Go public, or keep it a secret?

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Go public, or keep it a secret? 2010-12-13T04:00:09+00:00

The Forums Forums I Just Found Out! Other Go public, or keep it a secret?

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  • #97665
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    Anonymous
    Post count: 14412

    Hey All!

    I have the AD/HD T-Shirt and get nothing but positive resposes from people.

    I love to wear it to our local pub and get many positive comments..believe or not, from parents of AD/HD kids.

    Great conversation starter and you get to talk all about yourself!

    What could be better for an AD/HD person who loves to gab.

    I bought one for a friend for Xmas!

    Most of my friends, family and people in my profession (hairstyling) are AD/HD so I am the norm in my circle of friends.

    Anyone else surrounded by other AD/HD’ ers?

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    #97666
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    Anonymous
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    I’ve got NO problem bringing it up with anyone, no matter WHO they are, if bringing it up seems appropriate.

    I mean, if I’m introducing myself to somebody for the first time I don’t come right out and say, “Hi, my name’s MrXxx, and I have ADD and Asperger Syndrome!”

    I just stick to my name at first. I will bring up my AS and/or ADD whenever and if I think it’s appropriate, and without shame.

    It’s part of who I am, but like anything else integral to our personalities, there are some things nobody really cares about, some that don’t matter to the relationship, and others that do affect how I relate to certain people. It’s that last category to whom I am not silent, even if I don’t know whether they really care. If it affects our relationship, it matters, so I’ll tell them.

    Employers are one in that last category. Therapists and doctors are another. Educational professionals, who deal with my kids are another.

    Friends?

    It depends on how close they are, but ADD and AS are so much a part of who I am, it’s highly unlikely that anyone who gets to know me to any depth won’t notice there are some things “different” or quizzical about me. It’s only fair to them as far as I’m concerned that they know there is a reason for it. It’s only fair to them to know that I know I’m different as well. I think it helps them to know I’m aware of it, and helps them to be more comfortable around me.

    Most of them, that is.

    There ARE some out there for whom terms like “Autism” and “ADD” causes them to squirm a bit, or even a lot. Occasionally I’ll run into a person who “recommends” to me that I shouldn’t “talk about [my] mental health” to others.

    Honestly, I don’t worry too much about them. It’s they that have a problem with it, not me. I don’t just bring the topic up randomly. There’s always a reason for it. If, say, I’m talking with someone thinking of working with me, or advising me about something, I probably will bring it up because ADD and AS are likely going to affect our relationship, and if it’s someone advising me, I think it’s a good idea for them to be aware of it so they can take my FULL personality into account when offering advice. Some advice doesn’t work well for people with ADD or AS.

    Experience has shown me that few people ever have any real problem with it.

    Those that do?

    Well, as I said, it’s their problem, not mine. It’s not likely that someone who has a problem talking to me about it will get along well with me anyway. In fact, NOT talking about it with someone uncomfortable with it is highly likely to cause even worse problems because we just end up avoiding the real issues behind any problems we have with each other.

    I look at this issue the same way I look at the issue of whether or not to tell someone I’m black (I’m not, but the analogy works). If they’ve got a problem with my skin color, they’ve got a problem. I don’t.

    Of course, one can’t hide skin color, and ADD and AS aren’t as obvious, but the problems they cause with people who have a problem with them are real, and will surface sooner or later.

    Talk about it.

    Let those who have a problem with it fade into the woodwork. There are plenty who have no problem at all with it.

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    #97667
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    Anonymous
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    I’m a physiotherapist (Physical therapist) and decided to tell my boss within one week of being diagnosed…. I told him as a way to explain all my forgetting all the little things and explain my constant tacktful interupting during our weekly staff meetings (I don’t just like to hear my self talk… i just can’t help but blurt stuff out!). His response REALLY surprised me. He said “Do you think maybe you are just reading too many magazines that may be talking about ADHD lately?” He said it in the kindest way ( he is a very kind, accomodatin, understanding manager) but I left his office feeling like an idiot…. When he did my annual employee evaluation (which he had done at 6 months then not for 2.5 years, now) he realized how behind and absent I was in my charting…. I think he finally gets it now. I did a ‘told you so’ and he said ‘Ya, I guess I didn’t really get it!’ Anyway, long story short, I’m GLAD he knows as well as my close co’workers.

    My husband always knew I was missing a screw so it was no surprise to him… he’s great and picks up on stuff I miss and teases me in a very LOVING way which he does about almost everything:)

    I also told my family which went over just fine as my nephew broke the ice when he was about 12 years old with it. My sister is sure she has it… my mom probably has it and my son (9) is waiting to be assessed.

    I think you should tell the people that need to know….. you don’t have to tell the world OR keep it a secret…. tell people as it comes up if you think it is appropriate :)

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    #97668
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    turbo
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    Post count: 89

    I too have an AD/HD “rockstar” t-shirt.

    I use the shirt as a mental boost. I wear it for me, not to start a conversation (although this does happen) or “advertise” my condition.

    Wearing it is a reminder of all the positive traits that ADHD people have — the fact we can do and accomplish things “normal” people just can’t. It is a reminder that the most successful people in the world -people like Richard Branson- have ADD, and that those of us with ADD have traits and abilities which just can’t be taught.

    Mentally, it is my “rock star” shirt. I wear it when I want to remind myself I too am a “rock star”. It gives me a confidence boost, and extra focus. I’m not putting on a shirt, it’s almost like I’m pulling on a second skin made of Ritalin sometimes.

    I often wear it below a casual long sleeve shirt worn unbuttoned, but have also worn it fully concealed beneath a dress shirt. I know it’s there, and sometimes catch myself brushing my chest to feel the logo imprinted on it. I’ve never worn it on it’s own, but no doubt will sometimes once the summer gets here.

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    #97669
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    Anonymous
    Post count: 14412

    I’m not afraid of telling people out of any embarrassment, more out of the fact that the few people I’ve told dismissed it as some made up thing. Or said, “oh, I forget to do things, too!” They seem me as making excuses for my behavior. My mother understands because she was diagnosed a few years ago and it changed everything for her. I guess it’s about educating people and and this is a fun site to introduce them to it.

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    #97670
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    Anonymous
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    I try to be open about it. It depends on the situation. I think that there are people who really do not understand ADD at all. One person told me that “They dont believe in it.” This is frustrating. I want my experiences to help others. I have learned so much about it and I am working to overcome it. On the other hand I have to protect myself. There are people who have told me point blank not to disclose at work. Yes it is illegal to discriminate but…..it can change peoples opinion in a way that is not helpful.

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    #97671
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    Anonymous
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    Then what happens is that I determine not to disclose and then I impulsively tell people that I did not plan on telling. AHHHH, well!

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    #97672
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    Anonymous
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    ADHDplus,

    The key point that anyone with a condition such as ADD/ADHD Major Depression, Bi-Polar disorder, etc has to understand is that “The Public” at large is clueless about what these conditions are. If anything because of bad press their understanding is based on a great deal of mis-imformation. they tend to “mis-understand” meaning not fully understand what it is all about.

    So the simple reality is you are educating those around you about a subject you are an “expert” about now mind you it is limited to your point of view since no two people with ADHD are alike, but hey, the bottom line you are not a lable and ADHD is a label.You experience traits known as ADHD but you are not a lable or if you will a disease any nore than some with diabetes can be considered diabetes.

    K

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    #97673
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    Anonymous
    Post count: 14412

    It’s really a hard question to answer. You want to tell because it explains to everyone why you act the way you do. But telling them doesn’t help since they haven’t got a clue what ADD is about. Myself, until a few years ago, I thought ADHD was a kids thing. A trouble they had paying attention in class and fidgeting. I kinda though one of my nieces had it because she was so all over the place all the time as a child.

    Now that I’ve told just about everyone, I feel as though its being dismissed as me having found a name for being nuts or a want for drugs on my part. I’m in a horrible situation right now with one of my brothers who doesn’t get it and kinda mocks me with my medics. He’s invited me to a party. I’ve answered yes too impulsively (I hate parties but I was afraid of his reaction if I refused), without knowing the details and if I would be able to go. Now I know I won’t be able to go and I know he will be cruel about it. He doesn’t understand. Even if I tried to explain it to him.

    I’d say if you want to reveal it, be very careful to whom you do. Choose people who you know really care about you.

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    #97674
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    Carrie
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    Post count: 529

    I just found out about mine on…. Gosh, not long ago. Wednesday? Tuesday? One of those days (I dont have my planner here!), and was excited, scared, and nervous to tell people. I didnt want anyone to know since I kinda trying to make sense of it all myself (though it makes everything SO clear!). My mom drug it out of me, and then my sister heard cause im a loud talker so she knew, and then of course my husband knows, but I REALLY wanted to tell my dad about it since he is the EXACT same way I AM!

    Im not on meds just yet, but if they do what everyone says, I know they will not only change my life, but more so my dads! I finally told him last night on the phone, but I couldnt explain myself too well (I was going to fast for either of us to keep up haha), but I at least got the point across that he should seriously get checked out too. I really cant wait to get the DVD (will probably order it tonight) and then can watch and show others and let it do the explaining for me.

    Im still a little nervous about going completely public with it. But I wont hide if someone asks. I will continue to be me, and thats that!

    (late for work!)

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    #97675
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    Anonymous
    Post count: 14412

    Just an update regarding what I said about my brother earlier in case two people I know still read me here and are worried; I just e-mailed him my response that I wouldn’t be there with a detailed explanation and saying how sorry I was (e-mail was how he had asked me to correspond with him about that). I just got his answer; ‘No problem, I understand.’ So unexpected! Such a relief! :-)

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    #97676
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    Anonymous
    Post count: 14412

    Kazuo,

    Any condition is a label and a label is used to conjure up experiences so that people can get an understanding what the label usually identifies. Everything is on a continuum. Blind people have different levels of not being able to see. Some can see shapes, others might not be able too. My Aunt had a condition where she could not see things in front of her but could see objects on the side. This is why there is a criteria. When I realized that I had ADHD it illuminated a life of painful struggle for my entire life. My nickname was ‘motor mouth.” I was made fun of rocking, shaking and bouncing. I moved so much in the car that my parents would say that I moved was moving the outside of the car. Even on this sites ADD assessment there is a range of symptoms.

    As a special education teacher, I see how people want to avoid the use of labels so that students do not have to face a stigma for the rest of their lives. I understand that labels can confine. I also think that sometimes students may not get the help that they need because parents are afraid of the labels. It is almost as if the pain and suffering from the disability has to outweigh the pain of a label.

    Labels do have a purpose. Labels inform. We use labels to give us valuable nutritional information in order to help us decide which foods we want to choose. Perhaps this is one of the reasons that people reject labeling conditions. This means that people can be rejected because of a label.

    The thing is that with unseen disabilites it seems that naming the condition becomes an option or a choice. If someone is diabetic they have trouble processing/ regulating insulin and sugar. If someone is blind they can’t see. If someone is deaf they do not hear enough usable sound.

    If someone has ADHD or ADD, they most likely have difficulty with the frontal cortex or the area of the brain that works with attention, and organization. It is not a one size fits all condition. It is a condition.

    I work hard to overcome my condition with lists, planning in advance and strategies. I get a Masters degree and went back for post masters work to get certified as a special ed teacher. I know that I am more than any disorder that I had. I also did have support to do this.

    There are some students who have a ‘learned helplessness” They have given up. I tell them about myself to motivate them to keep working to overcome whatever they have. I grew up at a time when there were no child study teams, Individual Education Plans, or work ups by a psychologist. I know that I had a reading problem when I grew up. I know that because of my experiences learning to read and my difficulties that I had in high school and even now. I overcame it with strategies and education. People can overcome the labels. Unfortunately we need the labels to define the problem so that people can understand in a limited way what is going on.

    Thanks,

    ADDplus

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    #97677
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    Anonymous
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    ADHDplus,

    I am truely impressed with your academic achivements and find it very encouraging. If you can do it, perhaps I can as well! I hope i didnot offend you that was not my intent.My point is there is alot of misinformation about mental health issues.I am not saying that there are not leginamate reasons for different behaviors;I am say that if we do not avocate for ourselves and allow misinformation about mental health issues.We as individuals stand to be hurt in the long run. You actually proved my point by your comment that there are student who have learned to be helpless. It is not that they are helpless; they just can not see possibilities, that allows them to respond to the world around them effectively.

    Then there are people like you and I who somehow found ways to work around our difficulties and learn to fight feelings of helplessness.

    It has been my experience that we “create” our own reality based on how we view the world around us i.e. if I start my day off with a “bad attitude” I can likely expect to have a “bad day” unless, of course, I change my point of view.

    You see, you did not let ADHD stop you from having or achiving your educational goals, in fact, your struggles with ADHD probably makes you a more effective educator. Like it or not we all create our own reality; ultimatelly repercussions of disclosure is based on the vulnerability you put upon yourself. I am public about having ADHD and take every oppotunity to dispell misconceptions about it. I simply do not give anyone the oppotunity to put me down for it without making a fool of themselves. I do this by seeking to obtain a sence of continuity in my life I seek to be a friend but I don’t let anyone take advantage of me. This is how I cope with day to day living and I am usually quite happy. Be an advocate for yourself and all you seek to help.

    K

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    #97678
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    Anonymous
    Post count: 14412

    Well sometimes I do not choose to disclose myself. There are times when my adhd “outs me” so to speak. It could be my careless mistakes, or struggle with organization. Medication has been life changing for me. I think that is one of the reasons why I have been able to move on academically. I did not mention that I dropped out on my first attempt at a Master’s Degree. Overcoming ADHD takes self awareness. You have to figure out how you learn, what helps you and what does not help you. I have a terrible time, even with medication reading a page of academic text. My first time in college I did not know why. I think ADD inhibits my focus to read something straight through. I read smart now. I know what information to hunt for and I go on an expedition to find it. When I do that I take written notes (helps, writting in the book is even better as long as it is not my book) . But again these strategies and behaviors that are typical ADHD tend to out me.

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    #97679
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    Anonymous
    Post count: 14412

    Ah! but you do cope and you are going for a post Master’s degree! don’t you see, you are an inspiration especially to me. I have always had trouble reading academic text myself. Learning to isolate what is important and takeing notes on it, is a stroke of genius , it will make my academic life alot easier.

    I never implied that “everything is beautiful” or that I am always sucessful my biggest obstacle besides various learning difficulties is fatigue which has always been an issue.The idea is not to fight the obstacles but learn to circumvent your obstacle,and obviously you have learned to do that. Your academic success holds witness to that fact.The important thing is to develop a sense of humor i.e. learning not to take yourself so seriously, which can be a discipline in itself; remember you can not hide a full grown bull elephant under a blade of grass so why bother. Like it or not you define your own reality and how others view you. Continue to do what is successful for you so long it is not self-distructive but then “up the ante” learn to circumvent your obstacles insted of resisting them. You have already done so with your strategy for dealing with reading academic materials.

    K

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