When your life is feeling a bit “off,” it’s not always easy to figure out what, exactly, is going wrong. But there are plenty of explanations worth looking into. Are you’re always running late, missing deadlines at work, or flaking out on friends? If so, it could be that you have high-functioning ADHD.
While attention deficit hyperactivity disorder can have a huge impact on a person’s life, high-functioning ADHD can be just annoying enough to affect you — but without all the full blown symptoms. “High-functioning ADHD means someone has ADHD but is still functioning at a high level,” author and psychologist Dr. Helen Odessky tells Bustle. “They don’t appear to be struggling to the outside observer … [but] the reality may be quite different.” To get through an average day, you might compensate by studying extra hard, or putting in twice as much effort at work. “You may also struggle with hyperactivity, where you feel you can’t stop moving and always need to be doing something,” Odessky says.
If you have a certain imagine in your head of what “ADHD” looks like, it might not have crossed your mind that this could be what’s going on. So take a moment and read about the symptoms below. If any sound familiar, it’ll be a good idea to talk to a doctor about some treatment options, all in the name of finding some relief.
While it seems everyone else is able to meet deadlines and show up to things on time, you really struggle with staying on schedule. “Try as you might … you miss deadlines or come so close to missing deadlines that you have to do things at the last minute,” Odessky says. As a result, your life has turned into a 24/7 scramble to get things done.
If you have something due for work or school, do you start the project now or wait ’til the night before? If you wait, it could mean you have ADHD. “If it’s not due right now it’s not due,” Odessky says. “You are really good in a time crunch, but you have a hard time planning ahead or working ahead in a consistent way.” (Sound familiar?)
While you’d love to sit down, relax, and read for a few hours, you just can’t seem to make it happen. Odessky tells me it might be because you have trouble paying attention, or you find yourself rereading pages over and over again after getting distracted. It can feel incredibly frustrating.
People with ADHD often have trouble sitting still, so take note if you fidget in your seat at work, or tap your foot while watching a movie. “It’s a way to burn off excess physical energy,” Odessky says. And it can be very annoying for you, as well as everyone around you.