to the frustration of teachers/tutors/parents.  But they then often sail through the exam with passable grades to the annoyance of all

Y – Yearning for friends and relationships

Often ADHDers struggle to retain either.

Z – ZZZZ Sleep problems

Either taking hours to fall asleep, waking up during the night or waking up hideously early.  It’s a sign of the ADHD overactive brain not wanting to switch off.  Add in Delayed Sleep Phase Syndrome which many ADHD have, sleep really can be a nightmare for us.