How do I Explain this to Others

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How do I Explain this to Others 2013-11-16T09:08:57+00:00

The Forums Forums What is it? Need Help! How do I Explain this to Others

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  • #122944

    Pallist
    Participant
    Post count: 23

    @Rick I am totally looking forward to that webinar!

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    #122946

    Patte Rosebank
    Participant
    Post count: 1517

    What I’ve learned is that, it’s all in how you look at it. And there are some ways that are easier to grasp and accept than others.

    For me, it comes down to the simple fact that, while the non-ADHD brain is driven by what’s important, the ADHD brain is driven by what’s interesting. That’s why we can spend hours doing something we love, but can’t face half an hour of doing our taxes.

    And why we often hear, “He can focus when he wants to”. It’s not a matter of “wanting to”, but a matter of finding something personally interesting enough to US to activate our brain.

    This doesn’t mean we CAN’T do something. It just means that we need to find a different way of doing it, that works for us. Like someone who’s left-handed can still write with a fountain-pen, but they have to use a different nib, and hold the pen differently from the way a right-handed person would.

    I’ve found that explaining ADHD as “kind of like being left-handed in a right-handed world” is a lot easier for people to understand and accept, because it’s such a simple concept. And it’s familiar to them, because everyone’s seen people who are left-handed, and how they have to do things a bit differently.

    The real beauty of this is that when something seems familiar, it’s no longer so scary, so it doesn’t spark such heated arguments.

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    #122969

    sdwa
    Participant
    Post count: 363

    I’m looking forward to Rick’s webinar.

    I have the same question – but only because I need a brief, scientific definition I can put on my son’s IEP with the school district – which must be objective sounding, with some kind of factual support.

    For myself, I don’t tell people, because I know they don’t understand, and it’s not their job to understand me. It’s my job to understand myself and engineer my life so I can take care of myself and my family. Self-knowledge is a big part of it, and the skill of observation about how I function at my best is a skill that I’ve developed a little bit over time, through coaching, a support group, reading about the disorder, listening to others who have it, etc.

    The main problem there being that most support services are very expensive, and it’s hard when in a financially precarious situation to gamble with money I don’t have on the off chance that the services I’m paying for will actually help.

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    #123057

    Rick Green – Founder of TotallyADD
    Participant
    Post count: 473

    A quick reminder that the webinar on Facing The World is tonight. If you haven’t registered, do so now. It’s going to be powerful.

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    #123058

    sdwa
    Participant
    Post count: 363

    I am so glad Rick is doing this webinar. It’s happening right when I leave work, don’t know if I can make it, but definitely want to hear it.

    Yesterday there was an article on MSN claiming 1 in 10 children is diagnosed with ADHD in the U.S. The vitriolic response blew my mind. The article itself was fluffy and a little sensational – it’s not like the media tries to be accurate or informative. But the response? Wow.

    All kinds of attacks from people who say ADHD is the result of bad parenting, and how back in their day, parents just used “the belt” to “cure” their kids of ADHD, and it’s just an excuse for bad behavior and poor manners,  invented by evil drug companies who are brain-washing stupid parents into believing their children have a disorder, and helping teachers and parents avoid responsibility for doing their jobs and/or vaccines are poisoning our children and leading to autism disorders.

    Apparently, we’re all brainwashed, imagining the whole thing, or trying to use it to get away with murder. Not to mention addicted to ADHD medication, which is so much like crack cocaine it’s not even funny.

    Never mind that some of don’t even use medication. Or did fine in school. Or were never behavior problems to anyone but ourselves.

    It was kind of appalling.

    People are right to be skeptical. I’ve been skeptical. But at certain point, you would think an honest search for information ought to trump kneejerk hostility.

    Right?

     

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    #123059

    JimC.
    Participant
    Post count: 165

    Here are two videos that might help;  one is an advert for Strattera that was on TV a few years ago, and the second I can relate to even though it’s a soap ad:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X2cs8gnb42A < Soap

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BseUL8cfUk8 < Strattera

     

    FWIW I was your age approximately when diagnosed, and I’ve used these two ads to show my partner how I see and hear sometimes.  Hope these might help, Jim

     

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    #123064

    shutterbug55
    Participant
    Post count: 430

    @sdwa,

    I read that article. Basically a fluff piece on ADHD. Not very informative or anything. The comments were VERY illuminating! I had no idea there was that much emotion and passion invested by some of these people, in the belief that ADD/ADHD is anything but a real condition that is hereditary and debilitating. I especially liked that one neanderthal’s comment, that in his day, the cure to ADD was the belt. Yea… those were the good ‘ole days! Gee! I miss them! (not).

    I hope for his (and his childrens’) sake, ADD does not run in their family.

    Don’t let them get to you.

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    #123073

    blackdog
    Member
    Post count: 906

    Oooh….It is such a good thing I did NOT see that article. Those people would have made me very, very angry. Very Angry indeed. (always loved Marvin the Martian.) They never got a whipping from daddy’s belt like the tongue lashing they would have gotten from me.

    However, a little skepticism is a good thing. And big pharmaceutical companies are evil. The only thing they care about is profit. They absolutely do push medications. Just like McDonald’s pushes Big Macs and with as little regard for people’s health. My basic philosophy is follow the money. If somebody stands to make a huge profit off of telling you something then you better check to make sure what they are telling you is true. And 9 times out of 10 it won’t be, at least not completely.

    Interesting little fact: Welbutrin was not developed as an ADHD medication and was never tested for the treatment of ADHD.

    People will never believe what they can’t see. And someone who is neuro-typical can’t see what it’s like to not be. And it’s easier for them to believe that ADHD is just an excuse for bad behaviour because that excuses their behaviour when they are mean and nasty and unforgiving.

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    #123074

    blackdog
    Member
    Post count: 906

    LOL I forgot all about the talking stain. Haven’t seen that one for awhile. I guess it is a good illustration of ADD. From both perspectives, the guy trying to talk over the chatter and the one trying to focus on what he’s saying and not on the stain. I have a really, really hard time focusing when I’m talking to someone who has a stain on their shirt or a big mole or birth mark or pink and purple hair. Or Really sparkly jewelry. Anything that is interesting or unusual.

    The Strattera ad just makes me dizzy and disoriented.

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    #123084

    sdwa
    Participant
    Post count: 363

    I kind of had an epiphany about the Non-Believers. I’ve said it before – people don’t like any suggestion that human beings don’t have complete Free Will. But I’ve just realized WHY – what’s that about? It’s about a deeply embedded survival instinct. The world is a frightening place. People want to believe they have control over their environment and their destiny. They need to believe it, or they’d be too terrified to live.

    When an ADHDer comes along and doesn’t have the degree of  control people expect – when willpower fails – neurotypicals panic. To deny willpower is an outrage because it threatens their core, essential conviction that anyone can, through sheer determination, informed by moral principles, overcome obstacles and gain mastery over their lives.

    The more deeply someone is convinced that people get what they deserve in life, the more they are threatened by others with invisible differences. They don’t want anyone to be let off the hook when they think they are fighting the good fight. When they mistakenly believe their perceptions of reality ARE reality. They don’t want to allow themselves an inkling that they might not have as much control as they need to believe they do.

    No one wants to believe their destiny rests on luck or chance. No one wants to be the victim of circumstances. It’s too scary.

    And I think a lot of us probably have doubts about ADHD for the same reasons.

    As the child of a schizophrenic, I learned very early that some people have more free will than others. That life isn’t fair. Bad things – really bad things – happen to people who don’t deserve it. Hard work and being a good person are no guarantee of success. Justice is far from given – the exception, not the rule.  I’ve also lived with the kind of depression where nothing much matters, where every effort seems futile – where life itself is a pointless exercise.

    But a lot of people out there can’t handle that. It scares the living daylights out of them. Fear turns to anger and lashing out. They are not equipped to cope. They want to live in an orderly world where right and wrong are clearly defined, and things happen for a reason.

    That just hasn’t been my experience, so when questions about free will come up, I tend to be pretty flexible in my expectations of others – what we can reasonably expect someone with certain abilities, in a given environment, to actually be capable of. Do things happen for a reason? All I know is, things happen that I don’t understand now, and will never understand, and can’t control. If I’m lucky, I can control a small corner of my own private universe. I don’t imagine my abilities or limitations extend to everyone. But most people do.

    Just a theory.

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    #123089

    darkwynde
    Member
    Post count: 42

    Wow…TOTALLY forgot the talking stain!  ROFLMAO

    Truthfully, I’m not sure which is a better depiction of what goes on in my head–some days it’s the stain, some days it’s the strattera ad (Strattera did absolutely nothing for me, and the side-effects were BAD with a capital B).

    I always suggest people watch the March of the ADD Penguins video, and then tell, “Ya know how the announcer just didn’t stay on topic?  That’s what my mind does–ALL THE TIME!”

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    #123093

    Scattybird
    Participant
    Post count: 1096

    I agree – the ADHD penguin video on this site is spot on. Sadly the jumping topic makes it memorable for me. My mind didn’t wander at all during that one.

    I have never seen JimC’s stain advert before. I think it’s perfect – says it all really.

     

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    #123108

    blackdog
    Member
    Post count: 906

    @sdwa I think you might be on to something there. I think there is also a lot of “I have to do it so you should too” in there as well. Neurotypicals resent us because they have to be organized and they have to be on time and we are saying we just can’t do that. And they truly can’t understand that it is not just a moral failing, that we are not just bad people. It’s like someone who can hear trying to understand what it’s like to be deaf. No matter what you do, you can never truly understand what it is like.

    Not that that excuses their bad behaviour. I can’t understand what it’s like to be deaf, or blind, or confined to a wheelchair. But that doesn’t mean that I don’t stop to interpret for a deaf man I see struggling to communicate, or give up my seat on the bus for a blind woman, or reach up to get something off a shelf in the store for someone in a wheelchair.

    Its just harder to get people to understand an invisible disability.

     

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    #123109

    Pallist
    Participant
    Post count: 23

    @sdwa I agree with your thoughts about people resisting change – even when it means believing old disproven lies and myths: my family is full of people with both mental illness and ADD. We were all in denial about it, until I saw the “ADD & LOVING IT” Doc. I knew it would be extremely difficult to get any of them to understand what ADD is. And then to see it in their own lives – that would take a miracle

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