“Just use a planner”
“Just focus on work and do not think about other things!”
“You’re just lazy and disorganised”
Do these statements feel familiar?
If they do, it might be useful to get tested for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), or Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD). A large number of misconceptions and myths surround this disorder, primarily because it affects a person’s ability to focus and be productive. People often mistake it for laziness, lack of organisation, and so on. However, this is far from the truth.
Consider this - there are two computers, and both of them run different operating systems. Both are functionally different, that is, they work in different ways. It does not mean that one is superior to the other, just that they’re wired differently. This is the same thing when it comes to people with ADHD. When you have ADHD, your brain is just wired differently, that’s all.
Nobody knows what causes ADHD specifically. Researchers have been trying to study this condition for several years, and have hypothesised many explanations. One possible answer could be in the way the brain processes the neurotransmitter dopamine.
Dopamine is responsible for “rewarding” you after doing something good. For instance, if you’re done with a day of work, your brain is flooded with dopamine - causing you to feel good about yourself. With ADHD, there is a dysregulation of dopamine. For example, either the brain releases too little dopamine or there are not enough receptors for it to be used efficiently. This makes it harder for people to pay attention. They often feel tired, find it difficult to stay motivated, feel moody and end up feeling low a lot of the time.
Life is not always easy and sometimes, you might have to deal with special challenges that arise because of factors that are not in your control. If you relate to the list of ADHD symptoms given below, it might be worth getting help from a mental health professional.
You are easily distracted or have a short attention span
Everyone finds it difficult to focus at times. However, if you have ADHD, this is much harder. You might find yourself thinking about something while having a conversation, or people might complain that you do not listen.
You appear forgetful and careless
People with ADHD are frequently distracted easily by external stimuli, making them appear careless or forgetful. You might lose your keys or your phone frequently, forget to reply to messages, and so on.
You’re not very organised
Organisation can be hard for people with ADHD. You might have a messy room, a messy desk or difficulty in prioritising tasks. This can be especially challenging while you’re working.
You have difficulty sticking to a single task, especially if it’s tedious
One of the major difficulties of living with ADHD is the difficulty of completing repetitive or time-consuming tasks. This happens because of a combination of the inability to retain focus and being easily distracted.
You find it hard to follow instructions
When it is hard to pay attention to things, following a long conversation can be very difficult and mentally taxing. You might get distracted by the sound of a bird or someone talking in the background. When you become distracted, you might miss a step or two when the other person is giving you instructions.
You have problems with impulse control
Sometimes, you may find yourself on edge. This can show up as interrupting others often, blurting out something without thinking, or taking big decisions on a whim. These are common symptoms of ADHD.
You’re always fidgeting
This can look like constantly tapping your feet, fidgeting with your hands or talking too much. In adults with ADHD, it can manifest as restlessness.
You have difficulty controlling emotions
Everyone experiences frustration, but when you have ADHD, it is hard to handle frustration. You might have a very extreme reaction to something that is minor to people without mental health issues, feel unmotivated for daily tasks, or become angry easily.
If you are struggling with ADHD symptoms, connect with one of the psychiatrists on our team. Amaha psychiatrists come with decades of experience and rigorous training in diverse clinical settings for the entire spectrum of mental illnesses. Psychiatry at Amaha goes beyond just medication - we combine the biological, psychological, & social aspects of care to create a comprehensive treatment plan for each client. Book a session now.