The Reality of Living with ADHD

The Reality of Living with ADHD

ADHD, also known as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, is a complex disorder that can be difficult to manage for those living with it. If you are a parent who suspects your child might have ADHD, the parent of a recently diagnosed child, or have been recently diagnosed yourself, a great place to start is by understanding what it can be like living with ADHD. The first step is understanding what it is and how it can affect an individual's daily life.

What is ADHD?

ADHD is a complex neurological condition that affects around 2.6 million people in the UK. While it is important to remember that ADHD can present differently in different people, it manifests with above-normal levels of inattentive, hyperactive, and impulsive behaviors, which can seriously impact daily life, especially in learning.

Children with ADHD may have trouble focusing and finishing tasks (predominantly inattentive), display hyperactivity and struggle to contain their impulses (predominantly hyperactive-impulsive), or exhibit a combination of both types, which happens to be the most common form of ADHD. 

ADHD can lead to increased difficulties with reading, motor performance, emotional regulation, and social interaction. While often diagnosed in children, receiving an adult diagnosis is becoming increasingly common—approximately 4.2% of children and 4% of adults under 45 meet the condition's diagnostic criteria.

Myths vs Reality

The myths surrounding ADHD are many and varied. If you're parenting a child with ADHD, chances are you've probably heard most of them already, such as the myth that ADHD is a result of bad parenting, lack of discipline, or an excuse for bad behavior. Another one is that ADHD doesn't exist because there have always been hyperactive and distracted people or the belief that ADHD children are overmedicated and overdiagnosed. Another is that if your child can focus on tasks they like, they can't possibly have ADHD. These myths are unhelpful and can be damaging to the ADHD community. 

The reality is that ADHD is a complex diagnosis that requires a lot of understanding, patience, and support.

Signs of ADHD

ADHD can present as predominantly hyperactive (impulsive) or predominantly inattentive, though individuals can show a combination of inattentive and hyperactive or even present one over the other at different times.

Hyperactive-impulsive ADHD:

  • not being able to remain seated in a classroom
  • being unable to play or take part in activities quietly
  • talking excessively
  • trouble waiting their turn
  • often interrupting or intruding on others

Inattentive ADHD:

  • not being able to focus on details
  • not following through on instructions
  • not seeming to listen when spoken to directly

Combined ADHD:

  • Includes a mix of behaviors that meet the criteria for both hyperactive-impulsive and inattentive ADHD

ADHD and other conditions

The complexity of ADHD itself, together with similarities to other conditions and rates of comorbidity, is a big reason why so many myths surround ADHD and why people can struggle with an ADHD diagnosis.

Around 50% of children diagnosed with ADHD are also diagnosed with an additional diagnosis, which can make it hard to separate ADHD behaviors from those linked to other conditions. ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder), SPD (Sensory Processing Disorder), and ODD (Oppositional Defiance Disorder) are the conditions most commonly diagnosed alongside ADHD. 

Are you sure it's ADHD?

It's also important to rule out other causes for ADHD-like behaviors. Your child may not pay attention in the classroom (a sign of inattentive ADHD) because they can't hear properly due to an underlying hearing impairment. Or, they may get up from their chair constantly (a sign of hyperactive-impulsive ADHD) because they can't see the board and need to get closer.

The overlap between ADHD and other conditions can make it tricky to confirm a diagnosis. It can result in cases where children may have received an ADHD diagnosis when another diagnosis may have been a better fit. It's best to seek a second opinion from a specialist if you believe you or your child has been incorrectly diagnosed with ADHD. 

ADHD-like behaviors may also present when dealing with grief, trauma, neglect, and environmental factors. In some instances, inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity are used as a coping mechanism by a child to gain attention and deal with emotional overwhelm.

When seeking an ADHD diagnosis, specialists must use a holistic view of your child's life to determine whether ADHD or another condition is causing difficulties. Areas to consider include:

  • Family life (family structure, quality time, family issues, e.g., divorce)
  • Life events and experiences (trauma, divorce of parents, loss of loved people, etc.)
  • Other conditions (auditory or visual disorders, ASD, SPD, ODD, etc.)
  • Mental health
  • Environment

Supporting someone with ADHD

If you've received an ADHD diagnosis for your child or family member, there are several ways you can support them to learn and better manage their condition.

Consult a specialist: Paediatricians, Doctors, psychologists, and psychiatrists can provide up-to-date advice on managing ADHD symptoms and offer long-term support.

Consider medication: While not required in every case, medication can make a big difference to help you feel more in control during the day.

Regular therapy: Occupational and speech therapists can suggest strategies for managing inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsiveness better.

Structure and routine: Introducing more structure makes it easier to follow rules, understand what comes next, and keep on track during the day.

Rest breaks: Build regular rest and movement breaks into the day, such as jumping, walking, or any other activity.

Wear JettProof calming clothing: JettProof delivers gentle compression all day, providing sensory input to improve sensory awareness, calm the body, reduce stress, and increase overall well-being. Just like "wearable therapy," JettProof sensory clothing helps people with ADHD stay focused by providing the deep pressure input they need.

About JettProof Sensory Clothing & ADHD

JettProof calming sensory clothing can assist children and adults living with ADHD, as well as Autism, Sensory Processing Disorder, Down Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy, Apraxia, Dyspraxia, OCD, and Anxiety. Stay updated with the JettProof journey by following us on Facebook and Instagram or joining our mailing list to receive regular updates.

The content on this website is for informational purposes only and should not be considered a substitute for medical advice or treatment. While we aim to provide accurate information and personal insights to support our valued customers and community, we strongly advise consulting with a Doctor, Psychologist, or other qualified medical professionals.


Undiagnosed ADHD in Adults - Men's Journal

ADHD Guideline - AADPA

What is ADHD - ADHD Australia

Adult ADHD - Symptoms and causes - Mayo Clinic

ADHD Incidence - Childhood and Adult ADHD incidence rates

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