Terry’s Top 7 ADHD Pet Peeves  

  1. Being referred to as an “ADHDer.”

    I am not an ADHDer; I’m a woman who has ADHD. I don’t define myself by my ADHD- it’s just a part of who I am. We don’t call people with depression depressioners, or people with anxiety anxieters. Please don’t call me an ADHDer- I don’t belong to some special club.
    I know many of you will disagree, and that’s ok.
  2. We are all hyperactive and out of control

    Don’t assume most of us adults with ADHD are hyper, impulsive, socially inappropriate, and high maintenance. Most adults grow out of the hyperactivity/impulsivity we *might* have had as children. Note: most women with ADHD internalize their symptoms as depression, anxiety, and more.

    Many of us have long ago learned to compensate for some of our symptoms and even if they include hyperactivity, it’s generally seen quite differently than in children. For instance, we may sit in a long business meeting without getting up, but you’ll certainly see us kicking our legs, doodling on paper, fidgeting with our pens, etc.
  3. We are High Maintenance

    We are high maintenance to ourselves. One of the things I emphasis when working with adults with ADHD is to open up and learn to reach out and ask for help.  What comes easy to most is often not easy for us: paperwork, organizing, memory, keeping track of time, and more. The last thing we want is to feel like a burden to others. Yet, we tend to go it alone and end up working 100x harder than most.
  4. We are narcissistic types, too involved with ourselves

    It may appear that way, but what the outside world is not seeing is how hard we work to keep it together. Yes, that sometimes means we’re not paying enough attention to those around us- even those we love (and yes, we need to improve on that), but what you’re seeing is not what we are experiencing internally. In some ways, it’s how we survive, in that we work so hard to stay afloat, it may look like we don’t care about you. It’s simply not true.
  5. We are lazy

    Well, this one really gets to me. What we are is frozen, immobilized. How do we start on a project, chore, etc.? It involves healthy executive functioning, which none of us has because that’s the core problem of ADHD. Healthy EF means being able to easily plan, initiate/get started, stick with it, complete, transition, etc. This can leave us in a state of total frustration, and worse, until we retreat into a bath of calm, be it watching TV, perusing the internet, or entertaining ourselves with random thoughts. I have yet to meet a lazy ADHD adult. If our bodies are lethargic, our brains are full speed ahead, which is a total mismatch of body and mind.
  6. We aren’t very bright

    I have heard this from so many people, even those with ADHD. Simply said, there is no correlation between having ADHD and intelligence. Here are some well-known folks who have or probably have ADHD:

    – Sir Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Records
    – Simone Biles, most decorated gymnast in history
    – Michael Phelps
    – Ty Pennington
    – Jamie Oliver
    – David Neeleman, founder of JetBlue Airways
    – Solange Knowles (singer, songwriter and actress)
    – Dave Grohl (Foo Fighters)
    – Johnny Depp

    PS Another pet peeve of mine is assuming certain historical, famous people have ADHD when there is or was no way to know, as they hadn’t been evaluated or diagnosed, or it wasn’t a recognized condition at the time- i.e.Thomas Jefferson, JFK, John Lennon, Mozart, etc.
  7. ADHD is a Superpower

    This is a feel-good term to counterbalance the common feeling of being damaged, less-than, used to pull us up. That’s truly fine and good- to point out the positives of having ADHD. However, is ADHD a superpower?

    Every person with ADHD is *one* person and one person with ADHD; we are all different. We all need hope, but we don’t need false hope. I’ve seen sooo much damage to people who struggle with their ADHD and fewer people saying it’s been the best thing gifted to them at birth. This blog post at ADDitude Magazine says it way better than I can.

    Got your own ADHD Pet Peeves? Please drop a comment below in the comment section.

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ADHD Awareness Month Special Events!

Thursday, October 19, 2023 2:00 PM EDT

Join Kate and ADHD pioneer, psychotherapist and author, Sari Solden for an intimate live interview. Sari will be sharing details of her personal and professional journey and what she has learned over the thirty-five years as a therapist for neurodivergent women with her emphasis on radical acceptance.

More info and registration HERE

Sari’s Books

Order Sari’s Books HERE

The 14th Annual ADHD Awareness Expo

My friend and colleague, Tara McGillicuddy, packs a punch with this annual event. Tara interviews her special guests- all ADHD experts- including Dr. Ned Hallowell, Alan Brown, Dana Rayburn, Elizabeth Brink, Laurie Dupar, Bonnie Mincu, and many more, including me!

Come to my session: “Conquer Kitchen Chaos: Masterful Tips and Strategies for Dinner Success.”

It’s a free virtual event, so register today!

ADDA’s TADD Talks returns.

These 9-minute-long daily October talks by top ADHD experts will hold your interest and offer great info on important topics. And they are free!

Sign up today!

Terry Recommends

Ever feel this way? Shout it out loud!

Check it out HERE.




I get a lot of emails and guess what the #1 question I get is:

Where can I find a professional in my area who can help me?

Hop over to www.GetADHDhelp.com and find help in your area. I will be adding new listings daily.

** If you are a professional or have a service or product and would like to be added, you can do so at https://getadhdhelp.com/add-listing/. Want to learn more? Email me at support@addconsults.com.

Some of the top ADHD experts have already joined and you can, too. You’ll be in good company with Dr. Ned Hallowell, Sari Solden, Dr. John Ratey, Dr. Thomas E. Brown, Dr. Ari Tucker, Dr. Ellen Littman, Linda Anderson, Dr. Sharon Saline, Linda Roggli, Laurie Dupar, Alan Brown, Jeff Copper, Rene’ Brooks, and more.

Add your listing today!

Where’s Terry?

I’m on TikTok!

My Life with ADHD: Short blurbs and tips for women with ADHD. C’mon in and visit me there:

Terry’s Lifesavers

Clear Stackable Storage Bins: 20! With Lids!

How can you find your things unless you can SEE your things?

Organize your stuff in these clear storage bins.

Order yours HERE

Exclusive! Looking for One-on-One Help with Me? Zoom Consultations

Feeling stuck? Need to get your life back in order? I can help! 

Let’s work together to help you get back on track (or get started on your journey!). I provide short-term sessions offering psycho-educational information, resources, support, and mini-coaching to help you get started- whether you’re looking to find someone to evaluate you or if you’ve been struggling your whole life and are ready to get unstuck, I can help.  

I get it. Because I have ADHD, too, and over 25 years of experience working with adults with ADHD.

(I have a limited number of slots available; if you don’t see a time that works for you, email me at terry@ADDconsults.com).    

The Queens of Distraction

Struggling to tackle paper piles, toy piles, projects and more?

Then join me and your fellow Queens of Distraction online in a private, secret room where we Get Things Done. We “get” it and are here to help you.

Where to find Terry Matlen:

Website: www.ADDconsults.com
Coaching:  www.QueensOfDistraction.com
TikTok: www.tiktok.com/@terrymatlen

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