This blog was written by Mandi DeLong, Speaks 2 Inspire:
ADHD, or attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, affects nearly 10% of children and 3% of adults. Despite its commonplaceness, ADHD is often reduced to hyperactivity, difficulty focusing, or something that only children in school have. But in reality, this disorder goes beyond inattention and hyperactivity and affects more than just young kids. ADHD is a neurodevelopmental disorder that affects the way your brain grows and develops.
Here are three ways that ADHD affects people beyond hyperactivity or inattention:
Rejection-sensitive dysphoria (RSD)
When you first hear this phrase, it may sound a bit ridiculous. After all, no one likes to deal with rejection. However, in this case, it’s a severe emotional response due to your perception of rejection or failure. The key word is perception because you don’t necessarily need to fail or be rejected to trigger RSD. According to ADDitude, nearly 100% of people with ADHD are affected by RSD.
Executive dysfunction occurs when executive functions don’t work correctly, making it difficult to regulate your behavior in an appropriate way to help you achieve your goals. You can categorize executive functions in different ways, but typically cognitive skills like memory, self-motivation, planning, and focus fall into this group. While it’s incredibly common for people with ADHD to experience executive dysfunction, people without ADHD can also experience it.
In addition to having its own set of symptoms and issues, ADHD tends to bring a friend along for the ride. According to ADDitude, 50% of people with ADHD have another diagnosis alongside ADHD. Some of the common comorbidities include depression, anxiety, and sensory processing issues. Unfortunately, these co-occurring disorders can sometimes mask each other’s symptoms, making it more difficult for someone to receive an accurate diagnosis.
Some practical knowledge
Now you know more about ADHD symptoms, but how can you apply that to your everyday life? Well, you could start by helping a friend who has been diagnosed.
Despite how common it is, many people don’t understand what it’s like to live with ADHD (beyond the stereotypes). If you or someone you know has ADHD, researching those experiences or symptoms—or better yet, talking to your friend or loved one about it—is the best thing you can do to help. Above all, be patient and compassionate. I was diagnosed with ADHD when I was a kid, and it took me until I was a teenager to understand what all that entailed.
More Mental Health Resources
- Four Signs That You Need Therapy
- Tips to manage stress when you are feeling off
- Selfcare tips: 7 Ways to take care of your mental health
At Speaks 2 Inspire, we’re committed to raising mental health awareness among young people in schools.
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