Can you explain why you think Jake Peralta has ADHD?
I’m actually really glad you asked because oooh boy, let met tell you, Jake Peralta, in my humble opinion as a fellow sufferer, is currently the single most obvious but sadly non confirmed (yet… one can still hope) fictional character with (most likely) undiagnosed ADHD out there. His strengths as well as his flaws all point towards him having the disorder.
So let me start with the good things:
- He’s a quick thinker! He thinks in unconventional ways with his mind taking leaps and turns whenever it feels like it. Often allowing him to solve cases in creative ways. … It also makes for interesting conversations most of the time.
- Using his impulsivity in a good way! When he figures something out, he’s usually the first one to get up AND DO SOMETHING.
- Excitability! Have you seen how his eyes lights up when he feels like he’s doing what he thinks is right? He becomes like a little hyperactive child again. Usually, adults with the disorder, aren’t as much outwardly hyperactive anymore as children are. Instead, this tends to turn into feelings of restlessness and gets internalized. But of course, in a show like this, it makes sense to show him like this.
- Hyperfocus! Die Hard, anyone?! That guy has had the same hyperfixation for years!!! And I bet, he frequently uses his hyperfocus capability to get things done, too. That is, if he’s interested enough, of course.
- His energetic personality! Brings some energy and passion into the work place, don’t you think? And also it’s how many adults with ADHD are perceived if they feel well-integrated and at ease with their surroundings. Always the one coming up with new ideas? That’s us!
Now onto the not so good stuff when you’re the one struggling with it:
- Again, impulsivity. Saying the first thing that comes to your mind, talking… A Lot, acting without thinking and without regard for consequences. As seen on the show, it has not always been the best “decision” for him.
- Mood swings! Unfortunately, many are not aware of this fact but in many cases, ADHD actually comes with fast and frequent mood swings. The smallest things can trigger intense emotional responses. Jake definitely has that as he tends to jump from “Life is meaningless!” to “I’m the greatest!” without a problem. Just solved a case? I’M SO HAPPY!!! Oh no, they got away with it? Why bother anymore…… Yeah, that…
- You know the episodes where he and Captain Holt are undercover as part of the Witness Protection Program and Holt points out how Jake seems depressed lately? Yeah, people with ADHD can way too easily fall into this mindset (mood swings, anyone?). With the absence of regular work to keep his fast-pacing mind occupied, it’s not a surprise that he starts feeling this way.
- Not able to handle boredom! He has always something going. Games, ideas, looking for new cases. He never slows down and seems to keep himself occupied at all times. Classic ADHD!
- The way he handles words and numbers, anyone? How he never reads books? Oh, and then his troubles with finances? His locker and desk looking… like that? Classic signs of troubles with organisation and attention to me.
- Easily discouraged! It can’t be denied that he hasn’t had an easy childhood. Together with the troubles with his father, ADHD could be a way to explain why he now is the way he is.
- Problems with low self-esteem (*cough* and definitely Rejection Sensitive Dysphoria)! Either he feels like THE BEST COP OUT THERE or he falls into this thinking pattern where you have trouble believing that people actually care about you. Probably something he should talk about in therapy, as he puts it himself.
Together with his tendency to procrastinate when it comes to boring stuff, his inability to express and cope with his feelings sometimes, his forgetfulness and not so ideal time management (for example, being late to work all the time), I strongly believe that Jake Peralta has ADHD and should be written and confirmed as such (hey, it’s never too late!).
An episode focusing on him suspecting he has the condition and eventually seeing a specialist? I’d cry. Honestly.
The fact that so many real people with the disorder relate to him??? Okay, that’s not actually relevant here but definitely something the writers should take into consideration. BUT, don’t feel bad if you don’t! Not everyone’s ADHD is the same! :)
Psst, you won’t believe how many times I sit there thinking “that’s so me!” while watching the episodes. There’s even more “evidence” sprinkled throughout the show. All the small details not listed aboved. It’s marvelous and oh-so-relatable.
And just imagine the many excited faces watching the show when a main character on a immensely popular show like this would be confirmed as being one of them! Just thinking of the tiny, tiny, TINY possibility puts me into happy stimming mode!!! It would also help increase awareness in those who may not know anything about it and help reduce prejudices ‘cause ding dong, ADHD is not a fake disorder and adults can have it, too. Surprise!
(P.S. Please also check out this awesome post!)