Dr. Umesh Jain is now exclusively responsible for TotallyADD.com and its content

23 Signs You Do Not Have Adult ADHD

The following is an ADHD quiz or a test that I’ve designed. It is as scientific as I could make it.  Which is to say, I put on the lab coat I used to wear when I was a teacher at a Science Centre many years ago.

It’s also based on what I’ve learned from interviewing the more than 70 experts who appear in our videos and documentaries, and then I ran it by two well-known specialists who suggested a few changes.  Then my wife fixed all the typos.  So here we go!

You may NOT have ADHD if…

    Many folks with ADHD are brilliant when the adrenaline flows.  That’s why so many of us succeed in the military, police, fire & rescue, emergency rooms, stock market, high tech, show biz, and sales.  A few months back a Paramedic told me that his colleagues who have ADHD are brilliant at their job, “Those who aren’t, end up at desk jobs, training, or in administration. They can’t handle it.”
    So many adults with undiagnosed ADHD feel ‘I’m underachieving’ regardless of how much they have achieved.   Despite co-writing, co-starring, and producing hundreds of episodes of TV and radio, I always felt like I was not living up to my potential.  One reason we feel this way?  Because it’s often true. It’s hard to achieve your best when you have the equivalent of 5 radio stations blaring in your head 24/7.
    Wow, what’s that like?!

    ADHD is driven by genes.  It’s usually present in childhood.  So, “I’ve been really scattered, confused, and overwhelmed… ever since my house exploded,” is probably a normal reaction to your house exploding.  Or to a divorce.  Or losing a job.  Losing a loved one.  Basically any life crisis.
    Not like me: “Uh… I dunno… Cherry pie? Winston Churchill? Socks?”
    Thus the title of our book, ADD Stole My Car Keys.
    Okay, an exaggeration.  But we can be restless, and thus have double or triple the risk of being fired. ( Then we may go off and start a new company. Adrenaline. Novelty! Our brain wakes up!) When we find the perfect career for our ADHD mindset, we can soar.  I’ve written a LOT of sketch comedy, but could never finish a screenplay.  Until I was diagnosed I didn’t understand why.  Now, knowing movies take months to write, I am cool with the fact I’ll never do that.  I’m a sprinter, not a marathoner. Even the Car Keys book is 155 short descriptions of ADHD symptoms.  One to a page.  Plus pictures.  And humor.

    ADHD runs in families.  It’s almost as heritable as height.  Though a head injury and other risk factors can create these symptoms, for most of us, it’s genetic.  Like many adults, I was diagnosed after one of my kids was.  Then I saw that my dad was like this, so was his father.  When we made our first  documentary, ADD & Loving It?!, about comedian Patrick McKenna getting diagnosed, we were almost certain he has this mindset – other family members have it.  Otherwise it would have been called ‘Not ADD & Loving It?!’
    OMG! I cannot imagine. One ADHD strategy I finally embraced was to hire someone.  Cause I am NEVER gonna develop an interest in doing my taxes. People with ADHD can focus when we’re interested. Paying someone else who loves paperwork, and is great with details has saved me a ton of time, frustration, and even money.
    Despite it’s name, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is NOT just a ‘Deficit’ of Attention.  It’s uneven, unmanaged, unpredictable attention.  Sometimes we can hyper-focus.  When I’m interested, I can be laser focused, intense, and relentless.

    40% of kids with ADHD have a Learning Disorder such as Dyslexia, and the majority of kids with ADHD become adults with ADHD.  In fact, 70% of adults with ADHD have a second diagnosis too (Depression and Anxiety being the most common ones)
    Almost every time I’m interviewed on talk radio, the host will admit that one or two of their kids have been diagnosed, “And I think I have it too.”  They’re probably right.  Luckily they’ve found the perfect job.  The gift of the gab is great when I’m doing a live presentation about ADHD, but not so great when I’m with friends and family.
    More than a few specialists have told me that people most vehemently opposed to the idea that they might have this mindset sure do show a LOT of the symptoms.  Their upset is understandable.  They read a list of symptoms which describe their daily struggles and snort, “This is normal life.”  Yes, it is normal… for them.
    Poor time management is a common challenge, we’re scattered, and then hyper-focused.  But sometimes on the wrong things.  Or at the wrong time.  I’ve actually developed a good sense of time.  But it’s meant building habits with ADHD-Friendly strategies.

    We can be enthusiastic about new things.  Like creating To-Do lists.  Which then become epic documents of everything we can think of.
    ‘Working memory’ can be a problem.  As in, “My phone? Keys? Purse? Lunch?.. Got em!” It’s easier to remember stuff if we can see it.  So we often have piles and heaps everywhere.  (And we often know what is in each pile.)
    Not me.  “What did I come here for?”  At the mall, “What did my wife ask me to pick up?”  But I can recall the lyrics to every Alice Cooper song.  This is working memory. Sometimes I forget what I came for, go back to where I started, get reminded, go to fetch it again and forget AGAIN… “Darn, what was it I came in here to get?!” (Until I found out I had ADHD, I kept thinking I had Dementia.)
    ADHD affects ‘Executive Functions’ – organizing, planning, prioritizing, following through, finishing what you start, etc..  But it’s also monitoring your emotions; as in ‘reacting appropriately.’  Which is why we can end up struggling with Depression or Anxiety.  Or have sudden outbursts of Anger, that erupt and then pass in a flash.

    We can be oversensitive.  ADHD isn’t just about managing focus.  It’s about managing everything.  Including all the messages your brain receives every second from your ears, eyes, nose, tongue, and skin.  (And internal signals. “Am I scared? Or is it that Burrito?”) Managing the torrent of signals is done mostly by your Pre-Frontal cortex, and ours are not very efficient.  The result?  I avoid noisy parties, don’t watch scary movies, and have a snack in the afternoon when I start to crash.  (By the way, these are ADHD strategies.)
    Caffeine is a stimulant.  Half the planet uses it.  Many ADHD medications are also stimulants.  So some adults with undiagnosed ADHD drink coffee at night because it actually helps them fall asleep.  Their mind stops jumping around.  Until I was diagnosed I didn’t understand why I could have three colas after dinner and still fall asleep.  (BTW: Getting Good Sleep is a big challenge for us, and requires specific strategies.
    When we used to have T-Shirts in our shop, we made sure they either came without tags or removable tags.  Customers thanked us.  Why?  Having ADHD means we can be overwhelmed.  By bad news, emotional events, trivial frustrations, and sometimes even physical sensations.  Noisy rooms, bright lights, certain fabrics, even clothing tags add to the workload for a brain overwhelmed by too much input.
    Your home is NOT jammed full of old scuba gear, musical instruments, exercise equipment, and the leftovers of a dozen hobbies? The clutter in our house is not ‘Hoarding.’  We can be curious and enthusiastic, novelty wakes up our brain.  We say yes to everything.  But we soon grow bored and move on to the next new passion.  (Did I mention we suffer double or triple the rate of divorce?) A lot of standard organizing systems don’t work for us.  The best ADHD-friendly organizing strategies tend to be interesting, visual, colorful.
    Again, I have to say, “Wow! Good for you!”  I can never do that!  I used to get mad at myself for reading books in chunks, skimming, reading things out of order.  Now I realize that this is how I operate.  Two keys to mastering ADHD are: ‘Bend The World To You,’ and ‘Figure Out Your Particular Flavour.’  Do what works for you. Work on the symptoms that are the most disruptive for you.  My biggest issues: Taking on too much, not finishing what I start, procrastinating.


If you do have ADHD, you’re not alone.  Everyone struggles with these issues, but for about 1 in 25 adults, it’s really interfering with our lives.  And it’s affecting more than one area of life. It’s not just a little quirk, it’s impairing you.  THAT is what makes it a disorder.

Every person with ADHD is unique.  The severity of symptoms varies.  (Like height and intelligence, the symptoms fall on a spectrum.)  Up until now, you may have had successes, but not consistently.  You may have assumed you’re lazy, weak-willed, weird, or dumb.  Or been told that you are.

In your heart, you sense you have such potential.  And you believe, as all your elementary school teachers kept telling you, “You just need to try harder.” As Yoda said, ‘There is no try, either do or do not do.’

What Do I Do Next?

There are many online quizzes and ‘tests’ for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.  We have an ADHD quiz here and a screener here.  But no quiz can be definitive.  Diagnosing ADHD is a tricky process.  That said, a good ADHD quiz will give you guidance and a sense of what ADHD actually is.

Like most people, I was afraid to find out if I have ADHD.  Everything I KNEW about ADHD turned out to be nonsense, myths that are still being perpetuated.

For me, the diagnosis was a huge relief

I could finally see what was sabotaging my best efforts.  It’s a shock to discover you have spent your life wrestling an invisible opponent.  Worse, you had no idea you were even in a wrestling match.

Knowing what’s going on is huge.  I am able to manage the downside, but not lose who I am.  Quite the opposite, actually!  (Hard to be who you truly are when you’re constantly agitated, restless, distracted, forgetting things…)

Like most adults, I was really, really hoping I did NOT have ADHD.

The turning point for me?

I kept trying harder and harder, until I realized, “I am trying as hard as I can!”   It is not about willpower, or gumption, or commitment.  It’s low levels of certain neurotransmitters.

There are a lot of very successful people who have the ADHD mindset.  They’ve succeeded in large part because they figured out what’s going on.

Understand that you are NOT crazy.  This is NOT a mental illness that you cure.  It’s how you are wired.  New brain imaging technologies show our brains are different from most.  It’s biology not morality.

Research has shown that the brain can change at any age, it’s called Neuro-plasticity.  A holistic plan that includes Mindfulness, exercise, and education can be life-changing.

Just ask the people who share their stories and struggles in our great private community.  Every person is unique, but they all have much in common.

ADHD can be a “Good news diagnosis”

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  1. spngbob November 15, 2014 at 7:55 am

    “13. You are curious to find out if you have ADHD.
    I am not the only ADHD adult who has noticed that the people who are the most vehemently opposed to the possibility that they might have this mindset are the ones who seem to have lots of the symptoms. A number of the experts in our videos have told us the same thing.”
    glad you included this. I had to be convinced after diagnosis. it was staring me in the face, everyone else knew(duh!) and to top it off all 3 of my kids are adhd!! but once I was convinced(psychiatrist gave me sari solden’s women and add, I cried when I read it. with joy and relief) treatment was a game changer for me. love love love your site and your fb page! keep up the good work!!

  2. pamparampa November 15, 2014 at 9:03 am

    “5. You’ve been with the same company more than 6 months.”
    That’s the saddest part of it probably. I’m really well-educated, I just can’t stand working in an office – it’s so incredibly boring and having a boss is a nightmare. I’m considering starting a company because of it.

    • Mimi April 15, 2018 at 11:08 pm

      I solved this problem when I started working for a staffing agency. This lets me work for shorter periods at many different workplaces, so I don’t get bored and usually have’nt messed things up before it’s time to move to the next workplace. I have Asperger and ADD and work as a medical secretary. The way staffing agencies work may be different from where you live, l’m Swedish and the way staffing agencies work here are perfect for me and has helped me a lot to function at work.

    • pepe1968 January 24, 2019 at 3:57 am

      Did you start that company?

    • ssadams1207 January 27, 2019 at 2:07 pm

      The job one really resonates with me… I’ve had 44 jobs and I’m only in my mid-30’s. I’m fantastic in interviews and will usually get the job, however, I quickly lose interest and move on to the next adrenaline rush, only to have the same thing happen. I feel like the older I get, the worse this problem becomes. It’s like I’m spiraling out of control. I am going to set up a session with a doc to get some clarity and help; it’s been a whilr.
      Also, #18 is me: I can tell by the expression on people’s faces that I am overreacting to situations… Even when I am just trying to be there for a person this is why, my passion sometimes gets the best of me and I see confused looks. so I’ve learned to try to rein my passion in a bit, but that is very difficult to do . What feels like a normal range of emotion to me appears to be too much for others. I’m happy that I’m not alone.

  3. sara November 16, 2014 at 8:24 pm

    Thank you for writing this! I love that you wrote this from a different perspective. Maybe it will help others understand. I struggle with #18 daily and I don’t think people realize that it is a HUGE part of ADD/ADHD.

    • Bjarney Svandís Grímsdóttir November 16, 2017 at 7:21 pm

      I hade to go back to see what it was and yeas me 2 BIG time.. problem at work and with my husband becose of it :(

  4. terrymatlen November 20, 2014 at 10:40 pm

    Love this, Rick! Right on!

  5. karen2163 November 21, 2014 at 10:14 am

    Loved # 22 The Closet. My husband’s friends have been saying for years how they want to inherit his closet when he dies! Unfortunately now it’s a whole basement of discarded, broken equipment that ” just needs a new motor or a new charger”.. This is also my husband , a GP, who ” doesn’t have ADHD” just some anger conttol issues and some ODD.
    The kids and I also loved your short clips ” who stole my keys” and the ” door to door salesman/ phone salesman” videos. Classic Dad! Any idea why so many ADHD people marry other ADHDers ?

  6. lynelle November 21, 2014 at 4:21 pm

    Overall this is an amazing list and thank you for it! I would have lot of comments and a couple corrections to make but I’m not sure if anyone would be interested. I think the most important point I can make is the following:
    12: You tend to listen more than you talk.
    It is the opposite for children and adolescent females where there is less social freedom in saying seemingly random things in a group of people, or having repetitive movements etc. I read in scientific stuff that for female children and teens it comes across as socially withdrawn or shy so it is easier for it to slip under the diagnosis radar or be misdiagnosed as depression because they seem to be model students but have feelings of alienation from their peers, while males with ADHD are (relatively speaking) bouncing off the walls. I have seen a lot of other symptoms that are different in the teenage years in particular, but I haven’t read scientific evidence of the other symptoms so I will leave those out. Needless to say, by the time women reach adulthood with ADHD, the symptoms completely change.
    A couple other less important points:
    18: Instead of “tend not to overreact” it should be “tend not to overreact to emotional situations” or something that isn’t in conflict with point number 1 on this list.
    19: I don’t talk to myself… I talk to my cat. Get it straight… lol.

    • bostonmichelle September 8, 2018 at 10:51 pm

      I never knew that being shy and feeling out of place was a sign of ADD in female adolescents. I’m shocked and now starting to think I may possibly have ADD. My brother was diagnosed as a child but I was a completely different child in aspects to talking, personality, and school. I did have difficulty with oral reading and English has been my weakest subject. I love math and science. Can someone with ADD excel in college? I have a BS in Civil
      & Environmental Engineering and graduated with honors. Although, I only worked in it for a couple of years then started an HVAC company with my brother which I loved. He fell sick so now I don’t know what to do…

  7. wanderquest November 22, 2014 at 10:25 am

    This is one of my favorite posts ever. Visible desktop? Lololol!

  8. alatha123 November 23, 2014 at 9:39 am

    While I have never been officially diagnosed with ADHD, it does run in my family (my son has it, for example) and I am fairly convinced that I am ADHD. My mother once walked into my apartment and asked me, “How did you escape the curse?” She was referring to her’s and my dad’s habit of all the piles of papers (her kitchen table is consumed by a pile of papers and it has been like that for years). I told her that I had not escaped but had developed a defense mechanism over the years of throwing stuff away (gasp!). I also have emotional intensity issues and can react completely out of proportion to the situation. I have never had a psychologist, though, that has ever brought up the possibility of ADHD even though I have been in and out of therapy for years. It wasn’t until I found this site and was looking at all the indicators that I went “ah hah!” Thank you so very much for helping me see that there was other reasons for my problems than lazy, weak, and a failure.

  9. CherylW November 24, 2014 at 11:12 am

    I was able to read the list in order, just had to re-read a few of them a couple of times to make sure I read it right, along with re-typing words continuously to have them spelled right. Oh, and what is a visible desktop and what others consider an “organized room”? Drives me nuts when other half tries to “organize” it for me, and I have to go searching for things. lol

  10. jminn November 24, 2014 at 1:30 pm

    I love this lol… I didn’t know the tag thing was a thing… interesting.

    • bostonmichelle September 8, 2018 at 10:57 pm

      My brother hated tags on shirts, especially T-Shirts.. He would have me cut them out when he was younger. He was diagnosed with ADD as a child. You forgot to mention how many times you lose your wallet or license that isn’t even in your wallet.. lol It was so often that I use to keep the company atm card. I wouldn’t allow him to keep it in his wallet because he would leave his wallet at almost every job site..

  11. lca1980 November 27, 2014 at 9:41 pm

    I just stumbled across this as part of my in-depth research after my therapist suggested I get assessed. Intellectually, I’ve always been of the somewhat sceptical nature, especially when it comes to diagnosing kids – what 8 year old isn’t hyper? But the more I read, the more I’m convinced. It all resonates. This was particularly interesting, as it highlighted just how different it is for everyone else. I think one of the most difficult parts is accepting that we actually are different. As my therapist keeps trying to convince me, not everyone has a 1000 thoughts a second running through their head.
    What I’m stuck on now is how to bring it up with a family of sceptics. I know my brother was diagnosed as a kid, though once he skipped a grade and was actually challenged intellectually, he was able to adapt. I was never seen as a problem, I got good grades, did every activity under the sun, and had learned from my brother’s experience to just internalise everything. Figuring out some 30 years later that I’m not actually crazy is liberating and frightening, and while I still don’t entirely want to believe it, I think resources like this are incredibly helpful. So thanks for that!

  12. starrose120 December 8, 2014 at 7:50 pm

    I stumbled across something a couple months ago that made me wonder if I might have ADD or ADHD. Today, my counselor at school said that I should go get tested, because it is very likely that I have ADD or ADHD.
    I was every teacher’s dream student, always polite a teacher’s pet, and usually calm and collected in class…except for the fact that I usually had a book with me that I would read during class if I got bored. I have had an overactive imagination my entire life, I talk with my hands and have been accused of being dramatic. I have learned how to tone things down when I need to and I can sit still, but I hate doing it. I have always hated doing homework and papers (which is bad now that I am in college) I always procrastinate, loud noises and bright flashing lights are too much and will give me a headache after about 10 minutes… I drove my mom nuts as a kid. I have always been extremely picky about what I wear, if a seam sits wrong, the item is tight in one place, restricts my movement, certain fabrics, the tags, anything, I will refuse to wear it even if I think it looks pretty.
    I did read the list in order, but I like to read and this was interesting. I don’t have any reading problems, in fact, I had a very high reading level and was bored to death in school. During tests, I like to bring a small toy to play with or paper to doodle on, or even my computer to type stories on…. I hate handwriting, I never wrote down any of my stories until I got a computer and now I have at least 50 all at the same time and new ideas coming up. My room is always a disaster zone, but I know where most things are, even though I always lose my mailbox key and phone or chargers, they hate me. I am a klutz, if I can run into or trip over something, I will it is only a matter of time.
    I am always talking or singing to myself, most people probably think I am crazy. :) Sorry for the crazy long post and thanks for reading!

  13. gforcewarp9 October 17, 2015 at 1:46 am

    Number 24: You don’t have the ability to always find the funny–whether it be timely or latent. Whether the timing is completely inappropriate, or just the thing everyone needed–you always can never find the funny.
    ADHD’ers can always find the funny, even in situations that are sometimes hard to find it in–even when the situation is because of some gosh darn monumentally dumb thing they did and they’re completely humiliated. Trust me. I know from experience.

    • Margaret November 15, 2017 at 9:32 am

      We drove into the cemetery behind the hearse carrying my father, past a No Exit sign. Mum: “Well, at least it doesn’t say Dead End.”

      • yulia November 25, 2017 at 2:15 am

        I burst out laughing at this at 2:15 a.m.

  14. gforcewarp9 October 17, 2015 at 1:48 am

    Uh…number 25: You completely miss glaring editorial and grammar mistakes you make in your online comments…
    I could go on like this all night.

  15. wolfshades November 1, 2015 at 2:56 pm

    About #21 (I’d love for Dr. Jain to weigh in on this one): I wonder if there’s a correlation between misophonia and ADHD?
    I was diagnosed with ADHD about five or six years ago (after having it all my life, as per #4 above), but also have a problem with sounds. Specifically, people sounds. People eating with their mouths open, or clanking their bowls, or just talking. I often have to turn the volume off on the TV set when a particular person comes on, just so I don’t have to hear their voice.
    One time at work, the number of different sounds that were gong on while I was trying my hardest to work became overwhelming. I felt enraged and I stood up, wanting to hurl my keyboard across the room. It suddenly occurred to me that all these noises were affecting only me, no one else. I sat back down, stunned.
    Since then I’ve been reading up about misophonia. I’m not anxious to get another diagnosis, but this one just seems too intense. Maybe it’s just another feature of ADHD. I don’t know. Just throwing it out there.

    • Heather November 16, 2017 at 2:31 pm

      Probably. I have a touch of misphonia myself. this week has been awful, I was on edge all day yesterday between my kids and my husband. My kids are always snacking, and he’s got to have a bowl of cereal before bed, AND he’s always sucking on his vaporizer and it makes me want to stab him.

    • Genevieve Huard November 26, 2017 at 6:41 pm

      Thank you to bring this up! Yes I almost always overreact in noisy places… it seems like my brain shut down…and it takes a few seconds to reset…but when working in McDonalds, having a shut down on my way for fries caused a few massive cashier traffic incidents… and in my internship to work in a daycare…shutting down because kids are going loud is really not good! Because when it happens, there’s no sound no image… And if someone too close scream, my hand react…so my kids have learned very fast that “you should never scream near mom”… and don’t repeat constantly… it’s almost always sinlent in the house when everyone is out, all noises my husband make drive me crazy (slamming doors, playing in the ustensil drawer just to get a f.. fork, snoring, breathing loud, walking loud, slippers clapping on the floor) and after 9 years, he just begins to understand what I mean when I say I’m hypersensitive to noises… haha Anyway, now, thanks to you, I can make a word on it : misophonia!

  16. coffeeanalog November 1, 2015 at 11:11 pm

    Wolfshades, I’m right there with you. There are certain sounds that make me feel like I want to tear my ears off to avoid hearing them! A single person eating in a quiet room makes me so agitated I have to get up and leave.
    I wonder how many other people have it along with their ADHD?

    • scott July 19, 2018 at 3:54 am

      That never bothered me until you mentioned it.

  17. lunacodes November 2, 2015 at 12:14 pm

    I feel conflicted about this article .. on one hand, I can relate to a lot of the things described. On the other hand, a lot of this doesn’t reflect my experience of ADHD, and if I’d read these things a year ago or even a few months ago, they likely would have stopped me from exploring & learning that I have ADHD (which I only started to do at Age 26).
    I appreciate the intent, but I’m worried that this could keep other people who might have it from taking the steps to identify this & get help for it/take care of themselves.
    (I’m happy to expand on that if desired)

    • CaraH November 12, 2017 at 7:35 am

      Hi- I totally agree. Some of these resonate with me some don’t, especially #13:
      “You are curious to find out if you have ADHD.
      I am not the only ADHD adult who has noticed that the people who are the most vehemently opposed to the possibility that they might have this mindset are the ones who seem to have lots of the symptoms. A number of the experts in our videos have told us the same thing.”
      I am new to this blog and subscribed because I suspect I have ADHD and have felt this way for several years. In my younger days, if someone suggested I had ADHD I WOULD have been vehemently opposed, but at this point in my life I would be almost relieved to find out that I have it. It would answer SO MANY questions.
      Indeed, ADHD is a blanket term; like many other diagnoses (dyslexia, autism), it describes a wide spectrum of conditions. Each person’s ADHD is distinct.

    • It’s a good point. Perhaps it needs to made clear that no one has all of these traits or issues.

    • Yes, it’s true. No one has all of these traits.

  18. shyle December 28, 2015 at 2:56 pm

    ..ADHD doesn’t always start from your childhood.

  19. kidk February 8, 2016 at 3:57 am

    Woaah. I relate to this so much. As in, relate to the opposites of this list. Especially that last point; while reading the list I reached number 11 or something then I skipped forward then I went back to the first ones, then I came back to the end, and then to where I broke of from (roughly).
    I’ve never actually gone to get myself diagnosed, and thats the only point in here which showed I might not have ADHD. The one that said if you’re curious in finding out. Because recently I had a psychology group project where we were covering ADHD, and we all took this very proper and official ADHD self-test, and I was the last one to finish it, and after that my scores indicated signs of ADHD. I actually thought everybody would get “signs of ADHD”, because thats what I’ve heard abt these “self-administered tests”, but nobody else did.
    That’s why I got a little curious, and then I saw this 23 signs you DO NOT have it post on the web, and I read this and I really related to the opposites of most of these.
    All except the curious one, and the childhood one. Nearly everything else. Oh, and the taxes one, because I’m not an adult yet.

  20. danodea April 5, 2016 at 7:50 pm

    OK, some few comments.
    “You finish projects on time” and “You have your taxes done and filed ahead of time” – I always finished projects ‘way ahead of time, -or- late. I usually finished days or weeks ahead of time because of hyperfocus. Taxes are just another project; I always do mine as soon as I get everything in, so I’m done by February 10 or so, otherwise I forget.
    “Without taking your eyes off this screen, you can tell me where you left your keys.” – Yes, I can. I can also tell you every one of my bank account numbers, the running balance in all of them, all of my credit card numbers, the page I stopped reading in each of the five books I have active at this time, all 98 of my passwords (I have separate ones for every single website I belong to, run, etc.) – you get the idea. How can I do this? I have a near-eidetic memory. That has nothing to do with the fact I can’t concentrate; memory and concentration are not the same things. Also, I have more than ADHD; I have other things, too.
    “You have a great sense of time, and never get lost.” – I have a lousy sense of time, but I NEVER get lost. I have a running map in my head, never lose my sense of direction. It’s related to my ability to mentally build an “exploded diagram” of any machine I’ve ever seen run. If you want to know who has a similar ability, look up Temple Grandin. She’s better at it than I am, but I’m pretty damned good at reverse-engineering things; it’s what made me successful.
    The last two items should tell you something. Remember, about 30% – 50% of people with ADHD also have autism (depending on which studies you’ve read) – I have both. That’s what made my diagnoses so difficult: people with autism are usually not verbal, or verbal late, or otherwise have intellectual deficits. Not all of us do; some of us are pretty bright. Being intelligent does not preclude ADHD, although it can hide some of the symptoms.

  21. danodea April 5, 2016 at 7:53 pm

    starrose120, I was the same, always reading because always bored. Reading is an escape for me.

    • 19adhdocd February 21, 2019 at 11:26 am

      I’m an avid reader also, but what I do is skip half or three quarters of the book that I deem “boring”, “unimportant”, or really any paragraph that gets longer than 4 sentences.

  22. danodea April 5, 2016 at 7:56 pm

    Oh yeah, visible desktop – it’s either completely visible or completely hidden by piles of paper. The times it’s visible are when I am so frustrated because I can’t find anything, so I go on a filing spree that lasts a couple of hours (there’s that hyperfocus thing again) – plus my wife is always looking for her records, and if I’m not home (pretty common) she gets all frustrated that “everything’s filed under Miscellaneous” ;-)

  23. mvargas April 8, 2016 at 11:13 pm

    1. #1. I’ve been held up at gunpoint about 5 or 6 times. I was so calm, handled everything so well that some employees didn’t even know we had been robbed.
    2. #3. No one else at the office wants my job or can do it – my assignment is to handle everything that is a priority, rush, VIP, and the boss wants an answer now. I constantly change tasks every 5 or 10 minutes throughout the day. But please don’t give me 4 weeks to complete a report – I keep reminding me that time is running out, and then I always start on the DUE DATE!
    3. #14. I’m famous for getting lost and being late to work. Start work at 8 am, and keep hitting the snooze, until it’s finally 8 am and get up rushing about getting ready for work. As I leave I ponder if I should stop for coffee!
    4. #16. My desk top is never visible-then I get frustrated, throw everything into a big pile and start over
    5. #19. Always talk to myself
    6. #20. Coffee, coffee, coffee and more coffee.

  24. epicpenzzz April 28, 2016 at 9:30 pm

    I’m really annoyed with myself. I think I have ADHD, but I’m not sure, and I think I might be reading myself wrong. But every day it’s like I’m being pulled in a hundred different directions. Most of the time when I’m writing, I’ll just think of what I’m writing and skip a couple of sentences and ugh, it’s so frustrating.
    The problem is that I’m not sure I have it. I’ve researched it, and I think I might, but I’m not sure. Only 2 of these don’t app,y to me. I’m not dyslexic (I’m a speed reader) and my siblings don’t have ADHD. I think my dad might,though.
    But every day it’s a thousand distractions trying to get me not to do work, and it’s horrible. I can barely make it through the school day. Coffee is fantastic. I love it. It makes me fell a little better.
    Do you think I might have ADHD? Because nobody else cares.

    • Heather November 16, 2017 at 2:41 pm

      It’s possible; only a clinician can tell you for sure, but even then it may still be possible. I actually tested NOT ADHD, but women tend to present differently from men, and my doctor was willing to try medication anyway, and it helped tremendously.
      One good litmus test is your reaction to stimulants, i.e. Coffee. When I drink coffee (and this applies to my 12 year old, too, who does have a diagnosis) I can feel the calmness and focus sinking over my body. It’s a visceral effect. It calms me, and my mind becomes sharper.
      A lot of it’s in your brain. If you’ve got a motor running, and thirty million things running through your brain, that’s a good indication. I generally have fifteen tabs open in my browser (I flipped through four of them posting this comment, because I kept getting distracted.)

      • 2weelz March 31, 2018 at 2:36 pm

        The stimulant thing is not true for all ADHDers, so using that as a test can create false negatives: stimulants might not calm you, even if you have ADHD. OTOH if they DO calm you, that is a solid indication.

    • 19adhdocd February 21, 2019 at 11:26 am

      Why not check it out with a professional? It might very well be.

  25. meggein August 15, 2016 at 6:54 am

    I don’t know if I can reply directly to you @epicpenzzz but I implore you to seek a professional diagnosis if you are truly concerned. It will be the only way you can confirm ot 100%.
    People need to remember that regardless of what diagnosis you have received, it is on a spectrum. When you are dealing with the brain and how it’s wired, it becomes very apparent that neurodivergence of any kind os on a spectrum.
    For example, I was diagnosed as a very young child (parents didn’t tell me until last year I was officially diagnosed & it honestly made my life hell living it in ignorance without help) but I still vary from the next person.
    Some days coffee is great and other days it interacts with other issues I have and I become a jittery mess (as if I wasn’t already one).
    It doesn’t lessen the validity of my diagnosis, just like I have always loved reading and as a child it was an escape. I was never diagnosed dyslexic but I do have some of the symptoms like at 27 telling the time on an analog clock is still almost impossible.
    My point in all of this is, we are all different and that still holds true for when your brain is involved but you will feel much better if you seek a professional opinion.

  26. futaim October 6, 2016 at 1:53 pm

    14. I am punctual most times (of course excluding the times I forget about the meeting and only remember hours late or even days after).
    I mean if the efforts I made to remember the event were successful; I usually show up on time. The trick I use is; I add two hours before the meeting time, and that is when I start dressing up and getting ready for that 1 hour meeting. (And by dressing up I mean putting on clothes and leaving the house.)
    The down side of this is that many times I would show up 20-30 minutes early. But I know it is either this or 30 mins late.

  27. danodea October 26, 2016 at 12:15 am

    OK, some issues here.
    #7 and #8 go hand-in-hand. I file my taxes early because I want to get them out of the way, so I hyperfocus on them until they’re done.
    #10: I have a near-eidetic memory. I can tell you not only where I left my car keys, I can tell you every bank account I have ever owned (account numbers too), every PIN, and what I’m wearing without looking. My memory has nothing whatsoever to do with my ADHD, although I do often get the “Oh, I just had that answer” moments.
    #14: I have never, ever gotten lost, both because of the memory (see #10) and because I have a great spatial relations sense. Maybe that’s the ASD on top of the ADHD, I don’t know.
    #20: I don’t drink coffee. I do drink a lot of caffeinated sodas, though.

  28. danodea October 26, 2016 at 12:18 am

    Interesting – I comment 7 months apart and produce almost exactly the same comments even when I didn’t remember posting here back then.

  29. yaoiphobic October 29, 2016 at 2:04 am

    After reading this, I’m definitely feeling more valid about being ADHD in a time where everyone with even the vaguest symptoms get slapped with an ADHD/ADD diagnosis. I can honestly say this disorder disables me in everyday life (Hell, I dropped out of school at 16 because I was going to fail out due to not being able to pay attention. Studying did absolutely nothing for me.) But, I 100% agree with thriving in typically stressful situations. There are times when I actually HOPE for something crazy to happen just so I can get that near-euphoric high off of it.
    Hyperfocus is great — Until you’re at work and you’re supposed to be doing payroll, but all you can think about is an idea for a book that you want to write and as a result can’t do payroll for the life of you.
    Like Danodea said, I actually also have an eidetic memory. Problem is, I can never focus on anything and, as a result, none of it commits to memory unless I’m hyperfocusing on something so that incredible memory is essentially useless to me. I lose absolutely everything and can’t remember what I’m supposed to be doing for the life of me. I just started Adderall today, though, and the results are looking good so far, so here’s hoping I finally get the chance to remember things at least part of the time. Maybe I’ll even write that book that I’ve had in the works for 10 years.

    • Heather November 16, 2017 at 2:45 pm

      I think the *disorder* part of ADHD gets missed. It’s not just about the symptoms. Anyone can have the symptoms. It’s the interference in everyday life, the dysfunction.
      I got a call today about my daughter getting “bored” in class, (art, with an assignment due) and breaking a bunch of crayons. She’s not normally destructive, but she really couldn’t help it. She doesn’t just have a hard time focusing, it’s nearly impossible in a group setting. She’s failing most of her classes right now because of it.

    • Heidi Smith November 20, 2017 at 8:21 am

      I was reading your post and laughed out loud at the ‘doing payroll and start thinking about the book you want to write’ – I’ve been doing this for so long, and booking drumming lessons and setting up a charity group sending warm jackets overseas – OK – must get off internet and back to my assignment!! So good to know it’s not just me!! Thanks.

  30. cognizant October 31, 2016 at 2:58 pm

    For years I have thought that there was either something wrong with me, or that I was special. I have always had a thousand and one things running through my mind and thought everyone else did, until I found out that no, they didn’t. I have been battling crippling self doubt, whilst often outwardly displaying confidence that belied my inner turmoil. I could not understand how a man with above average intelligence, seemed to be consistently spinning wheels on the world to nowhere. Until today. It’s like someone has literally taken my life and put it online. Well, not EVERYTHING. But the vast amount that I have read about ADD/ADHD (thank you, hyperfocus!), has left me in no doubt. I will get officially diagnosed, but as poster said below, this is both liberating and frightening. For so many years I have been fighting this internal battle and now I know what it is. I’m not crazy. I’m not useless. I’m not lazy. I feel SO much better that I have found this resource, amongst others.
    Time to turn that corner.

  31. leeder December 15, 2016 at 4:18 pm

    So, I clicked on the link to this page as a defiant little way to “prove” the man who diagnosed me wrong.
    That didn’t work out like I planned.
    Your list made me laugh my ass off, and I probably disrupted a few people.
    The paragraph at the end made me cry a little.
    I don’t know, maybe I’m just having some serious mood swings, but either way, I immediately signed up for your site.

  32. Jessica November 12, 2017 at 2:47 am

    DR. Jess you scored very high so far for ADHD.
    Me. Ok what can I do to help my self?
    DR. Take these tablets.
    Me. Ok is there any groups or anyone I can talk too, that can give me coping strategies?
    DR. I’m sorry i don’t know of any but these tablets should help. Why are you crying?
    Me. I’m not upset I just feel so relieved that I finally know what’s wrong with me.
    Six months later, New job again, New house again, and still waiting for next appointment. Finished tablets incase I don’t have it. Lol

  33. How To End A Marriage November 12, 2017 at 7:20 am

    I really appreciate your post and you explain each and every point very well.Thanks for sharing this information.And I’ll love to read your next post too.

  34. Gillian November 12, 2017 at 8:02 am

    After getting as far as number 10 I had to get up and go look for my keys! I loved it Rick, many thanks for another inventive and amusing look at the life we live with ADHD.

  35. Rita C November 12, 2017 at 11:23 am

    Awesome! My response when I read the one about the closet? HAH!! In the closet behind my desk there resides a wet suit and SCUBA goggles… three yoga mats… one… or maybe two yoga mat bags… my post-exercise roller… my hiking boots (counts as sports equipment)… one lonely guitar (with electronic tuner and music)… many yards of gorgeous fabric yearning to become the contra dance skirts it was purchased for… For the record, (these don’t fit in the closet) there are also the 12 looms I own (5 with live projects), many tubs and bags of unprocessed wool, many pounds of roving ready to be spun into yarn, and more tubs of finished yarn, some quite expensive because I deserve it… (But I do have a lovely color sense), close to 100 books on weaving, knitting, natural dying, quilting, and the like. Oh, and bunches of fabrics for my quilting. And all the equipment needed to use all this stuff. All of it. Yep.
    I was delighted when I learned that irritating tags on shirts, and irritating clothing that doesn’t fit, really is a “thing”, that other people with ADD also experience the extreme irritation that I do. I just thought I was fussy. When I walk the dog at night, street lights and especially over-bright yard lights make me crazy, I have to block the light with my hands. If there is a pin dropping somewhere within my realm, over and over, I’ll hear it and it will make me crazy. If someone is chewing with their mouth open… if they’re hitting the sides of the coffee cup while stirring… aaaaack! Quit it! Music helps. But it has to be music with no lyrics, or I will sing along. It can be classical, but not baroque, and certainly not Mozart. Outside sounds help tremendously — birds and insects, especially, are very soothing. Say — does anyone else hear strains of music in white noise? I do, all the time.

    • nashdlp August 15, 2018 at 12:01 am

      Rita C, I have no idea when your comment was written, so you may never see this. But I can relate! I have lots of other ADHD symptoms, but these are a few of the auditory/visual things:
      – When I’m in a movie theater and someone is looking at their phone a few seats over, the bright light drives me nuts and it’s hard to concentrate on the movie. I have to block the light with my hand, as you said.
      -I once tried sleeping at a relative’s home in a room with a ticking clock. I had to get that clock off the wall before I could go to sleep.
      -I love outside sounds too. I work from home, and I started putting YouTube videos of birds on my TV (via Roku) to entertain my cat. I found that I enjoy the background noise, so the videos are great for both of us! :)
      -The music in white noise is so interesting … I am using window AC units right now, and most of the time the noise blends into the background for me. But when I’m trying to go to sleep, I occasionally hear what sounds like bits of music, but it’s just the air conditioner. Weird!
      -And ditto with the tags on clothing! Or if the seam in the toe of my sock slips down a bit and I can feel it. Anything wool? Forget about it.
      -The noisy environment thing he mentioned in the article … does that happen to anyone else here? It doesn’t happen all the time, but I occasionally get overwhelmed in a loud environment. It’s happened to me several times in noisy restaurants, especially if the seating is close. It’s not exactly like a panic attack, I don’t think (?) I just feel overwhelmed all of a sudden–sometimes I’ll feel like I may faint, and I have an intense urge to go somewhere quiet. It’s frustrating.

  36. Nancy M November 13, 2017 at 9:55 am

    This almost ALLresonates and relates to my behavior. I am so sorry no one ever talked to me about ADHD during years of therapy AND my worrying about my son and his Dad having ADHD?! LoL!! I was diagnosed after age 55.
    One thing very different about me is that I have to have the house organized, clean and everything in its place…somewhat perfectionistic on the clean/organize scale.

  37. Dave November 13, 2017 at 10:13 am

    Great blog Rick!

  38. WhoCarez? November 15, 2017 at 9:12 pm

    Does “working in extremes” have to do with ADHD?
    For instance, either I start this project and finish the whole thing TODAY, or I don’t start the project at all.
    On a separate note, does anyone else have this problem where you are in middle of taking an exam in school with full concentration, and the guy behind you coughs, or he’s scratching with his pencil on the page and YOU ARE DONE! You’re concentration is over!

  39. Gabriel_1_7 November 23, 2017 at 9:05 am

    I read each and every number in order then skipped the last one. Read it again and I found out that I have ADHD

    • Ha ha ha! Well, I should mention that this doesn’t prove you have it. It’s not a diagnostic tool. One of the doctors on our professional advisory board mentioned that it should contain numbers, studies, and references.
      Then he admitted, “On the other hand, you really did cover it well.”

  40. rottiemom December 12, 2017 at 8:17 pm

    #1… I was about 11 years old. My sister and I had been out trick-or-treating for Halloween. Some kid comes up to me with a small knife, grabs my pillowcase full of candy and tells me to hand it over. Like I’m going to hand over hours worth of trick-or-treating???? LOL, I am staring at the kid. I tell my sister who is 4 years younger. so go home and get Daddy, NOW! She takes off running (we were only 50 yards at most from home). They see that’s she’s running and they take off the other direction and I have my bag of candy for yet another day. I have no idea but at that second everything was crystal clear. I remember that event like it was yesterday too.

    • A number of people with ADHD have told me stories about being in a crisis situation and everything is clear and almost calm. The chatter stops. They are totally present.
      I have the same feeling when I’m onstage performing or giving a talk. Though sometimes people will repeat something I said and tell me how it resonated with them… and I have no memory of saying it!
      From what I understand it’s the rush of adrenaline that makes up for lack of dopamine, and it’s probably why so many emergency responders qualify as having ADHD.

  41. dynagirl January 15, 2018 at 3:49 pm

    Oh, wow! I’ve been told by so many people in the last 15 years or so that I just HAVE to be ADD or ADHD that I’ve now lost count. I have always laughed it off and looked at them like their nuts. Fortunately, I’m super high-energy. I work 2 jobs, only sleep 5-6 hrs a night, can fall asleep after drinking a pot of coffee, and have a fantastic outlook on life. My closet is beautifully organized – by a rainbow of color. However, in everything else, I tend to organize, then decide there’s a better way to do it and re-organize. That can go on indefinitely.
    Alternatively, I sometimes seem rude to my friends because I feel an uncontrollable need to ‘participate’ in conversations and can sometimes interrupt, even though I hate that. I lose things all the time. I tell stories that are long and in graphic detail (basically painting a picture for the listener so they can see it in their mind’s eye). I have difficulty staying focused on one project long enough to see it through before seeing something else that desperately needs done and attacking that. Oh, wait…. sparkly things…
    Question: Can other symptoms of strange behavior be linked? I don’t think I’m excessive, but sometimes others do. For instance, when I open a pack of M&M’s, I have to organize them by color, then I have to balance them out by eating the excess first. I often have to lock my car multiple times unless I watch the locks go down because I’ll forget whether I hit the remote to lock. Same goes for my apartment door. I typically buy small appliances that have auto-off features because I can’t remember whether I’ve turned them off.

    • dynagirl January 15, 2018 at 4:29 pm

      Lol, and I hate when I have typos. Their should be they’re in my first paragraph.

      • Rick Green - Founder of TotallyADD March 5, 2018 at 3:43 pm

        Dynagirl, I hate typos to. I mean two. I meant too.

      • 19adhdocd February 21, 2019 at 11:29 am

        Yeah Rick. I thought I was the only one. I’m so emotional I’m crying. It’s just so crazy that all these invisible problems I could never quite figure out what they were suddenly take shape. Oh my God.

    • Yes, Dynagirl,
      organizing M&M’s or Smarties by color is not unique to you. We can have all kinds of interesting quirks. In fact, you could argue that no one has ‘Pure’ ADHD. We almost all have other stuff going on. Depression and Anxiety are common when you have a brain that can’t stop following one thought after another. We have much higher rates of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and Tourette Syndrome. 40% of us have a Learning Disorder. Not to mention substance abuse and addictive behaviours. Like many people who are ‘high-functioning’ adults with ADHD, I can score surprisingly high on a checklist of traits for Aspergers. I think that’s the case for most people who have degrees in science or engineering. This is an Executive Function Disorder. It’s about how the brain organizes and filters and sorts information. And that can show up in any number of ways.

    • olsonpb January 3, 2019 at 1:22 pm

      “I tend to organize, then decide there’s a better way to do it and re-organize. That can go on indefinitely.”
      The never ending story “with no end” . I, unlike dynagirl, seem to have lost the positive outlook long ago.
      The other aspect is “I’ll know what I want when I see it”, I’ll be doing what I want when I’m doing it.
      I see the problem, solutions fly by like the wind.
      Every one else says it’s “confidence”, Where’s Julie Andrews when you need her.
      The lack of confidence is the result, it’s not the problem of ADHD. I’m confident in the things I am able to do. It’s the things I struggle with…. “and the seasons they go round and round”.
      I’m constantly dealing with ADHD. The brain space for dealing with figuring out others at the same time is limited. It’s not a “not wanting to” issue.
      Probably too much to share without being misunderstood.

  42. trhauck March 5, 2018 at 2:19 am

    When my dad was diagnosed with ADD after my younger half sister was diagnosed with ADHD he told me I should be assessed because it runs in families. Honestly I discounted it thinking back to when I was a kid and don’t ever remember being hyper. Always busy and never home, but never hyper. However in the past year when he mentioned again that I should be evaluated I decided to do my research. I’m not one to go to the Dr unless I feel it is really necessary. So many times I will leave the office before the call me back or I just get tired of waiting. So this past year I have felt there is more wrong with me than just laziness and feeling like I have failed at life by 36. I just didn’t know what. And I have taken a number of online assessments that yes make me believe that this is probably the answer to my questions. I scored very high on the assessment this site offers. And yet a part of me still feels rediculous for thinking this is the answer. I feel like maybe I’m just trying to find an excuse for my laziness and my mistakes. Or the fact that I have trouble staying in one place. But on the other hand, how many people will tell you they have moved over thirty times in the less than 20 years they have been an adult? And who can say they have had 20 jobs in that same amount of time. Or who has started college 6 times…changed their major 9 times and still has not even completed an associate’s degree? I desperately want to know what’s wrong with me. But I also worry that maybe I’m just making excuses for all of my failures. And how can I afford to go to a Dr who is experienced with ADD and ADHD? And maybe I’m worried they are just going to look at me stupid because I’m self diagnosing or that they tell me it is something else all together that’s wrong when I honestly feel like this is finally an answer. But maybe they misdiagnose me or think I’m just being rediculous because. Or even think what part of me is thinking…and that’s that I’m just trying to find an excuse for the decisions and mistakes I’ve made instead of taking responsibility. I just don’t know anymore what to do. And it is starting to really effect my life because I know there is something wrong with me…for the first time I honestly no longer feel it isn’t just who I am . And I want answers but I’m also so afraid.

    • Hi Trhauck, I suspect very few doctors would look at you like you are stupid. You clearly are not. Your thoughts and concerns are common among adults with this disorder, and you are articulate and sensitive about them. Why do you feel it’s ridiculous? You’re worried you’re just looking for an excuse. It sounds like you are looking for an explanation. If you’re scoring high on the screener tests, if it resonates, if the descriptions of the disorder match your feelings, actions, and behaviours, then why not assume it might well be the case, and actually try some ADHD strategies and see if they work for you? There are 36 great strategies that Patrick McKenna and I use all the time to survive and thrive in our video ‘ADD & Mastering It!’
      The key to diagnosing, since there is no blood test yet, is an interview, looking at your life story, where you struggle, and things you do well.
      Everything you’ve said about yourself sounds like ADHD. And yet, like so many people who have this mindset, they continue to dismiss every confirmation that comes their way, every sign or event of piece of information that jibes with the possibility of ADHD and assume it’s just a character flaw or a weakness.
      Well, if it helps, think of it as a weakness. I’m weak at paperwork. I’m weak at details. I hate waiting. I’m bad at being patient. And when I apply a holistic approach to my ADHD, these things improve, or, even better, I have someone else do them. I get creative and find work-arounds, solutions, structures, and use all kinds of ADHD-Friendly strategies to cope. You could go on for another 20 years wondering. But I can tell you that EVERY adult who has finally gotten a proper diagnosis has the same regret, “I wish I’d known sooner!” Watch this short but funny video featuring a dozen adults who have ADHD and you’ll see what I mean.

      • turbo88 September 7, 2018 at 11:57 am

        hello my name is luke im am 12 years old and I have ADHD ive struggled in life because of it i keep getting d and c in school when i work really hard and yet i get bullied and called mean names i just feal depressed i just want to tell any kids who have ADHD it gets better trust me

  43. lizaxoxom March 23, 2018 at 11:25 pm

    1.) For the first time I decided to look it up. As a kid, I would get my D’s and B’s mixed up all the time.
    2.) At school I do well in the beginning and do bad as I start getting distracted. I have night where I stay up super late crying because I can not start studying or doing an assignment. I can focus only hours before it’s due. One day I even spent 4hrs learning a new language rather than my assignment. Only till I was really worn out am I able to concentrate.
    Thankfully I’m passionate of what I do or else I would completely fail in school.
    3.) From the age of 5 till now, I have a short memory span. I have to make sure that something resonates with my emotions so that I can remember. My roommate from 2 years ago always tells me I remember the weirdest things and completely forget others. My brother can tell you more about my childhood than I can (we are 1yr apart). He could tell you abt experiences that happened to me but I can’t even remember. I’ve always been scared of this cuz I always took it as a sign that I would have Alzheimer in the future. And it has always saddened me.
    At work my coworkers say “y ou hard working but you got a bad memory. She leaves her phone here and a couple seconds she is panaicing about where she left it,.. same with her keys hahahaha”.
    4.) I have noticed that during every interview I’ve had or when asked a question by my boss… I know the answer! But half way through the conversation, i completely forget what the question was. That’s why I’ve gotten used to writing down the question, so that I can remind myself and get back on track.
    5.) I feel like my mind is running faster than my mouth. I have created what seems like a stutter and ramble mixed together.
    6.) The longest I’ve kept a job or internship has been 6months!! No freaking joke!!! I finally managed to stay 1 yr at a job and it is because the rotated me from position to position. It was my reason to start my own consulting group. Changing it up all the time
    7.) I love eating candy to stay awake… but it doesn’t do much. My worst enemy is COFFEE! I always tell my friend, ” I don’t drink coffee I knocks me out… I won’t be able to finish studying ima fall asleep. ”
    8.) I felt depressed at work sitting in a cubical so I’d go down to the machine area for fabrication to get my work done. People asked why and I’d say it was easier to concentrate.
    The sad part is that I never wanted to admit it because it meant it was permanent. I always thought I would beat it one day. I thought it was possible, but now that I know I have a disorder I can’t help crying. Cuz it’s permanent it’s staying and I can’t do anything.

  44. 2weelz March 31, 2018 at 2:14 pm

    This is spot-on for those with hyperactivity. For the predominately innattentive types, #1, 12, and 20 do not apply. You do NOT want an ADHD-PI to be an EMT. We freeze up in a crisis.
    We, at least I, have trouble being heard. We can be soft-spoken, shy, and introverted. People constantly interrupt me, talk over me, or simply fail to notice that I am even there.
    I am sensitive to stimulants. Ritalin and caffeine can give me tics. I closely monitor the dosage and timing of caffeine. Stimulant meds have no positive effects on focus, in fact, they can make me scattered and hyperactive. Ritalin just adds an “H” to my ADD, so I don’t take it.

  45. 2weelz March 31, 2018 at 3:10 pm

    1.OMG hyperfocused on the internt and missed my 11:00 Saturday Aikido class…again! Next week, tablet and WiFi will be turned off in the morning.
    2. Keys missing for over a week, were in my pocket, then suddenly gone. All the keys had duplicates, but one of the duplicates is missing, so I can’t lock up my bike. Since I have no car, and my motorcycles are all broken, this severely limits my mobility.
    I have lost a few things, permanently, without even leaving the room. Perhaps I make them physically disappear, somehow. Mostly I just forget, though. I cannot go more than five minutes without having to search for something.
    3. Did item #19 get edited? Comments indicate it was about talking to oneself; now it’s about scary movies and loud noises.

  46. apothecia April 17, 2018 at 3:48 am


  47. apothecia April 17, 2018 at 3:50 am

    I like how the crisis criteria came first. I guess when the apocalypse happens and shit hits the fan, we’re gonna be the “most fit” phenotype haha

  48. onlymoong May 23, 2018 at 1:39 am

    Hello, I went back to school 10 yrs after high school and then in the university I was sent to a professional who diagnosed me with ADHD, with other learning disabilities. While I do think it might not be wrong I guess I have my doubts. Like it is hard for some people that are Hispanic like myself to find any trend in the family. In places like Mexico ADHD is not really a known or understood disorder like many other psychiatric disorders. Even trying to explain it to some it’s hard to grasp the difference between any of them. Like I’ve heard some think the way a child reacts because of autism to certain senses is actually schizophrenia, and when I try to explain it kinda passes over their heads. Also, I did not know ADHD had the hypersensitive to senses. I always wondered why things like light touch bothered me as if someone was giving me a wet willy. (Sorry for my grammar, it is one of the areas where I fall short and working on).

    • Your concern about whether or not you have ADHD is a sensible one. And probably one that all of us have. As well, the research is beginning to show that these disorders overlap. Every doctor we’ve interviewed for our videos would agree that there is not a single version of ADHD that everyone has. It’s VERY individual. And it depends a lot on the situation. So being able to blurt out and talk a lot works when I’m onstage doing a comedy show. Not so helpful when my wife is sharing her day and needs me to listen. (LOL)
      It could be that you are going through a whole bunch of stuff in your life, things that are stressing you out, and naturally that affects your ability to focus, plan, remember things, finish what you start, and so on.
      ADHD is ongoing and for most of us it’s how we came into the world. Over 20 genes have been identified and many of these overlap with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Asperger’s, Autism Spectrum Disorder, and others. They are all about managing information, sorting and filtering all the input from our senses, staying focused on boring tasks, not getting hyper-focused on interesting but trivial tasks or distractions, planning and then following through… and so on. Those are not our strengths.
      What makes it a disorder? In a way, you decide. You get to say whether these traits are impacting your life. And you choose the strategies to manage the downside of this mindset. For example I’m overly sensitive to scary, violent horror movies. My strategy? I never watch them. Simple. Other challenges, like procrastination, or managing all the projects I’m working on require more advanced strategies. Patrick McKenna and I share 36 of the one’s we use on a daily basis in our second PBS special, ‘ADDD & Mastering It!’
      Getting a diagnosis takes time and it’s tricky. But to start, do what you’re doing, which is keep learning more. (Have you tried our Unofficial ADHD Quiz? It’s funny and it covers a LOT of the traits and quirks and symptoms.
      Then start trying out different ADHD strategies and see if they help. If they do, great. And if at some point you are pretty certain that you have this mindset and it’s causing you problems then by all means get a diagnosis.
      By the way, your grammar is better than mine! Ha!

  49. ohlookasquirrel June 8, 2018 at 5:13 am

    My fiancé just didn’t understand the tags thing, that is, until I showed him this: (part 1) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=93aA6rAlUAo
    (part 2) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WLgUK27NT_Y
    This should be part of the ADD/ADHD screening test , LOL!
    You might be ADHD… if you start writhing about and screaming “TAGS HURT!!!”, along with the video. (I do. Every time. :D)

  50. lilia June 27, 2018 at 9:28 am

    Me and my newly wed husband are opposite of each other. I am messy, get lost, and love talking. My husband sometimes has a hard time finding himself in new situations, listens more than he talks, and has a particular way he wants our closet to be organized. We have had some hard fights since our marriage, but we still love each other to death. I am wondering after this article, how you basically described my husband, that he needs to get adhd evaluated.

  51. asmith06 July 5, 2018 at 11:30 am

    At this point, I should probably embrace this condition at 45. I have known that something was different about me for years. Even my mom has symptoms. It was scary but comforting to read that I have at least 19/23 symptoms listed here. I am just glad that I have learned to function almost successfully. I always love my jobs and keep them for years but everything else is spot on. I always lose my keys, purse, shoes, pens, everything- lol. Traveling , especially flying is a nightmare since I don’t fly often. My taxes for 2016 and 2017 have not been done. LOL. I relocated 1300 miles away a year ago and I’m thinking about moving back to my home state. The problem is that every week I change my mind. One week I want to stay and the next week I don’t. I’m a mess but some of it has to do with the ADHD that has never been formally diagnosed.

  52. bobbytwolegs July 13, 2018 at 10:09 am

    My brother was recently diagnosed with ADHD and during his assessment my mum was there to offer an insight into his childhood. After the session she spoke to me and said that a lot of the questions related very strongly to me as a child and so i started looking into sites like this. I very quickly realised that I could actually have ADHD as articles like this and the basic tests you can do really described me!! I have always thought it was just who I was and that the reason I didn’t do particularly well in education, even though I was in the highest sets/groups, was just down to laziness and a lack of focus, a character flaw.
    I’m now 40 and doing ok in life but the thought of hearing a reason behind my seeming self-sabotage fills me with emotion. That said I am really unsure as to whether it is worth having a professional diagnosis? I struggle to a certain extent with a lot of the issues described here but they don’t affect my life, I run a limited company, I have a great family etcetera, it just seems like it would be a relief to know I’m not a complete mess up! Sorry for the sort of ramble, I’m just trying to get it all out.

    • You are not a complete mess up.
      You are just not a match for what the modern world demands of us. I wonder how we would have done 300 years ago… actually, doctors were describing the symptoms in the 1700’s, so lets say 1,000 years ago… would have been as big an impairment?
      Or would the shame and guilt and moral judgement have been worse? “It’s a sin!”

  53. hphannah October 30, 2018 at 2:32 pm

    23. OR you did read the entire list, but only because you’re procrastinating something else right now, and therefor got thinking about how dificult it is to get started, and then about adhd, and maybe there are som tips online, and then you end up here… even though you’ve been diagnosed for years… nooo i’m not talking about myself…….

    • utpala22 February 19, 2019 at 1:06 pm

      right..I am getting back to my work…darn it!!

  54. emmy October 31, 2018 at 10:57 am

    Ok, I don’t know about the job one. I was at my last job for 9yrs, in that case my ADHD is offset my by anxiety and fear of being homeless/evicted (childhood trauma), but I do take on (then stop lol) a lot of projects, blogging, learning an new language, etc. At my new job the hyper-focus is as problematic as the AD. Now that I’ve left a job with an office for a job where I sit in a cubical people will walk up to me and start talking and if I’m into something and laser focused on my work, it takes a lot to get my attention. I not being rude I simply do not see or hear them right away if I’m focused on work.

  55. drowning12 December 12, 2018 at 6:58 pm

    I’m 38 and have tried probably no exaggerating 40 jobs in twenty years. Average length 6 months never made a whole year. Lost cars homes had to pawn things to pay bills. Loved my ex with a firey intensity at first but then it gets old. She’s gone now. Leave dish’s pile up till can’t get water from faucet. Depression social anxiety. Stimulants cause depression and no other meds work. My life can’t go on like this. Trying for disability but judge says no because I can pay attention to video games. Have been on depression meds with little help and sometimes horrible violent outbursts. I’m drowning.

    • I find that so frustrating… “You can pay attention when it’s something that interests you.”
      Exactly!!! A better way to phrase it would be, “I can only pay attention when it interests me. And then I get locked in and can’t see or hear anything else. I completely lose track of time, wasting hours, and then crash, feeling like a failure because I haven’t done all the things that are urgent, but don’t around my brain enough to produce the neurotransmitters I need to start, stick with, and finish something. No matter how simple.

  56. mery January 15, 2019 at 12:48 pm

    Aaargh finally, I actually forgot my password twice until I could finally log in
    Thank you very much for this. I have been down because I didn’t understand my emotions, how I relate with friends, the rude comments I give without even meaning them. Funny thing is my dad has ADHD but I never thought I would until I came across something about it online, but then I realized I had all the symptoms I used to think I was just bipolar. I stopped reading about it because I was scared I might also have ADHD, but then I started cutting my friends out of resent didn’t even want to see, talk, or even chat with them. I also get affected at school, the weird thing is I find certain things funny like a time we were attacked by thieves I found the whole situation funny. Also I talk to myself but then friends think I’m some sort of psycho. But seeing this made me accept the fact that I just might have ADHD because I relate to the opposite of all the things listed, although I’m still gonna visit the hospital to confirm.

  57. nemoreally January 20, 2019 at 6:03 am

    This was amusing. I’m sitting at the computer at the moment surrounded by my neatly laid-out, pristine, immaculate, everything-in-it’s-place workspace (or, as my wife likes to call it, a municipal rubbish dump in the middle of a combined bombing raid and tornado). I always found it puzzling that I was at my best (and happiest) when danger or high pressure reared their ugly heads, or something particularly challenging occurred. In the military, I found I was OK when things got ‘interesting’, but administration was not my forte (British Understatement here).
    I seem to have AADHD (Acquired ADHD – I just made it up) as a result of a head injury when I was 12. Unfortunately, I get poor long term memory as well … song lyrics and poems are things I just can’t remember.
    If it weren’t for not “being born with it”, I’d be the poster child for Inattentive ADD … although, I’m more hyperactive than I think I am. This led me to getting prescribed Xaggatin to see if it could improve my symptoms … there does seem to be some benefit, as I get more stuff done when on it and feel more … relaxed, in normal circumstances.

    • Actually, a head injury is definitely possible source of one’s ADHD. While most of us inherited this mindset (and pass it on to some of our kids… what a wonderful legacy (LOL)) a number of doctors have talked about patients who came from a family where ADHD was obviously not present. It’s only when the doctor asks, “Have you ever had a brain injury,” that the person says, “Yes. When I was a teenager,” that it makes sense.

  58. utpala22 February 19, 2019 at 12:02 pm

    I was a klutz too..but now, I am more careful..I had no idea it could be related to ADHD in any way..Yes, I read all this in order…so I guess its a spectrum..and everyones different and I love talking to myself aloud. thanks for mentioning the klutz part…Its beginning to make sense.

  59. 19adhdocd February 21, 2019 at 11:40 am

    I thought I was lazy, crazy, and stupid – until my husband suggested I might have ADHD. I was thunderstruck; It was the last thing I thought it might be.
    As a child I was clean, neat, focused and studious. I was very detail oriented and studied for hours for tests. I was a model student. I read books constantly on end. I didn’t touch anything coffee.
    Then when I was 14 and 15 things suddenly changed and I grew a sudden crave for sugar. And drank mounds and mounds of coke and sprite. And lost every streak of focus I ever had. My once clean and neat bedroom turned into a pile of garbage. I became a huge mess. I spaced out in class and could no longer do my schoolwork. I just simply couldn’t. My mind started speeding at 200 MPH and my level of patience dropped to -35.
    I was unable to sit still. Drummed on my desk, fiddled with pens, scratched my head. My attention span dwindled into nothing; I could now concentrate for max 1 minute. I needed things to happen NOW. If I see a dress I like online, I need to buy it NOW. I can’t wait even one second for my Mom to let me use her card. I just go ahead and purchase it. I KNOW she will be mad but I can’t help it.
    I interrupt people. I grow so passionate and excited people think I’m strange. My mind is working overtime – I have a million ideas all at once. I want to open 14 Amazon business. I can’t stick to the same tab on my screen for longer than one second. I jump around at a dizzying speed. I want to write for people but the moment I have to fill out a resume, I drop it. That’s too boring for me.
    I don’t pay my bills. I procrastinate, again and again and again. The day before my electricity gets cut off, I rush to make a payment.
    I buy things without thinking if I need it. I see something, get excited, and just swipe my card.
    I am absentminded. I forget everything. All my appointments. I never get to the dentist and end up with 13 cavities.
    My mind feels like it’s a mess. It feels so disorganized and I cannot organize it.

  60. mtmohammed February 27, 2019 at 6:09 am

    Honestly, I’m so grateful that a list like this exists, so thank you for actually taking time to raise awareness about these things. I have not ever gone to the doctors about this, but in recent years my life has just felt so out of control and it doesn’t help when people keep comparing you to others and saying that “no one else is struggling or having these problems, so why are you”? I never realised that using coffee to help get sleep can even considered as a characteristic of an ADHD individual. Again, I thank you as this has given me some clarity.

    • It is astounding the odd behaviours and quirks that can be understood as symptoms… Well, maybe symptoms is the wrong word… as logical outcomes of having this disorder-syndrome-mindset-type of brain (Choose the term you prefer.)
      There were so many odd things that I never understood about myself until I had this diagnosis and began to learn more. In fact it was reading lists of common ADHD beliefs, behaviours, challenges, etc., that really helped me accept that, Yes!, this is me.
      The focus on the ways it shows up in daily life, which is where we all live, (Unless we’re stuck in our heads, LOL!) became the basis of the book, ADD Stole My Car Keys. Of course, not everyone has the same ‘buffet of personal symptoms.’ With at least 20 Genes identified with ADHD and many more being studied, all of which may or may not be ‘turned on’ (Is that the right term?) means we’re bound to cover a spectrum. When you consider the range of cultures, family situations, life journey, religious and moral ‘beliefs’ about what is right/wrong, and what is good/shameful, it gets even more complex. And then there are the common co-morbid disorders (Depression, Anxiety, Dyslexia, O.C.D., etc.) that add another layer of challenges…
      I’m almost 20 years into this journey and I keep discovering new ways that it messes with me.

  61. firesquirrel March 13, 2019 at 1:21 pm

    I was initially diagnosed as a kid but told upon turning 18 that I no longer had it because only children have ADHD… fast forward to when I was fresh out of the military in my mid twenties and decided to go to college (I had already married, divorced, eloped, annulled, then met my now soon to be ex husband- finally not divorcing over my ADHD, we had over a ten-year run and three kids now, but he was abusive, very controlling, and kept cheating…) one of my instructors told me he wasn’t letting me back into class until I had my ADHD under control… what? It’s that noticible?? I can still have it??? Yup. I’ve been back on adderall (taken daily, as Rx’d, and NEVER abused… it greatly bothers me to read how many others do and to jump through hoops about it as a result) for about ten years now… and it’s been a life changer. It isn’t a cure, but certainly makes it much more manageable for me.

  62. latrisha May 27, 2019 at 6:20 pm

    I have an ADD diagnosis from not one but 2 different psychiatrists lol and yet somehow I found myself thinking today, “do I really even have ADD”. Then to the google with the question which landed me here. So yes both doctors are correct and I’ll let that question rest once more.
    I’m having some issues with my meds which is the cause of my wondering. I was on adderall both quick and extended release. To 10 mg quick with the 30 mg XR in the morning and then another 10 mg quick in the late afternoon. That was after a year or so of adjusting meds up and up and still having issues (though no doubt I’m better on meds than off). We decided to try something different so now I’ve been taking Adzenys for a month and it definitely comes on smooth which is nice BUT that hyper focus thingy that we do, is a MAJOR issue for me on Adzenys. It can be faaaar worse than off my meds. It’s so bad that I don’t really even want to talk to people or even be anywhere but in a small room by myself with the door locked and doing whatever in the world I decided must to done right at that moment. Soooo a little counter productive.
    Thinking about going back to adderall and maybe asking to up my dosage again??? I don’t know. I’m tired of being a hot mess all the time so glad I found this website. Also the one about being fantastic in a crisis / under pressure, just wow because that is soooo much me. It’s like crap hits the fan and I turn into “that” person. You know “that” person who knows exactly what to do and can just spring into action. Kinda stinks though that something crazy has to occur for me to shine lol.

  63. heytherebuddy01 June 6, 2019 at 2:37 pm

    Listen I don’t know when this article was written but right now I’m literally crying. I’ve heard about add/adhd a couple times in my life and always thought it meant hyperactive and impulsive people but after more research (like suddenly at 1am, it is now 6am and I’m still scrolling through articles and symptoms) I’ve realized I have so much in common with these symptoms?? I’m 17 right now and have always had trouble with school, completing ANYTHING and I seriously mean ANYTHING. In primary/elementary school I remember kids in my class a year younger would make fun of me for being stupid or slow despite being older than them by a year… lol.
    Since I’ve gotten older I know that’s not true, my schoolwork, albeit never submitted on time or at all always gets pretty good grades… I remember recently however a school counselor asked me why I’m not trying harder in school, she went and asked me ‘why are you being lazy?’ I replied saying I’m not lazy I don’t know why I’m like this’ but her condescending eyes just made me feel all the more ashamed. I always blamed myself for being such a stupid and lazy person. Why did I never complete my schoolwork? why did I always disappoint my parents and teachers?… jeez, I’m rambling now but it’s just such a HUGE relief that my messy life isn’t because I’m just a fuckup or have some kind of brain damage (which sometimes my mum jokes about, thank you mother dearest :) how nice of you to do that) because I would lose everything, forget everything always leave thing everything in a pigsty like a tornado.
    It’s like god suddenly descended and gave me a high five and said that’s he’s actually still here and hasn’t abandoned humanity. Idk I’m really tired and excited that there’s a reason for my inability to focus. Thanks for this article… even though I don’t completely fit some of the requirements of your list, if I don’t fit 3 of the things in the list does that mean I don’t have add and am just trying to find an excuse for my laziness? Please answer. Thank you I have to end this or else I can’t and/or won’t stop.
    A relieved/anxious teenager

  64. qwetr October 2, 2019 at 7:30 am

    I haven#t yet been confident enough to seek any sort of official diagnosis, but have come to believe I probably have ADHD fairly recently (I’m between 25 and 30), inattentive type.
    1. YOU ARE A MESS IN A CRISIS – depends on whether the crisis in question invokes adrenaline or just feelings of doom.
    2. YOU FEEL LIKE YOU ARE LIVING UP TO YOUR POTENTIAL – Hahaha, most definitely not.
    3. YOU FINISH PROJECTS ON TIME – oddly enough, I’m more likely to finish projects I don’t care about on time… or declaring them finished in a horrible state to get rid of them.
    5. WHEN SOMEONE ASKS, “WHAT DID YOU SAY A MINUTE AGO?” YOU ARE ABLE TO TELL THEM – sometimes, I can reverse-engineer the conversation. Directly knowing, no.
    6. WITHOUT TAKING YOUR EYES OFF THIS SCREEN, YOU CAN TELL ME WHERE YOU LEFT YOUR CAR KEYS – I can, right next to my screen. Strangely, I’m more likely to lose things at home than outside, where I’m more paranoid about misplacing things…
    7. YOU’VE BEEN WITH THE SAME COMPANY MORE THAN 6 MONTHS – I have been in the same for 5 years. The hyperfocus periods make up for lateness and disorganization, it seems.
    8. NO ONE IN YOUR FAMILY – PARENTS, GRANDPARENTS, OR SIBLINGS HAS ADHD – not sure. There are quite a bunch of mental disorders about even though I don’t have a big family, but I feel kind of distant from them so it’s hard to tell.
    9. YOU HAVE YOUR TAXES DONE AND FILED AHEAD OF TIME – I’ve never done any tax reports at all.
    10. THE TERM ‘HYPER-FOCUS’ DOESN’T RESONATE WITH YOU – it mots certainly does.
    11. YOU HAVE NO TROUBLE READING THIS – this is a weird one – I really struggle to read something like a technical document, but am also prone to complete books with hundreds of pages within days. Or have them lying around for half a year.
    12. YOU LISTEN MORE THAN YOU TALK – depends. I can be an excellent listener in personal conversations that often go on for hours. Usually I’m a terrible listener. Prone to either not talking at all due to anxiety, or outbursts of the opposite, lost and very fast talking, when emotionally motivated to do so.
    13. YOU SAW A LIST OF ADHD TRAITS AND WERE NOT ALARMED – I have a longtime friend with hyperactive ADHD, and the hyperactive traits never quite resonated as much to me in comparison that I would have been alarmed.
    14. YOU HAVE A GREAT SENSE OF TIME, AND YOU RARELY GET LOST – I have a terrible sense of time, and it’s one of the main things why I wonder I’ve never been fired.
    15. YOUR TO-DO LIST HAS FEWER THAN 493 ITEMS ON IT – it definitely does. I’m usually reserved and critical of things to do and tend to dismiss and possibly regurgitate them than just queue them up.
    16- YOUR DESKTOP OR WORK SURFACE IS VISIBLE – it is, just don’t look at my side desk.
    17. YOU WALK INTO A ROOM TO GRAB SOMETHING, PICK IT UP AND LEAVE – I don#t even have to walk into a room, I stand up from my chair and realize I forgot in order to do what I stood up for.
    18. YOU TEND TO NOT OVERREACT TO SMALL THINGS – though I would have thought that to be my anxiety’s doing rather than adhd?
    19. YOU ENJOY SCARY MOVIES, BIG EVENTS, LOUD PARTIES – ew. Aforementioned early-diagnosed ADHD-PH friend is much more open to them though.
    20. YOU’VE EVER SAID “NO MORE COFFEE FOR ME. IT’S AFTER 4:00PM!” -I’ve always ahted coffee, tastes awful. actually stopped drinking things containg caffeeeine like 10 years ago because it fucks me up.
    21. YOU CAN TELL WHO MADE YOUR SHIRT BY THE TAG ON IT – to be honest, I don#t really understand this one, but I’m pretty sure the tags are long washed out on 95% of my shirts.
    22. YOUR CLOSET IS TIDY AND NEAT – there is an underlying sorting structure to it, but I do usually just throw everything into the section it vaguely belongs to. I’m really good at structuring things… on good days, like once every few weeks or months.
    23. YOU READ THROUGH THIS LIST IN ORDER, TAKING A MINUTE TO CONSIDER EACH POINT, NOT SKIMMING OR SKIPPING TO THE END – I did. But I also procrastinated working for at least half an hour for it.
    The main reason I beleive I have ADHD is the attention deficit – hyperfocus dychthomiy. That feeling of being better and worse than “normal people” at certain tasks with varying results at different times. Yesterday, I’ve had to repeat a presentation IÄve previously been complimented for doing particularly well when originally holding it, for training new employees or those that missed the first one – I was TERRIBLE, I could barely string to words togehter, constantly drifting off and glossing voer half the document. My time management seems to fail no matter how hard I try – being warped into some topic late at night, despite knowing I will sleep over on the next day. I forget scheduled meetings at least half the time. I’m the only one in the office remembering a multitude of complex and everchanging passwords. I’m hyperattentive to other’s grammar and spelling mistakes, but when typing a text usually can#t be bothered to fix my own. I’m fairly certian I have both ADHD-PI and Soxial Anxiety disorder, but I have been very reluctant about going to a doctor about it, always finding something else (and usually difficult) that would logically have to be done first. People do tell me I might have automism, I think it’s unlikely though, I can’t really identify with the majority of symptoms even if they manifest similarly to whatever condition I do have.

  65. 1mick November 9, 2019 at 1:47 am

    OMG I’m laughing so hard I’m crying…… hahahahahaha…… oh, oh, (gasp, pant)…. each and every one I was like ‘gahhhh that’s totally meee!’ ….. like arriving at work still wearing my pj top down around my waist under my uniform, lol. I just got giddier and giddier with each revelation and when I skipped to number 23 that finished me right off, total jello I am now, oh man, lol! Except now the tears are partly tears of utter despair, because I don’t see any way out, one helluva mess I’m in, yeah. Keep doing what you do guys, maybe there’s a teeny light at the end of the tunnel somewhere.

  66. 1mick November 9, 2019 at 4:46 am

    (the ‘pace while on the phone’ thing cracked me up too because yes I always pace but, when I’m on the phone for awhile and I’m alone it’s not pacing it’s marching. I mean like ridiculous stiff-legged type marching with a scissor-kick thing at the change of directions. And music while on hold? I alternate between “air playing” every instrument and conducting)

  67. 1mick November 10, 2019 at 4:48 pm

    @qwetr – I’m no Dr, and I’m a reluctant adhd newbie here, but it seems the answer to your adhd question might lie in your answer to the adhd questions, lol (just gently chuckling here). If you sort of back away from all your responses, hold it at arm’s length so to speak, you’ll see what a wonderful little piece of work you created from just answering a couple dozen questions. Intricate, well-thought, well-organized and in-depth, a really nice little project. Which is apparently one trademark of adhd-ers, the propensity to create magnificent categorized catalogued colour-coded alphabetized…….. lists. 493 of them to be exact. We can focus with laser intensity on smaller mundane things like list-making, yet be incapable of completing what’s actually on the list. I was extremely uncomfortable with recognizing a lot of these adhd things, it was embarrassing in a way. Like I’d been dancing around the house naked, not sucking my gut in and scratching at my butt and what have you, thinking nobody could see me, and then finding out a bunch of icky neighbours were watching the whole time, while they ate dinner. Best wishes in your journey qwetr…….I’m a looooooooong way from beginning my own.

  68. daswolli November 16, 2019 at 9:35 am

    Actually, 22 YEARS. But this is where my ADHD is masked by co-morbidities. There’s a super low self-esteem and plenty of social anxiety to go around for me, and I was (and still am) terrified of looking for a new job, of doing job interviews etc. For interviews (and in general in conversations) it’s a massive problem for me that I am not able to recall infos in my memory on command. Occasionally I can’t even remember my age when asked out of the blue, but have to backtrack through what year it is, what year I was born (at least I always remember that), do the math … And often enough I just run into a blockade when I have to answer questions immediately.
    Plus, writing up job applications is so exhausting and boring! T_T
    Then again I work in retail, in a grocery right at a main station, with lots of commuters, so it’s always busy and definitely NOT BORING. Super demanding, because there are so many things to keep track of and prioritize, especially since I got promoted (I still do not know how THAT could possibly happen, but apparently I’m doing a good job? o.0). But every day is different, with new disasters and new demands, and since I got promoted also infinitely more interesting since I get to order goods (Ahahah, I felt so sick after I hit “send” on my first order for veggie and fruit, because that was 6000 Euros worth …) and stuff. I am terrified I might get overwhelmed, but for some reason I never am, and everything is always urgent, I just need to have a ton of reminders going on. Like that staffers need to take their breaks in time, I need to send out orders in time … But I’ve got a brilliant staff, and oh, the luxury of getting to delegate tasks …
    Annnnd I ramble. Again. I got diagnosed only last month (I had no idea ADHD without hyperactivity exists until my therapist explained it to me), and once I read up on it, just so many things in my life fell into place and made sense. I *had* googled for early set on Alzheimers because I keep forgetting things in spectacular ways. Like how old I am. I keep getting stuck on 42, because that’s the answer to everything, but by now it’s 43 actually …
    Right now I’m set on finding a new psychiatrist (my regular one is on parenting hiatus until next year), hopefully ADHD friendly and not adverse to prescribing medication. I’m super glad my therapist did the diagnosis already, so that hurdle is out of the way at least.

  69. gxyprincxss November 22, 2019 at 3:54 am

    get someone to do an afab version (assigned female at birth) because they are different. I myself a. very quiet until I get to know someone. ADHD presents differently. btw did you know there are I think 7 different types of ADHD?

  70. rawkarpojk January 27, 2020 at 5:01 am

    This morning I got mad at the printer at work because of a) it was a printer. Evil by default. and b) I was thinking about something else and put in 32 copies of the thing when I only need 10. So then I got mad at myself for that.
    Mondays suck.

  71. wheat December 15, 2020 at 12:30 am


    I did that the other day, so maybe I don’t have adhd.

    But, after I left the room, I looked at what I was holding and asked myself “Why the hell do I have my wife’s glasses?” Then I remembered I went in there to get our baby’s bottle.

    So, then again, maybe I do have adhd.

  72. fireflie February 18, 2021 at 7:02 pm

    Thank you! You made me laugh. And BTW I am looking forward to a diagnosis. My appointment is in a month. I’m more scared of being told I’m not ADHD. It explains so much of my life long struggle. The times in my life when I am not overwhelmed are when I’m riding my bike to work, and contrary to what my coworkers thing winter weather and storms are fun, when I’m hiking and adventuring, scrambling up steep slopes, and even standing at the edge of a cliff setting up a belay while my leg shaking.

    The rest of the time I feel overwhelmed. Housework, work, phone calls, paperwork, and especially the need to organize around these things regularly put me over the edge. But knowledge is power and I feel better already. Great list! I rarely have the patience for blogs, but you got me. Bravo! Funnily enough, I prefer to read books, and I read a lot of them. Sometimes I only read part of a book. Sometimes I read five at a time. Anyways, thanks again.

  73. katrina February 25, 2021 at 11:17 am

    ADHD has been my superpower in so many ways as an educator. After Covid, I was treated so poorly, and my ADHD symptoms so severe, that I refuse to return to public education. I am overwhelmed, grieving and trying to find a new plan for my life. I can excel in the most amazing ways, if I believe in it. I have a conflict morally with exploiting my talent for monetary gain, because I have spent my life in servicing children abused, poverty stricken, traumatized and broken. I am the teacher willing to work with the most conflicted children in my district, and transform their lives.

    As an educator, I was given the impossible, and I made it possible. My experience and expertise is so diverse, I do not think others believe it. I know the curriculum for hundreds of subjects and grade levels by memory, I have certifications in traditional, early, elementary, special, collaborative, gifted, diagnostics, STEM, grant writing, robotics, engineering, technology, instructional leadership, administration, and equity/diversity. Has anyone else been despised by the leadership?

    Have others taken credit for your innovation, creativity, or solutions? Are you help to a hirer standard that is hurtful? I am different, but students LOVE me and some of my peers, but most will not even speak. I have been in the same district 26 years, and only done great things, why would the district not harness my abilities? What I have accomplished is in spite of them, and BECAUSE I am a highly creative ADHD superpower. but way to grow, feel part of a team (other than my classroom with kids) after 26 years of being the outlier… I want to work with other creatives; loud, funny, exciting minds revolutionaries.

    We should be in high demand considering the state of the world “normal” thinkers got us into. We are def innovative, out of the box, original beyond belief sometimes…but my mind is just rapid cycling… geez.

  74. katrina February 25, 2021 at 11:19 am

    My Grammarly app was not on … obviously… uugghh

  75. boisebam June 27, 2021 at 11:49 am

    This article was painful for me to read. I have two siblings with ADHD and they have always been a mess. I’ve been slightly less of a trainwreck than them. But I’m tired of the trainwreck way of life!

  76. kyuuki413 July 9, 2021 at 4:22 am


    Yeah, but what if I get bored but I don’t want to do anything and it’s late but I don’t want to go to sleep so I’m like, well I could do my taxes I suppose. (That may have been the depression actually; both have focus problems but I suspect the ‘bored and nothing holds interest’ times are depression and ‘overexcited and different things keep stealing my interest away’ times are potential adhd or something else.)

    But overall I’m definitely in the “do taxes early so I don’t forget” camp.

  77. sharonoddlyenough July 14, 2021 at 12:15 am

    When I was a kid, I was definitely scattered. I had to get a purse with a shoulder strap because I kept putting my purse down in stores and forgetting where I left it. I hyper-focused on reading, to the point that people would talk to me, thinking I was listening, and I would have no recollection because I was still deep in my book. Necausr of the constant reading, English was always my best class. I have never liked doing homework, it was so boring and just covering the same stuff I already knew from class. I would actually get sent to the principal’s office because of missed assignments, but I remained unfazed. I had no specific goals, because nothing seemed interesting.

    I sort of assumed one day that I would be an author, but recently I decided that I liked the idea of being an author better than I liked the sustained work I would need to put in.

    I’m turning 40 this year. I have had about 30 jobs (a dozen were at a temp agency), and I have moved 8 times within 3 Canadian provinces.

    I think I finally found a job that suits me. I am an apprentice RV Service Technician, my work changes every day, and my brain is put to work while I am also kept physically active. Sadly, I often forget details and make silly mistakes, but it’s excused by being an apprentice. Thankfully, my varied background gave me a lot of grist for the creative mill.

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