Living With ADHD – What It Is Like

Jeannette | Posted on July 29, 2022 
adhd life

Putting together the feelings of a person living with ADHD into words is tricky. It gets even trickier writing about life with ADHD for a particular person since it is different for everyone. Two people with ADHD may have an entirely different perspective on a shared experience. However, the one thing that most ADHD life has in common is controlled chaos on most days, if not every day. It is difficult to analyze the impact of ADHD on every affected individual’s life. Each person with ADHD has different experiences, hardships, ticks, and symptoms.

What Does ADHD Life Feel Like?

Living with ADHD feels like a rollercoaster of interchanging successes and failures. ADHD life makes you question everything around you regularly. Some moments feel great, while other times, you and everything around you feels stupid. People with ADHD report symptoms of extreme difficulty in staying focused. You may find yourself procrastinating and getting easily distracted by everything around you. Similarly, they tend to put off work till the last minute and work best under the stress of deadlines and ultimatums.

People with ADHD are not good at taking criticism, even if it is constructive. They commonly dwell upon the world’s view of them or their actions and have a hard time dealing with it. ADHD in children presents as:

  • Acting impulsively or recklessly
  • A short attention span
  • Being forgetful or losing things often
  • Being unable to carry out a boring task in one go
  • Being unable to wait for your turn
  • Constantly fidgeting or having difficulty sitting still
  • Difficulty playing by the rules or carrying out instructions
  • Difficulty organizing tasks
  • Interrupting conversations
  • Lots of physical movement or talking
  • Making careless mistakes
  • The need to constantly switch tasks

Many people claim that adults cannot develop ADHD, and it is true. You have either had ADHD since your childhood, or you do not have it at all. In some cases, the person does not present prominent symptoms of ADHD in their childhood. However, their symptoms become more obvious as they grow up, making the situation more confusing. This is quite normal – your ADHD symptoms as a child may often go unnoticed.

ADHD in adults presents as:

  • Always seeking new experiences and thrill
  • Being forgetful and losing things
  • Being impatient, moody, and irritable
  • Lack of attention to detail
  • Poor listening skills
  • Struggling to complete tasks
  • Quick to lose interest in whatever you do
  • Zoning out or daydreaming

While it has been established that ADHD feels different for every individual, one thing is for certain – an ADHD life entails a lot of chaos. If not managed properly, ADHD can negatively impact the individual’s life and family. From education to basic lifestyle to relationships, ADHD affects everything.

Adhd Specialist

How Can ADHD Affect Your Relationships?

As mentioned above, ADHD life makes it difficult for individuals to maintain relationships for multiple reasons. Since people with ADHD are forgetful, they tend to miss various commitments or even simple things, such as returning a call or replying to a text. It makes it difficult to develop healthy communication as individuals with ADHD are reckless and give little thought to what they are going to say. Spending an ADHD life with a partner may be tricky and often frustrating.

Eventually, consistently missing appointments, and important dates, failing to observe minute details about your partner and saying offensive things add to stress and tension within the relationship. However, it does not always have to be like this. Life with ADHD gets easier once you get a diagnosis and start treatment.

How Can ADHD Affect Your Lifestyle?

Increased anxiety in individuals with ADHD lowers their normal functionality. Around half of the individuals diagnosed with ADHD also tend to have an anxiety disorder. This causes you to always feel on edge and resort to unhealthy coping mechanisms. People start biting their nails or compulsive eating. ADHD life often involves being unable to set limits on your behavior. Low dopamine levels in your body will likely cause an individual to eat compulsively to feel good again temporarily.

Most hobbies for ADHD adults include thrill-seeking. This often leads to individuals consuming reckless amounts of alcohol and recreational drugs. Other than gaining weight due to stress eating, substance abuse, and chronic anxiety and stress consolidate to give rise to other issues. These may include breathing problems, digestion issues, heart issues, uncontrolled blood sugar, and muscle tension and pain.

How ADHD May Be Affecting Your Education and Employment

It is fair for all workplaces to ask you to be punctual, organized, focused, and attentive. Since ADHD life makes it hard to do all the aforementioned, you might find yourself in hot waters if you cannot deliver your work on time. Adults with unmanaged and uncontrolled ADHD are more likely to be fired or, sometimes, not hired in the first place. Well, managing an individual’s ADHD decreases their need to struggle to keep a job.

For children with ADHD, studying can seem like an extremely daunting task. Since studies require focus and attention, and ADHD individuals fail to do just that, your education can be hindered. Many people with ADHD find trouble meeting deadlines, and this trait in children causes them to lose their grades.

How ADHD Could Be the Reason for Your Financial Issues

Just like compulsive binge eating, impulsive spending temporarily makes individuals with ADHD feel good. This unplanned and unnecessary spending will likely drain your bank account and give you a bad credit score. If the situation gets out of control, you may even be unable to pay your bills or rent. This further adds to the stress and potential drug abuse, worsening an individual’s financial issues.

Hobbies for ADHD adults

While it is imperative for you to visit your doctor for treatment/management of ADHD, we have a few solutions that may help you out at home.

  • Belly dancing
  • Bouldering
  • Brewing beer
  • Building 3d models
  • Fixing a puzzle
  • Fixing cars
  • Fly fishing
  • Playing drums
  • Rock climbing
  • Rowing
  • Shooting pool

These multiple hobby ideas for ADHD adults enable them to stay close to nature and things likely to make them feel at peace and happy. Spending a good time doing any of these hobbies will allow an individual with ADHD to focus better on their work when they plan on doing it. Finding a quiet workspace, avoiding multitasking, and setting timers for yourself with break rewards in the middle are all great ways to get your head back in the game.

See Also: The Relationship Between ADHD And Anxiety


Consult a physician if you or a loved one are living with ADHD and a comorbid mental condition, such as anxiety or depression. It is essential that children and adults with ADHD receive a comprehensive range of treatments, as living with ADHD can be difficult. Compassionate, high-quality medical care provided by an expert medical team makes life easier.

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