Who Is This Person?

I’m gonna give you a list of characteristics and, as you read through them, try to think of the person I might be describing:

  1. Search for high stimulation
  2. Intolerance of boredom
  3. Many projects going simultaneously
  4. Impatient
  5. Impulsive
  6. Sense of never quite meeting goals
  7. Difficulty getting organized
  8. Say whatever comes to mind
  9. Easily distracted
  10. Often creative, intuitive, and highly intelligent
  11. Trouble following proper procedures
  12. Frustration can be a reminder of past failures
  13. Look for problems to worry about
  14. Mood swings
  15. Restlessness
  16. Lots of nervous energy
  17. Tendency towards addictive behavior
  18. Inaccurate self observation. Don’t accurately gauge impact on other people. See self as less effective and powerful than other people do
  19. Hate waiting
  20. Was class clown in school
  21. Received letters home from teachers in school for bad behavior
  22. Has a reputation for being rude
  23. Lots of piles around the house or office
  24. Need to be moving in order to think
  25. Need to be the boss, or will probably get fired
  26. Move to New York City, L.A., or Las Vegas at some point in their life
  27. Can appear self-centered or indifferent
  28. Can’t stay with emotions long enough to work them out
  29. Hyperfocus on negative circumstances
  30. Can easily feel rejected
  31. Inside find themselves saying, “I’m not stupid!”
  32. Can read a page to the bottom and then realize don’t know what they just read
  33. Fiercely independent: Need to do things on their own schedule
  34. Live life minute-by-minute

If you know me, you might think that I just did a great job describing myself.  But it’s actually a list of characteristics of people who have A.D.D. (from the book Driven To Distraction).  And yes, it also does almost perfectly describe me.  And maybe it describes you?

If so, you know it sucks having A.D.D.  People like to laugh about it and make jokes, but it’s not funny.  There are benefits – I can get more done in an hour or two than most people can in an entire day, and I suspect part of it is my A.D.D.  But in most ways it’s really difficult to live with.  And if you’re with me on that, I understand.

Tomorrow I’ll give you a few suggestions for what to do if you struggle with ADD.