Health And Wellness

10 Struggles Only People With ADHD Understand

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What It Feels Like To Have ADHD

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is what some people call a "silent" disorder, meaning it is a condition "with no symptoms that are obvious to you, the person with the condition, and/or to others."

And because it's still so poorly understood, it's one that often makes people feel inadequate, if for no reason other than taking longer to concentrate on tasks or becoming easily frustrated.

Losing focus is just one frustrating aspect of living with ADHD.

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If you really want to know what it's like having ADHD, or if you want to know how to explaining what it feels like to have ADHD to someone who doesn't, it can be helpful to learn there are some struggles only people with ADHD understand.

Imagine it going kind of like this...

What It Feels Like to Have ADHD

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

According to the CDC, 9.4% of children ages 2 to 17 years old in the US have been diagnosed with a form of ADD/ADHD. The person sitting next to you could have it and you'd have no idea.

And yet, many 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. You get this 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... or at least, you'd like to think so.

All those unanswered texts, unread emails, and unreturned phone calls are a result of one 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, we get it — because it's part of the struggles only people with ADHD understand.

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.

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5. Reading out loud in class or elsewhere is basically legalized 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 can be 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.

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RELATED: How Adult ADD & ADHD Can Impact Healthy Relationships

8. 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.

Is your teacher having a final review session? Is your boss 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. We always try 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 bada$$.

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Victoria Priola is a respected writer with a wide range of experience in journalism, photography, videography and social media management.

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