Do I Have ADHD…or Am I Just Lazy?

Laziness vs. ADD

Do you leave things until the last minute? Have trouble getting motivated? Flake out on boring chores? You may have grown up with people telling you to “just try harder.” Parents, teachers, coaches, and other authority figures may have told you that you have a lot of potential but that you need to apply yourself. They may even have called you lazy. But is your problem just being lazy, or could you have ADD/ADHD?


People with ADD/ADHD have brains that work differently than those who don’t have the condition and differently from lazy people. People who are lazy typically don’t make an effort to complete tasks at work, school, or home. ADD/ADHD people, however, may try really, really hard but still can’t tackle what they want to accomplish. This can lead to frustration, low self-esteem, and feeling bad about your abilities.

Do you leave things until the last minute? Have trouble getting motivated? Flake out on boring chores? You may have grown up with people telling you to “just try harder.” But is your problem just being lazy, or could you have ADD/ADHD? Click To Tweet


To understand if your issues are due to ADD/ADHD, which affects an estimated 4.4% of American adults, check to see if you have these common symptoms associated with the condition.

  • Short attention span. People with ADD/ADHD have trouble keeping their attention on boring, routine, everyday tasks (such as washing the dishes, filling out reports at work, or emptying the trash). If you have a short attention span, you may forget about a task altogether, start it but not finish it, or do a rushed and careless job of it.
  • Distractibility. People with ADD/ADHD are easily distracted. This is likely connected to a tendency to notice more in their environment than others. If you’re easily distracted, sounds (like the notifications on a phone), lights, smells, and moving objects may cause you to get off task.
  • Disorganization. Having ADD/ADHD is associated with problems with organization of time and space. Being disorganized means you may have a habit of being late or struggling to meet deadlines. You may have a hard time keeping your things organized, so your office desk, drawers, and home may be messy.
  • Procrastination. People with ADD/ADHD often put things off until the last moment. You may not start a project until a deadline is near or until someone else is angry with you for not doing it.
  • Poor internal supervision. It’s common for people with ADD/ADHD to have poor judgment and impulse control. They tend to say or do things without considering the consequences, and they don’t always learn from their mistakes.
  • Lack of motivation. People with ADD/ADHD may struggle with motivation, which is one of the key reasons why they are labeled as “lazy.”

You can also take this ADD/ADHD Quiz for adults to see if you might have it.


ADD/ADHD is a brain-based disorder. In the healthy brain, concentration causes blood flow to increase in certain regions, especially the prefrontal cortex, an area involved with focus, planning, organization, impulse control, judgment, and follow-through.

The brain SPECT imaging work at Amen Clinics reveals that when people with ADD/ADHD try to concentrate, blood flow tends to decrease in the prefrontal cortex, making it difficult to stay focused. This means that the harder ADD/ADHD people try, the worse it gets. If you have this condition, when you make a concerted effort to pay attention, finish a work project, or do your household chores, it backfires.

ADD/ADHD is also associated with issues with neurotransmitters, which are chemical messengers in the brain. Some types of the condition—based on over 160,000 brain scans from patients in 155 countries, Amen Clinics has identified 7 types of ADD/ADHD—are tied to a relative deficiency of the neurotransmitter dopamine.

Dopamine is a chemical heavily involved with attention span, focus, follow-through, and motivation. When its availability in the brain is low, people tend to struggle with the common symptoms of ADD/ADHD.


The good news is that ADD/ADHD is treatable. With targeted treatment, people with this condition often get much better. Effective treatment does not make ADD/ADHD sufferers different people: It removes the barriers hindering them from being the people they already are. Effective treatment for this condition is like glasses for people who have trouble seeing.  The glasses do not change people, they just make their vision more effective. With the right treatment plan, you can stop feeling like you’re lazy and start achieving what you want in life.

ADD/ADHD and other mental health issues can’t wait. During these uncertain times, your mental well-being is more important than ever and waiting until life gets back to “normal” is likely to make your relationships and symptoms worsen over time.

At Amen Clinics, we’re here for you. We offer in-clinic brain scanning and appointments, as well as mental telehealth, remote clinical evaluations, and video therapy for adults, children, and couples. Find out more by speaking to a specialist today at 888-288-9834 or visit our contact page here.


  1. Wish I could afford this

    Comment by Ralph — March 31, 2021 @ 3:16 AM

  2. I’m 70 years old, I’ve struggled all my life, with every symptoms mentioned.. Plus, my oldest daughter, lives with me, she’s the same way, my 14 yr old grandson is on the low spectrum of autism and ADHD, He attends a special school with learning disabilities.
    I tried to ask my nurse practitioner about my concerns, and she just brushed it off. I suffer from depression and anxieties, I take duloxetine, a doze of 120 each day. Is there help?

    Comment by Nancy Poplawski — March 31, 2021 @ 3:50 AM

  3. Do you accept medical insurance plans?

    Comment by Ivette Lopez — March 31, 2021 @ 5:25 AM

  4. How do you treat ADD/ADHD in adults? Is there a treatment that does not involve drugs that affect the heart in older adults?

    Comment by Deanna — March 31, 2021 @ 5:58 AM

  5. I found this information very informative and profound.
    I’m interested in learning more.

    Comment by Travis — March 31, 2021 @ 5:59 AM

  6. I have been always leaving things for last minute and I just get bored and not want to do them and that has cost me extra money. I was recalling someone marking a list and checking off what they had done I think I will also start doing that.

    Comment by Andres adame — March 31, 2021 @ 6:00 AM

  7. I have a problem with paying attention, forget full , and hard to learn because I get very bored- I had this problem for a long time but I think Doctors might think I want some medication and that is totally on true, I am 57 years old

    Comment by Anthony — March 31, 2021 @ 6:55 AM

  8. How do I find local doctors at work with Amen clinics in my area, in Akron Ohio

    Comment by Marita Gore — March 31, 2021 @ 6:56 AM

  9. When are you going to open a facility for SPECT scanning near Cleveland, OH? Also how can you make it affordable to me–on Medicare with supplemental policy?

    Comment by Jill Nelson — March 31, 2021 @ 7:56 AM

  10. Please help my son. He definitely has ADHD and nothing is working. I am afraid for him because he is plenty intelligent but only seems to be able to finish things if they are really exciting. School is a disaster.
    Please help.

    Comment by Shelton — March 31, 2021 @ 9:31 AM

  11. Hello Ivette. Amen Clinics is an out-of-network provider and we do not bill insurance. We do provide a superbill containing applicable diagnosis and billing codes, which can be submitted to insurance companies for possible reimbursement. Our doctors and therapists are not affiliated with any insurance plans or networks. Please check with your insurance provider for any mental health benefits. For additional information regarding your pricing, insurance, and financing options, please contact our Care Coordinators:

    Comment by Amen Clinics — March 31, 2021 @ 10:05 AM

  12. Hello Marita. Amen Clinics currently has 9 locations: If you’re unable to travel to one of our locations, our Care Coordinators may be able to assist you with resources or referrals closer to you. For more information, please contact our Care Coordinators:

    Comment by Amen Clinics — March 31, 2021 @ 10:26 AM

  13. Hello Shelton, thanks for reaching out. We’d be happy to reach out directly with more information regarding scheduling an appointment at one of our clinics for your son. We look forward to speaking with you soon

    Comment by Amen Clinics — March 31, 2021 @ 10:28 AM

  14. Hello Nancy, thanks for reaching out. For more information about scheduling, please contact our Care Coordinators:

    Comment by Amen Clinics — March 31, 2021 @ 10:30 AM

  15. Hello Ralph. Amen Clinics offers consultations and different types of evaluations based on the needs of the patient. For information regarding pricing, insurance, and financing options, please contact our Care Coordinators:

    Comment by Amen Clinics — March 31, 2021 @ 10:50 AM

  16. Hello Deanna, thanks for reaching out. We have several blogs that cover this topic that you might find beneficial. They can be found here: For more information about scheduling an appointment at one of our clinics, please contact our Care Coordinators:

    Comment by Amen Clinics — March 31, 2021 @ 11:00 AM

  17. I have benefited by praying and asking GOD to help me get things done. On the days that I do: HE does! I have been diagnosed with ADD

    Comment by Randi S Nelson — March 31, 2021 @ 11:13 AM

  18. I can totally relate. And as thingss were not improving I was feeling discuraged too. And people did not understanding as have unintentive ADD. So I didn’t get accurate diagnosis or treatment. It started in my early teens. And I have tried a huge list of different medications, and none worked. Untill I read a book, Change your Brain, Change Your Life. And free on line questionnaire. I diagnosed my self with Innattentive ADD. my psychiatric confirmed my and Adderall helped a lot, but I know that I will become resilliat. This is in my late 30s. I wish I had it when I truly needeed it during my high school and college years becouse I believe it would help me immensely with my academic and overall functioning.

    Comment by Nikolina Rusev — March 31, 2021 @ 5:04 PM

  19. I have been a neuroscience coach for 23 years. Started with neurofeedback to help my ADHD son. After training him started to train myself and came to the realization one of the biggest problems in our relationship was me. I was trying to force him to live a way that was not his way. Often tried to force him to do something through fear guilt and intimidation. I needed to find out what motivated him. He was just not motivated. Not lazy. Once he found motivation there was no stopping him. This is also a huge problem in the business world where managers try to motivate with fear guilt shame. It is about control. It takes support and encouragement which takes effort. Many people do not want to put in effort be it parenting or management. They look for the easy way with control. Lazy is a terrible controlling words

    Comment by John Styffe — April 1, 2021 @ 12:30 AM

  20. In my work with ADD people I tell them that we are not going to change who they are but how they live in an often controlling environment. I would very much like to change the label of ADD attention deficit DISORDER. I am sorry I am married to a person like this and have a son like this. They are not disabled just different. They are creative and intelligent. What about the control freaks that are at the top. Are they not more disabled. Full of anxiety fear and and anger, not creative and narrowly focused.

    Comment by John Styffe — April 1, 2021 @ 1:58 AM

  21. Can you have add/adhd with schizophrenia and bi-polar?

    Comment by Ryan — April 1, 2021 @ 5:57 PM

  22. Laziness vs. ADHD? Really? What does one have to do with the other? What is laziness? A moral defect?

    Comment by Eraisa — April 1, 2021 @ 9:02 PM

  23. This is a good video a lot of great information at the 12-minute mark. get out some paper and a pen to take notes.

    Comment by Jim Thomas — April 4, 2021 @ 5:21 AM

  24. I m interested to learn more about ADHAD.

    Comment by Umme — December 24, 2021 @ 6:50 PM

  25. Hello Umme, thank you for reaching out. For more information on ADD/ADHD, visit For additional information and for any questions you have, please contact our Care Coordinators:

    Comment by Amen Clinics — December 27, 2021 @ 4:21 PM

  26. I’m 13 and I’m still not sure if I’m a victim of 80hd or am just lazy, which causes me to beat myself up about being lazy and not doing well in school. Not to gloat but I consider myself above average intelligence but my grades are bad because I seem to can’t get anything done.

    Comment by Alex — March 7, 2022 @ 9:52 AM

  27. I hate having ADHD. People think I'm unreliable and lazy, I can't do anything right. Medication just messes with my brain, I stopped taking it for a while but I think it's time for me to take it again because i feel so unworthy of anything. I also struggle with autism and I get seasonal depression. It's really hard and people don't realize it.

    Comment by Francesca — July 30, 2023 @ 6:30 PM

  28. what about people who are just irresponsible -no remorse or effort to get things done ?
    Is that ADD and how do you deal with that at work or in a team where persons depend on each other?

    Comment by Hugh Shim — September 18, 2023 @ 1:52 PM

  29. I believe I have ADHD. What do I do if my parents don't believe me

    Comment by Zek — October 20, 2023 @ 2:34 PM

  30. I'm 12 years old questioning if I have ADD/ADHD Iv'e tooken many test and still don't know the awnser

    Comment by person — November 11, 2023 @ 11:09 AM

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