Taken singly, ADHD symptoms do resemble typical human behaviors—because they are. But there’s nothing “simple” about it.
“ADHD is a matter of severity, an exaggeration of normal human behaviors,” explains physician, author, and ADHD expert Patricia Quinn, MD.
Furthermore, you can have a little ADHD or a lot—or be somewhere in the middle.
Is it also true that, as we often hear, “Everyone has a little ADHD”? No. A person might struggle around some of ADHD’s symptoms (that is, human traits). But without struggling with a certain number of traits—to the point of creating impairment in life—that person does not have ADHD.
University of Pennsylvania psychologist J. Russell Ramsay, Phd, debunks the “Everyone Has It” myth this way:
Saying that everyone who has some trouble with organization and procrastination has ADHD stands akin to claiming that because everyone periodically feels sad or nervous, that everyone has depression or anxiety disorders.
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