ADDoration Ministries
Friday, July 30, 2021
God is SO GOOD; although I have ADD.

Signs of possible Adult ADD or ADHD


Quite a quantity of lists of ADD signs have been composed by various ADD authorities. No two lists are the same.

None of these signs in themselves are conclusive of ADD. They also could be a sign of a different disorder that mimics ADD.

In summary, attention inconsistency, wandering thinking, and impulsiveness are the three most predominate characteristics.

Here are a few enumerated, but this is just what I came up with.

1. Difficulty focusing attention on one thing is typical, because the ADD mind keeps jumping among a motley assortment of thoughts -- like the TV set that keeps switching channels. Dr. Edward Hallowell's book, Delivered From Distraction, has an interesting chapter titled, "Won't Pay Attention or Can't."

2. Listening is hampered by a tendency to tune in and tune out. While tuning in and out, you try to come to a conclusion about the discussion; however you might completely miss the point. There is a tendency to NOT get the whole story. Maybe you were tuned out when an important detail was mentioned.

3. ADD-er's tend to be distracted by noises and activity around them. In history class, a student observes a butterfly trying to get out the window and watches the butterfly struggle. In the same history class, another student is distracted by the lawn mowing outside, hearing instead the mower engine noise, "putt-putt-putt," and he observes how many peripheral paths it takes to mow the lawn. Question -- the butterfly or lawn mower, what does that have to do with the history lesson??? 
Another example -- the teacher has a speech bad habit of inserting an "ah" with each pause; hence the student counts the ah's instead of getting the lesson.
By the way, during my decades of church membership, I never sang in the choir, because I lack the concentration to sing my proper part, while hearing other people sing something else. For this reason, I also cannot sing rounds. Descant throws me off too, that is I des-cant (read, just can't).

4. Following instructions is often more difficult for ADD-ers. Their wandering mind causes them to miss important steps of the process. That causes self-distrust, so that the ADD-er doesn't trust what he heard, hence he does it "his way." The instructor upbraids him for not listening. Or the instructor sarcastically asks, "Are you smarter than I am?"

5. On the other hand, ADD people sometimes hyperfocus. That is they are focused to a higher degree than is normal. Instead of "attention deficit," a more accurate description is "attention inconsistency." Sometimes it's "attention surplus." However, hyperfocus can be a positive trait, when directed toward productive tasks. It can greatly help getting the job done and done well.

6. ADD people are generally impatient. They want it NOW.

7. Waiting your turn is often difficult for ADD-er's. Waiting in line causes anguish. I tend to avoid calling toll-free phone numbers, because I likely would be put on hold until the next service representative is available -- and then get angry that the business is too cheap to hire enough service representatives.

8. At meetings, ADD people often bring up irrelevant thoughts, or they change the subject of discussion. Other focused people are intolerant of that. After an irrelevant thought is expressed, the focused person might shoot it down with such remarks as "What does that have to do with ____?" or "Why do you bring that up?" or "That's neither here nor there." A more tactful way to deflect irrelevant remarks is to say something that brings the discussion back to the proper topic.

9. ADD sometimes have trouble staying seated during a meeting, especially if there is a hyperactive component.

10. ADD people have a tendency to speak whatever comes to mind, regardless of whether it's appropriate. They typically speak without considering impact on others. They say hurtful things without intending to hurt anybody. They insult people without intending to. Sometimes it doesn't come to them that the statement can also be interpreted another way. This is related to impulsiveness.

Example: a student walked into class late, at a time when teacher was cracking down on lateness. The student didn't see the teacher, so the student wisecracked, "The old bitch is late so she will have to stay after school." Lo and behold, the teacher was in the back of the room getting something out of a cabinent.

11. ADD people are often tactless.

12. Interrupting people during conversation is an ADD tendency. This is related to impatience -- the ADD-er is impatient to get a point into the discussion. Sometimes the interrupting ADD-er impulsively responds to a statement early in speaker's spiel, but the speaker has not yet made his/her point. That often causes the speaker to angrilly demand, "LET ME FINISH" or sometimes "HEAR ME OUT." Invariable "Let Me finish" is said with an angry tone of voice. "Hear me out" is a command meaning listen. The interrupting ADD-er forgot to listen. The speaker might be saying something valuable.

13. ADD persons have difficulty knowing whether people are kidding or telling the truth. Oh how easier it would be, if only people would just tell the truth. But instead people kid around. The kidding sometimes is saying words that are the opposite of the truth. The speaker expects the listener to pick up on that speaker was just kidding. In our society, you are expected to not take things seriously.

14. Sometimes ADD people forget to say, "Thank you" because of the tendency to tune out. Sadly some other persons have a different disorder that causes the "Thank you" to be of excessive importance. That is they decide to LET it bother them when they don't hear, "Thank you." The ADD'er walks through a door when tuned out and doesn't notice that somebody held open the door; hence the other person says a hurtfull smart alecky, "You're Welcome." The reason you forgot "Thank you" is NOT because Mother never taught you.

15. ADD persons are often socially clumsy. Points already mentioned are partially the reason why they are socially clumsy. This sometimes causes them to be bashful. They are bashful partially because of the fear of making a mistake. The only certain way to prevent mistakes is to not do anything.

16. ADD people start multiple projects, but they rarely finish them. That is because their minds move on to something else, before the project is completed. Food is left out of the refrigerator and spoils, because the mind moved on before putting it back into the refrigerator.

17. ADD people are known to misplace objects, or they lose them. This is caused by their attention inconsistency. The article is misplaced, because the ADD person wasn't paying attention to what he was doing, during the split second when he laid the object down. It sometimes seems like the object is gone forever after it is laid down someplace. "I can't find it" -- a more accurate statement is "I don't remember where I placed it." A reason for misplaced objects is that the mind moved on to the next task, BEFORE putting tools back into their proper places.

Dangerous example: somebody unlocks the door, walks in, and then the mind moves on to something else causing the keys to be left in the lock. That is like putting a sign on your door saying, "Burglar, you are welcome to take these keys for free access to this house and my car." I suggest, develop the habit that after unlocking door, IMMEDIATELY put your keys back into your pocket. If you are carrying something, IMMEDIATELY throw the keys on to the floor inside, and remember that you did so.

Related dangerous example: putting something on top of the car and then driving off, causing the object to fly off the car and crash on the pavement. Don't put it on top of the car, even for one moment, because your mind will move elsewhere. I suggest put it on the hood of the car, so that you would see it before driving off, hence reminding you "put it in the car."

18. Here is an ADD tendency that is an obstacle to sensing God's presence. ADD persons are not so inclined to linger and savor the moment, such as when the sunset is magnificently beautiful. An ADD person might look at a beautiful sunset for a few seconds, but the ADD person wants to immediately move on to the next task. ADD persons desire to quickly move from event to event. This is unfortunate, because God made the beautiful sunset. Other examples are a rainbow, the full moon, a babbling brook, and the roaring ocean surf. Stopping to praise God is an important part of worship -- that is ADDoration. Psalm 46:10 "Be still, and know that I am God!"

19. Often there is trouble keeping appointments or obligations. This is related to their focus shortfall. Something else gets in the way of getting to the appointment on time.

20. Sometimes they procrastinate on anything requiring attention to detail. As an example, the income tax return is started on April 14. There is the compensating tactic of commanding yourself to focus on the task.

21. Many ADD'ers work below their potential and slack off. This sometimes is caused by self-distrust, along with negative thinking.

22. Being disorganized and having clutter is typical of ADD. Their desk looks like a cyclone hit. Maybe the desk looks like, "How do they have any room to work?" The disorganization is the result of the TV set that keeps switching channels. The disorganization is another reason that the ADD-er have difficulty with any task requiring organization.

23. Muscle incoordination often accompanies ADD. This causes them to be poor at sports. They reach to catch the ball, but the ball goes by inches away. Inattention to the trajectory of the ball could be a contributing factor. Muscular incoordination also is often a reason that ADD-er is poor at dancing. Also contributing to poor dancing is social awkwardness and difficulty following instructions (especially when dance partner reacts with gestures of "Not that way").

24. In the workplace, ADD people sometimes have trouble with the chain of command, causing them to bypass the boss. This is related to that ADD people like to take action, plus they are impatient. The boss seems to be a do-nothing boss. Maybe the ADD employee desires something that isn't a priority with the boss. But maybe the boss has other more pressing matters to handle. Nevertheless, the rule still applies, "NEVER go over your boss' head."

25. Another workplace tendency is the desire to tell it as it is. Sometimes it is politically unwise to tell it as it is. The boss typically thinks like a politician, even if it means bending the truth. The workplace political motto typically is "Cover your hind end." In the workplace, often the situation "off the record" is very different than what is officially reported. The ADD mind wants to tell it as it is when, "Officially, heck no."

26. Among workplace tendencies, foremost is that many ADD persons jump from job to job. I myself was more fortunate, because I stayed with the Federal Government for 36 years. Many ADD keep jumping around in the job market for various reasons -- impulsively quitting -- fired -- poor office politician -- risk taking -- or reasons not their fault. This often causes marriage stress, because the spouse had hoped to marry somebody with economic security. Some ADD persons avoid office politics by being an entrepreneur. Owning the business has other risks -- especially if the person is weak on marketing, management, or bean counting skills.

27. ADD persons tend to be weak in marketing. Looking for employment, that's marketing, hence it is a bane of ADD-ers. Famous composers Stephen Collins Foster and Franz Schubert were notoriously weak in marketing their music -- the music became famous because of other situations. Most Schubert music was published after he died. Most ADD entrepreneurs should hire somebody else to do the marketing. A generalization, persons with professional marketing positions don't have ADD and are more normal.

28. Compassion is a positive tendency of ADD people. They have a tremendous ability to connect with other people. They also have a greater ability to empathcize with other people.

29. ADD people are creative. Writers, artists, painters, musicians, film makers, designers, inventors, sculptors, comedians -- the list goes on.

30. Problem solving ability is another positive tendency of ADD persons. Give him/her an interesting problem to solve and he/she won't drop it until a solution is found.

31. Idea generating ability is often great in ADD persons. They usually don't want to be bothered with the details, but they can come up with ideas at lightning speed.

32. ADD persons have a sharp sense of intuition. It is a very useful gift.

33. I save this for last on the list. ADD professionals say that ADD exists among all races and ethnic groups, in roughly equal proportions. With Afro-Americans, there is also the factor of racial prejudice over more than a century. Racial prejudice is not at all relevant to ADD. Racial prejudice shut out generations of Afros, hence the cause was NOT ADD. Instead the cause was the belief that they cannot get ahead. Fortunately this began to change at the time of Martin Luther King Jr ("I have a dream"). The percentage of Afros who are ADD is about the same as with ADD whites.

This is just my list. This page in the web site is subject to possible future rewriting.

Sometimes there is a co-existing condition, in addition to the ADD. 

I hope it gives you some idea as to whether to suspect adult ADD.

By the way, ADD sufferer Winston Churchill once said,
"A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity;
an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."




The nick name I speak of is "Zeus," same as the ancient Greek mythical chief of the gods.

This man's real first name was "Zenus." He was a friend of my parents, during my childhood years. I remember him as impulsive, borderline alcoholic, and dubious family man.

During grade school, they were studying ancient Greek history. One day, the teacher caught Zenus in a dream world, not listening. So the teacher decided to awaken him from his reverie. However the teacher got her tongue twisted.

So the teacher commanded, "ZEUS, TELL ME ABOUT ZENUS !!!!"

That slip of the tongue caused the class to roar with laughter. The classmates began to call him "Zeus."

From that day on, the nick name of "Zeus" stuck with him.

<*(((>< your ADD brother in the Risen Christ,
Lester Hemphill
Founder of ADDoration Ministries