Adult ADHD: Understanding the Amazing Overactive ADHD Mind!
Adult ADHD Is Commonly Misunderstood and Mislabeled
Adult ADHD can be puzzling, frustrating, and troublesome for those struggling with adult ADHD and those living with someone with adult ADHD. Adult ADHD is commonly misunderstood and mislabeled by those interacting with ADHD adults.
I can't say I blame them.
I have struggled with ADHD for the majority of my life. I have spent the last 18 years of my life living with adult ADHD and while the actual condition may be considered the same as it was when I was a child with ADHD, the challenges and frustrations have certainly changed over time.
ADHD in adults is actually more common than many people realize. We continue to discover an increased amount of adults who were undiagnosed or misdiagnosed for the majority of their lives.
Here's the deal:
The sooner a person recognizes that they have adult ADHD, the easier it becomes to manage. Even if you are living with ADHD and ready to pull your hair out in frustration at times, you are at very least in the position to start understanding it and therefore, managing your adult ADHD more effectively.
Yes, ADHD is a REAL thing!
Just ask someone with adult ADHD if ADHD is real.
On second thought, don't. It can be a quick way to witness the angry side of the ADHD mind.
ADHD is real and indisputable to those living with ADHD. However, it can be confusing to those standing outside the ADHD brain. It can also be equally frustrating, especially to those living with someone with adult ADHD. Therefore, gaining a better understanding about ADHD can be beneficial for all parties concerned.
Fortunately, I have dedicated years to gaining a better understanding of adult ADHD and educating others around me about it. It has helped me to better cope with the condition and manage my ADHD through alternative ADHD remedies and treatments outside traditional stimulant medications.
Are you tired of hearing those close to you compliment your intelligence at the same time they explain how baffled they are by how careless some of your choices can be?
There comes a time when ADHD adults grow tired of being misunderstood as lazy, careless, and/or absent-minded. A time when you grow tired of explaining to others that it is not simply a matter of not applying ourselves. The overactive mind has other plans and sometimes, applying ourselves in the traditional sense is simply not possible.
ADHD can be a “Catch-22”
The same as when we were children, it is virtually impossible for those with adult ADHD to focus on something that we find tedious or boring. However, we can quickly lose half of our days doing something that we are passionate about.
It is called hyperfocus and it can be a blessing and a curse at the same time. Place an adult with ADHD in the right situation at the right time and they are capable of achieving above and beyond the success that someone without ADHD can achieve. This is why there are certain jobs ADHD adults thrive at over others.
When the ADHD brain steps into hyperfocus, there is virtually nothing that can pull us away. We will ignore ringing phones and even delay trips to the bathroom because our ADHD brain is so locked into the task at hand.
The problem is that we can jump from restlessness and distraction into hyperfocus in the blink of an eye. Yes, adult ADHD can be one great contradiction at times!
Adult ADHD can make us very self-conscious
The neurotransmitters in the ADHD brain can cause us to be filled with self-criticism. This holds us back and can sometimes make ADHD adults want to give up. Oddly enough, this can be caused by sluggish neurotransmitters even though we ironically have an overactive mind that is constantly in gear.
Even more frustrating is when we recognize our ADHD has been revealed. As soon as we say something we regret, we may get caught up in thinking about that thing and thinking about how it was perceived. Meanwhile, we are missing the present and any other part of the conversation going on in front of us. Again, it can appear as though those with adult ADHD are absent-minded when in fact, it is our ADHD and our overactive minds taking control.
Simple tasks are not so simple
This can make simple tasks become far more difficult for the ADHD adult.
We are consistently late but it isn't because we don't care. The ADHD adult is commonly late because they won't start getting ready until it is time to go. They don't start getting ready because their overactive mind has them distracted on something else until the 11th hour.
Even though most ADHD adults are very capable people, we constantly find ourselves overwhelmed by any tasks that make us uncomfortable. This is why something as simple as paying a bill on time or meeting other deadlines can become a challenge.
Those with Adult ADHD are trying harder than you may think
Adult ADHD is an internal struggle. Therefore, we may be trying very hard to manage our condition but it goes completely invisible to those around us. We are constantly going through a lot but we are also very good at hiding it.
Don't judge someone with Adult ADHD – You will only make things worse
Dealing with someone with adult ADHD requires some patience and understanding. If you roll your eyes or vocally express your frustrations to someone with ADHD, it only makes the condition worse. It can spark frustration and even anger. The ADHD brain becomes overloaded and is commonly followed by anxiety. This is why anxiety and ADHD are so common.
As patient and understanding a person may need to be when dealing with someone with adult ADHD, the effort does not go unrewarded. Showing compassion and understanding to those with ADHD results in the very best efforts. Give up on someone with adult ADHD and they will commonly give up on themselves.
Remember, people do not simply “grow out of” ADHD. The same way there is a level of patience required when dealing with child ADHD is the same for an adult. However, many people don't understand this and because the person struggling with ADHD is an adult, they expect that person to simply “get it together.”
If it were only that simple!
Adult ADHD can't be cured with “tough love”
ADHD is biological. This can sometimes be most difficult for parents, spouses, and bosses to understand. ADHD doesn't simply go away. Telling someone with adult ADHD to simply try harder or suck it up would be the equivalent of telling someone who is hearing impaired to listen more carefully. You wouldn't criticize that person for wearing a hearing aid. Trust us when we tell you that we would fix our symptoms if we could. We would gladly make them disappear if we could.
However, the good news is that ADHD can be managed. It is not hopeless. It requires effort from an ADHD adult but ADHD symptoms can be diminished.
Managing Adult ADHD
Traditionally, stimulant prescription medications have been used to manage ADHD. However, it takes more than prescription medications alone. While ADHD medications like Adderall, Ritalin, Concerta, and others may help, they also come with their fair share of side effects.
There are more ADHD treatment options today than ever. You can read about some of the most effective ways to manage ADHD in some of our previous articles. Feel free to read any of the following:
- Treatment ADHD adults that have been proven to help
- Adult ADHD treatments you may not know about
- Simple Alternative ADHD treatments
- Natural ADHD treatments
- Biofeedback therapy training through the use of neurofeedback
ADHD Adults Do Not Process Thoughts Like You Do
Adults with ADHD process thoughts differently than those without it.
The bottom line:
Our thoughts do not flow in the same balanced manner as others. The thoughts of someone with adult ADHD have thoughts that commonly crash into each other and quickly overwhelm the ADHD brain.
An adult with ADHD has loud thoughts. They distract from conversations and tasks, including jobs and it can appear as if a person with adult ADHD is not interested or even being rude. Our attention can briefly drift in and out but with some patience, we can be guided back in the right direction.
Everything is amplified with ADHD
Adults with ADHD never have mild emotions. Regardless of the emotion, it is amplified compared to our “normal” counterparts. ADHD comes with a ton of impulsiveness which can make these emotions explode at the blink of an eye.
Many times our passionate energy will cause words to fly out of our mouths before we even process the thoughts we are saying.
For this reason:
It is common that adults with ADHD are quickly regretting their words and asking for forgiveness. Adult ADHD is commonly associated with anger. The anger is caused by the overwhelming thoughts that swirl around in our minds while outside material begs to get inside.
Focus Here and Now
It essentially sums up the mind of someone with ADHD. Our minds live in the here and now and that is all that matters. Future times and dates are of no concern because they simply don't compute. This is especially true when you attempt to insert those dates inside an ADHD brain that is engulfed in hyperfocus. The future can commonly disappear.
We live by two times: the now and the not now. We constantly focus here and now and only here and now.
I messed up because of my ADHD
It is not an excuse that many people like to hear but the majority of the time it is true. ADHD is commonly the reason we are apologizing in the first place. It got the best of us but we hate using it as an excuse because it brings judgment and therefore, self-doubt.
Our ADHD is only real to us and to many others, it is some made up disorder or excuse. This results in frustration and only aggravates the ADHD brain even more. How many times have you apologized using your ADHD as the reason and received that look of disbelief or doubt! It is not a good feeling and frustrating.
ADHD is not a curse and it is not hopeless
ADHD can be a special thing. Adult ADHD may come with a fair share of frustrations but at times, it can provide some great advantages as well. It can frequently be the source of creativity and great passion. It can allow us to accomplish things in ways that others can't even wrap their heads around.
We may process things differently but we see things differently, too. We find solutions that are not evident to the common mind.
ADHD has been the source of incredible creativity and produced some of the greatest minds in history. I pointed some of these great minds out when I shared my own personal story about living with ADHD.
Don't allow your ADHD to own you. Instead, own your ADHD! Use your unique mind to your advantage and make it a priority to work on ways to manage your ADHD as effectively as possible. This may sometimes involve a combination of medical care and self-care but the bottom line is that ADHD can be managed.
ADHD is not a life-threatening condition and our “crazy” minds achieve great things. We are just crazy enough to believe we can make a difference, make a change, and many times, we are usually the ones who do!
Do you have adult ADHD? Do you know someone that has adult ADHD? Does a loved one struggle with adult ADHD? Share your experiences below and tell us about your struggles, your solutions, and the things that have worked for you! Please comment below!