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?

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2 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.

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  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”).

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About Abby Minor, 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)