Adult ADHD - Friends Can Help you Focus

April 7, 2014 Elizabeth Prager

Yes, it's true. People with adult attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) have friends. Well, maybe not all of us, because it's certainly a possibility that one person with adult ADHD doesn't have friends. So, let me re-start. Yes, it's true. Many of us with adult ADHD have friends and we can totally use them to our advantage. That statement definitely sounds like I mean for us to abuse our friends, but wait, dear reader, and see what I mean.

People with adult ADHD need friends - just like everyone. One of the bonuses of friends is they can help mitigate your ADHD symptoms and help you focus.

When I first started physical therapy (PT) school, I had to find a lab partner. Gross anatomy was going to be tough and filled with so many extra things that I needed to filter. I had to pick the right person and I magically did. When I say magically, I do intend you to think that there was something quite other worldly about it. My lab partner somehow understood how to help me focus, how to get me to understand concepts and how to help me succeed.

At the start of PT school, I had a vision of school career that, as it turns out, was unnecessary. I was going to study during lunch, during my commute, and at all other times - and, I was going to do it by myself. I was nearing 30 and knew a lot about my abilities; I did so well in my pre-requisite coursework that I was certain there was no way I would benefit from the help of anyone else. I was wrong!

Friends can Help you Focus Even if You Have Adult ADHD

I could have done fine in anatomy on my own, but having my lab partner around to help guide my studies was invaluable. The best part was that she actually liked helping me. As it happens, friends like helping their friends do well. I've always loved helping my friends to study, but I never really got that it could go the other way.

Simply having my pal Ashley around helps me to focus. When I study at home, I have all sorts of adult ADHD distractions. When she's studying, though, it really helps me to focus. My experiences with her has helped me to see this same pattern in my home life. When my good wife, Sarah, is hard at work, I sit and focus so much better on my own things. This is one beautiful thing about relationships: the transfer of energy from one person to another. When they are focused, it can help you focus.

So, next time you're having any issue balancing your checkbook (if anyone still does that), or you need to fill out your taxes, have someone with you who is equally ready to get to focusing. It could certainly help those distracting adult ADHD symptoms!

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APA Reference
Prager, E. (2014, April 7). Adult ADHD - Friends Can Help you Focus, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, April 20 from

Author: Elizabeth Prager

Ruth Mannick
June, 26 2014 at 10:02 am

My older sister made a comment one day that she had adult ADHD. When we were growing up we never knew anything about the condition. One day I was in a college class on teaching children with special needs, and the subject of ADHD came up. That was when I learned that for about 10% of the population that had ADHD as a child,they continue with the condition into adulthood. Not only was my sister right about her condition, but I had all the same characteristics as her. I managed through college by making "To Do" list in order to prioritize what I needed to remain focused on first, second, third,..
Long story short, I lost all my friends because I became so focused on checking off all the boxes and staying focused on what I thought was important. My friends avoided me because the reward for me was to be on the Dean's List which meant saying no to their invitations to hang out.
You think maybe I need help!?

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Elizabeth Prager
June, 26 2014 at 3:04 pm

Hiya Ruth - That is amazing that you were able to handle your ADHD (if that's what it turns out it is) academically! It stinks, however, that your social life had to be what you gave up to do it. I think it never hurts to check out with a professional to see whether it's a diagnosis that fits you. Since it's a clinical diagnosis, that means you do NOT have to do all the diagnostic testing to see if you have it - you simply need to call up a therapist, attend and appointment and see what they think. Best of luck!

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