12 Signs You Have Adult ADHD & 4 Signs You Don’t

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Hey y’all, if you’re how I was, you’re probably reading every ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) 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 if you have the signs of 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. It’s also one of the reasons we tend to have higher rates of accidents. 

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. It can make for some very awkward social situations.

3) Your Work Space is a MESS

One part of daily life with both treated and untreated ADHD that I struggle with is organization. My office is usually an organized mess… 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? If your time management skills are basically trash…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. It happens to be one of the hallmark symptoms of ADHD. 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. It’s just the classic story of everyday life for us. 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 high 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. In which case you may be looking at multiple mental health conditions at play 😉. This symptom of ADHD can present in other ways as well. It could’ve been leg bouncing, 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 we become close friends, 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 your friends or family members 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 but it can be a real problem for teenage and adult patients who are expected to have more control over their impulses. Sometimes 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 is one of the lesser-known signs of ADHD. It doesn’t apply to women as much. Personally, 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 a 5-year-old wrote it when I need to write fast. If you check this box, my oldest daughter can relate better than I can. She still can’t read her own handwriting half the time… don’t tell her I told you.

11) The term Hyperfocus resonates with you

        While most of the time someone with undiagnosed ADHD has trouble focusing… There are some tasks that we lose ourselves in. (Typically they’re stimulating ones that we lose all track of time in like social media or video games, but on occasion, we can harness it to check off that to-do list) Have you ever been so focused on a task the building could’ve burned down without you noticing? That’s Hyperfocus… and if you have it, there’s an excellent chance you’ll get an ADHD diagnosis. 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 but on the flip side… You may want to check number 4 below just in case… 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.

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 the adhd experience and everyone else is that it happens nearly every day. In some cases, it happens multiple times a day. It becomes a disorder when it begins to affect your quality of life. 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 disorder 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 in any area of your life. 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… On the other hand, you could have slipped into hyperfocus which is very ADHD of you 🤔 *throws up hands in defeat* I think this one could go either way😋 and this is why you should always get proper psychological testing. Some of the symptoms of adult ADHD are rather ambiguous.

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…

💖 Kami 

10 thoughts on “12 Signs You Have Adult ADHD & 4 Signs You Don’t”

  1. This was super helpful! Thank you. I guess I’ll stick to the anxiety and depression I know I have 😊

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  4. As a mental health clinician, I disagree with a lot of terminology and ideas in this post. I know they are well intended but they are potentially harmful and at times inaccurate. For anyone truly wondering, please contact your primary health care provider and try and avoid self-diagnosing based on blogs that are not peer reviewed.

    1. At the end of my posts, I always encourage my readers to seek help from a healthcare professional. I am simply a woman with ADHD going off of my own experiences and those of the people around me. My blog is about letting people know they’re not alone in how they’re feeling and that maybe ADHD could be the cause. It’s about building community not diagnosis. I do not see the harm in that, but you are entitled to your opinion. I hope you have an awesome day 😊.

  5. I skipped straight to the “4 signs you don’t have it” after reading the first paragraph and then somehow managed to get offended by the last point. Even though I wasn’t “still reading” haha. Did go back to check out what the 12 points were though!

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  9. LOL I love the last one that says “you’re still reading this.” Because I was definitely the one who answered “yes” to “you didn’t actually read this whole list” and it took me 3 days to finish reading the article! I started it a few days ago (yes, only skimming the titles), somehow got distracted away from it (but no worries, I leave all my tabs open for such an occasion), and rediscovered it just now to finish out my reading. Would that count for “still reading”?? hahah Probably not 😛

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