10 Facts You May Not Know About ADHD

By Karen Weintraub
Guest Contributor

When you think about ADHD, what do you imagine? If you’re like most people, it’s probably a stereotypical image of a young boy bouncing off the walls, buzzing with pent-up, unfocused energy.

But many people with ADHD aren’t hyperactive at all, and by the time they reach adulthood, most hyperactive people have calmed down — at least on the outside. This helps explain why Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, which used to be considered a childhood condition, is now being diagnosed in adults as well.

There are some who dismiss the condition as massively over-diagnosed, perhaps as a ploy by drug companies to boost business. And maybe there’s some truth to that on the margins. Not everyone who’s got ideas racing through their head should be medicated. (Just ask most of the faculty at MIT.)

But there are large numbers of people — studies suggest it’s as many as 4 percent of adults – who are profoundly affected by the symptoms of ADHD. Many can’t hold a job or stick with a relationship. They’re chronically late or forgetful. They jump into jobs and purchases and relationships without thinking them through, only to regret their impulsive actions later. They get stuck in self-destructive patterns, fall prey to addiction and depression. And they can’t figure out why they struggle so much more than everyone else.

For this population, a diagnosis can be a huge relief, explaining why they’ve always felt out of step with the world.

Here are a few other things you might not have known about ADHD, drawn from a new book I co-write, Fast Minds, How to Thrive if You Have ADHD (Or Think You Might) published by Berkley Books:

Medication Can’t Fix ADHD
Treating ADHD in adults with medication can be helpful – and it’s often the first suggestion a diagnosing doctor will make. But it’s not enough. Adults with ADHD often need help getting and staying organized, even with their own priorities in life. They may need help at critical moments, making a constructive choice, rather than a destructive one. And they need emotional support to counteract all the negative messages they’ve received all their lives when their actions didn’t meet other people’s expectations.

Not Everyone Who’s High Energy Has ADHD
Our images of ADHD come from celebrities who talk about having it, like singer Adam Levine or actor and game show host Howie Mandel. But many people with the condition struggle to get up off the couch. They were the quiet ones in class who always seemed like they were in their own world. As adults, they may be unsure of what to do, or want to do so many things that they paralyze themselves. On the other hand, there are plenty of people who have some of the traits of ADHD without being impaired by the condition. Some of the same organizational and self-control strategies may help.

People With ADHD Don’t Have Trouble Paying Attention
They have trouble paying attention to the “right” things. They may spend hours playing video games, or tinkering in the basement or writing the Great American Novel. What they can’t do well is control what to pay attention to. If something isn’t inherently interesting to them, it takes a huge amount of effort for them to tune in. For the book, we interviewed one man who felt like he screwed up everything in his life except his parenting, because his late-in-life kids were so important to him, that it was always easy to make them a priority. For another, his children were always having to describe their day two or three times, because he kept tuning out. He didn’t love his children any less, he just struggled to keep his attention on them. This can be a huge problem in a relationship, of course, with spouses and parents dismissed as uncaring.

There Isn’t One Brand Of ADHD
Everyone’s traits, struggles and ability to cope are different. Some people with ADHD are hugely popular, the funniest, most interesting people in every room – even as they struggle to pay their bills or hold down a job. Other people can’t maintain relationships, but are great in emergencies, when the pressure and thrill of the moment seem to give them super-human powers.

Intelligence Has Nothing To Do With ADHD
There are Harvard professors with the condition, as well as stockbrokers, firefighters, housewives, shop clerks, business owners, writers and artists. Being smart can help people with ADHD perform better but having ADHD says nothing about someone’s intellectual capabilities. Through a genetic fluke or cosmic joke, people with ADHD often have other diagnosable conditions as well, such as learning disabilities, depression or addiction problems. It’s as if whatever happens to give the brain attention challenges also strikes elsewhere to create more trouble.

Many People With ADHD Struggle With Short-Term Memory
They can remember where they grew up, but not the meeting their boss told them about 3 minutes earlier. Having a good calendar and reminder system can be one of the most important strategies for someone with ADHD.

Many People with ADHD Have Trouble Sticking To Healthy Routines
Research shows that people with ADHD are more likely to have problems with sleep patterns, for example. Others are impulsive about their eating habits, or never use their gym memberships. Simply ensuring a healthy diet, regular exercise and 8 hours of sleep a night means better self-control and function. But keeping these routines takes special effort for people with ADHD.

ADHD Can Appear Differently At Different Times In Life
We know people who thrived in high school, but fell apart in college, when the workload was higher and they had to wash their own laundry; and people who were huge successes when they were single, but struggled mightily when they had to get their kids out of the house in the morning as well as themselves. It helps to recognize and plan for these extra stresses – and not beat yourself up when life gets harder.

A Key To Managing ADHD Is To Seek Out Places Where You Thrive
An accountant told us that he loves his work because as long as he follows his checklist, he knows he’s doing a good job. A professor hates rules and needs to set his own agenda. They both do their jobs well, but they’d be disasters in the other’s position. Just like everyone else, people with ADHD need to understand their strengths and weaknesses and find or build an environment that will help them thrive. We know people who are the first at work to volunteer for jobs that suit their skills, so they don’t get stuck doing the ones that aren’t a good fit.

ADHD Is A Lifelong Condition
The disorder affects people in multiple areas of their life – home, work, school, relationships, etc. But people don’t have to be captive to their ADHD. As Canadian comedian Rick Green once said of himself: “I used to suffer from ADHD. And now I just have it.”

Karen Weintraub, a Cambridge-based health and scientist journalist, wrote Fast Minds with Dr. Craig Surman, an assistant professor at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital, and Dr. Timothy Bilkey, an expert in adult ADHD in private practice in Ontario, Canada.

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  • Catherine Kelly

    hi, i was diagnosed with adhd when i was six, that was more than nine years ago. i havent gotten any better. i am a freak i cant control myself. at all. i just wish i was normal. i am in high school, and i feel like i have already screwed up my entire life already. my medication doesn’t help, and my parents forced me to use it, even though i hate how it makes me feel. i feel dizzy, out of breath, i shake a lot, i dont want to eat lunch, it gives me migraines. i just wish it would all stop, i am probably going to fail every class i take. i wont be able to go to college, and i dont even think if i got in i would want to go, because i know i wouldnt make it.

  • michael bland

    I am 14 i have adhd and i take medication the docters put me on focalin and when I’m not pn the medication i feel as though I’m not as smart but I’m more social with other peopleil don’t know whether to take the medication or not cause I’m like a zombie and i dpnt fit in when I’m on it I’m so lost and in emergencies under pressure i do get almost like super human qualities i feel faster stronger and smarter even if I’m not on the meds

  • Nestor

    I went to a doctor I told him the following when I was in high school I was suspended for lateness I told him that I was repeated asked to leave the class because I could not stop talking I told him that I would stare out the window so much that they changed my setting and to further enhance my attention span they made all the students face the center I also told him I was lazy and would leave my home work to the very last minute therefore I would have to stay awake all night to finish my home work once I entered into to college I literally just got up and walked away from it I just lost all interest in my own education and had no idea why so I started passing attention to work I was work for Express at the time and absolutely loved working for people and helping them dress up but once I notice that I was being under payed I left that job next thing I knew I found my self back in college and working at the container store some time had pasted about one semester had pasted and I found a way of working things out but then I ran into my best friend with whom I was deeply in love with while this was occurring a relationship I had was ruined by my best friend because he stole my man I was depressed and I thought well here’s Pedro back in my life at the time he was going to join the army and I thought to my self here’s my chance to prove that I’m a man he can love so I quit my job and joined the army basic training was beyond words I loved it we were all always together drill sgt Smith galishaw and wyshiler were relentless in teaching us I could not stop paying attention after this I entered the next phase of my training which was AIT however with more freedom came mistakes and I started abusing alcohol on the weekends however I still managed to study and learn hands on my chosen craft being an EMT after training things get very strange because of my drug use of because I blocked the rest of it out I was a failure as a solider and discharged from the army top cut a story way way short my doctor put me on Zoloft and abilify I just started to do drugs soon after I guess Idk it makes me upset because I told him I think I have adhd and here’s why..I’m a mess I abuse Molly I’m 30 and still living with my mother

    • Nestor

      I’m also a major narcissist but a nice one all I do is pay attention to my feelings sometimes

  • anonymous

    I’ve been looking for a good article to help me with managing and training someone with ADHD at work. Most of the articles offer suggestions that either coddle the person with ADHD or give most of the responsibility to the manager/trainer. I understand and believe that everyone has strengths and weaknesses, but in this day and age of having to do more with less (resources, personnel, etc) in companies, I do not have the time or resources to help this person as much as he needs. The other issue is that he has not admitted to having the disorder.

    • Nestor

      CONTACT a doctor for him don’t just throw him away

  • Taylor

    The only way I’ve found to help is to start your own buisness. If you have the right amount of things going on every day, like I’m doing garden work for summer right now! Putting up a greenhouse! Any ways ,if you can’t join them, beat them is what I say haha.

  • guest

    people who are currently being diagnosed with ADHD are just like you and me. With struggles in life, learning and growing into adulthood like many of us. It is a challenge for all of us. Medicating and telling vulnerable people that they are incapable of making decisions on their own, and that this “disease” is the answer for their wrongdoings and stronger than them and enything, it just unfair and wrong. That mentality is what causes more distress, and the sense of hopelessness in these vulnerable people. This “diagnosis” of ADHD just hurts people.

  • Zia Carter

    I look for answers and it doesn’t help me and just makes me feel sadder. The best description of ADHD is living in a kaleidoscope of the senses. But I wish I still had the perks of ADHD, quick thinking and the ability to connect different subjects or facts in a coherent way, without the downsides, where my brain is still stuck in the mode it was five minutes ago, or unabilty to stop small repetive tasks like plugging in earphone jacks into my phone. I recently got chewed out about how I need four times the time a normal person would need to look over important paperwork or write papers. I’m sick of ADHD defining me, and people treating me unequally because of it. If you did take the time to read this shitty rant, thank you. May you have many blessings along the road of life.

    • Nestor

      Failure and rejection drive me crazy

      • Nestor

        My bad I did read the entire thing and no you are not alone I to want to be treated equally and to be more independent

  • dirk diggler

    “Many can’t hold a job or stick with a relationship. They’re chronically late or forgetful. They jump into jobs and purchases and relationships without thinking them through, only to regret their impulsive actions later. They get stuck in self-destructive patterns, fall prey to addiction and depression. And they can’t figure out why they struggle so much more than everyone else.” ~~~Welcome to my world. This is the definition of my life. Cant hold a relationship for Sh*t. I get bored and move to the next one. No problem with the job part, but self destructive patterns, addiction and depression yes, late – yes, forgetful – yes. Its terrible, I cant even finish a sentence without… SQUIRREL!

    • Nestor

      I know I love animals too and self destructive yes major drug user here lol but when I love it’s forever I think being in love for so long and never getting it back had distorted my sense of self it took me a long time to realize and admit this but mentally I’m still 22 even though I’m about to be thirty

  • David
    • David

      Oops… link not fully listed.

      It’s called “Why French Kids Don’t Have ADHD.”

    • Nestor

      limits are good especially diet limitations but sometimes being too enforcing can be bad to what happens to the person once all of the controls are taken away

  • Lawrence

    Just another article to make normal people there is something wrong with them, provide a diagnosis and get us all on dangerous medications.

    Where is the journalistic reporting on the other side of the story. That many Drs, think it’s a made-up diagnosis in the vast majority of people to keep boys from acting as normal boys?

    • Patrick

      This article wasnt meant to make normal people feel like there is something wrong with them, this article was meant to explain ADHD to people both with and without it. And u should never take meds for this unless a certified professional tells u that u have ADHD. And those doctors who say its made up to keep kids from acting normal clearly have not met kids with mild to severe ADHD. Even when they dont know that they have been diagnosed with it they will act different from everyone else. When i was a kid it was so obvious my teachers were asking if i had autism. My doctor who specialized in ADHD and Autism had to sit down with them and tell them i had ADHD not autism

  • oh chaunt

    This is not meant for us. Its meant for the normals. And its spreading a ton of BULLSHIT about the disorder. It makes me so angry.

    Previously, I wrote these posts:



    I think these types of articles should always be approached with a healthy dose of criticism. There are a couple of things thing that always send me red flags in these articles.

    They make claims, without peer reviewed citations

    They insert anecdotes without qualifying statements

    Its written by someone from an advocate perspective

    They seem to have a anti-medication stance

    They are trying to sell you something

    Its written by a journalist

    Lets get to it (from the article):

    But many people with ADHD aren’t hyperactive at all, and by the time they reach adulthood, most hyperactive people have calmed down — at least on the outside.

    The author is ignoring the life course of ADHD and the impulsivity of ADHD in this statement. Remember, ADHD is characterized by developmental inappropriate hyperactivity and inattentiveness across multiple settings. With three subtypes ADHD-C, -PI, and -HI The author makes is sound like many people with ADHD aren’t hyperactive, which is true, hence the PI subtype of ADHD, which only 20-30% of people with ADHD have). People with ADHD show less hyperactivity with age, but impulsivity remains (Barkley et al., 2008). So this is kind of true, but it ignores impulsivity which is important and important aspect of the disorder!

    This helps explain why Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, which used to be considered a childhood condition, is now being diagnosed in adults as well.

    Well, not really. Its being recognized as a chronic condition that is life course persistant. Many people fail to meet criteria as they age (think of it as the frontal lobe finally maturing a little). Not everyone has ADHD into adulthood. But the important thing is that 98% of people with ADHD have it before age 16 (Barkley et al., 2008, DSM-5). She makes it sound like many adults just wake up and find they caught ADHD. It doesn’t work like that. The importance of the AGE qualifying aspect in diagnosis is to show that its chronic and been there for a long time.

    There are some who dismiss the condition as massively over-diagnosed, perhaps as a ploy by drug companies to boost business. And maybe there’s some truth to that on the margins. Not everyone who’s got ideas racing through their head should be medicated. (Just ask most of the faculty at MIT.)

    This a pretty common tactic of articles pretending to be not to biased. They pretend that someone else said this controversial statement. Then back it up with a baseless anecdote. They neither specifically deny it or support it. But its there to create some sort of doubt about medication in the mind of the reader. My response: maybe ADHD is over-diagnosed, we dont have control over that, and how do you measure it? As for the MIT thing its a baseless anecdote.Furthermore, ideas racing through head =/= ADHD. Its diagnostic criteria a clear and thats not even one of them.

    But there are large numbers of people — studies suggest it’s as many as 4 percent of adults – who are profoundly affected by the symptoms of ADHD. Many can’t hold a job or stick with a relationship. They’re chronically late or forgetful. They jump into jobs and purchases and relationships without thinking them through, only to regret their impulsive actions later. They get stuck in self-destructive patterns, fall prey to addiction and depression. And they can’t figure out why they struggle so much more than everyone else.

    This one bothers me. As an adult with ADHD not all of us have huge disability caused by the disorder, especially when its treated correctly! It makes it sound like the 4% of people with adult ADHD are huge fuck-ups and seriounsly disabled. Its like saying that all people with depression or anxiety cant leave their house and cut themselves. That being said ADHD, like any other untreated chronic condition can have a major life impact. But not all of us are disabled by ADHD.

    Medication Can’t Fix ADHD

    Treating ADHD in adults with medication can be helpful – and it’s often the first suggestion a diagnosing doctor will make. But it’s not enough. Adults with ADHD often need help getting and staying organized, even with their own priorities in life. They may need help at critical moments, making a constructive choice, rather than a destructive one. And they need emotional support to counteract all the negative messages they’ve received all their lives when their actions didn’t meet other people’s expectations.

    No one claims medication can cure ADHD. Its a chronic condition like diabetes. Does insulin cure diabetes? Nope. But it sure and can does help. IN fact, for anything else to even have a shot of working (eg behavioral therapy) it has to be combined with medication (MTA, 1999; Barkley, 2006; DuPaul and Stoner, 2002; Barkley, 2012) Furthermore 75-92% of people with ADHD can be normalized on medication (Mash et al, 2007). Medication is the insulin for ADHD. It works great. has low side effects, and improves outcomes! Before, you jump on me, I am saying that medication combined with other stuff is extremely important for treating ADHD. Remember, ADHD is brain based disorder, and its mechanism of action is well known and studied. We know its cause: genes, dopamine, underfuction frontal lobe, disorder in executive functioning. Its a medical conditions as much as a psychological one.

    Another thing I dont’ like about this is that it makes us sound like people with ADHD need help, to be coddled, to babied. Everyone needs the help she describes sometimes, not just those with ADHD. So why single us out?

    Not Everyone Who’s High Energy Has ADHD

    Hence the ADHD-PI, and high energy is not a diagnostic criteria for ADHD. Notice how the author name drops celebrities. I have a huge problem with this: Adam Levine and Howie Mandel are two insanely hard working and talented individuals. Why even mention their ADHD? Its totally irrelevant. and then she presupposes that they had inattention and were quiet in class? How the fuck does she know?

    People With ADHD Don’t Have Trouble Paying Attention

    This is a semantic argument about ADHD. What she should talk about is how executive functioning and its deficits inhibit behavioral regulation.

    There Isn’t One Brand Of ADHD

    There are three types. Well established types. She should talk about how diagnostic criteria determines these types. Furthermore every individual has different experienced with ADHD.

    Intelligence Has Nothing To Do With ADHD

    It kind of does. I wrote about it here. (in the paper I link too)


    Many People With ADHD Struggle With Short-Term Memory

    Nope, but they do struggle with working memory (Barkley, 1997). Its one of the core deficits in excessive functioning associated with ADHD. Its also why those with ADHD have trouble reading, doing math, and written expression.

    A Key To Managing ADHD Is To Seek Out Places Where You Thrive

    I would say THE key is getting effective treatment (medication) that can help correct the lower amount of dopamine and norepinephrine in your frontal lobe. Then any area where you seek to go you can thrive. Don’t lets places limit you because of the ADHD.

    Karen Weintraub, a Cambridge-based health and scientist journalist

    WTF is a scientist journalist? Sounds like shes a journalist who is trying to get more cred than she should have. Dare I say: misrepresenting herself?

    Just an FYI, I haven’t read her book. But she seems to a journalist and not a scientist (she holds no advanced training or doctorate in anything related to ADHD).

    • dirk diggler

      psssst. you don’t have to tell any one you have it!

  • Tanya Anne Germaine

    A lot of this is not true at all . I live it every day !

    • Paola

      26 year-old with ADHD here. Just because you don’t experience all these doesn’t mean they’re not true (see “There Isn’t One Brand Of ADHD”section). These are 100% in my case, thanks.

  • Hannah

    I disagree with the fact that ADHD kids don’t have a problem with paying attention. I do have ADHD and it’s harder for me than it is for all of the other kids in school to understand homework. I get so frustrated with school, that I come home crying everyday because I can’t understand any of it and I have ALL Acelerated classes because I want to get into a good college, but the best classes for me would be all of the lowest classes. I hate being behind everyone else and being the only one who doesn’t understand a single thing. ADHD is horrible and when I have to study for tests I can’t sit still and study my mind goes in all differen’t directions and I fail almost every test I take. If I’m going to study there has to be musci on also so the ADHD part of me can be at least a little under control.



  • Jacques

    Real fact ADHD can be managed but not cured.

  • sstenoff

    So instead of Attention Deficit (Hyperactivity) Disorder – Primarily Inattentive or Combination, would it be more accurately called Attention Dysfunction Disorder – primarily Hyperactive/Inattentive?

  • Amy Falk

    Great article! So glad you put it out there!

  • Cyrus e

    I just want to ask why add/adhd is considered a disorder when it just sounds like people thAt havent found balance in there lives. Wast micheal phelps diagnosed with add but balanced it with swimming?

    • Jonathan

      ADHD is considered a disorder because it is disruptive to a person’s life and perhaps to the lives of those around them. If the solution were as easy as you make it sound, then this article and others like it would not need to be written. ADHD sufferers could simply take up swimming and be done with it.
      I exercise 4-5 times a week, eat healthy, try (the key word is try) to get 7-8 hours of sleep nightly and have to maintain a RIGID written personal schedule to make sure I get everything done I need to get done. When I have conversations with people, I struggle if there are any distractions whatsoever in the immediate environment. I have specific areas of my house where I keep mail, keys wallet, etc because I used to lose things on a daily basis. I have had to get rid of a larger number of possessions to reduce the amount of clutter in my life, to the point where people are appalled by how little I own. Still, this disorder continues to circumvent my best intentions. I am 37 years old and reasonably successful in my life, but only after going through failure after miserable failure, professionally, financially, academically and personally. I have been very fortunate to have a wonderfully supportive network of family and friends who have encouraged me or kicked me in the butt when I needed it.
      I realize you mean well, but please don’t offer any more glib assessments of things which you have obviously no understanding of or experience with.

      • Jen

        Thank you!

      • Luke Schwecke

        Nice write up. Way to go :)

      • Vulndare

        Very well put, and very close to my battle with it, and how I manage it.

  • Ginny_in_CO

    It’s been a LONG time since ADD was recognized as different from ADHD. This is a good example of why I so rarely bother with NPR for news.

  • http://www.jlist.com Peter Payne

    This is a really fascinating article, and I HEY LOOK, A KITTEN

    • Yeah

      Except kittens are really boring. A more correct characterization might as well be “Wait, there were kittens in that room?”

    • Dude

      Hey look an ass who makes fun of people

      • http://www.jlist.com Peter Payne

        Well, considering that I have ADHD, and I do okay. I actually turn it into a positive and motivate myself around it. But if you want to think that a tiny joke is somehow such a terrible thing yo must not get invited to many parties. I had a friend who had leukemia and you should have heard the black jokes he made.

      • Tom Frode Taksdal

        Hey look an ass who take things too serious

        • Mario Webb

          hey look, a fat guy in a red t-shirt!

          • Zlatan Asperger

            Not sure if ADHD or just asshole.

    • Folasimi Alamudun

      In the end, we can safely conclude that we are all asses of one kind or another.
      You can see the deficiencies in online communication quite clearly here.

  • Lydia

    Thanks so much for this article. I have struggled with odd health-related symptoms all my life, many fitting the descriptions you give for ADHD. But with a lifetime of observation, belief in my own truth (as quirky as it seems to others), with determination and willingness to alter my surroundings to suit me, to help me rather than hinder me, I have managed to build a good life. Everyone has something they must deal with. It’s not what you get, it’s what you do about what you’ve got that ultimately defines you, determines your value, and the value of what you give to others.

  • jimj621@gmail.com

    great article!

  • sisyphus12

    People With ADHD Don’t Have Trouble Paying Attention

    Actually, they really do. Qualifying is helpful but does not remove the fact that indeed, people with Adult Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder actually have problems with attention. Attention is the gateway to all complex cognitive functions and to suggest that people with ADHD do not have attention difficulties is preposterous, by definition. If you disagree, please show me a study with executive inefficiencies without focused or sustained attention difficulties.

    • Armorforgrace

      I don’t know of any studies that actually proves this, but as someone with ADHD, I actually agree with them. I have no problem focusing on things that interest me (hyperfocus often comes into play here), but sustaining attention on an uninteresting topic is very difficult.

      • Chris Vigil

        Totally agree with this, i love space and anything to do with astronomy but when it comes to learning the math or doing any of the work i get distracted by something else thats interesting like whether or not modern medicine is impeding human evolution, or maybe i’ll go read something about politics, or beer making, or the novel i have on my kindle, or the beer making book i’ve been meaning to finish for the last 2 weeks

        • Nestor

          Right the abstract and subjective draw upon your attention where as math with all of its objectivity and the horrible amount of steps to follow does not

      • Nestor

        Because it does not give you a dopamine release

        • Nestor

          I think in another life time I might have bothered to look for a peer reviewed study

    • Amy Falk

      I think it is more accurate to say that most people with ADD have trouble directing and controlling their attention. I think you are both right. I think she may a have meant that we are not UNABLE to focus (ever); it’s just that we struggle with controlling the when and how… Which of course, translates to “trouble paying attention”, but for people who are ignorant and think that people with ADD/ADHD just CAN’T focus, this in inaccurate. I have heard stories from parents who never thought their kids had ADD because they could hyperfocus on a video game for hours. Also heard at least one story where the physician summarily dismissed an adult as having ADD because he had a PhD, and so “could obviously focus.” Thoguhts?

      • moises ramos jr

        I struggled with this all my life and it sucks when your own parents dont see it, all they see is is a lazy self centered, forgetful, day dreaming, constant changing the subject son of theirs.

        • Nestor

          you are not those things and you never were you just needed guidance and time your parents might have just been projecting there self loathing on to you

      • Nestor

        Well add adhd both involve instant gratification for dopamine release video games provide this as for the physician being dismissive might have been beneficial because the person is successful at what they do so why alert there interests because that is what occurs on medication your interests are alerted with medication the person with the PhD might lose interest in all his her hard work

    • DAVID

      its better to have a trouble paying attention then it is to order a castet because this drug kills people and doctors don’t even know how the crap works

      • Nestor

        It must never be mixed never at all cost the doctor must will the patient to abstain from alcohol this is when ask he’ll breaks loss

    • Hannah

      I 100% agree with you being diagnosed with ADHD myself.

    • Densiiirr

      ADHD here :)
      Nope, i always considered myself very smart and I always improve my knowledge i do it pretty easily, for example yesterday I read and studied about edisson and tesla- had not a single problem with paying attention and reading.
      Later in the day, I had to study and prepare for exam, I just can’t focus, read for 2 minutes, brain goes for a walk and I start day dreaming while studying and it happens like every minute/ 2 minutes.

    • dirk diggler

      hey syphilis,
      Your an idiot. I have some of the craziest adhd that god ever bestowed on man. And yet, I don’t need a study to tell you that difficulty with paying attention is not as chronic as you think, nor is it something that cant be over come by pure will…like a blind man seeing through his other senses. your whole premise is preposterous.

      • Annabelle Parks

        I have ADD and I can focus fine. I just can’t focus on what I need to. One minute I’m doing a quiz next, I’m drawing like I’m finished with nothing else to do.

    • Patrick

      The fact that u think ADHD means ADULT deficit hyperactive disorder shows that u know nothing. If someone has ADHD it means that they have an attention DEFICIT, not complete and total loss of it. And the author of the article stated that people with ADHD have trouble focusing on things they don’t find interesting in the paragraph right underneath that heading

      • Nestor

        Strange but calling it attention deficit is miss leading people with this disorder have one thing in common they require instant gratification for dopamine release

    • Nestor

      How can I explain I tend to pay attention to things that give me instant gratification do you follow what I’m saying I pay attention to the actions I’m doing to the drugs I’m doing to having sex. However lets say it is something that in the long run it will be of even greater satisfaction this I will not pay attention to this is an attention problem

      • Nestor

        Therefore people with adha also have issues with instant gratification instant gratification is addictive

  • unknown4u

    I deal with fairly severe ADHD, but to be honest I feel it was a blessing starting in High School. As my schedule filled up, I was able to hit on all the topics at once and felt fine with it. Sometimes I have issues working with it, but with counselling I was able to identify my weaknesses AND my strengths. Combined I was able to create a life game plan to stay a productive worker, spouse, and citizen. Some days it gets the better of me and I deal with depression….. BUT once I recognize it is happening, I just try to kick up the active part and start a few projects or something. ADHD is different than just a hyper person or someone you cannot focus. It is a dynamic that involves multiple areas and my biggest struggle is when I can ‘feel’ it is happening, but I cannot stop it. Anyways, I refuse to take medication because this is who I am and I would rather work on my behavior than feel slow as I did as a kid on some of those medications.

    • Nestor

      This is crazy I know but Molly has helped me feel other people’s emotions well when I get the good stuff sometimes a dealer will give you crap from what I know about adderall I’d that it will reduce your empathy I am deeply afraid of the behavioral changes however I did try adderall once when I was 25 my friend at the time said it’s suppose to make you horny all I wanted to do was work and get my VA benefits in four hours I accomplished work I could not get done for six months

  • MD

    Thanks so much for this blog article. Too often highly gifted children, bored in school and/or lacking organization skills due to a not uncommon delay in the development of their prefrontal cortex, are quickly and summarily diagnosed as ADHD, medicated, and overlooked as creative and gifted. Physicians are now medicating preschoolers too, despite studies showing that over a 6-year period behavior is similar in treated and untreated children.

    Maybe there are many over-diagnosed kids with active minds and tedious classrooms?


    • Paola

      I’ve been medicated since I was 13 (now 24). I really wish my parents would have sent me to a specialist and helped me learn to cope instead of just letting my family doctor medicate me. I’m so creative and so smart, but because I was never properly treated, didn’t excel in college and struggle every day. Meds are not the answer! They may help, but kids should be taught to cope, not depend on a pill.

      • Paola

        Also, I think our society has grown intolerant of individual differences. Instead of embracing the differences among people whom may have outstanding qualities, we medicate them to fit into society “better”. I can speak from experience that medication literally makes me feel dumbed out. My thought process feels limited in comparison to when I’m not taking the medication. When I’m medication-free I am so creative and my thoughts feel so vast. Still, without the meds, it’s impossible for me to sit down and do anything productive.

  • NickL1975NYC

    I have been taking Adderall and it has been amazing along with Prozac. Both at a fairly high lvel (60MG & 80MG a day).
    Undiagnosed ADHD can be extremely damaging to ones career especially if you are not diagnosed or treated until later in life (since these days your entire career ‘follows you for life’ and employers tend to shy away from these without a linear, stable, career history

  • Kristina S.

    Based on this description, I think we all consider having ADHD to some degree. Everyone’s brain is wired differently. We have our own strengths and weaknesses. So I don’t understand what distinguishes ADHD. We all have areas of our life to improve, and there is a chemical/biological aspect of our brain that controls that. We do need to focus on tipsy hat help people improve weaknesses.

    • ADHD Adult

      The difference is the amount of impairment it produces in the individual. If you don’t feel a real pang of hurt reading this list, chances are you don’t have adult ADHD.

    • Justin

      From what you wrote it seems as though your main argument is based on the assumption that (every) persons brain is “wired” in a different way. Rather than the view that there are a vast number of possible configurations resulting from the genetic variations that a persons brain has the possibility to be “wired” in.

      And the second basis of your argument seems to imply, and be based on, that we have the ability to control the (chemical/biological) processes that enable us to have to the ability to think/feel/reason etc….

      And then theres “tipsy hat” what is that?!


      • WardCheney

        Perhaps she meant “need to focus on tips that help people.” Tipsy hat . . . that’s a good one, even if unintentional.

        Kristina, I’d say it’s a matter of degree. You are right that many people have individual experiences that are similar to individual experiences of those with diagnosed ADD/ADHD. Many people misplace their car keys. Fewer people misplace their car keys every single day. (Though misplacing keys every single day doesn’t mean you have ADD/ADHD.) I can’t name the three or four symptoms needed to have a diagnosis, but the point is its a constellation of symptoms. Also, the symptoms must have been present for most of the individual’s life. They can’t just pop up at age 11, 18, or 37. A thorough work-up will check with other people — parents, siblings, family doctor, teachers, coaches — for evidence of early onset.

    • lora hester

      Just being a little bored or forgetful is not adhd. adhd u have to make yourself focus… which destracts u from what u are trying to focus on … so when other multiples come into play, like , conversations happening near u or whatever the distraction is at the time, it becomes overwhelming,,,.it is real! I have it! what does tipsy hat mean? Daily struggles snowball!

    • ADDefined

      That is a classic response for someone who doesn’t have ADHD or know someone with it. The ADHD brain literally functions differently than the normal brain. I excel in certain things and have severe deficits in others. I can’t read a boring article to save my life, but I can read a book I like from cover to cover.

      • Nestor

        There is no normal just more like what is acceptable in this society minds that wonder can get you hurt

  • Gina Pera

    Great job of hitting the little-known highlights.

  • Judy Blackiemore

    I also take this step further. We now have a great deal of information about food sensitivities and this can also effect your body and mind in ways that no one in the past could have imagined. My friend gave up wheat, and dairy and her hair color got darker.I look calm on the outside and needed to become more peaceful in my body and mind. My diet is limited but still delicious and my life is the better for it.
    I don’t like labels and would never put anyone one into a life long category. You are who you are support yourself with healthy nourishment of the mind, body and soul. Medicine as the article says can never cure this condition, then with a healthcare professional, you take control and make your life the best it can be.

    • Gina Pera

      Yes, Judy, food sensitivities can definitely affect brain function and overall health if they are not managed.

      But what you seem to be implying implying — that ADHD is a “label” or a lifelong category — is mistaken. ADHD is a neurogenetic condition, and it doesn’t “go away” as we age; in fact, sometimes it worsens. No matter how much exercise we get. How much good nutrition we have. And the rest. Poor lifestyle habits do not “cause” ADHD, but they can exacerbate its symptoms. Moreoever, untreated ADHD can make it harder to implement healthy habits. Medication doesn’t “cure” ADHD, but it does normalize symptoms for many, many people.

      • lora hester

        well said…thank u!

    • Navy Intell

      I Have worked out everyday for the past 8 months, doing two a days somedays as well as running 3 miles with my weighted backpack. I still have severe ADHD. oh and i eat very well, im 5’10 175lbs. So thats a negative ghostrider it does nothing for you.