20 Quirks I Didn’t Know Were ADHD

The adventure of receiving an ADHD diagnosis in adulthood means you suddenly have a new lens with which to view the entirety of your life. It’s like you finally found the box to a puzzle you’ve been working on for years, so now you’re sorting through all these pieces and checking if they fit together.

So here are twenty things about me that have been described as “quirks,” and I now realize are ADHD.

  1. My overpowering aversion to sensory stimuli like
    • when my sleeve bunches up in my coat
    • when my sock slips down in my shoe
    • soup, tofu, pudding
    • anything sticky
    • dry hands writing on paper
  2. Getting up early is like performing surgery. It takes an enormous amount of preparation, precision, energy, and external forces. Probably because –
  3. It is impossible for me to go to bed before 12/1 a.m. Seriously. Even if I’m in bed before then, that is when I fall asleep.
  4. Being argumentative or picking fights when I am bored.
  5. Bailing from long term relationships at the 1 1/2 – 2 year mark. Part of the success in my current relationship (besides the fact that my partner’s amazing, obvi) is because finally receiving treatment for ADHD decreased my impulsive urges to jump ship.
  6. Bingeing sweets. I used to find the candy or cookies in the house and eat them all before my parents came home. Had to get that dopamine fix, bro.
  7. Bingeing everything, really. When I find a food, TV show, game, book, or person I like, I am all in. I tend to cycle through phases of obsessions.
  8. Reading a book under my desk in class when things got slow or boring.
  9. Procrastination, my dearest frenemy.
  10. Being pretty level-headed in crises. Like a The-Paper-Is-Due-Tomorrow Crisis. Or a Someone-Is-Having-a-Nervous-Breakdown Crisis.
  11. My love of drama (figurative and literal). I love acting almost as much as I love gossip.
  12. Having a short fuse and many pet peeves. (Just use a turn signal. This is absurd.)
  13. Being the Absolute Worst Drivers’ Ed Student. This is hard and I am in the middle of a good book, so how about you just don’t teach me how to parallel park?
  14. Making drastic Hair Decisions, like cutting it all off or dying it purple.
  15. Giving up on learning to play piano or making art projects when it gets too hard/boring/repetitive or it doesn’t look/sound in real life exactly as it does in my head.
  16. My love of TV, comedy, stand up, live theatre, sitcoms, true crime, medical dramas, and scary movies. Anything that moves fast and keeps me interested.
  17. My tough transition to late high school and college, when academic success became more about skills and less about a natural proclivity for curiosity.
  18. Holding grudges for minor infractions like it’s my job.
  19. My unruly imagination.
  20. Being consistently and reliably late.

What are some of your ADHD puzzle pieces? What little things about yourself make more sense with the ADHD lens?

Donate | Message me | theadhdmanual@gmail.com | Comment below ↓↓

7 thoughts on “20 Quirks I Didn’t Know Were ADHD

  1. For sure, I identify with many of these. I was also flabbergasted to be able to identify and attribute the following “quirks” to my Adult diagnosis of ADHD:
    1. Getting my left and right mixed up.
    2. My inability to judge distance, size, numbers of people, or spatial relationships without it all being in front of me. In other words, I have an awesome imagination, but not to scale.
    3. My inability to tackle organization chores. Want me to alphabetize music or books? Done! Need to sort those clothes in drawers and closets? Nope!
    4. My stubborn procrastination – not just for chores and tasks, but also for fun stuff? Why? Oh- ADHD!
    5. Impulsivity. I’m less bothered by impulse buys (usually cheap) than by my emotional outbursts. And when you stick your foot in your mouth, and try to “fix” it, and it just gets worse… Non-ADHD folks just think you’re even weirder than they did before! (But, often, they don’t – it’s my perception. I remember the awkward things I say more than others do, apparently. Unless they’re lying!)

    There’s probably more, but that’s just off the top of my head. In addition to the HUGE issues of Time Management, Perception of Time (not the Dali painting), and Chronic Tardiness.


  2. I’m just starting to figure out some of this myself, still figuring out my brain. But things I’m starting to think are ADHD: the difficulty I have with cooking (seriously why are there so many steps why are they all happening at once what is on fire?), my inability to conceptualize time or space. Yes I said I will be there in 10 minutes, no I do not actually know what that means or how long that actually is. Yes I said the space was two feet wide, no I don’t know how big that actually is. My inability to stick to a conventional organization system. My inability to create one that actually works (hopefully just “yet”).


  3. I started laugh-crying in disbelief reading this article and the comments below it. I’ve been thinking I might have ADHD but I literally do every single one of these things. The comment about cooking made me laugh as well. I relate to that so much. It could fully take me over an hour to make a stir fry; 45 minutes to chop vegetables, 5 minute break for no reason, a strange amount of time to put oil in a pan and ‘cooking’ it for 10 minutes only to realise I didn’t even turn the hob on.


  4. Wow, I didn’t know that eating a lot of sweets could be attributed to ADHD. I’d like to know more about children’s ADHD management because my kid is starting to exhibit signs of it. It would be best to have a doctor check up on him sooner or later to see if a diagnosis could be made.


  5. These are either quirks of my ADHD, or I’m just odd..!:
    – having a tune stuck in my mind on repeat to the point where I’ll see a sentence or have a thought, and I’ll hear it in my head to the tune of what is stuck in there..
    – same thing… tune stuck on my head for so long that I start to change each word to “meow”..
    – saying random things out loud in different accents
    – talking to myself as I go about certain tasks
    – having to strain to be able to focus on what someone is saying, especially at work
    – late to EVERYTHING
    – able to hyperfocus on something I’m enjoying for 6 hours straight, no break – but when I need to clean the bedroom, I’m paralysed and exhausted before even trying to start..
    – failing high school classes but zooming through a tafe course that interests me
    The list goes on… I feel seen and heard 💗


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

About Abby Chau, LMFT, ADHD-CCSP

I am a marriage and family therapist based in Seattle, WA. I also have ADHD! And I love learning more about it, by myself and with my clients. Join me as I create an ADHD Owner's Manual! (she/her)