We live life to be touched. To be felt up by emotion. Without the fingers of feeling we are left reeling. And with the reeling the world is too loud, too bright, too much. But fingers hurt, touch burns, when you open your mouth you might as well be shout because my mind is left keening. How am I meant to live, how can I breath, when my options are reeling or screaming. How can I think when every brush, every simple touch, sears me as it grounds me. How am I meant to speak when every word abrades my throat. When every look of affection might as well be a winter coat. stifling. Hot. Crushing me down to my most simple parts. I count things in threes, I whisper poems about knees, I type out novels on my thighs and still you want to look me in the eyes. Can’t you see it’s all to much.
—  Overstimulation 
adhd symptom list

so about 6 months ago, i figured out i have – and have had (since i was a young kid) – adhd. i found out because one of my mutuals happened to reblog a post of symptoms that mentioned that adhd is way underdiagnosed in women. i’ve reblogged posts from the @adhd-community that might help others to diagnose themselves, but since i am a pretty textbook case, i wanted to put together my own list to try and help people.

adhd is classified by three major symptoms: hyperactivity, impulsiveness, and inattention. here’s how that manifests in me:

inattention

  • spacing out
  • day-dreaming constantly
  • spacing out even when something really important is going on
  • spacing out in the middle of things i am very invested in, like conversations about things that are important to me with people i really love
  • constant distraction. drifting off. circling back. “oh shit what just happened in this situation, i completely spaced”
  • forgetting to do very important things even though i keep reminding myself over and over. i have to pay rent. i have to pay rent. …shit forgot to pay my rent.
  • forgetting whole conversations / events / etc. 
  • introduce myself to someone. i’m so focused on telling them who i am and shaking their hand that i don’t even hear them tell me their name.
  • being right in the middle of something. getting distracted by something else. forgetting i was ever in the middle of doing anything else. (this happens when i’m texting all the time. i’ll put my phone down and just. forget about it.)
  • feeling lazy, stupid, or just in generally like a messy, sloppy person because i can never get my shit together. it seems like other people have a really easy time doing things that i really, really struggle with like remembering hw and completing projects they start and keeping stuff organized.
  • people are talking to me but the words coming out of their mouth sound like gibberish even though i consciously know they’re saying things that should make perfect sense
  • even if i’m watching something im very invested in i can’t resist the urge to repeatedly check my phone. even happens when im reading or writing
  • i have between 7-20 tabs open in my web browser at any given time
  • instead of focusing on doing one task, i often cycle between many tasks, not so much multi-tasking as rapid-tasking, going in circles until i finally get something done
  • struggle to finish anything i start because its incredibly difficult to muster the energy to focus on any one thing for long enough
  • i am frequently distracted / irritated by stimulus other people find innocuous (strong smells, repetitive sounds, physical sensations like when i breathe on myself when im sleeping)
  • laser focus / tunnel vision: i become so focused on one thing that i do not hear or see anything else (a tv show, a video game, etc.) if people talk to me i do not see or hear them. 
  • VERY disorganized. i lose things constantly, forget due dates and times, etc. my room is ALWAYS a mess. planners don’t help because i lose them, can never remember to write in them or check them.
  • tendency to make careless mistakes because i don’t notice details or because i forget instructions - i misread emails, fail to complete tests correctly, fail to fill in forms correctly
  • i forget even shit i do every day. i forget to eat. or go to the bathroom. or take my vitamins or brush my teeth. i forget that shit all the time
  • late to everything because i got lost and distracted while im getting ready so everything takes 5 times as long as usual
  • inability to prioritize. inability to manage my time. spending hours on shit that doesn’t matter instead of stuff that matters a lot

hyperactivity

  • fidget constantly. jiggle my leg when im seated. constantly shift around even when im lounging around
  • even when im lounging i need to get up and pace at least once or twice every few hours or i feel like im losing my mind
  • if i get really excited while im watching a tv show i need to get up and pace and dance and be really active to offload all the adrenaline.
  • constantly restless 
  • my brain just goes and goes and goes and often feels like its moving too fast and i can’t really keep up. a lot of the time this keeps me awake at night because i literally can’t stop thinking. 
  • accidentally talking way too loud
  • shouting when i don’t need to shout, laughing too loud, getting really amped about really mundane shit. 
  • motor mouth
  • always have energy even when im exhausted - even when im really tired it feels like there’s a metronome inside me that never stops, like this perpetual motion device i can’t shut off
  • late to everything because sometimes time doesn’t even feel real? like what is a minute… sometimes i can do like 80 shittrillion things in 5 minutes sometimes i blink and its been 2 hours. how.
  • picking at acne, biting my nails, playing with my hair, playing with my jewelry, playing with my phone.
  • this feeling like i need to be doing something all the time if i am not actively doing something i am wasting time i cannot afford to waste any time. i need to be doing something at all times (which is why sleeping is so hard)
  • a feeling like my skin is too tight, like i’m about to spontaneously combust. “my brain is a house fire.”
  • boredom isn’t a passive feeling - it’s active for me, and it makes me feel weirdly desperate and angry.
  • feeling “jazzed” (as i usually put it): i have so much energy it feels like i’m going to explode. i feel simultaneously desperate and paralyzed. i need to do something, many things, and i need to do all of them RIGHT NOW but i can’t do any of them because i don’t know where to start and i can’t focus on any one of them because i’m busy thinking about all the others
  • the thought of spending hours doing one activity makes me uneasy especially if i will not have control over how to schedule the time
  • experience HUGE BURSTS OF LOVE / INSPIRATION when i find something new that often tapers off into disinterest as soon as it is not new. i get bored of things i like very, very quickly
  • struggle to finish anything because as soon as the inspiration has worn off i want to do 12 other things instead.

impulsiveness

  • “oh my god why did i say that / why did i do that.”
  • getting so focused on the fact that i’m waiting to talk that you don’t even notice what the other person is saying
  • interrupting or talking over people people because i need to get my thought/reaction out.
  • doing things that i know i’m going to regret because i just need to for some reason
  • angry outbursts that are a BURST then a sizzle - you lash out and then you’re done. you don’t even feel that angry anymore
  • accidentally intruding on people because i just opened the door without thinking
  • honestly just constantly doing thing without thinking. people will tell me i’m brave or daring for doing some of the shit i do and i’m just like no i just never think about fucking anything before i do it, ever
  • like honestly if it looks like i don’t give a fuck it’s because i just failed to give a fuck when i probably should have.
  • part of my motor mouth is that when i’m in an active conversation with very little waiting in it is that sometimes i don’t even know what i’m gonna say before i say it. 
  • starting conversations at inappropriate times. like. say. in movie theaters
  • i hate to be interrupted when im talking about things even if its with another person’s thought or by a waitress or what have you. i hate it. i will always just try to keep going afterwards and if people don’t cooperate i get really quietly upset
  • waiting in lines is fucking torture. waiting to do anything is just the fucking worst
  • walking into things or knocking shit over or even getting really hurt because i don’t think before i act
  • the occasional REALLY RECKLESS DECISION WHILE DRIVING.
  • the occasional nasty passive aggressive email at work because i just cant resist temptation.
  • getting frustrated and self-loathing and deleting shit or throwing shit out because i just need to take action.
  • breaking up awkward silences because someone has to say something. not even awkward silences just…sustained one. feeling like i need to talk all the time and keep conversations going

these aren’t the only possible symptoms of adhd, but it’s a lot of them. i know this post is long but i hope it helps some of you - maybe somebody like me, who doesn’t realize they’re adhd. maybe somebody who just needs to hear that somebody else is experiencing life the way they do. take care of yourselves, babes

qz.com
Decades of failing to recognize ADHD in girls has created a “lost generation” of women
Not the gender equality we had hoped for.
By Jenny Anderson

“In Understanding Girls with AD/HD, Littman and her co-authors explain that ADHD was first diagnosed in young, white boys, with a key indicator being hyperactivity. As a result, guidelines were written around how it manifests in boys, and research is almost exclusively focused on boys (1% is specific to girls, Littman says).

It also materializes much later in girls, which was problematic when the American Psychiatric Association’s diagnosis criteria called for symptoms to be visible by age 7. It recently changed the age (pdf) to 12, allowing more girls to be captured.

Dr. Patricia Quinn, one of Littman’s co-authors on the book and a pediatrician in Washington, DC, who founded the National Center For Girls and Women With ADHD, told HuffPo Parents that girls’ symptoms include:a tendency toward daydreamingtrouble following instructionsmaking careless mistakes on homework and tests.ADHD is a chronic neurobiological disorder which affects the brain structurally and chemically, as well as the ways in which various parts of the brain communicate with one another. It is highly heritable, says Frank.

Pressure to perform means many girls internalize their symptoms—disorganization or carelessness—as personal flaws rather than medical issues to be treated through medicine and therapy.

Girls with ADHD are significantly more likely to experience major depression, anxiety, and eating disorders than girls without. “They tend to have few friendships,” Littman says. “As a result of their low self-esteem, they often choose unhealthy relationships in which they may accept punitive criticism and or abuse.”

Teachers and parents often miss the warning signs because feeling disorganized or unfocused often leads to depression and anxiety. Failing to properly diagnose the condition, girls miss out on critical academic services and accommodations, as well as therapy and medication. Many girls end up misdiagnosed and treated with anti-anxiety or depression drugs, some of which exacerbate the effects of ADHD.”