Adult ADHD and How We Look to Others

June 23, 2014 Elizabeth Prager

I've got my computer tuned to one of those fun websites that let's you watch a ton of television and I'm watching season four of Top Chef. There is one person on this season that has got me wondering how we, those of us with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), look to others. I have zero idea whether he has adult ADHD, but it sure does seem like it. What do I mean by that?

How do others see our ADHD when it's not as well-controlled as it could be? Why is it important to consider? Read this.

Like I said, I don't know that season four's chef actually has adult ADHD. The thing is, that he said a lot of off the cuff remarks and bounced a lot (Adult ADD, ADHD Symptoms and Their Impact). If you want to know more about why it seems like a certain chef has a touch of the ADHD, go ahead and watch the season. Top Chef is a fun show at the least.

What I want to talk about is how others see our ADHD when it's not as well-controlled as it could be (Finding Doctors Who Know How To Treat Adult ADHD). I don't want to judge others; and, I certainly don't want to judge others poorly for seeming to have adult ADHD. I've had adult ADHD for years and I do not want others to think I'm ridiculous because I get hyper for a little bit. It's hard, though, to see the good parts of adult ADHD when it seems like a person is bouncing all over the place.

How Others See People with Adult ADHD

First things first, it depends on who is looking.

When it's your best friend, they are looking at you like maybe you should calm down a bit. Your best friend, your spouse and your mom -- they're all looking to protect you from you, for the most part.

The person sitting across the table at the boardroom? They're wishing you would calm down, talk logically and "act like an adult." When I was watching Top Chef, I kept hoping he would just calm down, because it felt embarrassing when he made his random comments and bounced around. I'm pretty sure some of my classmates felt that way about me from time to time, but I also know my best friend in class just wanted me to be able to focus so I could learn more.

My advice for this post: You can hold anything in for a period of time. You will definitely need to release it as some point and you simply need to hold off until you're around your best friend or your spouse -- better yet, you're alone in your office or car (parked, not driving). If you want to say this or that and it doesn't feel 100% perfect for the situation, try to wait until the end of the meeting and then run around your office. You can hold off anything for a time, I promise. Just wait for the right moment and you'll be golden.

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APA Reference
Prager, E. (2014, June 23). Adult ADHD and How We Look to Others, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, June 22 from

Author: Elizabeth Prager

June, 30 2014 at 10:22 am

Whether or not your observation about top chef contestant is correct,it is unprofessional unless you are licensed to make diagnoses,you have done nothing more than label him in a disparaging way, and coupled that by putting a picture of him so prominently that anyone who looks at your post will assume it is a fact that he suffers from an affliction. Very cruel.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Elizabeth Prager
July, 2 2014 at 8:15 am

Hi Linda, I'm sorry it came off that way. I tried to make it clear that I had no idea whether he actually has this diagnosis - and that it's not a negative thing even if he does. It wasn't meant to be a diagnosis, simply a jumping off point for what I thought up for that week's post.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Elizabeth Prager
July, 2 2014 at 8:19 am

I've also removed his picture and name. Thanks for your input!

Mark Noo
June, 23 2014 at 5:06 pm

I am trying to determine (with a counselor) if I have ADHD. All previous doctors have told me I am depressed.
Anyway, if I am ADHD I worry about the stigma. Everyone has experienced depression to some extent. Abraham Lincoln was depressed. Depression surely suck but at least it seems somewhat acceptable.
ADHD, however, is a whole different critter in the eyes of the public. It is scary, people think maybe you tweaked on the crank one too many times.
I do some of the things you pointed out as symptoms. I hope I am ADHD because maybe the medication for that will help (upping my Seratonin has not helped, but Bupropion does help).

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Elizabeth Prager
June, 24 2014 at 11:42 am

Hiya Mark - I think one good thing to know is how things have definitely changed for the better! Back when I was growing up, no one would say I had ADHD, because no one thought you could have both ADHD and a high level of intelligence ... Most people know that is not the case at all. Good luck figuring out what works for you!

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