ADHD adults can tell you they are working really hard to get mentally organized—expending tons of energy on it—yet are frustrated that they get consistent feedback from important people (teachers when younger, parents, spouses, friends) that they aren’t working hard enough. This confuses hard work with results—and the two are sometimes strikingly disconnected for those with ADHD. One person I know described what it feels like to have ADHD as “having the Library of Congress in your head, but with no card catalogue.” Think about how hard it would be to get organized—a Herculean task!  Dealing with this sort of mind 24/7 can lead to a sense of helplessness—a sort of “I’m dancing as fast as I can so please don’t ask more of me” feeling.  Sometimes that feeling is voiced (and often met with a disbelieving, “Then why aren’t you doing better if you’re trying so hard?” from a frustrated spouse or parent.)  Sometimes the “I’m dancing as fast as I can” feeling is not voiced but simply leads to feelings of overwhelm or paralysis.

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