ADHD Awareness Month – by Maria Stoica

a cartoon character thinking of their tasks

We hear about ADHD all the time, on the TV, from friends or in textbooks and as a society, we recognise that it’s a condition which affects some people and has an impact on their behaviour. “How could I raise awareness when I am not diagnosed with ADHD? And why would people even want to hear from me?” were just some of the doubts which I had upon researching this topic. The more I learned about ADHD, the more intriguing it became to me, and I’d like to share that, just as I was educated about it – I would like to educate others too.

What is ADHD?

  ADHD stands for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and most of the people who are affected by this are children. You can get diagnosed as a child between the ages of 3 to 7, but some people also get diagnosed in their teenage years or adulthood. There are two umbrella terms which divide the symptoms of ADHD, one of which is related to difficulties in concentrating and focusing, and the second one is related to hyperactivity and impulsiveness. Therefore, some of the symptoms of ADHD include having a short attention span, being easily distracted, constantly changing tasks, fidgeting, not being able to sit still. These symptoms are performed unconsciously, therefore, you should always be nice and keep your calm with individuals who are struggling.

Dealing with ADHD   In order to understand what ADHD can feel like, I asked a close friend to explain to me what it feels like and how to manage this-since he is a university student himself:

“If I’m doing a task or chore and then someone comes along and tells me to do that very thing I am doing, or that I could be doing it better, then it just gets me out of the zone and it’s just demotivating in a way. I do some tasks really slowly and other tasks quickly. My ADHD makes it hard to concentrate on one thing and it makes me want to procrastinate. I would start a project and I get so overwhelmed with the thought of starting that I’ll move on to another task”.

Those are just some of the ways in which ADHD affects my friend, according to him.

Some tips to cope with ADHD in University

  I then went further to ask him how he manages his ADHD at university, and he said the following:

“I can identify when I do certain ADHD behaviour, it’s like I come back to my senses, and I call myself out on my behaviour. Another thing which I found to be helpful is to create a task list in my diary and even though I don’t usually keep up with it, I get motivated and inspired by it”.

The behaviour my friend described is very common amongst people with ADHD and his tips are great to follow. Other ways in which you can manage ADHD include limiting distractions whilst doing activities, getting some exercise in but also taking short breaks and intervals away from the activity could improve your focus. If you relate to any of the symptoms mentioned above, please do consult your GP.

There is no shame in having ADHD! Neurodiversity should be celebrated for the diversity of different thinking styles it brings, and UK culture unknowingly celebrates the talents and thinking styles of ADHD people in many ways . Despite its misconceptions, ADHD is not an obstacle for leading a successful life, and successful people with ADHD can be seen throughout our society such as Steven Spielberg, Justin Timberlake, Albert Einstein, Brittany Spears and more.

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