23 Signs You Do Not Have ADHD

By Rick Green,

There are many online quizzes and ‘tests’ for Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder.  We have screener tests here at TotallyADD.com.   (There are links at the end of this for you.)

But no quiz can be definitive.  Diagnosing ADHD is a tricky process.  That said, a good 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.

23 Signs you do not have ADHD

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 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.

So, to address this universal hope, I have created a quiz.

I call it…

23 Signs You Do NOT Have ADHD

This quiz 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 PBS programs, 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…

  1.  YOU ARE A MESS IN A CRISIS

    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.”

     

  2. YOU FEEL LIKE YOU ARE LIVING UP TO YOUR POTENTIAL
    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.
  3. YOU FINISH PROJECTS ON TIME
    Wow, what’s that like?!
  4. SOMEONE TELLS YOU, “YOU SEEM LIKE YOU HAVE ADHD LATELY”
    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 a reaction to your house exploding.  Or to a divorce.  Or losing a job.  Losing a loved one.  Basically any life crisis.
  5. WHEN SOMEONE ASKS, “WHAT DID YOU SAY A MINUTE AGO?” YOU ARE ABLE TO TELL THEMMe: “Uh… I dunno… Cherry pie? Winston Churchill? Socks?”
  1.  WITHOUT TAKING YOUR EYES OFF THIS SCREEN, YOU CAN TELL ME WHERE YOU LEFT YOUR CAR KEYS
    Thus the title of our book, ADD Stole My Car Keys.
  1.  YOU’VE BEEN WITH THE SAME COMPANY MORE THAN 6 MONTHS
    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.
  1.  NO ONE IN YOUR FAMILY – PARENTS, GRANDPARENTS, OR SIBLINGS HAS ADHD
    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 PBS 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?!’
  1.  YOU HAVE YOUR TAXES DONE AND FILES AHEAD OF TIME

    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.ADHD Symptoms

  1.  THE TERM ‘HYPER-FOCUS’ DOESN’T RESONATE WITH YOU
    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.
  1.  YOU HAVE NO TROUBLE READING THIS
    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).
  1.  YOU LISTEN MORE THAN YOU TALK
    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.
  1.  YOU SAW A LIST OF ADHD TRAITS AND WERE NOT ALARMED

    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.

  1.  YOU HAVE A GREAT SENSE OF TIME, AND YOU RARELY GET LOST
    ‘Poor Time Management’ is a common challenge.  We’re scattered.  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.
  1.  YOUR TO-DO LIST HAS FEWER THAN 493 ITEMS ON IT
    We can be enthusiastic about new things.  Like creating To-Do lists.  Which then become epic documents of everything we can think of.  I created a video about it.
  1.  YOUR DESKTOP OR WORK SURFACE IS VISIBLE
    ‘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.)
  1.  YOU WALK INTO A ROOM TO GRAB SOMETHING, PICK IT UP AND LEAVE

    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.  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.)

  1.  YOU TEND TO NOT OVERREACT TO SMALL THINGS
    ADHD affects ‘Executive Functions’ – organizing, planning, prioritizing, following through, finishing what you start, etc..  But’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.ADHD Emotions
  1.  YOU ENJOY SCARY MOVIES, BIG EVENTS, LOUD PARTIES

    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 snack on protein in the afternoon when I start to crash.  (By the way, these are ADHD strategies.)

  1.  YOU’VE EVER SAID “NO MORE COFFEE FOR ME.  IT’S AFTER 4:00PM!”

    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.)

  1.  YOU CAN TELL WHO MADE YOUR SHIRT BY THE TAG ON IT
    When we ordered T-Shirts for our shop, we made sure they either came without tags or removable tags.  Customers thanked us.  Why?  ADHD is 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.
  1.  YOUR CLOSET IS TIDY AND NEAT
    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.
  1.  YOU READ THROUGH THIS LIST IN ORDER, TAKING A MINUTE TO CONSIDER EACH POINT, NOT SKIMMING OR SKIPPING TO THE END

    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.

HERE’S THE GOOD NEWS!

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, intelligence, and skin color, 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.’

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 thousands of adults who share their stories and struggles in our Forums.  Every person is unique, but they all have much in common.

It really can be a “Good news diagnosis”

A proper ADHD diagnosis is tricky, but knowing will make sense of a lot of your challenges and struggles, and give you insight into what to do about them.  (Other than, ‘Try harder.’)

You may also come to see why, in some areas of life, you soar.  The diagnosis can unleash a tornado of emotions, (regret and sadness were big for me) but if you keep moving forward, you’ll feel relief, then hope as you develop your own collection of tools, tricks, and tips to succeed at whatever it is that lights your fire.

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74 Replies to “23 Signs You Do Not Have ADHD”

  1. “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. “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.

    1. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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 ?

  5. 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.

    1. 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…

  6. 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.

  7. 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

    1. 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..

  8. 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!

  9. 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!

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

    1. 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.

    2. 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!

  12. 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?

  13. 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)

    1. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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” 😉

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

    1. 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.)

      1. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  21. 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.

  22. 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.

    1. 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.

    2. 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.

  23. 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.

  24. 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.

  25. 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

  26. 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.

  27. 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.

  28. 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.

    1. 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.

  29. 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.

    Cleaner!

  30. 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!

  31. #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.

  32. 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.

    1. 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.

  33. 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.

    1. 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.

      1. 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

  34. 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.

  35. 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.

  36. 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.

  37. 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

  38. 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).

    1. 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 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 can 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!

  39. 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.

  40. 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.

  41. 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.

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