Attention deficit and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder are commonly co-occurring with substance use disorders. Many people seeking treatment aren’t aware that they have been struggling with symptoms of ADD or ADHD for most of their lives. Learning to live with ADD and ADHD is made easy through the support of treatment, therapy, recovery assistance, and monitoring services.
You’re never organized and can’t organize the time to get organized. It is often said that if you can’t make the time to make time, you need to make some time. The same can be said for getting organized. Many people put off organizing their lives because they can thrive in the chaos of being unorganized. This is a sign of ADD or ADHD. Trying to organize a big mess, like a room, a closet, finances, a kitchen, etc. can be overwhelming to the ADD mind. Everything in someone’s life who has ADD or ADHD is a little unorganized in some way. They are able to thrive in the mess, but actually perform better with organization and routine, since forgetfulness is also a characteristic. If you have a hard time getting organized or staying organized and it affects you on an emotional level, you might have a form of ADD.
You’re distracted by everything, all the time, and that’s not an exaggeration. Your heart starts racing when you hear about a long meeting at work, a long talk with a family member, or sitting through a long movie. People with ADD and ADHD don’t necessarily have an attention deficit, as the namesake of the disorder would indicate. What they have is an entirely different system for thinking, which causes high amounts of distractibility. Distraction in ADD and ADHD is a cycle. In a ways, the ADD brain needs to get distracted in order to get on track, yet, at the same time, it can be hard to stay on track because of being too distracted.
You’re not the best listener and you feel badly about it. It isn’t uncommon for someone with ADD or ADHD to completely zone out in the middle of a conversation when someone else is talking. You might notice you constantly miss giant chunks of songs, lectures, or conversations you are having with friends. You’re not bored and you certainly care about what you’re paying attention to. It probably feels like you suddenly realize all the volume has gone down around you, as if your speaker system turned off the external input so you could hear your own thoughts. You might get distracted for a second and realize you aren’t sure the last time you really heard what someone was saying. It can cause a problem at work, at school, and in relationships.
Other signs of ADD and ADHD can include:
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