35 Things People With ADHD Want Everyone Else To Know – BuzzFeed News


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“I wish people understood that I don’t have a choice
in how my brain works.”

We recently
asked members of the BuzzFeed
Community living with ADD/ADHD to tell us
what they wish other people understood about
the disorder. Here are some of the best
responses.

We recently asked members of the BuzzFeed Community living with ADD/ADHD to tell us what they wish other people understood about the disorder. Here are some of the best responses.

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Quick note:
ADD/ADHD is a neurological disorder
characterized by difficulty sustaining
attention, lack of self-control, and impaired
working memory. It’s now more often classified
in medical literature as attention deficit /
hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), but lots of
people (including some doctors) still refer to
it as ADD. For the purpose of clarity and
conciseness, we will refer to the disorder as
ADHD for the remainder of this article.

ID: 10294684

2.
Sometimes we focus on literally everything at
once.

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“People seem to think that ADHD means that I’m
always too easily distracted. In actuality, I
am focused on far too many things at any given
moment and move from thought to thought very
quickly.”

—mandihinrichs

ID: 10279548

4. ADHD
impacts every part of life — not just school.

ADHD impacts every part of life — not just school.

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“ADHD doesn’t just affect taking notes in
class. It affects every part of your life —
your relationships, your health, your friends.”

—tem1163

ID: 10279651

5. And
both children and adults can have the disorder.

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“I wish people understood that ADHD affects
adults too, and it’s not just something you
grow out of when you’re done with school. Kids
that had trouble remembering their homework
become adults who have trouble with adult tasks
like remembering appointments and paying bills
on time.”

—spacecoyote27

ID: 10268148

7. But
there are a lot of other symptoms, so
ADHD can present differently in different
people.

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“ADHD looks very different in everyone. It’s
important to know how your symptoms present
themselves and educate yourself about coping
strategies accordingly. Individualized help
makes a world of difference.”

—kathryne4e915fff2

ID: 10268190

8.
Sometimes ADHD makes it difficult to filter our
thoughts, so we end up blurting things out.

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“A lot of the time I really don’t have the
ability to filter my thoughts before they come
out of my mouth. I’ve hurt the feelings of a
lot of people I love because of my inability to
control the impulse to speak. I hate it.”

—Blake
Chernin

ID: 10279628

9. It can
also make emotions way more intense and hard to
control.

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“I wish people understood the emotional aspects
of ADHD. It’s like having a permanently short
fuse and it’s so hard to rein in negative
emotions once you start having them. Our
struggles with emotional control can cause
people without ADHD to get so frustrated trying
to understand us.”

—Celesté Perez, via email

ID: 10279622

10. We
genuinely have a very difficult time estimating
how long it takes to do things.

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“I’m really bad at knowing how long something
is going to take me. I can’t account for how my
attention is going to hold up or how many times
I’ll check to make sure that I didn’t miss or
forget anything. It may just look like poor
time management, but I really have no clue how
to estimate time or give timelines.”

—Michelle Rose, Facebook

ID: 10279610

11.
Sometimes we can’t handle lot of stimuli at
once — like sounds, noises, smells, textures,
etc.

Sometimes we can't handle lot of stimuli at once — like sounds, noises, smells, textures, etc.

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“People should know that ADHD also affects how
you handle certain stimuli. Many people with
ADHD can’t process multiple sounds at once, or
multiple people and things touching them.”

—tyram439c9755a

ID: 10292283

12. We
often have to stick to one task at a time or
else we get too overwhelmed.

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“I wish people understood that when I have a
lot of things on my plate, I feel like I can’t
do anything because I don’t know where to
start. I get overstimulated and can’t focus on
anything.”

—morganhill121

ID: 10279105

13.
Medication doesn’t give us an advantage — it
just levels the playing field.

Medication doesn't give us an advantage — it just levels the playing field.

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“Taking my meds isn’t giving me ‘extra’ focus.
It helps me get closer to the level of focus
people without ADHD have.”

—MarciaMan

ID: 10279121

14.
…Which is why we hate when others to ask for it
like it’s a recreational drug.

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“Asking if you can have some of my pills as a
boost just before exam is an insult to me and
all the others who actually need the medication
to function how you do without it.”

—clarecommerford

ID: 10279585

15. And
even with medication, we still have to work
really hard to focus and stay on track.

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“Even though I’m on ADHD medication, it can
still be very hard for me to focus on the right
things. For example, if I’m taking a test and
someone is chewing gum loudly — that’s all I
can think about. Or if I’m copying notes and a
bunch of people are talking, I’ll concentrate
on their voices instead of my notes.”

—TooRadForYou

ID: 10279124

16. We
can’t change the fact that we think and learn
differently.

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“It’s just a different wiring of the brain.
It’s just who we are.”

—allysonk47deeed0f

ID: 10294656

17. It
can make romantic relationships even more
complicated than they already are.

It can make romantic relationships even more complicated than they already are.

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“ADHD really messes with my ability to maintain
an interest in relationships. I constantly feel
restless when in a committed relationship.
After a month or two, I’ll get bored of them.
It takes an enormous effort to try and combat
those feelings, knowing it’s my ADHD and not
*me*.”

—aidieb

ID: 10279655

18.
People with ADHD often experience self-esteem
issues.

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“Sometimes when I see my friends complete
things so easily and succeed with small tasks
so effortlessly, it makes me feel like I’m bad
at life.”

—haleyj4

ID: 10268158

19. And
sometimes we feel like we’re being a burden to
others.

And sometimes we feel like we're being a burden to others.

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“It’s stressful always worrying if you’re
bothering your friends with your disorder, so
we could all use a little reassurance that
you’re okay with us.”

—tem1163

ID: 10281712

20. But
it’s just as frustrating for us to deal with as
it is for our family, friends, partners, and
teachers.

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“I wish people understood that it’s also
frustrating for me to not be able to pay
attention or to be paying attention to the
wrong thing. I don’t like being like this
either but I can’t change it.”

—saraf484839ce2

ID: 10298602

21. It’s
common for people with ADHD to also suffer from
depression and/or anxiety.

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“I’m so inside my head all the time that I
overanalyze everything! I often feel stupid or
like I’m simply not able to do things without
help. This has led to lots of anxiety and some
depression.”

—katep12

ID: 10268165

22. We
often pour ourselves into our work because it’s
a way to release the constant stream of
thoughts.

We often pour ourselves into our work because it's a way to release the constant stream of thoughts.

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“We put our heart and soul into our work
because — while we thoroughly enjoy every
minute of it — our work is an avenue for us to
release and escape all our thoughts and
feelings.”

—eryngreenstacks

ID: 10268166

23. But
while we’re great at starting things, we often
have trouble finishing them.

But while we're great at starting things, we often have trouble finishing them.

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“I cannot tell you how many times I have
started a task and not finished it because I am
so easily distracted. I have about seven or
eight books that I haven’t read the ending of
because I couldn’t focus anymore. I’ve also
started tons of craft projects and hobbies, but
I just can’t find anything that sticks.”

—janie-leeh

ID: 10279572

24. It
takes us longer to complete tasks because we
have trouble plotting out the steps.

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“It might take us a little longer to complete
things or get organized because we have to work
twice as hard to get even the simplest tasks
done. For me, sending an email often feels like
having to write a 20 page essay!”

—haleyj4

ID: 10279518

25.
Having ADHD can make it really difficult to
engage in a simple conversation.

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“When I’m having a conversation with someone
and I change subjects too fast, stare into
space, or get completely distracted — I really
don’t mean to. I wish people were more
understanding about the social complications.”

—ashleyt4dad74ef9

ID: 10279665

26. But
even if it’s hard for us to listen, it doesn’t
mean we don’t care about what you’re saying.

But even if it's hard for us to listen, it doesn't mean we don't care about what you're saying.

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“I often have to ask for clarification on
things to make sure that I heard it correctly
and remember. It doesn’t mean I actively wasn’t
listening or I don’t care about what you’re
saying.”

—maddiechaskasbestfriendd

ID: 10279351

27.
Living with ADHD every single day can be
exhausting.

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“People with ADHD may seem full of endless
energy, but we are also really tired. Our
bodies and mind run at warp speed. Many people
don’t know that ADHD can cause excessive
tiredness due to the increased functioning of
the body and mind.”

—amylynnm433301477

ID: 10279664

28.
Sometimes we can only function with structure
and routines.

 

“I wish people knew that if I don’t have my
structure and my schedule, I feel lost. I
won’t do anything I need to do.”

—meganc40d55c66c

“I am inflexible because routine is what
allows me to keep myself organized.”

—Carson29

ID: 10299633

29.
Having ADHD does not make you any less
intelligent.

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“Just because I have ADHD doesn’t mean I’m
unintelligent. In general people with ADHD are
really intelligent. We just have trouble
focusing.”

—aves03

ID: 10279079

30. And
it definitely doesn’t make you lazy — if
anything, it makes you work even harder.

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“Even though I have ADHD and school doesn’t
come easily to me, I work extremely hard and
I’m not any less capable of success.”

—elissar4b15f734c

ID: 10279088

31. Our
ADHD doesn’t stop when it’s time to sleep — it
actually kicks into over-drive.

Our ADHD doesn't stop when it's time to sleep — it actually kicks into over-drive.

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“I wish people knew that ADHD doesn’t turn off
when you get in bed to go to sleep. Your mind
is still running and taking in all the
details.”

—j45fe56fb1

ID: 10279346

32. When
we apologize for our impulsive behavior, we
mean it — even if it’s for the hundredth time.

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“I wish people knew that when I say I’m sorry
for my impulsive actions, I really am sorry.
There really isn’t anything else I can do to
stop my impulsive behavior that I haven’t
already tried or am currently doing.”

—M.J. Cormier, Facebook

ID: 10279696

33. You
can’t tell if someone is struggling with ADHD
just by looking at them.

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“I wish people knew that just because I ‘appear
to have it together’ doesn’t mean that I don’t
still struggle.”

—emilys4196e7a4b

ID: 10279357

35.
Finally, it means the world when people are
patient and supportive.

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“The best thing you can be for someone with
ADHD is patient. Patience is absolutely key to
dealing with and accepting this disorder.”

—sarahc432362212

ID: 10279483

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ID: 10301971

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Tagged:flipped, add, adhd, attention
deficit, attention
deficit disorder, brain, learning
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