Hey y’all, if you’re how I was, you’re probably reading every ADHD sign and symptom list that you can get your hands on. I’m here to tell you if you’ve read one, you’ve probably read them all… Except for this one😉 . Here, I’ll not only let you know the signs you have adult ADHD, but also some of the reasons you might not. Happy Skimming…
12 Signs You Have Adult ADHD
1) You Never List Attention to Detail as a Skill
If you’ve ever applied to a job, you know one of the most sought after skills seems to be attention to detail. Yet, you know if you put that on your resume, it would be a flat out lie (not that you haven’t done it anyway… I see you). Mostly because your mind moves so fast sometimes that you don’t notice the fine print. That’s okay… we’ve all been there.
2) The Phrase: “Repeat What I Just Said” Gives You Goosebumps
Oh yes, the moment anyone utters those 5 words, I literally shudder. Well, not always, but it has happened. That phrase strikes fear into the hearts of people with adult ADHD because we try so hard to stay in the conversation. We really did listen, and we heard enough to offer a reply or a sympathetic nod… but we CANNOT repeat it back. At most, you’ll offer them a vague topic or emotion and hope it’s enough.
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3) Your Work Space is a MESS
I’ve gotten better at keeping my house clean and organized, but when it comes to my office, it’s still a mess. It’s an organized mess, though… I know what pile everything is in, but I have to have the piles. The piles remind me of what I need to get done. I’m also a sticky note junkie, and every stray thought or idea is put on a sticky and placed on the wall… I’m running out of wall!… You get the idea… Might even sound familiar, huh?
4) You’re An Expert Procrastinator
Do you leave everything to the last minute, but somehow it all comes out perfect? Then you may have ADHD. We avoid doing things we don’t like until absolutely necessary, and then we go into Hyperfocus and excel at it. It’s one of our superpowers.
5) You’d lose your head if it weren’t attached to your neck
Or at least that’s what everyone keeps telling you. Mostly because you lose everything else that isn’t tightly attached to your body. Not only do you lose small things like keys, phone, and wallet on an almost daily basis. You also lose big things like your car in a parking garage… Parking Garages Are The Devil… who decided that every floor should look EXACTLY the same? Even neurotypicals have a hard time in those things, but they’re a complete nightmare for us.
6) You’re always accused of ignoring texts/calls
I have friends with ADHD, and those same friends have lived with me in the past…So, they should know me pretty well… Nope, they still get mad at me on occasion because I don’t return a text or a call. If you’re like me, you never purposefully ignore people. You simply forget the contact ever happened. Especially when you get a text or call while you’re focused on something else. It just gets lost in the background noise. Totally not your fault and feel free to tell your friends I said so.
7) You were the pen tapper in school
We all knew that one kid who sat in the back of the room, and every time it was quiet, all you heard was… tap, tap, tap… If that kid was you, you likely have ADHD. Or you’re a troublemaker who knew it drove your teacher crazy. Although it may not have been tapping, you did to keep moving. It could’ve been leg bouncing, or pen chewing, or even doodling in the margins of your notebook. Personally, I always clicked my pen… I still do when I’m in a meeting or other dull setting.
8) You’ve been labeled as the “talkative” friend
In case you couldn’t tell, I talk a lot. Not when you first meet me, though, but once I get to know you, it’s hard to get me to stop talking. I talk about anything and everything ad nauseam… sound familiar? So even if you aren’t talkative around new people, this may still apply to you. Just ask a friend or family member if they think you’re talkative. If they say yes… you can check this box.
9) You answer questions before you’ve heard/read the whole thing
This is kind of like not having that coveted attention to detail. You miss out on the little pieces of a question because you think you already know the answer… Then you realize you just completely blew it because the last word of the question completely changed the context 🤦♀️. Yeah… let’s move on now. Before we start visualizing our past embarrassments.
10) Your handwriting looks like it belongs to a child
This one doesn’t apply to me. I have fantastic writing, but it took me years to perfect and a lot of practice. If I’m being honest… It still looks like my 5yo wrote it when I need to write fast. If you check this box, my oldest daughter can best relate to you. She still can’t read her own handwriting half the time.
11) The term Hyperfocus resonates with you
Have you ever been so focused on something the building could’ve burned down around you, and you wouldn’t have noticed? That’s Hyperfocus… and if you have it, there’s an excellent chance you have adult ADHD. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, then the next list might be more for you.
12) You didn’t actually read this whole list
Come on, tell the truth… You read the headings and did a quick, “yup, nope” and kept scrolling. You may have read a description here or there because you weren’t really sure what I meant in the heading. Then once you got the gist, you scrolled on. Don’t worry, I’m not mad you didn’t read all my witty banter. In fact, I’d be surprised if you had. With that said, If you did read each heading and paragraph, then you may want to keep reading… If you’re convinced, you’re one of us check out some of my other posts below. Or read “10 ADHD life-hacks” to start getting control of your life.
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4 Signs You Don’t Have Adult ADHD
1) You Felt Connected with most of the above list but only sometimes
I spent years convincing myself that I didn’t have ADHD because everyone has those symptoms. Anyone can lose their keys, be messy, or forget things. The difference between me and everyone else is that it happens to me nearly every day. In some cases, it happens multiple times a day. So if you have occasional “ADHD” days, then you probably don’t have ADHD.
2) You don’t remember having any of these issues as a child
One of the most significant diagnostic criteria is having symptoms in childhood. If you were completely docile and had no memory issues as a child, then you’re probably neurotypical. There may be other reasons you’re experiencing your symptoms like having anxiety and/or depression. Both disorders have been known to affect memory and concentration, and they usually develop in early adulthood.
3) You Feel like you’re living up to your potential
This is a big one. If you feel like you’ve lived up to your full potential, then it is highly unlikely you have undiagnosed adult ADHD. I have yet to meet someone who lived undiagnosed and didn’t feel like a big ole screw up 99% of the time. I managed to graduate from college with honors and still feel like I wasn’t living up to my potential. It’s one of the main reasons I decided to have myself tested.
4) You’re Still Reading This!
Yeah, that’s a good sign you’re neurotypical. At the very least, you’d be bored by now and/or struggling to stay focused. If that’s not you at the moment, then congratulations… You can stop reading symptom checklists and move on with your life.
Note: This list or any other list is not a substitute for evaluation by a mental health professional. If you or someone you love believes they may have ADHD, then contact your healthcare provider today. There is no substitute for an accurate diagnosis. Try this list of ADHD Clinics to find help near you.
Until next time…
Other Posts You May Enjoy
- My Top 5 ADHD Books for Women
- 6 Reasons Women are Underdiagnosed with ADHD
- 20 Positive Quotes for When You Feel Overwhelmed
- Signs You’re a Mom with ADHD
- Hyperfocus – The Ultimate ADHD Superpower