So I found the list of inattentive symptoms online. I wondering if people who have been diagnosed with ADHD could give detailed examples of times the circled ones happen as I am not really sure and need further examples. From looking at the symptoms I know that I have five out of nine of them for sure but in terms of the other ones I don’t know.
So I’m not exactly inattentive ( I’m combo ) but here’s how it works for me
- I might forget a decimal point in an equation or not finish an assignment that I started
- If my friends are talking about the weekend, I start thinking of porcupines. Even though they might be directly asking me, my Brain doesn’t register whats happening
- I lose my: glasses, headphones, pencils, water bottle, and whatever I’m currently eating all. The. Time! These are really important but they just seem to disappear
- I sorta wander around the house until someone reminds me to do homework or chores so yeah, daily stuff is hard
Are you thinking about getting diagnosed?
Yeah, I’d like to get it formal diagnosis, but I’m a bit scared to talk to my parents about it so I’m trying to come up with a list of my symptoms and speak to the school psychologist. Question, does your losing things related to having a really messy room?
Yes!!! I constantly have to find things last minute so I end up tearing through my stuff and making a mess ( which takes too much time to clean, which means I end up repeating it all over again )
Well good luck!! Jessica made a video on talking to your parents so what might be worth checking out, but I think it’s really awesome you’re getting prepared
I am going to approach this from a Work setting, since I am not in school anymore. May give examples from school, but more likely work.
Also, full disclosure, I have combined presentation, so it may look different between us.
Often fails to give close attention to details or makes careless mistakes in schoolwork, work, or during other activities. ---- This is when I set up a device to ship to a store, but fail to check the IP settings to make sure the script or myself did not introduce an error, causing the device to not work on arrival. This is when I insert a typo when remotely working on a device and this cause it to become un-discoverable, and I need it totally reset to fix. This is when you mix up Teaspoon and Tablespoon, or baking soda and baking power when making cookies. (… Spoiler alert. This makes for bad cookies)
Often does not seem to listen when spoken to directly. ---- This is when you have trouble looking someone in the face/eyes during a conversation, and you find yourself looking into… nothing. You really are paying attention, its just really really hard to look AT them. Side note… In my acting classes years ago, we learned something called Active Listening. Highly recommended to combat this. Basically, you face the other person, look at their face and body language, and intently focus on looking at them as they speak. Don’t just hear with your hears, but hear with your eyes. Did they shift? Are they sweating? Receive the line (acting, remember. In real life, receive what they are saying), without responding yet. Absorb it. Then, consider your line/response. In class, we would look down at our line, get a chunk that we could retain in our minds, then face the other, speak the line with intent. We could not speak unless we were both facing each other. Either could break contact to look at lines. This exercise, repeated over the semester, helped me A TON. Esp in my marriage!
Often loses things necessary for tasks or activities. ---- This is when I lost my coffee today. (I left it by the coffeepots. Long enough for it to go cold.) This is when I put my keys down and… uh… where… did I put them? This is why I keep scrounging for that one USB drive that has my .bat files on them.
Is often forgetful in daily activities. ---- Soooooo about that daily update… that I haven’t done… since July… This is also when you forget you need to do laundry or you will have no work clothes, and so you end up waiting by the dryer hoping the shirt will be dry before you gotta go to work, cause you just washed it in the sink. This is when the cat litter box NEVER. GETS. SCOOPED. (… until you dump the whole thing and replace with a fresh bag of litter) This is when you forget the scan in your P-Card receipts. Every. Month. That cell phone bill? The one from August that you swore you paid? Yeah. That.
I hope this helped.
Have them all
1: this one can be conscious and unconscious with me. Imagine when I’m dusting for instance. It might be that I miss a spot. Sometimes it happens that I miss it, realize it, but it’s too much effort to still do it. But I also forget little spots a lot. Or I didn’t see that I forgot over there. Same with schoolwork. We might have to write and essay and I just over read a whole line of the instructions, making me miss a part of the essay. That obviously ends up in having a lower grade. It’s annoying when such things happen
2: I also have 2 different interpretations of this one. One can be that I seem not to pay attention but I actually am. For instance, yesterday during class, I was playing the sims
I was building a house. But the fun thing is, when I’m building that house, I can still listen to what the teacher is saying. It’s basically multitasking. The sims is my fidget toy at that moment. So it seems like I’m not paying attention when I really am. The second part is when I seem to pay attention but I’m actually not. My brain then decides to randomly go off to another random thought. It happens unwillingly a lot. So I end up not listening. But it wasn’t my choice.
3: all the time
How many times a day am I searching where I left my phone? Seriously, it’s a thing with me. And I’m sure I’m not the only one out here. I loose my phone all the time. Yesterday is a good example of both the first symptom and this symptom. I lost my travel card. That meant I would have to pay to travel. Afterwards it simply ended up lying underneath one of the cases where I put my glasses. I didn’t pay enough attention to details to realize it could be lying underneath things. My mom did however. So she saved me
4: I think this one is one of the most obvious ones with me. I forget things ALL the time. Yesterday right before I had to go downstairs my mom asked if I could bring my laundry with me. I still ended up forgetting. What happens too is when we leave somewhere with our car, my parents tell me to lock the door or close the gate right before I get out of the car to do it. And yet I end up forgetting to do it. Recently I was pulling up the curtains from my window. Apparently I got distracted by something, cause when I came back upstairs I seemed to be only half done and forgot to do the rest. These kind of things happen all the time
I hoped this helped you a little
- During note taking I just don’t finish some sentences. I often forget to hit send when I finish a text.
- I actually will stop everything else I am doing to listen to someone intently (even if what they are saying is trivial) as it has been ingrained into me that I need to pay attention. The back page of all my notes is for doodling while I listen because I’ve already been made to sit in a chair while they talk.
- Find my phone is the best thing ever and I wish I could put it on my keys and wallet or anything else I own.
- All my bills are on auto pay because then I can’t forget them. I’ll end up in a room and forget why I walked into in and then see something else that needs doing and start that.
Often fails to give close attention to details or makes careless mistakes in schoolwork, work, or during other activities (e.g. overlooks or misses details, work is inaccurate).
For me, this is usually most noticeable at work. When I’m doing documentation for my job at the hospital I will often make mistakes in what I do, calling something the wrong thing, or even entering information in the wrong place. Sometimes I get listless or hurried and click through things too quickly. Sometimes I only notice later that I forgot to spellcheck. I can make careless mistakes at home too, and usually end up being a bit of a clutz. Random bruises, stubbed toes, hit elbows, and spilled things or dropped messes are pretty common. Being distracted and disconnected from yourself, both in a mental and physical sense.
Often does not seem to listen when spoken to directly (e.g. mind seems elsewhere, even in the absence of any obvious distraction).
For me, I will usually look at a person and see them talking but my mind is nowhere near the conversation. I’ll often be looking slightly past them or away over their shoulder the longer they talk. I usually end up missing whatever it is they mean to say, and catch only snippets. It’s like being snapped back to being awake when they ask for something to make sure you’ve been listening. I usually get distracted by a thousand different thoughts in my head, most of them having nothing to do with the topic at hand. It can be really challenging, because even when I try to make myself focus and put a lot of effort into doing so, I still can’t do it. This is especially difficult in the evening when my medicine has worn off. During the day it’s been easier since being on it.
Often loses things necessary for tasks or activities (e.g. school materials, pencils, books, tools, wallets, keys, paperwork, eyeglasses, mobile telephones).
For me, this means always losing little things like the pen that I need for work, misplacing my car keys or wallet, losing track of my phone, leaving groceries out for extended amounts of time and forgetting to put them in the refrigerator, walking out of the house without my phone or wallet, misplacing badge/keys for work, losing track of important things like money, tickets, or presents. I will try to intentionally place things in a place I can remember, but sometimes those things get moved as I briefly need them, or maybe I had the best of intentions in putting them somewhere. I really am a space cadet and the type of person who will enter a room and not just forget why I came in there but become immediately distracted by something else in the room or something that I want to do in another. My brain is a plinko game, and I bounce so much that I lose simple things that are still super important.
Is often forgetful in daily activities (i.e. doing chores, running errands; for older adolescents and adults, returning calls, paying bills, keeping appointments).
I mentioned some things like groceries and going into different rooms above. But I am often forgetful about things like bills, forgetting to pay the bills until the last minute or forgetting that I already paid a bill and going to pay it again. I will start doing one chore in the house like emptying the litter box, and then move on to wiping down the counter, or making the coffee for tomorrow, then oh the trash needs to go out, but wait there are dishes in the sink, but then I need to empty the dishwasher, but then I see an empty cat dish, and then I realize that there’s stuff in the cabinet that needs to be organized. It’s a cascade of disorganization. One of the best is when I empty the trash but then leave the full trash bag in my kitchen for a week or two weeks because I keep getting distracted and forgetting to take it out.
I’ll even tell myself, “Oh yeah! The next time I go outside I need to take the trash.” Doesn’t really happen until I finally get 2 or 3 trash bags piled up. Also, when I go to the store I’ll get everything but like two important things and then have to make another trip the next day, which usually results in buying things I’ve already bought and forgotten that I did so, or buying extra stuff that I impulsively buy. When it comes to appointments, I have to keep multiple reminders. I have my providers give me cards, I put it in my phone, and I also put them in my work calendar. I have gotten in the habit of checking my phone and work calendar daily to see what I have upcoming, but will still often only remember appointments when I get my reminder calls from the clinic. People like family or friends will call me and I’ll not return their calls for weeks because I keep forgetting.
I’d say in general, for me inattention is like living life about six feet off normal. I’m always sort of there, but end up out of step with the rest of things around me. I sometimes think of Luna Lovegood from Harry Potter as an example. I will say that things have gotten better in a lot of areas since I started getting treatment, but there’s still a baseline me that I have to learn how to deal with. Strategies and practice can help, and learning what works for your specific challenges. And what may work now may not work a couple of years from now. So dealing with the inattention becomes an annual, daily, minute-by-minute task.
Sometimes it can be helpful to give the list of symptoms to someone who knows you and ask them to give you examples. Maybe they’ve noticed things that you haven’t. Or ask people from your past, like teachers, parents, or friends. A lot of behaviors go very far back, and we just don’t remember them anymore. Whatever the case, don’t feel that you have to find problems where there aren’t any. If certain symptoms don’t apply to you, that’s okay. You don’t need to “catch them all” to still have issues worth treating. I hope you find what you need! Good luck!
thank you! This is so helpful. I have been feeling like wow yeah if I don’t do these other things then I probably don’t have adhd and need to get a diagnosis or treatment
This is like when I look on the mirror to brush my hair then start messing with my pimples then see my nail file and start filing my nails only to stop a while later and go back to brushing my hair. While during this whole time I probably should’ve been brushing my teeth and doing hw.