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ADHD and the Absurd

There are many signs you might come across in your life that you have a case of ADHD on your hands. Frequently missing details due to inattention. Having trouble staying in one place for extended periods of time.

Messy DeskAnother is the presence of the absurd.

For example, it’s downright absurd that I’ve found myself running up hundreds of dollars of library fines multiple times. It’s ridiculous, nonsensical.

The length of time I can procrastinate on things for – months, or even years – is, again, totally beyond the boundaries of reason. The state of organization on my desk and, at times, in my room, has also spiraled into the absurd.

There’s no logical reason that I wouldn’t return my library books, stop procrastinating, clean my desk. If there’s a “reasonable” amount of procrastination and disorganization, people with ADHD have been known to venture far past these limits.

Of course, just because the level of procrastination and disorganization in the lives of ADHDers can seem firmly rooted in the nonsensical doesn’t mean these behaviors actually occur without reason. They result from things like impaired executive functions, an aversion to understimulating tasks, and the ability of multiple small acts of irresponsibility to accumulate into total chaos.

Just because you understand the reasons behind something, though, doesn’t mean that thing necessarily seems any less ridiculous. The amount of library fines I’ve ended up paying is still absurd. At least they go to a good cause.

So besides the textbook ADHD symptoms, here’s another telltale sign to look for: the presence of the absurd in your daily life.

Image: Flickr/Ali West

ADHD and the Absurd

Neil Petersen

Neil Petersen writes regularly on education, learning disabilities and technology. He received his B.A. in 2014 and was diagnosed with ADHD at the beginning of his college studies. Neil also works for a music education non-profit and hopes to help create an education system that can better serve students with ADHD.

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APA Reference
Petersen, N. (2018). ADHD and the Absurd. Psych Central. Retrieved on August 13, 2020, from


Last updated: 26 Jan 2018
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