You might have Adult ADHD if you struggle with this

The following can be used as a self-reporting tool, it’s useful if you already have a diagnosis to compare some of the difficulties you are having with relative evidence based ADHD attributes.
However this is also a useful scale tool for those who are suspecting they do have ADHD.
Some and definitely not all impact ADHD people, and also overlap into other psychiatric disorders when you look at with the lens of executive function in the brain, and problems with working memory.

As a peer I have gone over this list several times to ensure it doesn’t offend my own sensibilities, about how I feel with self-reporting and I feel like this is a positive self assessment tool than negative – I know this is a long list. It can seem daunting going down and the more you relate the more it can feel like you are doing negative things, they aren’t, these legitimate and relative struggles are part of your every day experience and it is on top of your every day life and many people around us and society in general don’t truly understand how exhausting it is to keep up.

Often when you are not diagnosed until adulthood, you might have assumed a lot of these struggles are normal too, I know I did, that everyone experiences these things. And of course humans experience all these things as part of the living condition, but they are not having difficulty with them on the frequency to the point it is impairing life quality. Often very debilitating and disabling. Mental health is also intersectional so all these questions will look different to others. They are meant as a guide not a diagnostic tool. And it is not a replacement for professional medical advice.

It is important to note when self-reporting, when you look at these statements keep in mind on a scale of 1 – 10, 1 as in never and 10 as in “most of the time”: you will know that these questions are on a spectrum. You may have never experienced them. Or you may have developed great coping mechanisms for them or just not have that presentation. You may also have severe struggles in one part with hyperactivity and impulse control. There is often overlap and these can also look like symptoms of other medical conditions. It is important that if you are needing assistance with any of these and it is seriously impacting your mental well being, please seek professional mental health care as soon as you can or reach out to your community and support networks, friends and family and let them know you are needing help, and you might even need help getting access to that help. You don’t have to struggle with these alone and you are not alone with these struggles, there are other people just like you who can validate your experience too.

(Please note below graph is just for fun, and that neurotypical brains does not count on this scale, it is for representation of ADHD brains only).

The below information is to be considered when thinking about the neurological make up of ADHD.
(cited from: The Neuroscience of the ADHD Brain)

  1. Frontal Cortex

This region controls high-level functions:

Executive Function
  1. Limbic System

This region is located deeper in the brain. It regulates our emotions and attention.

  1. Basal Ganglia

A deficiency here can cause inter-brain communication & information to “short-circuit.” That results in inattention or impulsivity.

  1. Reticular Activating System

This is the major relay system among the many pathways that enter & leave the brain. A deficiency here can cause inattention, impulsivity, or hyperactivity.

(short disclaimer, I am not a medical health professional, I am a peer and mental health advocate – I do try my hardest to verify any science I share but I always ensure I speak from the lens of peer support and will never cross the boundary of what is professional care – If you need advice, please seek them out first, keep what you read here in mind of form of entertainment value and curiosity. Peer support is still valid as it is lived experience, so I share from my narrative as part of my self advocacy and learning space and support for others with the same neurotype as me.)

Adhd symptoms – As researched and published by Dr. Russell A. Barkley

° I find it difficult to wait, it is hard to tolerate. I tend to be impatient.

° Make impulsive decisions

° Unable to inhibit my reactions or responses to others

° Having difficulty stopping a task or activity or behaviour when I need to

° Have difficulty changing my behaviour when I am given feedback on my mistakes

° Easily distracted by irrelevant thoughts when I must concentrate on something

° Prone to daydream when I should be concentrating on something

° Procrastinate or put things off till the last minute

° Say impulsive comments to others

° Likely to take shortcuts in my work or not do all that I am supposed to

° Likely to skip out of work early if it is hard or boring

° Can’t seem to defer gratification or to put of doing things that are rewarding now so as to work for later goal

° Likely to do things without considering the consequences of them

° Change my plans at last minute whim or impulse

° Start a project or task without reading or listening to all the instructions carefully

° Poor sense of time

° Waste or mismanage of time

° Fail to consider past relevant events or personal experiences before responding to situations

° Do not think of the future as much as others my age do

° Not prepared for work or assigned tasks

° Fail to meet deadlines for assignments

° Have trouble planning ahead or for upcoming events

° Forget to do things I am meant to do

° Having difficulties with mental arithmetic

° Have to re-read materials to understand it’s meaning

° Not comprehend what I read as well as I am meant to

° Can’t seem to remember what I heard or previously read about

° Can’t seem to accomplish the goals I set for myself

° Late for work or scheduled appointments

° Trouble organizing my thoughts or thinking clearly

° Not aware of things I say or do

° Can’t seem to hold in mind things that I need to remember to do

° Have difficulty being objective about things that happen to me

° Find it hard to see the perspective of other peoples problem or situation

° Having difficulty keeping in mind the purpose of my task or activity

° Forget the point I was trying to make when talking to others

° When shown something complicated to do, I cannot keep the information in mind so as to imitate or do it correctly

° Give poor attention to details in my work

° Find it difficult to keep track of several activities at once

° Can’t seem to get things done unless there is an immediate deadline

° Dislike school or work activities where I must think more than usual

° Having difficulty judging how much time it will take to do something or to get somewhere

° Have trouble motivating myself to start work

° Quick to get angry or upset

° Easily frustrated

° Overreact emotionally

° Having difficulty motivating myself to stick with my work to complete it

° Cannot persist at things I do not find interesting

° Do not put as much effort into my work as I should or as others are able to do

° Having trouble staying alert or awake during boring situations

° Easily excited by activities going on around me

° Not motivated in advance to prepare for things that I need to do

° Can’t seem to sustain my concentration on reading, paperwork, lectures, or work

° Easily bored

° Others tell me that I am lazy or unmotivated

° Have to depend on others to get my work done

° Things need to have an immediate pay of for me or I struggle to get it done

° Have trouble completing one activity before starting another

° Having difficulty the resist the urge to do something fun or more interesting when I am supposed to be working

°Can’t seem to sustain friendships or close relationships as long as other people

° Inconsistent quality or quantity of my work performance

° I don’t seem to worry about future events as much as others

° I don’t think or talk things over with myself before doing something

° Unable to work as well as others without supervision or frequent instruction

° Have trouble doing what I tell myself to do

° Poor follow-through on promises or commitments that I make with others

°Lack self-discipline

° Have difficulty using sound judgements when under certain types of stress

° Trouble following the rules in a situation

° Not very flexible in my behaviour – overly rigid in how I like things done

° Have trouble organizing my thoughts

° Having difficulties saying what I want to say

° Unable to come up with or invent as many solutions to problems as others seem to do

° Often at a loss for words when I want to explain things to other people

° Have trouble putting my thoughts into writing as quickly or as well as others

° Feel I am not as creative or as inventive as others of my intelligence

° When I am trying to accomplish goals or assignments, find I am not able to think of as many ways of doing things as others

° Have trouble learning new or complex activities as well as others

° Have difficulty explaining things in it’s proper order or sequence

° Can’t seem to get to the point of my explanations as others do

° Have trouble doing things in their proper order or sequence

° Unable to “think on my feet” or respond effectively as others to unexpected events

° Clumsy, not as coordinated in my movements as others

° Poor or sloppy handwriting

° Have difficulty arranging or doing my work by it’s priority or importance; can’t “prioritize” well

° Slower to react to unexpected events

° Get silly, clown around, or act foolishly when I should be serious

° Can’t seem to remember things I have done or places I have been as well as others seem to do

° Accident prone

° More likely to drive a motor vehicle much faster than others (excessive speeding)

° Have difficulties managing my money or credit cards

° I am less able to recall events from my childhood to compare to others


Published by Jenn has ADHD

Jenn Parker, New Zealand. ADHD Advocate and Peer.

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