Many people misunderstand what it means to have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. “ADHD is not like pregnancy,” said Roberto Olivardia, Ph.D, a clinical psychologist and clinical instructor in the department of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. “It is not an either you have it or you don’t phenomenon.” Each of us has some ADHD traits some of the time, he said.
“When diagnoses exist on a spectrum like that, it can lead people who have a trait, but not ADHD, to think that they know what the latter part of the spectrum feels like, when they don’t.”
We asked people who have ADHD to share what ADHD feels like. You might notice both similarities and differences in their descriptions, because as writer Kelly Babcock said, “ADHD is never exactly the same for any two people.”