ADHD ADVOCATE FAQS
Top 25 ADHD Traits
1. Hot-wired for interest (authentic interest) and novelty (not importance!)
2. Hypersensitive and experience life more intensely than others (and often don’t know it!)
3. Often mistaken for Narcissists
ADDers are highly sensitive but not sensitive to others’ issues usually due to the fact that they have run out of bandwidth.
4. Often overwhelmed (by both positive and negative emotions)
5. People Pleasers (…genuinely!)
This doesn’t help ADDers set or maintain boundaries which can result in more overwhelm.
6. Boundary Blind (due to inattention/impulsivity)
7. Impulsive and not able to easily hit the pause button
8. In the “Now” only
ADDers don’t feel time the way neurotypicals do and can’t really connect to their future self. This often means ADDers will misjudge how much time they have to do tasks and often end up running late or even missing appointments. It is often the case ADDers take on way too much than they can handle as they are also stimulated by opportunities.
The ADHD brain tends to go straight to the negative – it is quicker, more stimulating and generally easier to do due to the survival mechanism in the brain. Coaching is so beneficial as it focuses on possibilities which opens up the brain through curiosity and creativity.
10. Not just “oppositional”
You cannot tell an ADDer what to do – if you do they will fight like a cornered animal as they experience an intense feeling of confinement – Ask, don’t tell. This is precisely why ADHD coaching is so effective!
11. Often misunderstood
…for not wanting to do the right thing ie listen, sit still, remember things etc when it is really a matter of them not being able to do those things due to their ADHD brain. This is where strategies formulated through ADHD coaching can really help.
12. Busy multi-taskers
ADDersdo things so quickly that they are rarely peaceful. ADDers should do one thing at a time and not be involved in more than 2-3 projects at once.
13. Sprinters, not marathon runners
ADDers build projects as sprints, do them intensely, run through the tape and don’t honour the time to rest between sprints! As a result, they can often suffer from burn-out.
14. Great starters but can be poor finishers
ADDers do a task up until they feel they are finished or have otherwise lost interest. The task is not necessarily complete however iethey may have finished a writing task, but files are piling up on the desk and need to be put away.
15. Verbal processors
If ADDers don’t process ideas/thoughts/feelings out aloud then they are often not aware of them. Before ADDers can solve anything, they need to process these things. Warning - once interrupted, they will need to start over!
16. Highly addictive
The ADHD brain has a propensity towards addiction due to what is happening with the reward pathway in the brain. The key is to help the ADDer find healthy addictions because if you eliminate one addiction, they will substitute it with another!
17. More immature than their peers of the same age
ADDers are often a whole stage of development behind their neurotypical peers of the same age.
18. In their heads and often highly articulate (but not actually in tune with their feelings/body )
ADDers are highly creative, impulsive, need to make their own decisions and cannot usually be in a structured job unless they are authentically interested in their job (via the subject matter, novelty, challenge, urgency or other such stimulation).
20. More effective when they are doing tasks for others
21. Associative thinkers
ADDers bring disparate things together and naturally make associations to others’ surprise because they have so many interests.
22. Great in a crisis!
Crisis ignites the ADHD brain and makes the ADDer more present. ADDers generally take in more information than others and can make quick and good decisions.
23. Their own harshest critics
ADDers are not self-compassionate and because they have often forgotten what they have achieved, they keep on trying to achieve more. For this reason, there is a sub-set of ADDers who are high-achievers.
24. Mentally restless and always looking for the next thing
ADDers need to be “doing” – kinetic energy builds up inthe body and if there is not a healthy outlet for it, it will come out in a negative way. This is why exercise is so important!
ADDers find it very difficult to make decisions/settle due to the desire to “maximise” ie look for the best. This could be due to feelings of inadequacy, limiting beliefs and/or due to forgetting the process ADDers have been through to make a decision. It is a combination of traits that results in this pervasive perfectionism: “the ADHD perfect storm”.