What does it mean to have ADHD?

A former pro athlete and opera singer share their stories

Seydou, 31
Former professional football player

Sophie, 52
Former opera singer

A Day in the Life of Someone with ADHD

KEVIN*

  • 42, roofer
  • Father of three
  • Two of his sons also have ADHD

Kevin’s wife is hoping he can get help managing his ADHD throughout the day.

Mornings:

  • Commutes to various
    job sites in the city
  • Struggles to follow
    GPS directions
  • Often gets lost, arrives late

Afternoons:

  • Recently had a few careless
    accidents at work
  • Often argumentative
    with co-workers
  • Long commute home
  • Loses patience in traffic
    and frequently feels “road rage”

Evenings:

  • Often has a few drinks
    throughout the evening
  • Seems to ignore the many
    unfinished projects sitting
    in his garage
  • Has difficulty helping kids
    with homework and bedtime
    routines – loses his patience
    easily

Justin*

  • 18, university student
  • Living away from parents for
    the first time

Justin needs help with his ADHD throughout the day, and into the evening.

Mornings:

  • Frequently late for classes
  • Rarely makes it through lectures
    without taking walking breaks

Afternoons:

  • Has trouble staying awake
    in class
  • Has had to reduce his
    course load

Evenings:

  • Studies well into the night, has
    trouble maintaining focus
  • sometimes takes him hours to
    read a few pages
  • Struggles with low self-esteem
  • At the end of the day, he feels
    like he let himself down by not
    keeping up, and is buried in
    work

luci*

  • 8 years old
  • Wants to be rich when she
    grows up

Luci’s mom is looking to her doctor for a formal diagnosis and management advice.

  • Luci’s mom complains
    that Luci is easily distracted
    and spends a lot of time
    daydreaming
  • Luci has difficulty engaging in
    play activities quietly and often
    acting as if “driven by a motor”
  • Luci’s teachers say that she
    consistently avoids tasks that
    require sustained mental effort
  • She often blurts out answers
    before questions have been
    fully asked and talks excessively
  • Luci has difficulty getting
    organized
  • Her friends complain because
    she is frequently late
  • Takes over conversations,
    and intrudes on others

*All patients are fictional