8 Things You May Not Know about ADHD

Justin Foster
5 min readApr 11, 2022

Yesterday was a rough day. Likely the trailing result of intense physical pain (thus the above-mentioned root canal), I woke up with a high level of ADHD activation. This carried on throughout most of the day. I know I’ve been quite transparent about having ADHD but haven’t written in-depth about its experience. Thus this week’s essay.

First some context …

In 2020, I was diagnosed by my therapist as having ADHD. ADHD remains shrouded in mystery for neurotypical people. It’s often confused with ADD but is quite different. Approximately 4% of US adults have been diagnosed as having ADHD. This number would likely be closer to 10% if more adults sought out an analysis. There is still quite a bit of shame associated with it — especially amongst men 45+.

Do you think you might have ADHD? Maybe have a family member or friend who does? The hard science behind ADHD assessments is somewhat thin, but here is one of the more useful and thorough self-assessments. Besides extensive work with my therapist, the book “Driven” by Douglas Brackmann has been the very best owner’s manual for ADHD.

As I mentioned, there are many myths and misunderstandings about ADHD. To that end, here are 8 things to understand about ADHD.

  1. ADHD is not a disorder. It is a spectrum of neurodiversity that is comprised of genetic wiring and level of trauma. Here is a helpful chart from @livlifecoaching.
  2. It’s also neither a mood or a personality trait. It is not something to “fix” or a problem to solve. It is simply an energy/resource to manage.
  3. Outward indicators vary but mine include: fidgeting, nail-chewing, activity loops (sort of like multi-tasking but more impulsive), over-sharing, and hypersensitivity to fairness. Although it may not always be obvious, the #1 trait of my ADHD is a need to control — situations, people, conditions. As I wrote about last week, when I’m operating from my Higher Self this need to control is replaced by unconditional love and protection.
  4. Not every person with anxiety has ADHD. But pretty much everyone with ADHD has anxiety. With some rare exceptions, it is always there. What varies is the level of intensity. Most of us with ADHD have a name or metaphor for this sensation. For me, it’s the…
Justin Foster

Co-founder of Massive, a conscious business leadership coaching practice. Poet, essayist, music & coffee snob.