Written by Dr. Valentina Quintana MD on
September 3, 2021
Reading Time: 10 minutes

Medically Reviewed by our Medical Affairs Team

Written by Dr. Valentina Quintana MD on:

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Are People with ADHD Easily Distracted?

People with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder are constantly and easily distracted. But is this really true? Like anyone, people with ADHD have a wide range of distractibility levels and abilities.

Some may find that they can focus on tasks for hours without getting distracted while others might get easily bored after only a few minutes of work. There’s no one-size-fits-all answer when it comes to distractions and how they affect people with ADHD.

There are some things you can do if distraction becomes an issue in your life. If you’re finding yourself struggling to stay focused or you notice that you’re becoming more distracted as time goes by, keep reading!

What is ADHD? 

ADHD is a common mental illness in children. Many adults are also affected by ADHD symptoms. These symptoms include inability to focus, hyperactivity, and impulsiveness.

8.4 percent of children diagnosed have ADHD. Approximately 2.5 percent of adults have ADHD. Five percent of those without ADHD have had an episode in their lifetime.

ADHD is a problem that causes people to be too active. It’s more common in boys than girls. People with ADHD might not do well at school because they have difficulty sustaining attention.

The 3 Types of ADHD

There are three types of ADHD: inattentive, hyperactive/impulsive, and combined. To get a diagnosis, one would have to have symptoms for the past six months.

1. Hyperactive-Impulsive ADHD Type

With hyperactive-impulsive ADHD the individual easily loses focus on tasks. They’re easily distracted by their environment or what’s going on around them. They tend to be quick, fidgety and restless.

  • Fidgets or squirms.
  • Unable to stay seated.
  • Runs about or climbs where it is inappropriate.
  • Unable to relax during leisure time.
  • Always has to be moving or “on the go”.
  • Excessively talkative.
  • Blurts out an answer, even before the other person is done speaking.
  • Has difficulty waiting for their turn.
  • Interrupts or intrudes on others.

2. Inattentive ADHD Type

People with this form of ADHD have trouble focusing. This is because they are easily distracted by their own thoughts or daydreaming. They tend to drift off mid-sentence if not brought back to attention.

  • Doesn’t pay close attention to details or makes careless mistakes in school or job tasks.
  • Trouble paying attention to tasks or hobbies.
  • When addressed, he/she does not appear to listen.
  • Inattentiveness to instructions and a failure to finish schoolwork, chores, or employment responsibilities
  • Organizes work and tasks poorly.
  • Tasks that need sustained mental effort are avoided or disliked.
  • Cannot maintain track of objects required for activities or day-to-day function.
  • Can be distracted easily
  • Forgets daily tasks.

3. Combined ADHD Type

Someone with ADHD may have both Hyperactive-Impulsive and Inattentive symptoms. If so, they will be labeled as having a Combination form of the disease.

How is ADHD Diagnosed?

To diagnose ADHD is a little tricky. ADHD is a spectrum disorder and every case is different. The only person who can actually diagnose you with ADHD is a psychiatrist.

Once someone thinks that they might have ADHD, the first step is to see a psychiatrist. This health professional will go over any and all symptoms you may be experiencing.

One should not expect any diagnostic test for this kind of condition. It’s a clinical diagnosis based on gathering data from several types of testing. There are tests designed specifically for finding out how easily a person with ADHD gets distracted and disorganized.

What Causes Inattentive ADHD?

The most common form of ADHD is inattentive attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Inattentive ADHD makes it difficult for an individual to stay focused on a task. Other symptoms are being easily distracted, forgetful, easily frustrated, and always late. There are often no obvious signs of hyperactivity for individuals with this type of ADHD.

The exact cause of inattentive ADHD is unknown. Research has shown that there are both genetic and environmental factors that may cause this type of ADHD. Individuals who have close relatives with ADHD are at higher risk for developing this subtype.

Chronic stress, emotional trauma, or neglect in childhood raised the risk of developing inattentive ADHD. Another factor can be environmental toxins.

Individuals with ADHD who have inattentiveness as a primary feature do not always have the same symptoms as those with other types of ADHD. Symptoms of inattentive ADHD usually develop slowly over time. It often goes undetected for years which results in an incorrect diagnosis or misdiagnosis.

What are the Symptoms of Inattentive ADHD?

Individuals who have this subtype are easily distracted. They are not able to pay attention to specific tasks or they quickly lose focus on what they are engaged in doing.

People with inattentive ADHD may lose things like books, toys, or work papers that are important for completing projects. They forget to return calls, follow through on promises made to others, or they miss deadlines to turn tasks in at school or work. They are also easily distracted by outside stimuli.

Individuals with this form of ADHD have a hard time concentrating and organizing. They may be confused a lot. People with this type of ADHD often forget to do things, come late for work or school, and may forget important dates.

Symptoms include:

  • Losing one’s train of thought while talking.
  • Having difficulty getting organized and completing projects on time.
  • Easily overwhelmed by daily tasks like balancing a checkbook or household chores.
  • Forgetting appointments such as doctor’s visits.
  • Not listening when other people speak.
  • Easily distracted by outside stimuli. This includes noises, conversations of others, or things going on around them.

People with inattentive ADHD have problems making friends, feel bad about themselves, and do not perform well at school or work. The person might feel like they are misunderstood because they daydream or look like they are spacing out.

Productivity Tips for People Who are Easily Distracted

Being productive is great for your mental health. Productivity is all about the little things. It’s about getting up early, making your bed, and doing the dishes before you go to work. Those are just a few of the habits that can help improve your productivity in life.

These distractions don’t have to be bad though! Sometimes they’re good for us because they take our minds off of what we need to do or remind us how much fun it is when we get stuff done!

We hope these tips will help you find ways to keep your mind focused so you can accomplish anything you set out to do:

1. Identify Distraction Triggers

Try acknowledging what is causing you to be easily distracted. When you know what the triggers are, it makes it a lot easier to avoid them. Try different ways to easily counteract your distractions. If you tend to be easily distracted by social media or by notifications on your phone then turn these off or put them on silent during working hours.

2. “See” the Task Getting Done

Visualize the task you are procrastinating about getting done. It’s really hard to put off something when you can see yourself doing it. This can be a really helpful tool for easily distracted people.

Try to see the task getting done and keep going back to that image in your head when you feel easily overwhelmed by what needs to get done. Another way of doing this is creating a to do list. You can also put a small reminder or icon on your phone, computer screen or somewhere else where it will remind you.

3. Follow Your Own Advice

You can easily get distracted easily. One of the best ways to get back on track with your productivity is to follow your own advice. So write a plan for how you will get things done and then stick with it. Give yourself a chance to get used to this new task. After a while, it will become part of your routine and you’ll easily be able to stick with it.

4. Keep a Lid on Your Emotions

If you’re easily distracted and easily frustrated, it can be hard to get your work done. If you want to reduce your procrastination and increase your productivity, try to keep a lid on your emotions. If you get frustrated easily by tasks that seem like they should be easy, stay away from these types of tasks for the day.

Instead, find something else to do for awhile, like reading your favorite blog or doing a mindfulness exercise. Once you feel calmer and more productive again, go back to the original task and see if it’s easier to complete this time around.

5. Nip Interruptions in the Bud

One thing that easily distracts is interruptions. When in the middle of something and someone walks in, it can be hard to get back into what you were doing. To stay productive, try to “nip” any potential interruptions in the bud by not letting distractions get the best of you.

This means quickly stopping any interruptions before they happen and then starting up where you left off after they’re gone. After a few weeks of practicing this strategy, your productivity will improve dramatically!

6. Juggle Your Tasks

One way to easily maintain productivity is by juggling tasks. Task-management systems can help you to stay on top of all your tasks. Use a calendar to schedule time blocks for specific projects or tasks, and a timer or alarm clock to remind you how long you’ve been working. If you need an extra push, make it social – set up a call with a friend who can give you encouragement.

7. Stop, Look, and Listen

Stop what you’re doing and take a few deep breaths. Look at the tasks that you need to accomplish. Listen to the task that needs to be done.

8. Put a Team Together

It might be difficult to manage ADHD on your own. If you’re easily distracted, you might need a little extra help for your mental health.

Some people find that they’re easily distracted by things like noise, conversations, or even their own thoughts. While there are many who have found ways to easily stay productive despite these challenges, others have needed just a little more help.

To stay productive, put together the right team of friends, family members, teachers and coaches. For children with ADHD, it might be to get adults who are willing to listen and give them guidance. It can also be to get someone who will stay with the child when they are distracted.

It can also mean having someone who can provide a little extra encouragement when you just feel like you’re spinning your wheels. They will help you and make sure that nothing is wrong. For adults with ADHD, this can mean having a friend or family member who will provide support and guidance as you try to achieve your goals.

What are the Other Common ADHD Symptoms?

People with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder easily become distracted and lose focus. Other common symptoms include:

  • Hyperactivity
  • Impulsiveness
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Impaired social skills
  • Poor academic performance

How to Treat ADHD? 

There are many methods that can be used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. There is no one-size-fits-all treatment since people experience different symptoms. A doctor may prescribe medication, or may recommend behavioral therapy, or both. Some people with ADHD also benefit from taking herbs or supplements.

1. ADHD Medication

The most common ADHD medications are stimulants, which activate the central nervous system. Stimulant medications for ADHD may be short-acting or long-acting.

They can come in different forms like chewable tablets or liquid drops. Adderall, Ritalin, and Vyvanse are examples of FDA-approved medications to treat ADHD.

Patients with ADHD might also benefit from taking non-stimulant medications to improve attention. These include Strattera or Intuniv XR.

2. ADHD Supplements 

People may also benefit from taking natural remedies for ADHD. These include Omega-three fatty acids, zinc or magnesium. When children and teenagers took omega-three fatty acid supplements, their symptoms improved. This happened more than when they took a placebo that had no medication in it.

However, more studies are needed to confirm the effects of omega-three fatty acids on ADHD.

The use of fish oil products, specific vitamins, minerals, and ADHD drugs are just a few examples of natural treatments.

As mentioned before, a good omega-3 supplement is a great option to consider. It helps with balancing out inflammation and cognitive function.

Certain Vitamin B Complexes are also good for symptoms. These can provide benefits in the form of improved mood, mental clarity, and more.

Vitamins E and C are both great options to consider as well, especially when taken together. Vitamins E and C work to boost your immune system while increasing focus and attention span during the day.

Magnesium is also a good option if you suspect that you have any type of magnesium deficiency. Magnesium is involved in over 300 enzymatic processes within your body, so it’s very important to get enough of it.

There are also certain minerals that can help with ADHD symptoms like zinc and iron. Zinc boosts neurotransmitters. This helps you think more clearly while improving the function of other vitamins within your body.

Iron is another important mineral for ADHD. It helps to reduce brain fog and improve attention span while increasing energy levels within your body.

Supplements are essential for people with ADHD. The supplement can help amp up your brain’s focus and attention span.

There are some natural supplements that may help with ADHD.

Vitamins B-3, A, C, D, and E can help control your ADHD symptoms. Magnesium is also helpful in controlling ADHD symptoms. You can also try Acetyl L-Carnitine to boost your brain function.

3. ADHD Diet 

There are few ADHD diets that can easily be followed. One such diet cuts out sugar and grain. It is important to note that there are no specific ADHD diets. There are certain dietary restrictions that can be taken with an ADHD diagnosis.

People with ADHD have a lower tolerance for carbohydrates. Those who get distracted often do not process sugar as quickly as others. Too much sugar tends to make them feel more drowsy after consuming. Limiting dairy products, fruit, whole grains, refined sugar, and starch may help with symptoms.

It is recommended that you consume less caffeine. It increases activity levels in the body and makes it difficult for someone who has ADHD to sit still for long periods of time. Caffeine might seem like an option when you’re easily distracted, but it will only make the symptoms worse.

4. ADHD Therapy 

There are a wide variety of treatments and therapies for people with ADHD. One type of therapy is called psychotherapy or talk therapy. People use different types of therapy. These include cognitive-behavioral therapy, play therapy, and family therapy.

Another type of treatment is medication. There are different types of medications that can be used to help treat ADHD, such as stimulants and non-stimulants.

Another type of ADHD treatment is called coaching. An ADHD coach helps people learn how to better cope with symptoms and live a more balanced life. It also teaches how to be mindful. When you are mindful, you can pay attention to what is going on instead of getting distracted by other stuff.

People with ADHD can join many different types of groups. Groups such as parent support groups or therapist-led peer support groups. These groups can be very helpful. They give individuals the opportunity to talk to others who have similar experiences and learn how to cope with symptoms in a positive way.

Other forms of alternative therapies for ADHD include neurofeedback and executive coaching.

5. Other Natural Remedies for ADHD

Lack of sleep can also lead to ADHD. Make sure you are getting enough sleep per night. Meditating before bedtime can also be useful. It can help people with ADHD easily fall asleep at night.

Final Thoughts on Having ADHD and Being So Easily Distracted

It’s not always easy to have ADHD. Sometimes it can be frustrating and confusing, but there are ways you can manage your symptoms.

If you or someone you know suffers from attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, let us help. Feel free to consult our qualified specialists today.

We want you to feel at home here and know that we understand what you go through on a daily basis as someone with this mental health issue. As always, our staff is here to provide medical advice, and our consultations are free. If you have any questions about our services, please contact us by filling out the online contact form today!

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