Yes, Adults Can Have ADHD as Well

I changed my mind about getting myself checked out.

Compulsive fidgeting is one of the ways that ADHD can manifest. Hence, I love fidget spinners.
Yep, That’s my brain at night. Image by Miki from Pixabay 

Unfortunately, there are some very persistent myths about ADHD out there. Also among educators. The 2 most prevailing ones are the following.

  • ADHD is an excuse for misbehaving/laziness
  • ADHD disappears when you are an adult

I have been working for more than 16 years with neurodiverse children. It is my specialty. And I can tell you that #1 is not true. On the contrary. People with ADHD usually work twice as hard as their peers. Keeping up a mask all the time is hard. As for #2, I can say that it isn’t true, either. ADHD can manifest differently when we are adults. I know several adults with ADHD. All of them, now have a lifetime of experience in developing coping mechanisms. Or masking difficulties. I know on a very personal level.

Therapy Isn’t Enough Anymore

I have been through a lot in the last 2 years. In short, my life has turned upside down a lot. I have been through car accidents, therapy, and broken relationships. And I have dealt with burnout and a change of countries.

Through all this, I am grateful that I had therapists to help me through the hardest bits. But it isn’t enough. One of the things that I noticed is some behavioral patterns, that keep repeating. Like I am falling into the same traps. Making the same dumb mistakes.

  • My mind wanders, when I converse with people. Even loved ones.
  • I keep forgetting and misplacing stuff. Kudos to the lovely cashier, who found my wallet yesterday.
  • Keeping up a regimen of self-discipline always ends up in fatigue. Followed by crazy gaming/binge-eating periods.
  • Often, I fail even at basic things. Like keeping the house clean, and staying organized
  • Worst of all, I lose control very quickly. I get angry and frustrated. And sometimes that also counts for sexual arousal.

It is time to get to the root of it. But acceptance is hard.

What Difference Does an ADHD Diagnosis Make?

I can only speak for myself here. But here is the thing. I have developed a lot of tools and coping mechanisms. Also thanks to therapy. But they don’t work well enough for me. A diagnosis gives me the chance to unlock some more powerful tools. I always used to think that we should be open about the accommodations we need. Even if these accommodations include medication.

I don’t know, where this road is going to take me. But I am willing to travel it.

I have had the suspicion that I have ADHD for a long time, already. I explore myself a lot during therapy. And I notice that many of these patterns have existed since childhood. And I cannot explain all of them by past traumas alone.

I am sure it contributes to my creativity. And to my desire to constantly gain new knowledge and skills. Sometimes, the excess energy is what I need.

But there are times when all this is also a big hindrance in life. Like when friendships and relationships get ruined. Or when I cannot keep up the self-discipline to stay on a healthy diet. When I pay a lot of money, because I forget to pay bills or lose my stuff. Or when I lose my sleep, because my legs feel like taking me for a walk in the middle of the night.

If you experience som of these struggles, I understand you. I cannot tell you to get that diagnosis. But I am here to tell you, that I have decided to accept my situation. And walk the path.

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Alex

Alex

My Name is Alexander Benesch, but it is okay to just address me with Alex. I am from Germany but have spent more than half of my life in Denmark, where I have been teaching special needs students, among many other activities. I write about education and teaching, provide tips for teachers and lesson materials, and blog about educational technology. I also offer my tutoring services via the blog. I am passionate about teaching and I have many thoughts and opinions about pedagogy, education, and social issues. I believe that our education systems need a major revolution to be fit for the challenges that humanity faces in the 21st century. That is why I decided to write about it.

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