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7 Dirty Little ADHD Secrets – Part II

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Yesterday we covered the first three of seven dirty little ADHD secrets.

Draw near. Shhhhh… remember, I’m not supposed to be sharing these.

Let’s keep this between you and me, ok?

Dirty Little ADHD Secrets #4 – 7

4 ) We’re smarter than you

Don’t worry, we don’t believe it either. Until we’re diagnosed, that is. You might be astonished to learn how many clinicians see ADHD teens or young adults in their office lamenting how dumb they are. Yet when an IQ test is administered they test, for example, in the 92nd percentile or higher (that is, they outperform 92% of the population).

Even if confronted with evidence of higher-than-average smarts, it’s unlikely we’ll lord it over you; we’ve had decades to feel inadequate, and no level of IQ will save us from feeling like a dufus at a party. Intelligence comes in many forms, and especially if we’re late-diagnosed, we’ll have a long way to go before we catch up on emotional, social, or many other kinds of intelligences.

But we’re still smarter than you. So there.

5 ) We’ve got a secret handshake

Ok, not a handshake exactly, but we recognize each other, even though to the untrained eye we might look very different one from the other. For a vivid example of this, watch Her Fast Mind, a documentary by Dr. Tim Bilkey with feature interviews of yours truly and Karen O’Donnell, a documentary filmmaker (A Mind Like Mine, Odd Kid Out). Unlike myself, Karen identifies more with the spacey, inattentive subtype. So how do people with ADHD know it when they see it? I can’t say. It’s a secret, remember? (Ok, for a hint, read ADHD: The Immigrant Experience).

6 ) We find respite in each other’s company

When you’re not around, we talk differently, about different things, at a different pace, and with different sub-texts. We use shorthand and can even blank out, get up and walk out of the room, or interrupt and not take it personally because we understand the behavior. This, of course, goes especially for those of us who have been diagnosed and have learned about ADHD. It’s exhausting constantly corralling our ADHD tendencies. Every once in a while, we need to take a breather, recharge our batteries, and be amongst fellow tribe members who understand us without need for explanation.

7 ) We can meditate

Even some ADHDers don’t know this secret. But it’s true. Not only is it true, it’s a Godsend. Buddhasend? Whatever. It’s a superimportant practice because it comes almost as close to a non-medicinal treatment in effectiveness as physical activity.

The key is finding the right type of meditation. It’s not all about sitting still and emptying your mind. We can almost all agree we’d rather be hung up by our toenails (the kinky types especially I would imagine) rather than sit still and attempt the impossible: ridding ourselves of the constant barrage of thoughts.

There are other kinds of meditation that are better suited to our neurobiology and which still hold great benefits. Vipassana, aka mindfulness meditation; chanting; or even walking meditation are examples that seem better suited to the ADHD mind.

Your turn

Ok, those of you with ADHD who are reading. It’s your turn. ‘Fess up: what is your dirty little ADHD secret? Go ahead. We won’t tell.


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7 Dirty Little ADHD Secrets – Part II

Zoë Kessler, BA, B.Ed.

Zoë Kessler is an award-winning author, journalist, and speaker specializing in women and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD / ADD).

A frequent contributor to ADDitude Magazine, Kessler has also created video, standup comedy, and guest blogs on ADHD and Marriage covering ADHD-related topics.

Zoë, an internationally recognized ADHD expert, has been interviewed on radio and featured in magazine articles, documentaries, and books on the topic of women and ADHD across North America.

Her newly-released memoir ADHD According to Zoë - The Real Deal on relationships, Finding Your Focus & Finding Your Keys (New Harbinger Publications, 2013) about life with ADHD is now available.

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APA Reference
Kessler, Z. (2014). 7 Dirty Little ADHD Secrets – Part II. Psych Central. Retrieved on June 16, 2019, from


Last updated: 23 May 2014
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