ADHD is a tough disorder to deal with. I know because I have it tacked on to my bipolar 1. The symptoms of this disorder that I have seem “normal” to me. I thought if I was easily distracted it was because I was too stressed at work or extremely tired. However, being distracted persisted and got worse.
If you are an adult with ADHD who has been recently diagnosed, here is a short list of the symptoms. But if you are not touched by the disorder, here are some signs so you may help a loved one or friend.
- Unable to concentrate
- Unable to pay attention
- Difficulty getting organized
- Inability to plan
- Difficulty solving problems
- Inability to control your own emotions
Concentrating, I feel, is one of the hardest skills to do with this disorder. The lack of concentration happened to me when I was working a desk job and now as a writer. If I am doing something tedious, boring or it drags out, I totally lose concentration.
I need motivation. If I do not have motivation, the ADHD will say “Nope! Sorry. Not gonna happen.” This mindset leaves the person to be control by immediate rewards, threats or consequences imposed by others.
Adults with ADHD find it extremely difficult to stay awake, alert, sufficiently aroused and activated to continue their concentration when things are not interesting, no immediate excitement or payoff. This in turns causes them not to pay attention.
Unable to Pay Attention
This symptom has many similarities as that of concentrating. It does not matter the activity. I can talk on the phone, work, talk to someone face to face or watch a movie, I go space cadet.
My mind starts thinking about dinner, notices the dogs and wants to play with them, if music is playing, I will begin to guess the artist and the name of the song and which decade it was introduced in.
One thing to remember is that this disorder is not just about paying attention. Instead it is a problem with organizing over time to prepare for the future. Without being able to plan for the future, that messes with one’s whole entire life: finances, family, food, shelter. At this point, all organization has flown out the window.
When I was a teacher to middle school students, I was the Queen of Organization. Nobody could top me in the organization relay race amongst the teachers and staff. But once I began working in law offices, I was no longer organized.
I broke so many laws of organization it was not even funny. I could not find files. I could not keep accurate notes on instructions given to me by the attorney. Any plans I had were unorganized.
I will make a plan for a writing day. The plan of my activities would be written in my planner. The day would come for me to initiate that plan and all hell would break lose. It was as if I had no plan at all. I could not stick with it.
Or, I would do the plan but totally screw up the order so that my day becomes unorganized and unable to solve problems.
This is another one of the worst symptoms of ADHD. I will be presented with a problem. It could be baking a cake, doing house work, choosing between work tasks to start on or wait until later. The whole thing would be a mess simply because I was unable to solve problems.
It was as if someone came and scooped out problem solving skills from my brain. This symptom makes it very difficult to work at an office job. The problems I have with this symptom of ADHD makes it very difficult for me to go back into the law field. And being unable to solve problems made controlling my emotions very hard.
Recently, I had a situation and all I did was cry. Not just a few tears. A gushing waterfall the size of Niagara Falls. I couldn’t breathe and I could not stop. Anything that was said, made me think of the worst.
Where do we turn?
Like I said at the beginning, having ADHD is really, really hard. We need help. With my mental illness which includes ADHD, I go to Jesus for help and comfort. He sticks closer than a brother. Will never leave me nor forsake me. Who do you go to for help?
Call to Action
I encourage you to friend me on FaceBook – https://www.facebook.com/lifeconquering/. Also, if you have ADHD or know someone with the disorder, be sure to get the help you and your friend may need. Please post comments in the section below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“Taking Charge of Adult ADH” by Russell A. Barkley, PhD with Christine M. Benton