Mental Health Advocate Explains Why Some People With ADHD ‘Don’t Miss People’

It doesn't mean that your ADHD friends don't love you.

adhd, mental health, therapy, people - Yuri A / Shutterstock 

Most of us have likely heard of the phrase, “Out of sight, out of mind,” which suggests that when something is no longer visible or present, it tends to be forgotten or neglected. In other words, if someone or something is not seen or actively thought about, it is easily overlooked or disregarded. 

People with ADHD (Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder), may find themselves especially prone to “out of sight, out of mind,” even when it comes to people.


One mental health advocate explained why those with ADHD usually don’t miss people. 

Vicky Ashley took to TikTok to share her findings on those with ADHD, revealing why your friend with ADHD may not reach out as much as you’d like them to. According to Ashley, many people with ADHD struggle with “object permanence” and “object constancy issues.” 

“It’s this concept where if it’s out of sight, it’s out of mind,” she said. “If something is not literally physically in your visual-spatial field you will not think it’s there or real," she continued, meaning in the ADHD brain, "If it’s not in front of you it doesn’t actually exist.” 


People with ADHD often struggle with focusing on just one person, place, or task even if it is right in front of them. When something is out of their sight, it often slips from their mind until they are reminded by someone else.

“If you live in a different city than your friends, and you’re not often reaching out or calling or texting and checking in, it’s because of your literal fixation on what’s happening in your life,” Ashley said. 



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It can be challenging for those with ADHD to juggle all of their responsibilities right in front of them, and checking in on people who they don’t see often is not something that is typically on their minds, especially if they already feel overwhelmed. 

“We won’t physically be or emotionally be present with you and for you, because we’re barely emotionally present with ourselves,” Ashley said.  “We’re too busy fixated on an issue or trying to solve a problem or reach our next goal. It’s really difficult managing and sustaining some of our adult relationships.” 

It is especially hard for those with ADHD to maintain relationships with people who expect more from them and people that they already feel detached from. 

lonely woman with adhd missing people Keenan Constance / Unsplash


Some people with ADHD do not expect their friends and family members to check in on them and therefore do not do the same in return for them. While some people may take offense to this and assume that their friends with ADHD simply do not care about them, this is far from the truth. 

“It’s not that your ADHD friends don’t love you. They’re just overwhelmed and fixated,” Ashley says. 

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Those with ADHD related to Ashley’s claims and shared how they remind themselves to check in on their friends. 

“Working on this every day, I literally write out on a piece of paper my friends and what time to reach out to them weekly to check-in. I want to be better and be more present,” one TikTok user commented. 


“I miss people…when I remember they exist again,” another user wrote. 

“Such a relief to know this is a thing. I always felt like a bad person or heartless because I don't miss friends day to day. but I *did* miss them, just only thought about it once we're hanging out again,” another user added. 

Even if your friends with ADHD do not often reach out and check in on you, there are other ways they demonstrate their love. 

They may surprise you out of the blue with a hug or a kiss while you are hanging out in person, given some of their impulsivity when it comes to physical affection. They might express their love by offering practical help and support to their loved ones, such as helping them with schoolwork, running errands with them, or providing emotional support during challenging times. 


So if you believe that those with ADHD in your life do not love you the way that you love them, don’t worry! They just may need you to do more when it comes to initiating conversations and plans with them. 

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Megan Quinn is a writer at YourTango who covers entertainment and news, self, love, and relationships.