10 Struggles Only People With ADHD Understand

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Forgetting stuff is just part of our charm.

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder — the "silent" disorder that's made young adults feel inadequate for no reason other than taking longer to concentrate on tasks.

Losing focus is very frustrating and if you really want to understand what it's like having ADHD, imagine it going kind of like this:

1. Attempting to explain what ADHD is without getting technical is like pulling teeth.

According to the Center of Disease Control and Prevention, 11 percent of children ages 4 to 17 years old are diagnosed with a form of ADD/ADHD. The person sitting next to you could have it and you'd have no idea. Most people don't even have a clue what ADHD is or stands for.

So, it’s our job to explain it and hope they get it. Spoiler alert: they won't.


2. That all-too-familiar feeling when someone in class gets a higher test grade than you and they barely studied.

This is a kicker. Some people are naturally good test takers. Those with ADHD would rather watch 10 straight hours of Here Comes Honey Boo Boo than take an exam. After a two-night study session, you're sure you've got this 100 in the bag.

Until you get the test back and see that the person who was begging everyone around them for answers walks away with the 100, and you're stuck with an 85. Talk about heated.


3. Forgetting things is part of your charm ... at least you'd like to think so.

All those unanswered texts, unread emails, and unreturned phone calls are a result of the most infuriating aspect of ADHD: forgetfulness. It's not that we mean to ignore you; we literally forgot.

Most of the time, our reason for forgetting is because something else at the time seems much more important. And when that happens, the task we forget ends up being the more important one.

Damned if we do, damned if we don't, I guess. We hate it, you hate it — but it happens.


4. Trying to organize anything results in internal chaos.

We love when things like our desks and homes are clean, but when the forgetfulness of ADHD arises, you'd almost wish you left everything a mess. Your house could be spotless, but the moment you notice your keys are missing — boom!

We tear the place apart because retracing our steps is, most of the time, impossible.


5. Reading out loud in class is basically legal torture.

What if you lose your place? Or slip up on the pronunciation of a word? All of these scenarios make us just want to disappear right where we sit. We’ve become masters of avoiding participation in in-class readings when it's not mandatory.


6. Reading to yourself is even worse.

If reading in front of others isn't bad enough, reading in silence with a brain going 100 MPH, is even harder. Every little sound that's made throws us off, and whatever sentence we're on has to be re-read, sometimes multiple times, before we continue.

We were never known to be fast readers and that's perfectly OK.


7. Standing up for others like you is instinctual.

Like when your friends make fun of someone else for not being "smart enough." Our motherly instincts automatically go up when we see someone struggling the same way we do. We don't know them, but we have this undeniable urge to protect them and tell them it's not their fault they have a harder time articulating themselves.


8. When everyone wonders why you're taken out of the classroom during a test.

I always found this to be the hardest thing to cover up during my years in the public school system. Children with learning disabilities have the option to be taken to a separate location for testing to avoid noise and allow extra time to complete the exam. 

It really helped me, but when I got back to the classroom all my friends wanted to know where I went (and how they could sign up for the same thing).

My response was always, “You can't sign up to be awesome; you're just born with it," with a hair flip.


9. Spacing out is habitual.

It happens at school, at the office, even hanging out with friends; spacing out happens at the most inopportune times and it's inevitable. Your teacher is having a final review session? Your boss is sending you out on a new project? Boom, have a daydream.

It's a struggle to power through, and when you finally do, you’re left with a billion questions that could've been answered if you'd just paid attention. Ugh.


10. Always trying our hardest, even if we have trouble juggling multiple tasks at once.

ADHD sucks but it's not putting a cap on what we can achieve. We're just as capable as anyone else. And when we do successfully complete things, we're pretty badass.



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