The other day, I was on Twitter when a friend sent me a message: she said someone had asked her about the symptoms of ADHD, and she said that ADHD was different for everyone. There is no one size fits all when it comes to Attention Deficit Disorder.
While my friend was right – we all experience ADHD a little differently, depending on our own “version” of it and what’s happening in our life and environment on any given day – we do have many symptoms in common.
While are some characteristics of ADHD that are pretty much common to most of us, the difference is in degrees rather than symptoms. For instance, most of us have some degree of hyperactivity. How much it affects our lives depends on a lot of things, and can vary day to day, or even hour to hour.
It’s sort of like having a cold – for want of a better analogy. Sometimes we get a cold and it’s no more than a slight case of the sniffles. Other times, though, it knocks us off our feet, with a fever, a cough, and a stuffy head.
Which cold you get can depend on which germ you were exposed to (your “version”), but it also depends on your environment. Have you been getting enough sleep? Are you stressed or run down? Have you been eating healthy food or junk food? Can you see how your choices can affect which cold you end up with?
It’s sort of the same with ADHD. Not in terms of whether or not you’ll “get” it, but in terms of how your symptoms will affect you on any given day.
Some of the symptoms of ADHD most of us share (in addition to hyperactivity) include:
Inability to pay attention
Poor time management abilities
Poor organizational abilities
Poor social skills (once again – a matter of degrees – as all of these are)
If you would like to read the entire list, Wikipedia has a good overview.