The impact of ADHD on American society: A survey of how it affects the community

A study of 1,500 Americans found that 50% of adults in the study showed enough symptoms to indicate a strong or very strong likelihood of having Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. The recent rise in ADHD awareness has caused an increase in Google Trends searches over five years (ADHD means attention deficit hyperactivity disorder), and more than 10.7 billion TikTok videos have been posted with the hashtag #ADHD. So we decided to take a closer look at this trend to see if it went beyond just a trend

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Bitely Team
Last update:calendarFeb 21, 2024
Read time:clock9 min
The impact of ADHD on American society: A survey of how it affects the community

A study of 1,500 Americans found that 50% of adults in the study showed enough symptoms to indicate a strong or very strong likelihood of having Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.


The recent rise in ADHD awareness has caused an increase in Google Trends searches over five years (ADHD means attention deficit hyperactivity disorder), and more than 10.7 billion TikTok videos have been posted with the hashtag #ADHD. So we decided to take a closer look at this trend to see if it went beyond just a trend.


Based on the Google data alone, we can see how the ADHD search has grown over the past few years, as well as that new and helpful coping strategies have skyrocketed, with searches for ‘body-doubling’ increasing by 3,150%. (Body-doubles are people who sit alongside neurodivergent individuals to serve as a kind of silent-yet-familiar reminder to ensure they stay on track when dealing with tedious or challenging tasks.)


We do not want to be limited to what Google data can tell us about how curious people are about a topic. So, in addition to this study, we looked at other ones too. Another survey was conducted on 1,500 adults from various backgrounds, including people of all generations, sexes, racial groups, classes, and socioeconomic statuses, to determine how many Americans might have already been affected by the disaster.


There is evidence to suggest that older people are more likely than younger people to have undiagnosed ADHD, probably because older people are more reluctant than younger people to talk about issues related to mental health. The findings of other studies also support this, where older people contacted healthcare providers after a young person's relative was diagnosed with ADHD, which encouraged them to investigate whether they had the disorder.


There is also a significant amount of ADHD sufferers among the 18-24 age group, with an estimated four out of ten adults having severe symptoms of the disorder (and it also fits into the age gap of most TikTok creators, hence the now well-known ADHDTok!)


The results of our study suggest that approximately half of the adults show symptoms that indicate they may have ADHD, which is a very significant finding. Our guide on handling undiagnosed ADHD is meant to help anyone who is thinking about their mental and neuro-health and is concerned about how they are dealing with it. In addition, we hope we can offer some information to people curious about their mental and neurological health, as well as some comfort for those who might feel alone in their struggles with ADHD, whether diagnosed or not.



Undiagnosed ADHD: Ways to Cope


  • Simplicity is key


You may feel overwhelmed by the amount of work that needs to be done and that you are stuck with no way to manage it. It can be due to ADHD-associated brain fog. As always, starting something new can be difficult, but once you start, try to accomplish some easy or more uncomplicated chores on your to-do list, which may increase your motivation to accomplish more as you progress through it. When you tick an item off a to-do list, your brain will get a dopamine rush - which will help improve your mood and motivation - something ADHD brains crave more often than typical brains.


  • Setting up a station


For those with ADHD, establishing stations in their homes will serve a double purpose. In addition to making home cleaning tasks easier, keeping similar items together in your drawer can also help to ease the process of completing tasks as well, for example, keeping shopping lists and grocery bags together for a trip to the mall or keeping stamps, letter paper, and envelopes together in the same drawer when writing a letter. As simple as this may sound, we assure you that it will save you a great deal of stress and time in the long run if you accomplish this. 


  • Make sure you remember to treat yourself well


You can be kind to yourself in challenging situations by realizing that things will not always be perfect (and honestly, they will never be perfect for anyone) - remember this and give yourself time to breathe and take the necessary steps.


If you have trouble keeping track of tasks and events, use your smartphone or computer's clock app to remind you. You can also take notes using an app or even on paper.


  • Take your time


People with ADHD must plan additional time between events, tasks, and other commitments to allow them to relax before the next task on their schedule. As a contingency plan, buffers can also help you if you lose something or feel overwhelmed.


  • Create a safe list


When you keep a list of things that are 'safe,' you can reduce decision fatigue. For example, you can make great use of these ideas by making lists of easy, low-energy recipes so that planning your meals and grocery shopping is less stressful or by creating a packing list for your weekend getaway so that you can ensure you don't forget anything important and take care of any pre-trip stress before you leave. 


  • Don't be afraid to say 'no.'


It is common for ADHD brains to be impulsive, resulting in them taking on too many projects and accepting too many offers and eventually having too much to do. As much as it might seem unright at the moment to say 'no,' effectively managing your time can help you achieve more at a higher level, help you show up on time, and help you reduce your stress levels.


  • Get rid of distractions 


Many factors can affect how much you can accomplish when you have attention issues, including how you work and what is around you. The place where you work matters. Let co-workers know you need to concentrate. You should minimize distractions. 


  • Spend time outdoors and exercise


The most effective and positive method of reducing ADHD hyperactivity and inattention is to exercise. A regular exercise program can help reduce stress, improve mood, and calm your mind. It can also help you work off the extra energy and aggression that can interfere with relationships and leave you feeling unwell.


  • Sleep well


Depriving yourself of sleep can exacerbate symptoms of adult ADHD, making it harder for you to cope with stress and maintain focus throughout the day. However, the most superficial changes to your daytime habits will ensure you get a good night's sleep.

For example, you can try to limit caffeine consumption late in the day. Exercising vigorously and regularly is also a good idea, but not two hours before bedtime. Most importantly, set up a predictable and quiet "bedtime" routine, including a hot bath or shower before sleep. Follow this routine with strict adherence.


  • Believe in the power of meditation


Aside from the fact that mindfulness meditation reduces stress, it can also help you resist distractions better, reduce impulsivity, improve your focus, and provide you with greater control over your emotions. Some adults with ADHD may find that meditation can be challenging because of symptoms of hyperactivity, in which case they may benefit from starting slowly. As you become more comfortable with the process and learn to maintain focus more easily, start meditating for short periods and gradually increase your duration. If you want to remain mindful in your everyday life, the key is to draw upon these mindfulness techniques as needed during your everyday life. It may be a good idea to try online guided meditations or free phone apps that are inexpensive or free. 


Do you suffer from ADHD? Is it possible that you do? Or does someone close to you suffer from ADHD? If you want to know what will help you or your loved ones to live your best life, you can find out more in our Bitely app. With our book summaries you can learn everything you need to know about ADHD and many other important topics. Throughout each book report you will find real-life examples, advice from experts, insightful quotes and a quiz at the end.

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