Dr. Lisa Marie Bobby is the founder and clinical director of Growing Self Counseling and Coaching. She's the author of “Exaholics: Breaking Your Addiction to Your Ex Love,” and the host of The Love, Happiness & Success Podcast.
Adult ADHD: A Blessing and a Burden
Have you ever wondered if you have ADD? Want to take an “Adult ADHD Test?” How about listen to a podcast about ADHD?
Okay here's the first question: Does the fact that I just mentioned this is going to be a podcast about ADHD rather than a written article make you feel relieved? (Because you can run / clean / drive / keep futzing around with whatever you want to instead of having to sit still for a REALLY LONG TIME (like 8 minutes) and laboriously read through an article and take a quiz?)
Little things like this are only one of the things we therapists and life coaches keep an eye out for when we're trying to assess whether someone has Adult ADHD. Yes, there are the official DSM Criteria — but what does it actually look like in practice? How do you know if you may have Adult ADHD, or whether you just need to get more organized?
The truth is that you can struggle with ADHD your whole life and not even know that you have it.
You'd be amazed at how many people show up for Life Coaching (or particularly Career Coaching) frustrated out of their gourds by their inability to achieve at the level they know they are capable of — in their work, their relationships, or in their daily life. Life coaching is successful when we identify the obstacles that have been holding you back, and then make a plan to do something different — and get better results in the process.
Some people are shocked to discover that their “obstacle” getting in their way is actually a diagnosis: Adult ADHD.
Attention Deficit / Hyperactivity Disorder is more common in adults than you might think. A Harvard study found that nearly 5% of the population meets criteria for the disorder to the point that it's causing significant impairment. There are many more people who are “subclinical” — meaning that they have significant symptoms of ADHD but not to a degree that a formal diagnosis is warranted.
ADHD Brings Strengths… and Struggles
It's not necessarily a bad thing to have ADHD tendencies. People with ADHD tend to have sparkling, active minds and boatloads of new ideas. They often have grand plans, and an energy and enthusiasm for life that's hard to match. And when people with ADHD lock on to something they are passionate about — look out. They can move mountains.
But having ADHD is also indescribably annoying — for people who have it, and the people who love them. Lost keys, forgotten plans, messy piles, chronic lateness, undone projects and broken commitments make adults with ADHD feel terrible about themselves. They can also create significant problems in a relationship, as you can imagine.
The best news? Adult ADHD is a solvable problem. You can't make it go away, but you absolutely can learn how to manage it so that it stops getting in your way — and learn how to use the gifts it brings to your advantage.
On today's episode of The Love, Happiness and Success Podcast, we're talking about how to tell the difference between garden-variety disorganization and real-deal ADHD. I'll give you an “Adult ADHD Quiz” to help you determine if you might have it, or if someone you love may struggle with it. I'll also be sharing some strategies you can use to conquer Adult ADHD, and rise to your magnificent potential.
Your partner in growth,
Ps: In this episode I mention a number of books, plus a funny-ish video about the ADHD experience. Here are the links if you'd like to check any of them out. And no, I' not an Amazon affiliate or anything — these are just resources I've found to be helpful that I'd like to share with you.
The ADHD Experience
Here's the video I mentioned in the podcast. If you want to communicate to someone you love about how annoying and frustrating it is to have ADHD, you might want to show them this video.
Good Books About Adult ADHD
Listen & Subscribe to the Podcast
How to Tell if You Have ADHD
Music Credits: The Knife, “Networking”