General Question

longgone's avatar

Would it be feasible for someone with ADHD to have no trouble concentrating?

Asked by longgone (8188 points ) April 30th, 2014

On another thread, @ibstubro and I were talking about the characteristics of ADHS. I often tap out rhythms with my fingers, feet, or teeth. I seldom notice changes in my environment, and I’m not good at listening attentively.

OTOH, I really don’t have trouble concentrating. I study pretty efficiently, I’d say. When I need to sit still, I can, with some difficulty. Would I be able to do these things if I was suffering from ADHD?

I realize a doctor’s assesment is the only way to know for sure. However, my knowledge of psychology is minimal at best, so for now, I’d be interested to find out what you think.

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8 Answers

gailcalled's avatar

Assuming that you are talking about Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), here are 10 problems that could indicate adult ADHD.

From WebMD

I think you can make a genereal and informal assessment yourself, but any official diagnosis (used in school or testing situations, for example) has to come from a doctor.

thorninmud's avatar

A good friend with ADHD explained to me that although it’s assumed that this means an inability to concentrate, people with ADHD often have hyperfocus . It’s just that they aren’t really in control of either their distraction or their hyperfocus, so that they can’t reliably employ that focus when needed, or disengage it when it’s not helpful.

GloPro's avatar

@gailcalled selected a great article. I was diagnosed 10+ years ago and can attest to every one of those points. There are many more, but that’s a good place to start.

As far as concentrating… Sometimes I can get hyper focused. I can’t really explain why, but my doctor has told me it’s another common symptom. The short answer is no, you cannot be ADHD or ADD without having issues with concentration. If you are able to concentrate easily and for extended periods of time, then my guess is you do not have ADHD. Fidgeting is only one indicator. There are many reasons people fidget.

rojo's avatar

@longgone looking over the list @gailcalled provided, I would say that I fit 6 of the 10 categories.
But that means there are four categories in which I function normally. Based on that alone I would say that you could you still have ADHD and be able to concentrate.
In fact, as @thorninmud points out, the fact that you can concentrate might itself be an indicator.

jerv's avatar

As @thorninmud points out, it’s not an inability to focus; it’s a lack of control of that focus.

GloPro's avatar

@rojo You didn’t indicate if you are ADHD or not. The thing to remember when being diagnosed is that the issues must be severe enough to be a detriment to a normal functioning life. A lot of people aren’t punctual. I tend to be late because I decide to sort my change, unload the dishwasher and fold laundry when I should be leaving the house. Does that make sense? It isn’t something I can control. It irks me when people tell me to just pay more attention or try harder. It isn’t so easy to control.
What @thorninmud said was hyperfocus, which is in no way the same as being able to concentrate. When I get hyper focused I can get so absorbed in something I will do it for 5 hours without even looking up. In that mode people will talk to me, and I may even respond, but I am not processing outside stimuli. It’s hard to explain, but it is much more complex than being able to concentrate on a task.

jerv's avatar

Considerably more complex, especially as ADHD isn’t the only thing that affects attention span that way. Trust me on that.

longgone's avatar

Thank you for your answers, so far.

@gailcalled, thanks for the link. Only five of the ten apply to me. As to ADHS: I absent-mindedly used the German acronym.

@jerv Thanks for chiming in.

@thorninmud Interesting. I do feel in control when I’m concentrating, though.

@rojo Good point.

@GloPro Thanks! “There are many reasons people fidget.” I wish I knew mine.

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