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21 ADHD Workplace 'Moods' That Are Too Damn Relatable

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I feel as if one of the first things that happens when you get diagnosed with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is you start to realize all the ways it impacts your life. It starts with the big things like distractibility, memory problems, and maybe sensory sensitivities. Then later on you learn about rejection-sensitive dysphoria (RSD), the impact it can have on your emotions, the lifelong dopamine chase, and other nittier and grittier aspects of it all. Some things you can read up on and prepare yourself for. However, there are other aspects of life with this disorder that nothing can really prepare you for, especially in the workplace.

Other relevant stories:
Is ADHD a Learning Disability?
Is ADHD Neurodivergent?
Arguing With Someone Who Has ADHD
What is ADHD?

You never realize just how intrusive ADHD is until you’re trying to learn how to live with a condition you’ve always had. You go through different emotions – anger, frustration, grief, sadness, elation, you name it, and going through all of that while you’re also trying to secure a check is hard. 

Working and growing in your career can be hard for anyone. Navigating a new (or established) industry, learning new company cultures, and making sure you get all your work done and seem impressive to your management, while also trying to make time for yourself all contribute to one giant (and what feels like impossible) balancing act. Once we look at ADHD and the way it impacts us in our professional life, things can get even more complicated.

Learning about yourself when you have a deadline isn’t easy to manage, and after a few years, I’ve pinpointed a few ADHD workplace “moods” I had no idea existed. 

1. “This task doesn’t excite me in the slightest, so I’m going to put it off until I get at least two follow-up emails and feel pressure to get it done before EOD.”

2. “Oh look, something changed at work. Guess my entire day is ruined.”

3. “I’m only going to spend 30 minutes on this task…How did four hours pass?”

4. “I was asked one question about this one specific thing, so now I have to explain four different topics to answer that one question.”

5. “I have a meeting at 2 p.m. It’s currently 12:30 p.m. Guess I can’t do anything until then.”

6. “I somehow lost five hours worth of time. Time to fit in eight hours’ worth of work in three!”

7. “This office is too cold. I can’t work.”

8. “This office is too hot. I can’t work.”

9. “I can’t stop focusing on this one innocuous detail.”

10. “I completely forgot this task exists and it’s due in 30 minutes.”

11. “My manager hasn’t given me praise recently, so obviously, I am horrible at my job and they’re probably thinking of letting me go.”

12. “I want to be friends with my coworker, but they’d probably hate me, so I’m not going to ask.”

13. “I would love to be considered for management, but they’d never pick me. I’ll stay safe and keep doing what I’m doing.”

14. “I can’t focus on this task. I hate myself.”

15. “I need to pay attention in this meeting. Oh, I like that metaphor my boss used. Skating through the quarter. Huh, I haven’t skated in a hot minute. Probably years. The last time I did I fell and bruised my shoulder. That wasn’t nearly as bad as the time I dislocated my shoulder. Did I ever finish paying that hospital bill? Oh shit, they’re calling my name–”

16. “I only have one task to do today, and it feels like pulling teeth. Today is so hard.”

17. “I have seven three major projects, all of equal importance, and for some reason I’m really breezing through them.

18. “I was super productive today! Can’t wait to be as productive tomorrow.” The next day “Why am I so tired today?”

19. “Blink. Nod your head. God, I’m tired. Nod your head again. Make a little ‘hmmm’ sound. Oh wait, my coworker’s eyebrows just shot up. I’ll furrow mine ambiguous. Blink again. Whatever you do, just don’t tap your foot. Don’t do it.”

20. “Why do all my coworkers keep saying that I’m annoying?”

21. “OK. Remember to mention the new KPIs. You have one job, and that’s it…wait what was I supposed to mention?

Can you relate? Comment below with any workplace ADHD moods I may have missed.

Stay Mighty!

Getty image by nadia_bormotova

Originally published: September 16, 2022
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