Experts estimate that about 10% of the US population has Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. According to the ABA about 12.5% of lawyers admit to having ADHD—that means 1 out of 8 lawyers admits to having ADHD. The actual incidence is likely to be higher.
What does ADHD look like in adults?
Adult ADHD symptoms may include:
Disorganization and problems prioritizing
Poor time management skills
Problems focusing on a task
Excessive activity or restlessness
Low frustration tolerance
Frequent mood swings
Problems following through and completing tasks
Trouble coping with stress
Why should you care?
Adults with unmanaged ADHD are more likely to suffer from anxiety, depression, substance abuse, and not surprisingly, a shortened life expectancy.
How is ADHD in adults treated?
- Cognitive behavorial therapy or ADHD coaching
Do I have to be diagnosed with ADHD in order to work with an ADHD coach?
No. The DSM-5 requires that an adult show 5 or more of the symptoms of ADHD for 6 months or more. https://www.addrc.org/dsm-5-criteria-for-adhd )
Some people only show 3 or 4 symptoms and others only show symptoms for shorter periods of time when they are in highly stressful situations. An ADHD coach can work with people who are diagnosed ADHD or who exhibit symptoms of ADHD.
What do ADHD symptoms look like for lawyers?
- I chronically underestimate how long things are going to take. So, I get things done at the last minute or miss deadlines.
- I handle complex cases brilliantly but for some reason I can’t even get started if the project is uninteresting.
- My office is disorganized, and I’m always misplacing things.
- I blurt out comments during meetings that aren’t always appreciated.
- If I am interested in a topic, I research it extensively and pursue every avenue. I have a hard time deciding when enough is enough.
- Sometimes, my supervisors claim that my writing is disorganized.
- When I am told to make only my three best arguments, I have a hard time distinguishing between the most important arguments and the most interesting ones.
- I have a hard time remembering directions and I’m too embarrassed to ask to have them repeated.
- When I see something that is unfair, I feel very strongly about it and speak without thinking about possible adverse consequences.
- When I get frustrated, I speak out without thinking and sometimes offend others.
After [my] meeting, I did something I’ve never done before: I sent an email to the hiring manager …explaining how great I would be at the open position at his company — completely unsolicited. After I hit the “send” key, I was overwhelmed at how much confidence I’d shown. He got right back to me and said he’d told his HR Department to make sure that I moved onto the next step in their hiring process! That was such an affirming moment for me!
Don’t let that great smile and sweet voice fool you. Anita Pool-Genes leverages her decades of professional excellence and experience to ask the simplest but most powerful questions to challenge your limiting beliefs. Before you know it, you are arriving where you said you wanted to be, dignity intact, and confidence considerably boosted.