Do I have ADHD - or am I just lazy? - Circle of Medicine (2023)

ADHD stands for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and is believed to affect between two and 11 percent of the population. It's hard to pinpoint an exact number because the condition is likely underdiagnosed, leading many people to ask, "do I have ADHD or am I just lazy?"

three coressymptoms characterize ADHD.

1. Inattention

2. Hyperactivity

3. Impulsivity

As the symptoms can be subtle or incomprehensible, often reaching into adulthood, you wonder if constant forgetfulness, absent-mindedness, or carelessness could be suggestive of undetected ADHD.

W TDAH, these behaviors result from something calledexecutive dysfunction. When it's working well, the executive parts of the brain's frontal cortex control your organization, prioritization, and discipline.


The modern understanding of ADHD includes three presentations:

1. Inattention

2. Hyperactivity/Impulsivity

3. A combination of the two

A person's presentation can change as symptoms come and go over the years.

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A co z ADD?

For clarity, the term "Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder" replaced the term "Attention Deficit Disorder" (ADD) in 1987. Since then, ADHD has been a recognized medical name.

ADHD signs in adults

Here are some behaviors associated with the inattentive ADHD category:

  • making careless mistakes
  • Item loss and general forgetfulness
  • easily distracted
  • Distractibility and inability to complete tasks (even fun tasks like video games or TV series)
  • Problems organizing tasks that involve multiple steps

On the hyperactive/impulsive side:

  • Fast and strong emotional reactions
  • Intense emotions that may seem exaggerated
  • Drilling and Anxiety
  • excessive talk
  • Impulsivity (seen when making purchasing decisions or reckless driving)

Many people with ADHD develop an aversion to tasks that they find frustrating. This can create the impression of lazily giving up without trying.

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basic misunderstandings

Some popular myths misrepresent the nature of ADHD and the people who have it. It's a complex disorder, and reducing ADHD to stereotypes is an oversimplification.

But many people are disorganized

People may dismiss ADHD as an excuse to evade responsibility or ignore authority figures. Parents are asked if their children just need stricter discipline.

Misdiagnosis can happen, as with many medical conditions. This does not invalidate the ADHD experience. Years of research have linked ADHD to real differences in the brain and behavior.

It is true that ADHD symptoms are not exclusive to people with ADHD, think about it.major depressive disorder. Healthy people can experience sadness, but the scope of depression goes beyond situational sadness. ADHD works in a similar way.

The combined presence, chronic nature, and severity of the symptoms make it a real and challenging condition.

But only children have ADHD

Another common view is that misbehaving children are unnecessarily labeled and will eventually outgrow ADHD. Research has shown that this stereotype is far from the truth.About a thirdchildren with ADHD will continue to experience symptoms into adulthood.

But ADHD is for boys

Boys living with ADHD tend to exhibit more destructive behaviors compared to their peers or adults. It's easy to see when a child interrupts class with questions and refuses to sit at the desk. The classmate, whose mind wanders during class and forgets his lunch on the kitchen counter, causes no similar scene.

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Furthermore,social pressure forces girls to hide uncomfortable symptoms more. Boys are more forgiving if they are active and careless.

Visibility of symptoms draws attention and is more likely to lead to a doctor's appointment. About eighty percent of ADHD diagnoses are in men.

ADHD is taken into accountunderdiagnosed in girls and women. In fact, the best estimates suggest that about a third of people with ADHD are women.

hidden fights

As they age, people who suffer from executive dysfunction tend to develop strategies to compensate for their symptoms. Imagine negative feedback after a conversation is cut short or a draft of work is submitted with careless errors.

To varying degrees, many people with ADHD figure out how to hide parts of their behavior that cause repetitive problems.However, the mental processes that originally caused the behavior have not disappeared.Life has not necessarily become easier.

Conditions that can look like ADHD

Even if the descriptions in this article sound like you or a family member, ADHD is not the only possible explanation. The following examples are not an exhaustive list of causes that reflect ADHD. These are some of the most common options and a great place to start.


ADHD can only be diagnosed if symptoms started before the age of twelve. If the challenges arose in adolescence or early adulthood, an anxiety disorder or depression should be considered.Anxiety disorders can include lack of sleep, inability to concentrate and frustration at not being able to complete activities.

Depression can cause disorganization, difficulty making decisions, and difficulty starting or finishing tasks. Especially for people who think of depression as unbearable sadness, the quieter lethargy many people experience can muddy the waters.

Physical health

Untreated hypothyroidism is associated with forgetfulness and poor concentration. Low iron levels are known to be associated with inattention. Other autoimmune disorders or nutritional deficiencies manifest in a similar way.

Other factors

If symptoms that resemble ADHD have appeared recently, lifestyle factors should be investigated.

Inattention, inability to complete tasks, and many other cognitive problems can begin as a result of stress.A job change, the death of a loved one or the end of a relationship can affect you so strongly that your brain is actually affected.

Chronic poor sleep is another potential culprit that wreaks havoc on your body. If eight hours of sleep doesn't help, a sleep disorder that interferes with rest could be the cause.

Finally, remember that health questions often lead to multifaceted responses. Temporary stress can exacerbate ongoing ADHD, sleep problems can reduce your ability to absorb essential nutrients, and so on.

Formal evaluation and diagnosis

There is no right path for people who think they might have ADHD. You can discuss your symptoms with your GP, psychiatrist, social worker or therapist.

Your medical team must consider many potential causes. This raises a lot of questions about your health history and may require you to fill out questionnaires. Expect blood tests that check for illnesses and nutritional deficiencies.

Using a combination of these tools, your caregiver can suggest which areas need further exploration.

Investigating a diagnosis

So if ADHD is still on the table, you'll need a full evaluation, which could take several hours. A psychologist or psychiatrist will conduct an official interview and possibly conduct further tests.

Assessments will show your executive functioning by measuring your speed and success in various puzzles and tasks.

Health insurance usually covers this process like a diagnostic test or visit to a specialist.

If your doctor doesn't give you the answer you want, remember that your doctor has a lot of training and experience to make a decision. However, if the healthcare professional repeatedly dismisses your observations or suggests that you are faking symptoms, it may be time to seek a second opinion.

ADHD treatment options

If your doctor diagnoses you with ADHD, your journey has just begun. First, take a moment to appreciate the power of diagnosis! It's worth knowingno you are not lazyyou're working hard with a brain that won't listen to your instructions. (Need some guidance on finding the right mental health professional?try this guide.)

Now, ADHD treatment generally falls into two categories. Many people use a combination of both.

TDAH therapy

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy(CBT) involves you and a licensed therapist discussing difficult and stressful aspects of your life. You will work together to understand each other's thoughts and actions and plan strategies for future situations.

TCC takes timeand patience, but it can lead to lasting changes.

Lek na ADHD

Some prescription medications can reduce ADHD symptoms and relieve stress.

Stimulants are usually the first pharmaceutical approach.Overall, these drugs help satisfy the parts of the brain that are constantly looking for novelty and stimulation. It makes your mind more focused and better at focusing, organizing and remembering.

Recently,selective norepinephrine reuptake inhibitorshave become a stimulating alternative. They are most often prescribed to people who have not used stimulants or cannot take them.

Drugs can be abused or addictivetherefore it is necessary to cooperate with the doctor. Also know that a protocol that fits a friend may be disappointing or cause unwanted side effects for you. You may need to try a few different prescriptions before you discover your own preferred treatment.

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Practical techniques to incorporate into everyday life

If tasks related to concentration, memory and concentration are interfering with your day, there are many strategies that can help. The following strategies are intended for people with ADHD, but they can also benefit others.

Some of these lifestyle improvements create routines that reduce the amount of executive functions needed to function. Others create systems of incentives and reminders, reducing the memory load.

Try it: Routine Scheduling

Using a daily planner or using a digital app consolidates to-do lists. As soon as you identify a new duty or schedule item, add it to your schedule.

Make it a habit to check your calendar at the same time each day. Fulfill your plans first when you sit down at work or right after lunch.

Try it: start with the easy stuff

Big tasks with lots of steps can seem daunting. Allow yourself to take just one step and see if your goal becomes more attainable.

If you're writing a ten-page article, set a timer for fifteen minutes and compose your outline until it chimes.

If you've been putting off cleaning your fridge for weeks, tell yourself you're going to throw out items that are clearly junk. As you do this, you may find that your momentum has made washing the can of vegetables less of a chore.

Give it a try: use the support app

Organization apps range from minimalist lists to video games with levels and experience points. Try a few and see which features help. Apps can remind, motivate and feed a routine.

Try it: list sorting

Stick to this planner, app, or just snippets of your daily to-do list. Once you've collected a dozen, sit back and watch them all together.

What patterns emerge? Do you always skip some tasks? Ask yourself why. Perhaps they need to be broken down into accessible parts. They can include uncomfortable or unpleasant aspects that you avoid.

Now you face concrete obstacles instead of a vague inability to complete actions. This makes brainstorming solutions easier.

living with ADHD

ADHD is complex and each case looks a little different. While living with executive dysfunction can be stressful and tiring, people with ADHD can lead successful and fulfilling lives.

Regardless of whether you have ADHD or not, understanding the condition can be helpful. With your new knowledge and understanding, you become better equipped to offer—or ask for—support.

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