35 Things People With ADHD Want Everyone Else To Know

    "I wish people understood that I don’t have a choice in how my brain works."

    We recently asked members of the BuzzFeed Community living with ADD/ADHD to tell us what they wish other people understood about the disorder. Here are some of the best responses.

    1. ADHD isn't an inability to concentrate — it's an inability to control what we concentrate on.

    2. Sometimes we focus on literally everything at once.

    3. ...Or we focus too much on one thing, which we call ~hyperfocus~.

    4. ADHD impacts every part of life — not just school.

    5. And both children and adults can have the disorder.

    6. ADHD impairs the brain's prefrontal cortex — which deals with focusing, decision-making, and managing tasks.

    7. But there are a lot of other symptoms, so ADHD can present differently in different people.

    8. Sometimes ADHD makes it difficult to filter our thoughts, so we end up blurting things out.

    9. It can also make emotions way more intense and hard to control.

    10. We genuinely have a very difficult time estimating how long it takes to do things.

    11. Sometimes we can't handle lot of stimuli at once — like sounds, noises, smells, textures, etc.

    12. We often have to stick to one task at a time or else we get too overwhelmed.

    13. Medication doesn't give us an advantage — it just levels the playing field.

    14. ...which is why we hate when others ask for it like it's a recreational drug.

    15. And even with medication, we still have to work really hard to focus and stay on track.

    16. We can't change the fact that we think and learn differently.

    17. It can make romantic relationships even more complicated than they already are.

    18. People with ADHD often experience self-esteem issues.

    19. And sometimes we feel like we're being a burden to others.

    20. But it's just as frustrating for us to deal with as it is for our family, friends, partners, and teachers.

    21. It's common for people with ADHD to also suffer from depression and/or anxiety.

    22. We often pour ourselves into our work because it's a way to release the constant stream of thoughts.

    23. But while we're great at starting things, we often have trouble finishing them.

    24. It takes us longer to complete tasks because we have trouble plotting out the steps.

    25. Having ADHD can make it really difficult to engage in a simple conversation.

    26. But even if it's hard for us to listen, it doesn't mean we don't care about what you're saying.

    27. Living with ADHD every single day can be exhausting.

    28. Sometimes we can only function with structure and routines.

    "I wish people knew that if I don’t have my structure and my schedule, I feel lost. I won’t do anything I need to do."


    "I am inflexible because routine is what allows me to keep myself organized."


    29. Having ADHD does not make you any less intelligent.

    30. And it definitely doesn't make you lazy — if anything, it makes you work even harder.

    31. Our ADHD doesn't stop when it's time to sleep — it actually kicks into overdrive.

    32. When we apologize for our impulsive behavior, we mean it — even if it's for the hundredth time.

    33. You can't tell if someone is struggling with ADHD just by looking at them.

    34. ADHD is not a choice.

    35. Finally, it means the world when people are patient and supportive.

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