things I wish ppl had told me about adhd 

- it doesn't always look like a boy being hyper and screaming jumping flipping tables.

it can also look like a shy kid being late, again, because there was a funny green bug, and a cat ran away, and check out this red flower, doesn't it kinda look like a fireflower from super mario, maybe mom could teach me to plant flowers?, and I wonder if that ice cream cart has jackfruit, and then you're almost ran over by a car.

(or, in the case of child me, you ran _into_ the car. while it's speeding.)

this is called an innatentive presentation, and it's though to be more common in girls, leading to underdiagnosis. it's still considered to be the same condition because both kids are suffering from understimulation and desperately trying to find something, anything to busy themselves with. the "h" part can look like hyperactivity of the mind, rather than bouncing around the room.

- the name is a misnomer, and a pretty misleading one at that.

there's no deficit of attention. in fact adhd ppl are notorious for paying inordinate amounts of attention to the most random things (‘hyperfocus’). they will manage to be attentive to stuff that everybody else filters out.

the difficulty is in controlling what the attention latches onto, and how much of it to dispense. alternative names proposed include ‘executive function disorder’, ‘attention regulation deficit disorder’, and in a positive framing, ‘variable attention stimulus trait’.

- adhd and autism overlap somewhat in symptoms

for example, adhd ‘hyperfocus’ can look a lot like spectrum ‘special interest’ (I suspect special interests are more long-lived). both are likely fidgety and trying to stim. both spectrum ppl and adhd will have trouble with conversational behaviour norms, turn-taking, word-dumping etc. (spectrum due to problems with unspoken cues and nonliteral language, adhd because (interrupts you)—ever notice that the word "because" is made of "be" and "cause" (in German the prefix be- like this is very productive and it's an unaccented prefix (which is important because of this thing called separable verbs, where if the prefix is accented... (goes on opening a few more parentheses; won't rest until closing all of them properly))).

difficulty with social norms will lead to bad experiences which may cause social anxiety, correlated to both traits.

this overlap in symptoms means if you have one trait, you'll score higher than average in tests for the other, without meaning you have both. otoh...

- autism, adhd, dyslexia, gender issues are all correlated

(I hate the word ‘comorbidity’).

the new large-scale study on the connection between trans ppl and autism is notorious. but previous (smaller) studies suggest about just a strong a connection between gender stuff and adhd, and the intersection between the spectrum and adhd seems even bigger, and some 20~40% of adhd ppl have dyslexia (which in my opinion is less a ‘mental disorder’ than a hardware issue in implementing this weird new brain hack that connects an out-of-manual wire between the 3d edge detection module and the language module, a mod which we call ‘reading’).

trying to take a wider view, adhd and autism diagnoses are clusters of symptoms, and AFAICT it's not very clear yet the extent to which items in each box occur together vs. inter-boxically. irl ppl seem to be able to show some symptoms from each box. maybe you took ‘can't process faces and social cues’ from the spectrum box, but not ‘needs routine and known patterns’, preferring ‘needs stimulus from constant novelty’ from the adhd box.

I suspect these labels and models will probably be redrawn as our knowledge of weird brain stuff improves.

- adhd is significantly hereditary (35~75%)

so if you have a diagnosis, you might want to take a closer look at your parents/children, and vice-versa.

things I wish ppl had told me about adhd 

@elilla thanks, these posts are really interesting and now I know I definitely 'have' this

things I wish ppl had told me about adhd 

@elilla yes!

if people read this, and want to dive deeper: has heaps of articles not only on the lesser known symptoms/presentations, but also differences and interactions with other things!

things I wish ppl had told me about adhd 

@elilla I have innattentive subtype and it was honestly both a blessing and a curse with school and life.

It's great for avoiding detection and thus punishment for being distractable and a distraction, because I would stare at the board in class and look like I was paying attention, but I might as well have been in another building.

It's awful because I was distracted and undiagnosed til mid-teens, and then almost by accident.

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