Here’s what I don’t understand about ADHD: so few people are willing to acknowledge that it’s a mental illness. The DSM (Diagnostic Statistical Manual) which is used by clinicians and psychiatrists to diagnose psychiatric illnesses classifies ADHD as a disability. Depending on the severity of your ADHD, you may even qualify for government assistance based on when you were diagnosed, your income level, and how much ADHD hinders you from work and “normal” life.

So why do I so often see people posting and commenting on social media that ADHD is a gift to be celebrated?  Or that it’s not a problem, just a different way of thinking? It’s this kind of garbage that keeps educated, professional adults from getting the help and support they need.

Direct quote from a Facebook post today: “I don’t like to think of ADHD as a disability. I prefer to think of it as a trait if you don’t mind.” Um sorry Linda, I DO MIND. Having brown hair is a trait. Being tall is a trait. Having ADHD is a disability…it makes everything harder Last time I checked, being tall doesn’t make me late for work, LINDA.

ADHD is a neuropsychiatric condition. Sound serious? It is.

The severity of ADHD varies from person to person, and may even vary within an individual depending on the circumstances and stage of life. But one thing is certain, it for sure makes life hard. The simplest tasks can be overwhelming…so overwhelming that we ADHDers decide to avoid. Which leads to trouble because you can only avoid doing the dishes for so long. Or paying the bills. Or finishing that project your boss assigned to you.

Until we acknowledge that ADHD is a serious mental health condition that can ruin our lives if we leave it untreated, we will not reach out for the support that we deserve. It’s up to us to advocate for ourselves. Educate ourselves and the people around us on ADHD and the symptoms that are so often mistaken for selfish, obnoxious behavior.

If you have ADHD, here are some pathways to support you can investigate today to make your life better. Keep in mind, in order to be the most healthy, you’ll likely need a combination of a few of these…and you won’t know which ones until you try.

  • Psychiatrist for meds
  • Psychologist for support
  • Nutritionist for diet change
  • Naturopathic doctor for nutrition response testing & natural supplements
  • Cognitive training for improved attention
  • Life coaching for accountability
  • Counselor – especially if you’re married and/or have children
  • Read or listen to these books:

You’re an adult. No one is going to advocate FOR YOU, it’s time that you speak up for yourself and demand the support that you deserve.

 

Join the discussion 5 Comments

  • Tamara says:

    You had me at “Listen, Linda…”
    Seriously, this is excellent post, one of the few that I have read like this. There is already a tendency to not take ADHD seriously. “Everyone has it!” People don’t realize how many parts of daily life this affects. This is not a condition that can be solved by having Siri remind us that its garbage day or whatever. Maybe this pushing back with “Its a gift!” is a way some people try to shove away the shame that parks itself on the mind and heart of so many of us.

  • I just found your podcast on Stitcher and I love your perspective. Which I share. I get it, I’m gifted, but my “gifts” never helped me figure out how to goal, plan, make me remember my own goals and plans, and then fulfill on them so that I could reach my potential as a “successful” adult in the world. As an otherwise intelligent and “gifted” person, ADHD had been a disability. I appreciate you calling it out as such.

  • Amber says:

    “Direct quote from a Facebook post today: “I don’t like to think of ADHD as a disability. I prefer to think of it as a trait if you don’t mind.” Um sorry Linda, I DO MIND. Having brown hair is a trait. Being tall is a trait. Having ADHD is a disability…it makes everything harder Last time I checked, being tall doesn’t make me late for work, LINDA.”

    Thank-you!!! I’m actually struggling a lot with the “late for work” problem right now. ADHD has held me back in countless ways throughout my life, so It’s irritating to hear it referred to as a “gift” or even just a “trait.” If it is a gift, it’s a joke gift, and the joke’s on me.

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