ADHD: How Does it Affect Me?


Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is becoming more familiar to people as awareness and diagnosis have increased over the past few years.

What is ADHD?

ADHD is a neurodevelopmental disorder that can impact children and adults. It is chronic and impacts attention, hyperactivity and impulsiveness.

ADHD has 3 subtypes: predominantly inattentive, predominantly hyperactive/impulsive and combined (a mix of inattentive and hyperactive/impulsive). The 3 subtypes of ADHD look different when comparing indicators of children to adults.

In children, ADHD Inattentive subtype often looks like difficulty focusing, following instructions and completing school work and tasks, difficulty organizing, easily distracted, forgetfulness, losing things. ADHD Hyperactive/Impulsive subtype in children often looks like fidgeting, difficulty sitting still, constant movement, talkative and interruptive, difficulty with quiet activities and waiting turns. 

Children and teens with ADHD tend to struggle academically in the classroom, have low self-esteem, have more accidents than children without ADHD, and have a higher chance of turning to drugs and alcohol and reckless behavior. 

Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in children – Symptoms and causes – Mayo Clinic

In adults, the symptoms are similar and often less pronounced or noticeable than in children. Symptoms in adults include the following: impulsivity, impatience, moodiness, difficulty focusing, organizing, managing time, multitasking and completing tasks.

Many people do not discover that they have ADHD until they are adults. ADHD is diagnosable when symptoms are pronounced enough to cause disruptions and ongoing issues in life and relationships. A diagnosis of ADHD can help make sense of how a person responds to situations and people. If your life or the life of your loved one is consistently being disrupted by these symptoms with prevalence over time, then you should seek the help of a professional to determine an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan. 

Tips for those with ADHD symptoms:

  1. Exercise
  2. Meditation/mindfulness
  3. Healthy sleep/wake cycle
  4. Healthy food/water
  5. Balanced daily routine/schedule
  6. Take breaks when needed
  7. Socialize
  8. Limit screen time
  9. Therapy 
  10. Medication if/when needed

Adult attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) – Symptoms and causes – Mayo Clinic