After I was diagnosed with the combined ADHD presentation, I always wondered… what does this mean? Does this indicate that I am affected by a combination of things?!? Well, it turns out that ADHD predominant combined is the presentation of the ADHD symptoms I exhibit. In other words, it’s how my ADHD symptoms manifest. There is a lot more to it than you may think.
According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), ADHD primarily has 3 predominant presentations: predominantly inattentive, hyperactive/impulsive and combination. Each of these categories has distinct characteristics that distinguish it from the others, and each of them can be presented in a variety of ways. At Indigo Hub, I encounter a lot of people with various ADHD presentation that present in different ways. Yes, we may have some similarities but there’s never been two people with the same presentations and symptoms of ADHD! There are unique differences that set us apart from one another.
Here are some examples of descriptions that describe the different presentation of ADHD which may present along with different symptoms:
My ADHD manifests itself in a completely different way in comparison to others I know. I am organized, but perhaps a little too much. I am not particularly spontaneous, but my thinking is original and creative! Check out some facts about me:
Diagnosis: ADHD Predominantly Combined Presentation
Strengths: Expressive, authentic, passionate, curious, spirited, driven, creative and intuitive.
Challenges: Emotional regulation, physical and cognitive hyperactivity, impulsive buying and decision-making, time management, prioritization, inflexibility and attention shifting.
Diagnosis: ADHD Predominantly Inattentive Presentation
Strengths: Generous, thoughtful, grounded, observant, imaginative, dedicated and empathetic.
Challenges: Procrastination, sustained attention, forgetfulness, organization, motivation, confidence, sensitivity and cognitive hyperactivity.
Diagnosis: ADHD Predominantly Hyperactive/Impulsive Presentation
Strengths: Courageous, resilient, optimistic, enthusiastic, spontaneous, loving and humorous.
Challenges: Channelling hyperactive energy, organisation, impulsiveness, anger, time estimation, attention retention and thrill-seeking.
These are just some symptoms that my friends and I have, but if you’re reading this blog, I’m guessing your ADHD presents itself somewhat differently, in its own and unique manner. One of the things I like about Indigo Hub is that we go beyond these manifestations of ADHD and the corresponding challenges. We concentrate on the unique strengths that define us.
Following a diagnosis, the first and most important step is to grasp how the condition specifically presents itself.
Here are my top I’s to understand the presentation of ADHD you may have:
Look beyond the diagnosis: The diagnosis is significant, but it tends to focus on the problems and struggles we encounter. Instead of getting bogged down in all of it, take the diagnosis with a grain of salt and utilize the knowledge to educate yourself!
Put the challenges into context: Take your unique struggles and put them into the context of your everyday life to identify how they may affect you. Self-awareness is the first step towards understanding more about the diagnosis.
Search for the strengths: Identifying the challenges you are confronted with is essential, but for every difficulty, there are many more strengths that you may display. Look for and identify the strengths that define you! They can provide you with the help you need to handle your unique ADHD struggles.
Speak and relate to others: The best way to understand our presentations and symptoms is by speaking with others. It may sound simple but it can make the biggest difference! Discussing experiences may help you connect with others and feel less alone.
Determine where you want to see the most growth: Once all the preceding steps are taken, this is the next step to take. Decide on where exactly you want to take your ADHD challenges and how you want to address them. This allows you to explore and plan how you can achieve this.
When it came to understanding my ADHD presentation, it took a lot of time and effort. I utilized my strengths of curiosity and creativity to find a way to understand what my diagnosis meant. I’ll leave you with the biggest lesson I’ve learned from all of this which is that no matter who you are,
YOU ARE MORE THAN JUST YOUR ADHD!
I hope you realise it!