What I Want People To Know About My ADHD
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Health and Wellness

What I Want People To Know About My ADHD

Everyday life can be a struggle for me compared to other people.

What I Want People To Know About My ADHD
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Several people tend to believe that ADHD, or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, only affects children. I'm 20 years old and I was recently diagnosed with ADHD, and it is a very real struggle for me. My whole life I just thought that I had trouble in school because I did not want to be there, not because it was actually an overwhelming experience for my brain. I thought that I just had to be busy and I enjoyed being busy, not that it is hard for me to focus on one specific thing at a time.

People who do not have ADHD, or don't know a lot about it do not truly understand how difficult every day life can be, especially moving into adulthood. Certain things that may take the 'average' person a few minutes to complete would take me up to an hour or longer.

Here are some of the things that I want my family, friends, teachers, and others around me to know about my ADHD:

I'm still paying attention even if I'm not looking at you

It is really difficult for me to focus on one thing at a time, so maintaining direct eye contact with you for a duration of more than a few minutes can make it even harder for me to focus on what you are saying. I will look away for moments at people passing, or at the dog that someone just walked across the street, but I promise I am listening. My brain has to have small breaks like that in order for me to continue with the conversation.

I'm not forgetting our plans on purpose

I often forget things especially if I don't write them down, so if I forgot we were supposed to get coffee Friday at 3 it's not because I didn't want to go, it's because through the course of my day a million other things were on my mind and I wasn't thinking about our coffee date. I need you to text me and remind me that we have plans, just in case I was having a busy day and forgot. I try really hard to set reminders and write things in my planner, but things happen and sometimes I blank.

If I ask you to repeat something, it's not because I'm not listening

If you ask me something and it is not direct, I get confused. My brain gets overwhelmed when I am asked something in a complex way. I will ask you to please repeat the question, and I may even ask you to reword it, it's not that I wasn't paying attention to you, I need to hear it again so that I can process it completely.

It is the same thing in school, it takes me longer to understand word problems, or multiple part questions. If I ask for clarification or help, it is not that I wasn't paying attention to the lesson. If I send you several emails about something, it is to make sure I understood the assignment or your email to the class. I am focusing on the class and I am able to grasp the concepts, I just need clarification sometimes.

I'm not being lazy by taking a homework break

People joke about taking homework breaks to get on Twitter, Facebook, or to go do something else. Others procrastinate because they would rather be doing other things. I have to take small breaks during homework because if I try and finish it all at once I get frustrated with myself. It is difficult to focus on one thing at a time, especially homework. My brain is having to work overtime to understand the assignment, complete it, and stay on task. So when you see me get up from doing homework for a few minutes, I am not being lazy and procrastinating, I am giving my brain a breather.

I'm not stupid because I need things broken down

When completing an assignment, a chore list, or anything similar, I need to break it down into smaller segments. It's not because I am not capable of seeing the 'bigger picture', but my brain has a hard time processing more than one thing at a time. Instead of telling myself to "do my homework", I have to "take my quiz, complete my math assignment, review the packet for music...." It makes it a lot easier for me if I separate it out.

Study groups do not help me

All of my teachers suggest to me I get in a study group, but what they do not understand is that if I am in a group setting I will not be able to focus on my work. I will be worried about what the other members of the group are doing and I will want to talk and get off task. I need to be at my desk in my room with no distractions so that I can keep myself on task and on time. It does not help me to sit in a room with other people because I start talking to those around me or looking at what they are doing instead of doing my own work.

This is my life everyday, so next time I forget something or I don't reply back to you instantly, understand I'm trying my best to manage everything to the best of my ability.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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