For the quiet ones

Never considered that you might have ADHD because you can sit still, don't visibly fidget and interrupting people is not really your thing?  I went undiagnosed all my life because I found life overwhelming from a young age but instead of externalising these feelings through traits we often associate with Hyperactive ADHD (such as acting out, being physical, attracting attention for the wrong reasons) my path was a more internalised struggle of not being able to understand why I was bright but couldn't participate consistently in school and a more inward blaming of myself for my inability to cope like others.  

I was diagnosed with Primarily Inattentive ADHD in 2022 and it was a total and complete shock to me because I had never considered my daily battles with what I thought was an energy problem- and a seeming inability to remember what I needed to do- as just many in a list of long character flaws and failures. At no point did I ever even think I had a problem with my attention span because I actually enjoy sitting still, learning and focusing on things. I never connected the combined rebellious/sleepy feeling that overwhelmed me while  doing something known or repetitive like laundry with having an issue with attention- I just thought "this is boring, I'll finish this later" or often "I can't do this right now, I need to lie down" = many many day naps. 

One of the reasons why so many people are being assessed/ diagnosed with ADHD recently is greater awareness of hyperactivity and impulsivity symptoms actually being less common in adults so our public perception and biases over how ADHD presents (perhaps as a loud, unpredictable little boy disrupting a classroom...) are beginning to shift. A lot of the advice out there is based on getting people to sit still, be engaged and concentrate, take turns in conversations and perhaps how to deal with anger. There is little mention of emotional dysregulation in terms of an internal inability to control your emotions that comes out in an appearance of crying or emotional instability. There is little mention of the borderline depressive state you can find yourself in because you actually find it hard to move, switch tasks and remember what you were supposed to be doing. I hope to provide some of my own experiences here about being a quiet adhder and ways to cope in the world. 


So this is for my people, the Quiet ADHDers,