ADHD Myths & Facts

“I Have ADD and You Don’t”

More than lost keys. What the non-ADD crowd needs to know about ADHD symptoms in adults.

Lost keys - what the non-ADD crowd needs to know about my ADHD symptoms.

I used to have trouble explaining attention deficit disorder (ADHD or ADD) to people because of the “but everybody has that problem” response. Everybody leaves a dozen donuts on their car roof and drives away? Well, maybe not that, but we can all be forgetful or distracted. What I tell people now is that those with healthy attention spans can have these issues. What sets adults with ADHD apart is the frequency with which they show these behaviors.

Who hasn’t locked their keys in their car? If I told you that I do it about once a year, you might think that was excessive, but if I told you that the last time I did it was last week at four in the morning, and that I didn’t want to wake anybody up, so I climbed the unfinished stairs to the unfinished deck on the second floor and tried to break into my own home before calling somebody inside to open the back door for me, you might get an idea of how ADHD is different.

You’d think that was enough car key drama for one year, but I misplaced them again a week later. I spent hours looking at home, tearing through my car twice after pulling out the spare, begging my ex to search our daughter’s bag, then searching the bedroom again. I was about to dig through the trash when I noticed them on the floor by my bedroom door. They’d been there all day. Sitting there. Mocking me.

Everybody has these problems, but adults with ADHD seem to have them with more flair.

[Symptom Test: Could You Have Adult ADHD/ADD?]