"..anybody can have the disorder then!"

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"..anybody can have the disorder then!" 2016-09-27T12:25:13+00:00

The Forums Forums I Just Found Out! No One Believes Me "..anybody can have the disorder then!"

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    After telling about the diagnosis I’ve heard comments like “if you have that then that means everybody has that, cause those things happen to anybody”.

    I don’t even know how to defend myself cause I see their point. Still, deeply, I feel it’s something different but I don’t know how to explain that.

    Especially because I’m a decent person, successful enough to not show to people any kind of DISORDER (Uh! The big word). I know everybody thinks I’m funny/fun…in a lovely way and that’s the real me but there’s some ADD too and they can’t see that. But I do.


    Post count: 18

    First off, I would be careful whom you tell, since you don’t need the hassle.
    Second, you don’t have to defend yourself. You can’t convince them of something they don’t want to believe, and you know you have it. Their opinion is just that–their opinion. (Don’t ask how many years it took me to learn that one.)

    Yes, everyone probably does the dumb stuff we do as some point or another. The difference is we do it pretty much every day. To the point it negatively impacts our lives and makes everyday stuff really hard.

    And I had an awful time getting my family to believe me at first, because I’m not hyperactive and up until about 10 years ago, I could keep it together. It was wearing me out, but I was holding it together. (My sister did believe me though, as her daughter had already been diagnosed and apparently the daughter acted exactly like I did as a child.) No one was mean about it; they just didn’t see it.

    Anyway, good luck and hang in there!


    Post count: 2


    Thank you for answering.

    Unfortunately those comments were from my mother. Maybe I shouldn’t have tell her. I’m 25 and sometimes I forget that I don’t have to tell her everything. That was my mistake…

    Good luck to you too!

    Thank you for your words



    Post count: 9

    Hi, Alice!

    Hey, when it comes to telling people, I agree with RitaFaye–be careful who you confide in.  Kind of shocking that your mom would offer such a hurtful, unsupportive response.  My initial reaction to that is:  maybe she has it too if she identifies so personally with what you’re telling her.  It has been shown to be a hereditary condition.  If you trust and share with someone and they reward you with skepticism or criticism, the best thing you can do now is drop the subject and quietly tell yourself that they don’t understand.  Educate yourself.  Read everything you can get your hands on.  Watch all of the vidoes.  There are some great videos in the TotallyADD store:  http://totallyaddshop.com/products/facing-the-world-dvd#.V_AmVPArLIU http://totallyaddshop.com/products/to-tell-or-not-to-tell#.V_AmtPArLIU

    Maybe you could even share the videos with your mom!  Later on, when you have a good handle on all of it, you could try to politely educate (or, another option:  intellectually bodyslam 😀 ) someone who reacts with ignorance and insensitivity.  But, until that point, take care of you.  As hard as it may be, you’ve got to try to shut out and minimize all the noise from the haters.  There just isn’t enough energy in one person to deal with all of that all at once.

    So, I’ve been working on this post for a while and not sure how much to include.  Decided to err on the side of too much vs. not enough.  Bear with me if I get too wordy or preachy!  ADHD is a hidden disability, so you can’t really show anything obvious to the average person to prove you have it.  You can’t point to your wheelchair and say to some skeptical jerk, “See??? I need a ramp to get to the same places you do!”  To make matters worse, it doesn’t seem to be well-understood, even within the medical community, nevermind in the public-at-large!  So, this is the big Catch 22:  if you tell people about your ADHD, they have a high likelihood of misunderstanding your disability and associated difficulties/needs; but, if you don’t tell, they may not understand that you have a disability and may come to some very damaging explanations of their own for what they see as problem behaviors.  It’s tough either way.  Couple all of that with the fact that many of us are both lacking in a well-developed personal support system AND ultra-sensitive to rejection and/or criticism.  It can make for a real nightmare.  I know, I know, “thank you Captain Obvious,” right?  Hah, just trying to make sure you know it’s not just you having trouble with the issue.  So, be gentle with yourself.

    My suggestions to you (if you haven’t already done all of this!):

    1. Find a qualified and experienced medical professional to help you identify and quantify your strengths and weaknesses, your specific difficulties, diagnoses, and potential treatment options.  This is absolutely the most critical first step, in my opinion.  No easy task to find the right person and get an appointment.  But, well worth the time and effort.

    2. Once you have a diagnosis, depending on the level you’ve been effected, you might qualify for assistance from the government.  Here in the states, ADHD is a disability recognized by the federal government.  Check in with the local disability advocates and find out if you can get some help!

    3. If you can afford it, I highly recommend that you find a professional to talk with.  A good ADHD coach and/or cognitive behavioral therapist can really help.  Think of it this way:  you are wandering in an unknown wilderness and could really benefit from having a guide.

    4. The need to share your experience is totally normal and understandable. You did the right thing by reaching out to a community of people dealing with the same things you’re dealing with.  I’d take it a step further and try to find a group of people who also have ADHD in your area, with whom you will be able to meet, relax, and forget about censoring yourself.  There is likely a support group in your area–try an internet search.  Share your struggles and successes without so much discomfort.  Ask advice about professionals, treatments, strategies, etc.  There will still be people who don’t entirely understand you, but it will be better.  And it will help to validate your feelings and diagnoses.  Seriously, I highly recommend it.

    5. Finally, try to remember that YOU ARE AWESOME.  You made it all this time without even knowing you had any issue, right? That’s incredibly impressive!

    So, do what you can above.  Then, using your amazing new support system, strive to define and come to terms with your disability and adapt to a world that isn’t configured ideally for the way you operate.  ADHD and all its’ possible associated conditions and compatible treatments are different for each one of us.  I like the way Dr. Amen explains it—you need to find the accommodations/treatments that are right for you the way someone who has sight issues needs to find the right glasses.  It will be a full-time job (at least for a little while!) for you to figure yourself out and take care of yourself, physically, emotionally, etc.   This world just happens to be configured for differently-abled people.  But, lots of us have figured out how to make it and thrive anyway, because we are flexible, creative, resilient, and…awesome!  😀

    Hope this helps.  Hang in there!

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