ADHD: A survey into how the disorder is affecting America

A study of 1,500 Americans revealed that half of adults are displaying enough symptoms to indicate an extreme likelihood of living with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder as the condition continues to trend online.

Bitely Team
Last update:calendarApr 20, 2024
Read time:clock6 min
The impact of ADHD on American society A survey of how it affects the community

A study of 1,500 Americans revealed that half of adults are displaying enough symptoms to indicate an extreme likelihood of living with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder as the condition continues to trend online.

With the awareness of ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) on the rise, google trends search data on ADHD steadily rising over the last five years* and over 10.7 billion videos using the hashtag #ADHD; we decided we wanted to dive a bit deeper and see if this was more than a social media trend. 

Google data alone has provided us with some insight, showing that searches for ‘ADHD’ have more than doubled, with known and recommended coping mechanisms also skyrocketing. Searches for ‘body-doubling’ went up by 3,150%. (A body-double is someone who sits and shadows a neurodivergent person to act as a silent but friendly pressure to keep them on track with boring or difficult tasks.)

That being said, Google data can only tell you how curious someone is about a topic. We wanted to know more, so we surveyed 1,500 adults from a wide range of ages, genders, ethnicities, and social classes to find out just how many Americans could be living with the condition.

Our research revealed that those aged 65 and over are most likely to be living with undiagnosed ADHD, which anecdotally could be because older people were less likely to speak about mental health issues of any kind. Other studies have also supported this, with older people talking to their health practitioners and stating that a diagnosis of a younger person in their family has led them to research the possibility of them having ADHD themselves.

The 18-24 age bracket is the next most affected, with four in ten (39%) adults displaying intense symptoms (which just so happens to be the age group that a majority of TikTok creators fall in and might be the reason for the now well-known ADHDTok!)

Our findings have revealed that half of adults display symptoms that strongly indicate they might have ADHD, which is enormous. Since it can take years and be difficult to diagnose, we’ve put together a guide on ways to help deal with undiagnosed ADHD in the hope that we can provide not only some information for those wondering about their mental and neuro-health but also some comfort for anyone that might be feeling lonely in their experiences with ADHD, whether officially diagnosed or not.

Ways to help deal with undiagnosed ADHD

Keep Things Simple

ADHD-associated brain fog can make you feel like there’s always a river of work to be done, and you’re stuck without a paddle. Finding some momentum to start can always be challenging, but once you have, try to tick off some easy or simpler tasks on your to-do list, which could give you the drive to tick off more on your list. ADHD brains crave dopamine more often than typical brains, and ticking items off a to-do list can give you a burst of dopamine - improving mood and motivation!

Station Creation

Setting up stations in your home can do double duty for those with ADHD. Keeping related items together can make cleaning and household tasks a breeze and help reduce friction when it comes to getting tasks done. For example, keeping grocery bags and shopping lists together for going to the store or keeping postal stamps, letter paper, and envelopes in the same drawer sounds simple, but we promise it will save you time and stress in the long run. 

Remind yourself and be kind to yourself.

The sooner you realise that things won’t always be perfect (and to be honest, it isn’t for anyone, no matter what it might look like!), the sooner you can stop being hard on yourself when things feel tough. It’s important to remind yourself that things won’t always go smoothly, so give yourself time to breathe and take the necessary steps that are best for you and the situation. 

Speaking of reminders, utilize your smartphone and computer’s clock apps to prompt you to do tasks; several apps and even paper systems can help you take notes and keep track of functions and events.

Give yourself time

It’s important for people living with ADHD to schedule extra time between events and tasks to help them unwind and prepare for the next thing on their agenda. Having a buffer can also act as a contingency plan should they forget something or feel overwhelmed.

Make Safe Lists

Keeping a note of' safe' things can help reduce decision fatigue. Significant examples include creating lists of easy, low-energy meals to make meal planning and food shops less stressful or additionally keeping a packing list handy for weekend breaks so you can help prevent yourself from forgetting essential items and any pre-getaway stress. 

Learn to say ‘no’

ADHD brains tend to be impulsive, which can lead to saying yes to too many people and projects and ultimately ending up with too much on their plate. Although saying ‘no’ might feel bad at the time, carefully curating what you do with your time can help you accomplish more at a better quality, arrive at appointments on time, and reduce stress.

Do you have ADHD? Or think you might have? You don’t need to be diagnosed to work out what helps you live your best life, so why not check out our collection on ADHD here? 

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