Have you ever wondered what it feels like to have ADHD?

This article is purely focused on ADHD and not my additional high-functioning autism. The following is a list of 10 common symptoms people with ADD or ADHD experience:

HYPERFOCUS

Hyperfocus – the ability to hyperfocus on things they find interesting, often resulting in hours and hours spent doing that activity without realizing any time has passed.

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RESTLESSNESS

Restlessness – both an inner restlessness and an urge to constantly move around; this may result in tapping fingers or feet, etc. It can also manifest as discomfort in sitting still or an inability to relax. Flitting from one thing to another – when faced with choices, such as deciding if they want cereal or eggs for breakfast, they will not be able to make a choice without first trying to do both.

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FORGETFULNESS

Forgetfulness – forgetting appointments, forgetting phone calls, forgetting where they put things; this can include misplacing their own belongings or even losing other people’s belongings (such as kids’ backpacks, etc.), something that often frustrates parents (and the children themselves).

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DISTRACTABILITY

Distractibility – when someone with ADHD/ADD is in the middle of doing something important, they are easily distracted by anything and everything; this can mean that it takes them twice as long to complete tasks people without ADHD find easy.

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IMPULSIVITY

Impulsivity – binge eating (eating until they’re uncomfortably full), blurting out answers before questions have been asked, impatience waiting for lines to end, road rage, impatience while driving or navigating in new places.

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DISTRACTION

Distraction – Any person with ADHD/ADD will tell you they’re easily distracted and that the world often feels like a jumbly mess of sounds and movements and pictures and words; this is part of what makes it so hard to focus and finish tasks that require concentration.

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EASILY BORED

Easily Bored – needing constant excitement and entertainment in order to feel interested or motivated about anything; having an empty room can be very distressing for someone with ADHD/ADD because there’s nothing interesting going on in there.

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INATTENTIVENESS

Inattentiveness – when bored, people with ADD/ADHD might not bother listening to others’ conversations even when they’re in the same room, not following instructions from teachers or parents, etc.

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FORGETFULNESS

Forgetfulness – forgetting where they put things, forgetting to do certain tasks that would be easy for a non-ADHD person (like putting dirty clothes into the hamper), etc.

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Other symptoms include: needing a high level of activity and excitement going on around them to feel fully awake and alive; craving stimulation to the point where they might take risks just for fun; having trouble knowing when to stop an activity because it feels great right now but might feel less than great later on (a common example is teenagers who want to go out all weekend but then crash hard mid-way through Sunday); sometimes hyper-focusing on something they’re not interested in just because it’s readily available when they’d rather be focusing on something that will actually help them feel more alive or open up their world.

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People with ADHD/ADD also tend to have certain things in common, like hating monotony; needing either very structured lives (so every moment is mapped out) or complete freedom (in which they can do whatever they want whenever they want); having multiple projects going on at one time (while watching TV, talking on the phone, surfing online, folding laundry); living life in extremes; sometimes being impulsive, outgoing and gregarious while other times being shy and reclusive; feeling like their mind has wandered away from what others expect of them but also feeling like it’s been invaded by people and things from which they can’t escape.

It’s important to remember that ADD/ADHD doesn’t go away. Even if the person with ADHD takes medication for it, it still affects how someone behaves, thinks, feels and interacts with other people.

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