Why Sharing Too Much Information Could Be Common with ADHD
How do you know if sharing too much information is a problem attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) causes for you? Do you ever find yourself during a conversation anxiously waiting for the person to finish their sentence so you can get your thoughts out before you forget? Do you have word vomit, fixate over the things you wish you would've said, or do you go off on tangents when you speak? Even worse, have you been told or noticed that you share too much information? Then you're in good company.
I like to think of my tendency to share too much information as being transparent, but for some—oversharing can come across as abrasive or untrustworthy. So, I was pleased to learn that oversharing appears common in those with ADHD. But why? It's not like you're trying to be rude or be abrasive, it's just that you have so many thoughts that flood your brain all at once.
The Link Between Sharing Too Much Information and ADHD
I searched the Internet to find the link between oversharing and ADHD, but the connection right now seems unclear. Some ideas have been proposed by others who also have a habit of sharing too much information, but the subject isn't well-studied.
In today's video blog1, I explore some possibilities about why oversharing is common for those with ADHD and how I've personally had to scale back my need to be "authentic" and gage social situations a little better.
- The Understood Team, "ADHD and Oversharing: What You Need to Know." Understood.org, Accessed June 17, 2020.
Ansah, T. (2020, June 18). Why Sharing Too Much Information Could Be Common with ADHD, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2022, October 4 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/livingwithadultadhd/2020/6/why-sharing-too-much-information-could-be-common-with-adhd
Author: Tonie Ansah
Wow thank you for making this video! I was diagnosed with ADHD a few months ago, at the age of 36, so I went a long long time with it undiagnosed until it got so bad I couldn’t function.
I’ve started medication and both that and being aware of the fact that I have ADHD had helped me be a bit more self aware, but also the flip side of that is I’m realizing all these things I do or have done my whole life that are potential problems.
I’ve ALWAYS over-explained things without realizing I was doing it until someone would point it out to me, and then maybe I’d be a little more self aware for a bit, but quickly fall back into the bad habits and stop noticing when I over-explained or over-shared or just talked too much.
I came across your video today after 3 different people (in the span of only 2 days) in my life basically told me I talk to much and it’s overwhelming/stressful/too much. It hurt, but mostly because I know they’re right, and because I’m sensitive to criticism about social skills as I KNOW they’re not a strength of mine. It’s a major insecurity.
May I ask was it just time that helped you get better at it? Were there specific things you did to help you become more aware when you were doing it or remember to pull back? I’m still struggling a lot with that. It’s hard to change something when I can’t seem to stop and think about what needs changing before I do it! Meds have helped a little with that but maybe I just need a lot more practice now that I have the tool of medication?
I was diagnosed at 8 with ADHD and can relate to all of these experiences. I remember hating myself for years, wishing I was different. Still struggling to accept parts of my ADHD, oversharing being the biggest. It is a great source of anxiety for me too but I just can't control myself in some situations. I do it to feel validation, to feel accepted, to fill the silence, to be seen. It's comforting to know I am not the only one that battles with this.
What a great post, thanks so much for sharing. Sometimes I over share for similar reasons like you said, explaining myself for mistakes, but sometimes I just flat out don't know what details people aren't interested in hearing. Sometimes I honestly feel like a deer in head lights when I get a chance to talk in certain situations and then what I call "word vomit" comes out and when I'm done I usually think "Wow I didn't even say what I meant to say" or I'm not even sure it made any sense.
I spent most of my adolescent years believing I was annoying because that's what i heard from a lot of my peers, and so I learned to just talk less. Now sometimes I feel like I talk too seldom to people because I've gotten so used to living up in my head. I'm 33 and I just got an official diagnosis this year, it feels like a relief to have something I can blame my problems on but still dealing with the "adulting" part as it isn't cute to be late to work constantly because you cant get out the door on time, or other annoying things that come with every day life.
I have never heard of RSD. It really sounds like something that I have. It breaks my heart when people don't like me. I am a people pleaser and struggle when others don't like me.
I have never heard of RSD but that is definitely me. It hurts big time to be rejected. I think all the time and I struggle with over sharing to where it causes me great anxiety. Then I blame myself for creating drama or annoying people or letting the wrong people in when I share the negative parts of myself.
Wow. I’ve never been diagnosed but I’m pretty much sure I have ADD or ADHD. I’ve never heard of RSD but hearing it explained sounded like someone taking the words right out of my head. I kind of have that, well this is what it is, take it or leave it but I warned you.
It’s pretty interesting because I’m a behavioral technician and my client is ASD and ADHD so it’s fascinating to work with children who share the same issues as myself but to a greater degree.
I think in my case it keep people somewhat wary until they get a chance to really know me. But some people find it cute and endearing, just depends who you’re with.
On top of the previously mentioned, I get anxious and feel the need to explain things.
So interesting! Recently diagnosed here at 38. The way it has manifested for me, is that I tend to have a lot of close friends who know some of my darker and more intimate secrets - which is great b/c I have a support network and can turn to them. However, even though I’m there for them 100%- the intimacy level is asymmetric- I don’t know about their inner lives as much b/c they don’t share and I don’t ask the right questions I guess. RSD is a huge reason I share. Give them the juicy info so they hopefully want to be my friend
Can totally relate, and I think it in my case it shys people away. As talkative as I am I still tend to stay away from social conversations in fear of saying something I shouldn't.
Wow. I’ll try not to over share but I’m 43 and just figuring this shit out now. It has made me successful in my field but explains why some people seem annoyed
Thanks for posting this video! I have ADHD and definitely am an over-sharer...it’s actually funny how I stumbled upon this blog! I googled “why do I over share” not thinking it had anything to do with my ADHD. Thank you for teaching us a bit more about ourselves!
Also, RSD is a new term—will definitely have to look more into it since I resonate with your description.
I’m so happy I stumbled upon your blog! I haven’t found another blog focused on adults with ADHD that gave such straightforward in clear information. Looking forward to your future posts!!
Maxi, I found this because I wanted to know why I was so productive when I listen to a song on repeat 😆 and also thought it had "nothing to do with my ADHD". Diagnosed late I'm learning all.the.things. have to do with my ADHD tendencies and makeshift coping strategies.
Thank you so much for writing this post/video combo. This is the most helpful website I've been on so far!
I tend to over share also. Sometimes I think it is just to fill the silence; sometimes I don’t know why.