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I Got The ADHD Flu

Makes perfect sense ...
Makes perfect sense …

I’m not well. I have some kind of bug. And yes, it’s annoying me. My head is aching and my eyes are itchy and my sinuses … well, some of you might be eating, let’s not discuss what my sinuses are doing.

My lungs are okay though, so far, anyway, which is a good thing I think. I was at my monthly artists event here in my town, we call it “Sounds,” and I was able to play and sing a song.

By the end of that song, though, I was ready to get off stage. My head was swimming and I felt a bit sweaty and overheated. Luckily it was just an open mic spot, and not the featured entertainer gig.

But this isn’t the thing I was referring to in the tittle. This is just the bug. The ADHD flu is what you get when you have ADHD AND you get the flu, or a cold, or any other health issue that manages to sidetrack you. Actually, the ADHD flu is getting ill or having any stressful or overwhelming experience as a person with ADHD.

Oh really?

Well, this sounds like I’m just whining about being sick. Actually it is kind of just whining about being sick, since I have no other experience with illness than as a person with ADHD. But I can tell you this without having to ask anyone for verification, when I’m not well, my ADHD is worse. So I’m guessing that if I didn’t have ADHD, that might not occur.

But then again, maybe it would. Everyone has ADHD symptoms, just not as often or as extreme, but maybe when they get ill, those symptoms increase, intensify … maybe.

But mine were already bad. Now I’m just wandering around the house looking for the thing that’s already in my hand when finding that things was not any one of the ten things I thought I should have done when I got up … and, I’m moving slower, and I’m more frustrated with myself for that, for both those things actually.

And as if that isn’t enough, I get up to take meds for my headache, and find myself rearranging my fiction novels in the piles at the ends of each couch and chair and in the bathroom, and I can’t remember if I got the meds I wanted. So now I’m stressing about being sick, being distracted, trying to decide between taking a dose of medication that might mean double dosing, or not taking any which might mean not taking any at all, whatsoever.

This isn’t just a bit frustrating, this is frustration on steroids, this is the death star of frustration, this is a frustration reminiscent of explaining ebay to my mother when she decided she wanted to sell things on there. “Well, mom, first, you’ll need to do more than email …”

But you know what?

This is the thing, ADHD is what I live with every day. The flu? Not so much, right? They come, they go. Yes they are frustrating, but I’ve had years of practice learning to cope.

And cope I will. And if I need any kind of encouragement, I’ll take my cue from teaching my mother, who sold thousands of dollars worth of stuff on ebay before she passed away in her seventies. And I taught her how to do that.

And I think I had a cold at the time, too.

I Got The ADHD Flu

Kelly Babcock

I was born in the city of Toronto in 1959, but moved when I was in my fourth year of life. I was raised and educated in a rural setting, growing up in a manner I like to refer to as free range. I live on the traditional lands of the Chippewas of Nawash in an area where my family history stretches back 6 or 7 generations and my First Nations friend's families go back hundreds of generations. I was diagnosed with ADHD at the age of 50 and have been both struggling with the new reality and using my discoveries to make my life better. I am a freelance writer and I write two blogs here at Psych Central, one about living with ADHD and one that is a daily positive affirmation that acts as an example of finding the good in as much of my life as I possibly can.

Find out more about me on my website: writeofway.

email me at ADHD Man

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APA Reference
Babcock, K. (2015). I Got The ADHD Flu. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 29, 2020, from


Last updated: 4 Oct 2015
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