Do I have ADHD? Common Signs and Symptoms of ADHD
Do you often forget appointment times or lose track of time because simple projects take 5 times as long as you originally planned? If you are working on a task and have interruptions, is it difficult for you to re-engage in that task? You might even explode on the people that generate these interruptions.
If you are easily pulled into emotional states, feeling overwhelmed, frustrated and stuck by what you see other people completing with ease, you could have executive functioning impairments, often associated with ADHD.
I get it. Having an official ADHD diagnosis can be frightening. Adults often ignore symptoms or say “I’ve made it this far in life, I can’t possibly have ADHD” or “I’m functioning just fine.” ADHD shows up differently in adults, as it is not the typical bouncing child that cannot stop glancing at shiny objects. Understanding the Challenges of ADHD can help you learn more about yourself and how you function.
Common Symptoms of ADHD
The main symptoms of ADHD as listed in the DSM-V (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders are easy to find and well known. The deficits in executive functioning however, are not often understood and discussed. I have found that sharing this list below with clients I suspect have undiagnosed ADHD is eye-opening.
In adults these are typical executive functioning challenges:
Time blindness (unrealistic ability to understand time, how long something will take)
Inhibition or impulsivity (speeding tickets, DUI’s)
Impulsive decision making
Listening to directions
Following a sequence of steps
Working Memory (having one thing in your mind, getting distracted and being able to return to the thing in your mind)
Transitions, context shifting
Follow through and task completion
Difficult time asking for help/advocacy
Resistance to an non preferred task
Easy to irritation and/or explosive communication (mood bounces from a 1 to a 10 quickly)
How ADHD Affects You
Did you also know that having ADHD is the number 1 predictor of an early death? This is due to the high comorbidity rates; meaning, if you have ADHD, you most likely also suffer from mood, anxiety, sleep, learning and substance use disorders.
ADHD effects adults across multiple areas in their lives:
I mention all of these seemingly bleak conditions, not to evoke fear, but to help you understand that with the right support, you will notice a difference in your life.
What ADHD Treatment Looks Like
If you attend therapy with someone trained in treating ADHD, your treatment will focus on all the feelings that this diagnosis surrounds you with on a daily basis. We explore understanding the diagnosis, grieving the support you possibly never received, ownership of your symptoms, strengths of the neurodivergent brain, and the effects of medication. You can move towards a place of acceptance and forgiveness.
With ADHD also comes the “spiral of shame” and low self-esteem. Therapy can help address this common occurrence and guide you through solutions to changing these thought patterns. Each individual living with ADHD is unique and treatment will address specific challenges for that person.
And like every change in life, you will need to reevaluate and reset. Understanding that reevaluating a new system for organizing or resetting a previously working system for time management is part of the change process is most beneficial. Change is not linear for ADHD. Change needs acceptance, resetting from time to time, an outside support system and a therapist that stands beside you in your journey.
Imagine never knowing or accepting an ADHD diagnosis. The shame spiral would surround your head like a cartoon thought cloud. Imagine on the other spectrum, understanding and accepting an ADHD diagnosis. This end of the spectrum creates room for self-compassion and an understanding that your brain is unique and beautiful.
Therapy for ADHD
Individual therapy and a support group (Hey we are offering one soon), facilitated by trained professionals can dramatically improve your quality of life. Moving you from a place of self-hatred to a place of compassion.
Are your symptoms causing challenges in your relationships and career? Do you feel underemployed and frustrated with yourself? If your internal dialogue is constantly telling you self-defeating thoughts, then we can help.
Get Started Now with our ADHD Support Group or with one of our ADHD trained therapists!
How We Can Help
We are starting an adhd support group this fall!
A support group for adults with ADHD to find balance, support, and learn useful skills.
If you are looking for general support, or if you would like to talk to someone more about how we can help you, follow these simple steps:
Contact us today for a free 20-minute phone consultation
Or, you can book directly online with the therapist of your choice
Begin your journey towards a calmer, more relaxed life
Other Therapy Services Available at Catalyss Counseling:
Here at Catalyss Counseling, we want to meet all of your counseling needs in the Denver area. Our supportive therapists provide depression counseling, therapy for caregiver stress, grief and loss therapy, stress management counseling and more. We also have specialists in trauma and PTSD, women's issues, pregnancy and postpartum depression or anxiety, pregnancy loss and miscarriage, and birth trauma. For therapists, we can also provide clinical supervision! We look forward to connecting with you to help support your journey today.
Kristen Dammer believes in addressing the whole health needs of you as a person, and her dedication, creativity, and flexibility as a therapist are her greatest strengths. Her holistic approach to anxiety, grief and trauma helps you feel in control and creates a welcoming environment for you to share your vulnerabilities, fears, and experiences. She is trained in EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) and uses it to treat anxiety and trauma. Follow Catalyss Counseling on LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram.