Throughout his nearly 40 years’ experience in treating patients of all ages with ADHD and related conditions, Dr. Bailey has been amazed by the flashes of wit and the nuggets of wisdom that daily spill out of his patients, young and old alike. He began recording these many years ago and has hundreds to share. We chose some special ones for you and grouped them by age.

Do two things at once (after all, you’re on an ADHD website!). Dr. Bailey wants you to chuckle — but also to see the quotes as he has learned to view them: as priceless gateways to:

  • find insight into how hard it can be to operate some brains
  • be amazed by how few words a child sometimes needs to explain what he or she deals with every schoolday–of which we haven’t a clue
  • realize how well years of difficulties can be summarized in a few words
  • see how adults have rationalized decades of difficulties in thinking and acting
  • learn how very different some brain operating systems can be from yours and still work well, and
  • see how other families describe those same feelings you’ve had about those you love who need help you’re not sure how to give.

Our patients’ quick flashes of humor offer valuable insights, exposing not only their hurts and fears and emotional challenges but also their gifts and brilliant coping skills. They educate us about the barriers and blessings of real-life diagnoses in a way that no textbook ever will. Enjoy and see.



MD: “What does the medicine do?”
“It makes me unwiggle.”

7 YO 1st-grader with ADHD, Asperger Syndrome, and mild cycles of behavior

“I can’t think what I think when I think it.”

7 YO child in process of ADHD workup

MD: “Hi, Joey! What’d your mom say she was bringing you here for, today?”
“Are you the doctor that’s gonna get my brain to shut up?”

3rd-grader, first words, first visit

“Her first-grade teacher called her ‘Spring-Bottom.'”

Mother describing her 2nd-grader who has classic “out-of-seat behavior”

“I try to do my math, but the numbers keep falling out of my head.”

6 YO 1st-grade girl with inattentive & hyperactive ADHD


“I’ve got all my Coke cans; I’m just missing the plastic thing that holds them all together.”

ADHD teenager describing himself at 1st visit

MD: “How can you tell when your medicine runs out?”
“That’s when I don’t care what the answers are.”

14 YO 8th-grader who lived for his after-school sports

MD: “Mom, how do you know she’s inattentive?”
“She stops at the green lights, too.”

17 YO high school senior with inattentive ADHD, who just got her driver’s license

MD: “What does your medicine do?”
“It makes me want to go to college.”

14 YO junior-high-school football player

College Students

MD: “Have you declared a major yet in college?”
“Sure! Lot’s of ‘em.”

22 YO sophomore after 5 years of college

MD: “Why do you think you’re late to class so often?”
“I have a low sense of when.”

23 YO college sophomore in his 6th year of college, who sometimes takes his medication

“I’ve spent more money on library fines than on tuition.”

28 YO college junior

“I get to the end of paragraphs more.”

College student newly treated for ADHD

Adults At Home

“I get bored with things I’m interested in!”

24 YO exotic dancer

MD: “Are you excitable?”
“I describe myself as having an ‘enthusiasm disorder.'”

40 YO schoolteacher & artist with ADHD & up and down moods

“When I zone out, my brain goes to ADDLand and my body goes to the refrigerator.”

52 YO overweight college professor with inattentive form ADHD

“I have too many moving parts in my head.”

42 YO scientist with ADHD and OCD

Adults At Work

“My brain leaves the meetings but my body still has to sit there.”

50 YO property manager with both inattentive & hyperactive ADHD

“I live in sticky note hell!”

36 YO small-business manager

“I say things I shouldn’t say. My brain spins so fast, sometimes things just sling out!”

49 YO CEO with ADHD and mild bipolar disorder

“I keep a lot of planes in the air. I just don’t land any of them!”

37 YO ADHD/bipolar engineer

Behavioral Issues

“He argues even if you agree with him.”

Father describing his 8 YO son who has ADHD and Oppositional Defiant Disorder

MD: “How’s your new medicine doing, the stimulant?”
“Oh, the one my wife calls my ‘anti-annoying’ medication?”

45 YO physician with inattentive ADHD

“This is a preschool and he has a daycare attitude.”

Preschool teacher of a 4 YO explaining to mother why the school evicted her undiagnosed ADHD son

“He can irritate the paint off a wall.”

Father about his 5 YO moody, hyperactive son