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How ADHD Feels

feeling in color …

You want to know how ADHD feels? Well, it feels normal for me, but that’s because it’s the only thing I’ve ever known.

And to be able to tell you how it feels different from being a neuro-typical person (NT) would require me to have experienced that.

But, you’re in luck, because I do have a few answers to the question, “How does it feel to have ADHD?”

How does that work?

I have these answers for several reasons, and one of the most significant ones is my ADHD itself. Those of us with this disorder are often seen as being very empathetic. So I kind of do know how it feels to be someone without ADHD, I can empathize.

True, I sometimes have little sympathy for those without ADHD when they show little or no sympathy for those of us with ADHD, but setting aside the discussion of ADHD itself, I can understand what they are feeling, who they are so to speak.

And then there’s …

I also spent over a year on a wonderful stimulant medication called Ritalin and it worked wonders for my frontal lobe activity, so I imagine I kind of know what it’s like to have a brain that can cope with time and responsibility and appointments, a brain that has and uses reason and logic and filters before making decisions that I used to leap to (and still sometimes do, I confess).

So there’s those two things, empathy and drug induced normalcy. But there’s also the fact that I have all the other attributes of an NT, we are the same species, the same stardust, we are all humans (we can even interbreed).


So, how does it feel to have ADHD as compared to being an NT? Well, it feels just fine. I mean, I feel like I could do this for the rest of my life. I get to use the leaping, flying mind to find points of view and aspects of concept and even inspiration that others would miss and I get to share that.

And if I’m being honest, so long as I ignore the way others believe I should feel about how I am, being me is a lot of fun.


I mean, having my taxes all caught up and knowing my schedule for the next few weeks without looking at it would be nice, having the laundry done and the house clean and the sticker for my license plate be up to date, and knowing those things were all taken care of would be great too, but that isn’t the way I’m wired and so I have to find my own kind of great.

And since I’ve decided not to look at ADHD in the same way that others do (the judging of, not the defining of) my great is just to roll with this wonderfully, wickedly, colorfully creative mind, to drink deeply at the pools of uniqueness it conjures, to sate my appetite in this grey world in the pools of brilliance that I see through my ADHD colored glasses.

And I’ll take it. I’ll take this life of mine over that life of neuro-typically otherness. And I will thrive.

And that … that feels damned good.

How ADHD Feels

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 in an area where my family history stretches back 6 or more 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 write two blogs here at Psych Central, one about having 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. (2018). How ADHD Feels. Psych Central. Retrieved on March 19, 2019, from


Last updated: 21 Mar 2018
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 21 Mar 2018
Published on All rights reserved.