There are two things people should know about me. 1. I love pinterest, my day is not complete without a little Pinterest. 2. I have ADHD. Now you’re sitting there thinking wow…how do these two things combine into a blog post? Is this your “ADHD kicking in again?” No, and I would like to clear up some misconceptions about ADHD that I found on Pinterest.
1. First of all I am not an “ADHD child” nor do I like to be referred to as a “drug baby”. When a person is called an “ADHD child” a new identity has formed for them. They are ADHD is what that says, but I am not ADHD, I HAVE ADHD. There is a big difference. Second, “drug baby” should not even be a nickname, that is extraordinarily offensive and I don’t know how any mother, father, teacher or anyone else could ever refer to their child or student or anyone who is on stimulants as a “drug baby”. How rude! We are on these stimulants so we can fit into your world because ours is socially unacceptable!
2. Secondly, we who are living with ADHD do not have “ADHD moments” and our ADHD does not “kick in”. It’s there all the time. You just notice it at different times more than others because you’re now looking for it. If you had never known a person had ADHD you would never say their crazy is kicking in, you’d say that’s just them and guess what ADHD is just a part of us.
3. Third, it’s true our minds jump from thoughts that are seemingly unrelated so maybe that’s where the joke “Ask me about my ADHD or pie or my cat. A dog. I have a bike. Do you like TV? I saw a rock. Hi.” came in, but if a person actually sat and asked a person how their mind jumped to all of those connections you would find that our minds just work at a very intense speed and everything actually is connected it just goes through a lot faster than a “normal” person’s would.
4. Fourth, we cannot just concentrate, so stop asking us! It’s impossible. That’s all there is to it. I often wonder how people without ADHD can just sit there and concentrate on one thing for so long, it seems like such a task.
5. Fifth, I am so tired of seeing all of these “natural treatments”, “home treatments”, “stimulant treatments”, and other such business. Yes, I am on stimulants. Yes, it helps me a lot, but I am on them so I can conform to the world others live in. I learn differently, but that doesn’t work in lecture halls of 200 or more people. The point being people with ADHD need these “treatments” to fit in with the rest of the world. If the rest of the world just let us be and let us get through life our way we wouldn’t need them, but that’s not how the world works, so stop trying to fix us and try to fix the world or just let us be, or at least stop making it such a fuss.
6. Sixth, piggy backing on my last point, ADHD is a lot more of a nuisance to the people who actually have it than to the ones around them. I know from experience that when I lose things, when I speak out of turn, when I screw up on something that should be simple, it bothers me a lot more than it bothers the people around me. Please do not act like the people in your life with ADHD are a huge inconvenience until you’ve had and dealt with ADHD yourself.
7. Do not ask if we have had our medications or whatever treatments we have if we do something that reminds you of the fact that we have ADHD, it’s rude and hurtful. I was diagnosed late in life and when people ask me if I have had my meds that morning it makes me feel like they don’t like me unless I’m on stimulants. It’s not a fun feeling to have because it makes me think of what they must have thought of me prior to being medicated.
8. Girls have ADHD too! It’s not just a boy diagnosis. In fact, the girls who have ADHD are most commonly overlooked because they more often than not have Inattentive ADHD (my diagnosis) which is must harder to spot in the classroom than a child who is constantly getting out of their seats, which is the hyperactive form and is most commonly found in boys. Most girls go undiagnosed until they reach early adulthood.
9. ADHD can be a blessing too. People with ADHD are often seen as having a negative connotation attached to them. One of the few positive things I did see on Pinterest about ADHD was a cute quote saying, “ADHD: We think more things before breakfast than most people think in an entire day.” It’s such an amazing positive twist on this diagnosis. We do think of so, so, so many things in a day, but I can only believe it helps us to be the idea generators. I would not be half as productive and creative as I am without my brain moving a million miles a second.
I struggle with a love/hate relationship with my ADHD. I like it because it makes me different, it gives me a bit of an edge, it makes my life interesting. I hate it because the world is not really designed for my brain yet, but I am slowly realizing that it’s society who is flawed because God makes no mistakes and He wanted for me to have this disorder and His plan is still coming into play as I learn more about my role in this world. I hope one day to be an advocate for early detection of ADHD particularly in girls or children with ADHD-I as it is grossly underdiagnosed.
Another great way to summarize ADHD is in these great 13 facts by Kelly Babcock:
Facts about ADHD
- ADHD exists
- ADHD is highly heritable
- People with ADHD have value
- People with ADHD have low self esteem and low self awareness
- People with ADHD need to know that they are not alone
- People with ADHD thrive with structure and encouragement, just like anyone else
- People with ADHD cannot pay more attention just because you told them to
- People with ADHD cannot pay less attention just because you told them to
- People with ADHD will say inappropriate things
- People with ADHD will do inappropriate things
- People with ADHD will punish themselves for those things
- People with ADHD will forget things, lose things, break things
Lastly, I’d like to point out the commonality in all these facts, people with ADHD – are People …
… we are.
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