There’s a difference between functioning well and functioning “well enough” (while needing every ounce of physical and emotional energy to get things done).
ADHD hard truth: feeling scattered can go on for years without anyone listening to your story. They may say, “It’s normal to feel tired, you just have a stressful life. Just use a calendar!” Wives, husbands, doctors, bosses, and parents might be singing the same song, while to you, life feels like you’re keeping a thousand plates spinning in the air. You begin to believe the lie and wonder, “Is it me? Am I just lazy or not smart?”
No, it’s not you.
Unfortunately, the majority of adults with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) don’t know they have ADHD. In fact, a recent study published in JAMA Psychiatry found that a significant portion of adults with ADHD did not have symptoms of ADHD noticed as children. Another study from the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital and the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine found that 52% of children who met the criteria for ADHD had not been diagnosed with the disorder.
But why? What’s going on? Why is the world so frequently dropping the ball on one of its most common mental health concerns? The answers might surprise you…
Stigma is often created by ADHD myths circulating the world. For example, the myth that ADHD is a result of bad parenting, watching too much TV, or that it is overdiagnosed. However, the other biggest myth is that everyone with ADHD is or was a 12-year-old boy acting out in class. While this can be the case, many studies show this misperception could be linked to underdiagnosed girls with ADHD, whose gender norms might inhibit such behaviors.
Remember: ADHD does not impact people in the same way. Nevertheless, as children, parents might not follow up on teacher recommendations due to their own lack of understanding about mental health, and teachers might overlook highly intelligent kids doing well on tests but feeling chronically overwhelmed.
2) You’re too smart.
ADHD and intelligence are not related. Meaning you can be a genius with ADHD. However, intelligence can also sort of compensate for executive-functioning difficulties. For example, studying might be excruciating, but one’s ability to problem-solve on tests can make a big difference. With consideration to intelligence, the ADHD kid doing well in school rarely gets flagged for an ADHD assessment.
3) You’re ADHD symptoms were misdiagnosed.
ADHD can cause anxiety, but anxiety can’t cause ADHD. If a person has test anxiety they can get panicked during tests and lose focus. However, if a person has ADHD, they won’t be able to remember what they studied hours the night before the test (and they were also almost late for the exam because they struggled to get out of bed, and then couldn’t find their car keys, and then went to the wrong test site…yet somehow made it on time, heart in throat). It’s common for individuals with ADHD to hear they are anxious, which they might be, but they also have ADHD.
4) Uneven attention span gets confused with a good attention span.
Hyperfocus much? If only we could make teachers and parents understand this: just because you can stay up all night reading Harry Potter, doesn’t mean struggling to read history or social studies is a lack of willpower. Folks with ADHD can laser-focus on their interests because it makes up for the lack of dopamine their ADHD brain struggles to regulate in a uniform fashion on other tasks. However, one thing is clear: the invalidation that comes from blaming ADHD on willpower can cause excessive shame, which only makes concentration an even bigger challenge.
ADHD in Adults
ADHD in adulthood can look very different from person to person. It’s fairly common for adults with ADHD to be struggling with work, relationships, and managing their personal life but have the ADHD overlooked. And without the answers in childhood, they might also walk around feeling not good enough, no matter how hard they try. Getting tested for ADHD can lead to the most accurate diagnosis possible and help anyone with ADHD reclaim their story.
Begin Adult ADHD Testing in Columbus, OH
At Focused Mind ADHD Counseling, we offer adult ADHD testing, as well as ADHD treatment. ADHD testing can help you reauthor your story. You can find the answers you’re looking for. An ADHD specialist from our Columbus, OH-based therapy practice would love to help you. To start ADHD Testing, please follow these simple steps:
- Fill out the contact form to schedule a free 15-minute consultation.
- Meet with an adult ADHD specialist.
- Start getting some answers. Start getting things done.
Other Services Offered With Focused Mind ADHD Counseling
ADHD testing and treatment in Columbus, OH isn’t the only service offered at our Focused Mind ADHD Counseling. Since ADHD impacts people in different ways, we offer a variety of services. We provide ADHD testing, adult ADHD treatment, counseling for men with ADHD, depression counseling for ADHD, and anxiety treatment for ADHD. Feel free to learn more by scheduling a consultation or visiting our blog!