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Hi I’m Rick Green from TotallyADD and this is Jessica McCabe from How To ADHD the world’s best YouTube channel about ADHD or anything… isn’t it? Way better than smashing things with hammers, well a close second.   So we’re looking at four myths about ADHD that affected our lives, let’s start.

ADHD Myth Number 1.

ADHD Characteristics Are Personality Defects

Jessica McCabe

I bought it when people told me oh you know you’re just messy, lazy, flaky, you’re spacey, all these moral judgments of things that I struggled with and I’m like, well I can’t dispute it. Yes I am, what I didn’t understand is that yes they’re right that I struggle with these things, no it’s not a personal or moral failing that I struggle with these things.   This is how my brain works, yeah I could be messy or disorganized or lose track of things but it’s you know, what it’s like if that kid screams a lot.

Rick Green

Yes it’s because he stepped on a nail, there’s an explanation, it’s not an excuse, he should probably stop screaming and get the nail removed but there’s an explanation and it’s better than it’s a screamy kid, because if it’s a screamy kid and that’s what you believe you’re not gonna go looking for the nail in the foot and they’re just gonna keep screaming.

Jessica McCabe

Well that’s the problem though is that you can’t see the nail right? invisible disability.

ADHD Myth Number 2.

There’s Nothing Wrong With You

Your father and grandfather were the same way!

Rick Green

So yes I was a lot like my father and my Grandfather who was actually doing comedy on the British music hall stage back in like 1910 apparently, for myself I just thought I’m a chip off the old block, it was only as I got into learning more about it I realized that my son is the chip off the old block as well. So yeah it runs in families and rather than that proves it isn’t ADHD it actually strongly suggests it is.

Jessica McCabe

ADHD is actually super genetic this one worked the positive way for me because I was just like my aunt who had recently been diagnosed with ADHD so when when her son was diagnosed she was diagnosed and then my mom looked at me and was like we’re taking you to the doctor.

ADHD Myth Number Three

You Have To Overcome all your ADHD Challenges To Be Successful

Jessica McCabe

I seriously bought this, I saw successful people because I was waiting tables and there were a lot of people who had money coming through and I would wait on them and I’d be like you’re successful which means you are good at all the things I’m terrible at and you know somehow maybe magically I will be able to be one of you if only I too learn how to do my taxes and remember to change the laundry and can keep my kitchen clean and don’t have a messy car.

To the point where anytime anybody asks me for a ride I’m like sure and run ahead to throw stuff in the back seat so that they have somewhere to sit. I thought that I had to be good at these things in order to be successful; I thought that some future successful version of me would look completely different from who I am.

I thought I had change to be successful and the truth is I didn’t. Apparently you can be successful by being good at some things I didn’t know that, I thought I had to overcome all of my difficulties but the truth is the people who are most successful are the ones who focus on their areas of strength and play to those. You do have to address your areas of weakness enough that they’re not getting in your way to the point where you can’t be successful at what you’re doing right, but sometimes that looks like hiring an accountant rather than getting good at doing your own taxes.

Rick Green

That’s really good and I think that’s what I bought into at the beginning was I’ve got to get all of this handled, not really, I’ve got to get certain things handled and sometimes I didn’t have to get it handled my wife actually suggested for years just get a bookkeeper and finally we did and then i go into the shame of you idiot you should have blah blah blah…

Your wife told you why don’t you… that little monkey mind just keeps chattering away in there and will always make you wrong, It’s a constant ongoing thing you know. People say ADHD is my superpower I don’t know about that but you have superpowers in something, there is something and you don’t have to be the best in the world, you don’t have to be the best in your country, but if you’re the best in your town or your neighbourhood you’re gonna be able to do that for a living.   Boy that was really preachy.

ADHD Myth Number Four

It’s Always Something With You

Rick Green

This is exactly word for word what my mother said when I was diagnosed right after she said you can’t have ADHD you’re on national television. So yeah this is just one other one of your excuses it’s always something with you, in a way that was true because I had been through bouts of depression, bouts of anxiety.   With ADHD I was overly emotional this is not just about being better at paying attention, finishing, following through and so on it’s also about monitoring physical input from noise and it’s also about managing your emotions, it’s about managing information part two.

This Is Just Another One of Your Excuses

Jessica McCabe

Yeah I hear that a lot, ADHD is not an excuse, I don’t recommend using it as an excuse. People can kind of tell when you’re using it as an excuse, but it is an explanation and it does explain a lot. I think is the difference is how I conceptualize it. It’s an excuse if I’m like I’m short, I’m five foot three and I can’t reach the tall shelf.

It’s an explanation if I’m like if you want me to reach that tall shelf I’m gonna need a step stool right? I’m not gonna either refuse to do the thing because I can’t because ADHD, but I’m also not gonna say I don’t need help, right? I’m gonna acknowledge the challenges that I have and then accommodate for them, although I will say this, there are times when the amount of accommodations it would take to be able to do the thing aren’t worth it you know?   If you don’t really want that thing off of that tall thing and you’d have to get a ridiculous ladder and put it on top another ladder and have somebody hold it and stabilize it, you know, and there’s just like one Cheeto up there why would you go to all that work for one Cheeto?

There are times when it’s just not worth it. I could provide myself all kinds of accommodations and make it so that I mop my floors on a regular basis but it’s not worth it to me, it’s really not, if my floors get that messy I’ll move. Sometimes it’s worth it to have somebody else do it .

I found out once I take probably three days to clean my entire house if I’m lucky whereas I was waiting tables at the time and what I made in one shift was enough to hire a maid.   So at that point it actually made more sense for me to pick up an extra shift at work and hire a maid than to try and take three days to do it myself. Sometimes it’s not worth it and it’s important to realize when that is.

More Videos In This Series

4 ADHD Myths – Part 1

4 More ADHD Myths – Part 2

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