What do the people in this picture have in common? (Yes, besides a body!)
Look hard. See it?
No, you can’t see it.
ADHD doesn’t show on someone’s face or body.
You owe it to yourself and those around you to learn more about this condition that affects about 5% of the population, regardless of age, gender, IQ, income, or race. ADHD affects not only those individuals but ripples out to impact those that live and work with them.
The Mayo Clinic defines ADHD as “a combination of persistent problems, such as difficulty paying attention, hyperactivity, and impulsive behavior. Adult ADHD can lead to unstable relationships, poor work or school performance, low self-esteem, and other problems.”
As a coach and organizer, I see the difficulties it creates when someone is distracted, disorganized, and impulsive. I hear from employers who are frustrated by staff that seem to avoid staying on task, distract others with chatter and misplace keys, papers, and schedules.
Personal relationships can suffer when clutter builds, and compulsive buying or job instability wreck financial plans.
It sounds dire, but it doesn’t have to be. By working together, we can reduce the negatives and accentuate the positives when we understand the reasons and create solutions.
I think of it as Attention Diffused Differently. Some I work with call it SOS: Shiny Object Syndrome, alluding to the distractibility that often happens for those affected.
But ADHD can be a big asset.
People with a lot of energy can inspire those around them and accomplish a lot.
Tangential thinking patterns create interesting conversations and hilarious comedy. Those without the hyperactivity component can get lost in daydreaming and create art and wonderfully big abstract ideas for business models and organizations that benefit society.
Awareness leads to learning about support in the form of coaching, accommodations, and yes, sometimes even medication that increases the ability to focus better on tasks.
Interested in learning more? Here are a few resources to get started:
ADDitude Magazine, in print and online, offers education and tips.
CHADD is dedicated to improving the lives of children and adults.
Attention Deficit Disorder Association provides lots of information.
Learn about workplace accommodations here.
Attend one of my community classes on Understanding Chronic Disorganization.