*Note: this is a light-hearted article discussing the quirks that might arise as a result of ADHD. It is in no way about diagnosis or treatment. Always refer to your healthcare professional when it comes to cognitive disorders.
1. You Drink a Lot of Coffee
Full disclaimer: People drink coffee for countless reasons.It doesn’t necessarily mean you do it just because of your ADHD. But you have noticed that, even if you don’t feel more energized after drinking coffee, you just feel better afterwards, like your head is on straight again. And you’ve also noticed that your caffeine consumption can rise if you don’t keep it in check.
While coffee is no replacement for proper medication, it does appear to have an effect on people with ADHD. Maybe the cause of your fourth cup of coffee is due to only getting 5 hours of sleep last night, but maybe not.
2. You Have, Like, a BILLION Passion Projects
To be fair, a lot of those projects you will (eventually) see to completion – if only because you hate how it feels to drop a project that was once so consuming.
But there is always something – and a lot of somethings, to boot. You want to learn another language, and learn how to be a master chef, and get better at knitting, and repaint the bedroom, and maybe write some poetry – and, oh, photography, too! And each project strikes you hard in its moment. It makes you wish you could multi-task: learn photography while gaining vocabulary in another language as the bedroom gets repainted.
3. You Attempt to Multitask, Only to Scatter
Because there is so much you want to do – and do all at once – you try to multitask. The problem is, you’re multitasking starts to look like an unorganized mess: you do tiny fragments of everything, get lead off in fifteen different directions, and end up not getting much accomplished.
4. You Interrupt People
There’s no real way to explain to others why you interrupt as much as you do. It’s almost like you live 3 seconds in the future, and you have to constantly backtrack on what you did 3 seconds prior. You hate that it takes two or three words into whatever you’re saying to realize you’ve interrupted someone – and you hate that you sound insincere when you apologize for interrupting, only to potentially interrupt them again at a later time.
5. You’re Very Physically Active (Or Try to Be)
Even if the gym is a slog and you don’t like working out, you can’t deny how good you feel after a workout – and you can’t deny about terrible you feel if you miss your run, or your morning yoga. There’s a direct relationship between how often you build up a major sweat and how well you can concentrate and handle what is thrown at you. It’s like you can finally channel all that nervous energy and walk out of the gym feeling a little clearer.
And it makes sense: studies are finding links between exercise and cognitive function, especially when it comes to concentration and focus. So even if you don’t have a gym routine and you have to drag yourself to class, the payoff extends far beyond getting in shape.
6. You HAVE to Do That Thing and Do It NOW
You look like you were just prodded with a red hot iron. You’re immediately out of your seat, or on your phone, or whatever it might be. You might look ultra-motivated to the outside world, but the reality is that your brain just called for all hands on deck – all because a part of your brain casually remembered something, and the rest of the brain latched onto it.
It’s not without merit, however. Your biggest fear is completely forgetting the seemingly very, very important task. Better get it done now, while it’s still fresh in (and consuming) your mind. Which brings us to the next thing on our list…
7. You Drop Things in The Middle of Doing Them
This doesn’t just have to be major projects. You could be in the middle of reading, playing a video game, or even in the middle of a conversation, and your brain suddenly veers left. Something has captured your attention, or caught your eye, and whatever was happening previously just gets dropped.
This might be when people joke that you have ADHD – where is your focus, your attention span! But it’s not like you just decided you were bored with whatever you were doing. It’s more like something else grabbed your attention, and with such force that it made you completely abandon whatever it was you were doing in the present moment.
8. You’re Glued to Your To-Do List
It’s the only way you can organize your scattered thoughts and stay on track sometimes. It’s also the only way you can parcel out what needs to be done without taking it all in at once and feeling massively overwhelmed (and doing half of the things already mentioned on the list). Without it, you do little bits of everything all at once, and nothing gets done – or you get completely sidetracked and get nothing important done.
9. You Ask Someone to Repeat Something
You really wanted to hear what they had to say – but something got in the way. Maybe the TV on the wall behind your friend was playing something eye-catching, or a person got up from their seat, or maybe your internal dialogue turned up its volume just as they got into what they were saying. It can drive someone batty – why would they need to repeat themselves if the room isn’t loud, if you’re sitting right in front of them?
10. You’re Actually Quite Attentive…For a While
The biggest misconception about people with ADHD is that they have no focus, or that they get bored and drift too easily. But you know that couldn’t be further from the truth. In reality, things can take up all of your attention for a little bit of time. You can become almost hyper-focused. It’s just that the hyper-focus can get hijacked by something else that can require all of your attention. For you, it’s yet more proof that ADHD is way more than the stereotypes and misconceptions.