ADHD Awareness Month 2023

What is ADHD?

Most of us have heard of ADHD – on social media, in articles, even in daily conversation. But what does it really mean? And why is it important to know about it? 

ADHD stands for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. People with ADHD find it difficult to filter their attention. Imagine their brain like a box of overflowing thoughts – too many to focus on at once, all spilling out. They can get distracted easily, or fixate on a particular activity, while important tasks remain forgotten. 

If you think having ADHD is rare, think again! Approximately 6.8 percent of adults worldwide have ADHD, with 2.6 million people in the UK alone. Anyone you know could have ADHD, so understanding it is vital. 

Why Should You Care?

Having a dysregulated attention span can make seemingly ordinary tasks – waking up on time, focusing on conversations, maintaining friendships – quite difficult. People with ADHD can struggle to finish projects, because these require consistent attention. These are all important facets of university life. As students, we juggle assignments, household chores and so much more. Imagine if you had to do all of that, with ADHD.  

This is why it is important to educate ourselves, and most of all, be considerate of people who have ADHD.  

How Can You Help?

If you are close to someone with ADHD, here are ways to support them: 

  • Help them stay organized. You can designate times to tidy your rooms, or update to-do lists together. Turn mundane but important tasks into exciting events (perhaps with food involved), to help them keep up to date. 
  • People with ADHD often work better with body doubling. They focus and work consistently when they see another person working alongside them. You can sit together (or be on video call), working separately in each other’s presence. They will be less likely to get distracted and leave that essay half-finished.  
  • You can be understanding of off-topic interruptions during conversations. These are not meant to be rude or inconsiderate – they are just part and parcel of how the ADHD brain works. 
  • Fun fact! Increasing the speed of videos can often help people with ADHD concentrate better, because there is less room to be distracted by other thoughts.

What Can You Do?

If you think that you or someone close to you may have ADHD, speak to a professional. You can visit your GP, monitor symptoms, and decide whether you need specialist assessment. Medication and/or therapy can provide constructive ways to manage life with ADHD. You can register with the Disability Advisory Service at university to help ease your academic and social life. If managing symptoms is difficult, Counselling and Wellbeing provide support.

Now that you know what ADHD is, here is a list of things people with ADHD wish you knew. You can read about how people with ADHD are highly creative, curious and intelligent. You can also watch films about characters who experience ADHD symptoms. Learn from lived experiences, and go forth with a little more information, and a lot more kindness. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *