Home » Blogs » ADHD Man of Distraction » Where One Stops And The Next Begins

Where One Stops And The Next Begins

cockpit of an A320
This is distracting ….

There is a list of symptoms that define ADHD, a set of criteria that make those symptoms valid, and a time line that is required before the diagnosis can actually be made.

The symptoms are the primary requirement, but the criteria must be met as well. The symptoms cannot be present only in one setting, for instance.

And the timeline is also a requirement, in order for an adult to be diagnosed with ADHD they must have had symptoms present in their youth.

Though, in honesty, if they meet all the other requirements but there is no evidence of symptom presence in their youth I’m not sure where that leaves them.

But today …

Today I want to discuss the cloudy lines that are drawn between symptoms.

If you read yesterdays post, I touched on this subject without mentioning it. I said that there is some evidence to suggest that hyperactivity is a physical manifestation of distraction.

Yet hyperactivity and distraction are two distinct symptoms of ADHD.

And then there’s …

Inattention is another possible manifestation of distraction.

Also, we have short term memory issues, but is that not just distraction again?

Let me just blurt this out

And our impulsiveness, is that that we forget the circumstance in which we would find ourselves if we focused on where we were and what our surroundings are?

Is that why we sometimes say inappropriate things? Because we were distracted from the moment we were in?

Is that why we sometimes do inappropriate things? Impulsive things? Because we were distracted?

And then there’s …

How often have you had to ask someone to repeat something? Or worse, just nodded and agreed and walked away wondering if you just agreed to do something that you don’t know about and possibly don’t have the wherewithal to do?

How often do you hear the words but your mind is preoccupied with other things and thought you recognize each word and you heard them and the order they were given in, you did not have the  resources to compile them into a thought and discern what was being said.

I respectfully submit that you were likely distracted by something ales and that amazingly well tuned yet not quite completely neuro-typically developed mind of yours was able to fool itself into thinking it was listening but was actually just inventorying the words and then throwing them in a pile in the corner with the laundry.

You were distracted!

And it’s not just when you’re listening to someone speak.

How many times have you had to read the same paragraph or even sentence over and over to parse it into a sensible message?

But this is not a criticism

Listen, I don’t think a simple mind can be distracted this easily. I think that it takes a complex mind to be able to distract itself so thoroughly and regularly. I think the Cesna brains can be flown much easier than the Airbus brains that we’re saddled with.

While I think that almost every symptom we have is actually a form of distraction, I submit it to you that if distraction were simple we wouldn’t constantly be struggling to identify symptoms. I believe that what we are trying to define is multiple forms of distraction.

And I believe that we are the only ones who can fly these wildly over powered minds of ours. Not by choice maybe, or by inherent skill, but because of the practice we’ve been forced to do on the daily, every day of our lives and all day long.

And that’s my four minutes of focus on distraction.

Where One Stops And The Next Begins

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

No comments yet... View Comments / Leave a Comment



APA Reference
Babcock, K. (2019). Where One Stops And The Next Begins. Psych Central. Retrieved on July 7, 2020, from


Last updated: 14 Aug 2019
Statement of review: Psych Central does not review the content that appears in our blog network ( prior to publication. All opinions expressed herein are exclusively those of the author alone, and do not reflect the views of the editorial staff or management of Psych Central. Published on All rights reserved.