April 5, 2012 at 9:44 pm #90670
CycloneMemberApril 5, 2012 at 9:44 pmPost count: 37
Fellow ADDults (and others, if you’re here),
I previously posted some threads in this area of the forum regarding What do you say to your colleagues at work? and Core competencies. In typically ADD fashion, I didn’t clearly think through what I wanted and rambled on a whole lot. Sorry .
Like so many of you on the forum who only recently learned that you are no longer so unique (or alone) and now carry a label, I’ve been trying to understand and rationalize this whole ADD thing.
In my personal life it has already helped. Understanding why I do what I do has opened the door for me to be more self aware and to improve. But it has also tremendously helped my relationship with my wife. She now understands why I would appear not to be listening, why I could fly off the handle and say hurtful things, and why it seems to always be her responsibility to pay the bills. She also recognizes it’s why I’m so passionate about things and all the other positives. Neither she nor I see it as an excuse. There is no sitting back and saying “Well I guess that’s why I’ll never listen to you, so deal with it!”, and neither of us would want it that way. We’re in it together; no excuses for me, and she’s free to call me out on it, but without any anger or animosity from either side.
To be honest, I think knowing has saved my marriage.
Sidebar: has anyone seen “Fantastic Mr. Fox”? I totally feel like the Opossum, Kylie Sven sometimes. My wife and I jokingly adopted the hand signal he adopted for showing when he’s space out. Anyway, that should be a topic for another thread: Hand signals for ADD 💡 . Back to my post….
My personal understanding of ADD will help me gain greater control of my bad habits, improve on my weaknesses and better appreciate my strengths. My medication helps me focus. Me, me, me! But the reality is I wouldn’t get very far without the support and understanding of my family. And that can only comes be gained through their knowledge and understanding of ADD.
So what about the other half of my life? What about work?
Work should be no different. I can certainly improve on my personal ability to plan, organize, etc. and medication helps me focus better than before. But I think this only gets me half way. To really succeed, people need to know. I don’t work in a vacuum. Others depend on me, as I do them. And I know I am not the only one with ADD.
So, here’s are the questions I am asking all of you:
- “What are some positive reasons to be open about ADD?”, and
- “What can an organization gain from an open, honest understanding ADD?”
I am not asking whether or not it’s a good idea, nor do I want to hear from the devil’s advocate. Just the positives please.April 5, 2012 at 11:59 pm #113793
CycloneMemberApril 5, 2012 at 11:59 pmPost count: 37
I thought I would kick this off myself with one of my own reasons…
Help other with ADD by setting an example.
Being open and honest about my own ADD might open the door for others to come forward. Painting an accurate picture of ADD and being open and honest about my condition opens the door for others to come forward or seek their own diagnosis and getting help.
After all, isn’t this what Rick and Ava did with this site? I’m sure there were plenty of reasons for Rick NOT to be open about his ADD.REPORT ABUSEApril 6, 2012 at 3:06 am #113794
AnonymousInactiveApril 6, 2012 at 3:06 amPost count: 14413
Cyclone- I am also out at work with add/adhd my co-workers are cool with it because I am a social worker who serves individuals with developmental disabilities- many have add/adhd so they are used to it. Some of my office mates don’t like my constant speed and randomness but I don’t really care. My boss is also cool with it and think I do great work; in my opinion that is all that matters.REPORT ABUSEApril 6, 2012 at 1:17 pm #113795
kc5jckParticipantApril 6, 2012 at 1:17 pmPost count: 845
Acknowledging that one has ADHD promotes understanding of what ADHD is and gives the opportunity for managers and coworkers who are knowledgable with ADHD to capitalize on and accomodate the condition.
WARNING: The rest of this post is what you didn’t ask for and probably don’t want to hear.
I don’t think one should make efforts to hide or deny they have ADHD. However, going into work and saying that “I have ADHD” is likely to get a response of “Oh, so you’re one of those?” from managers and coworkers as they recall all of the negative aspects of your performance and personality.
ADHD is soooo misnamed and misunderstood that even people, such as myself, that have it, are so clueless they don’t know what it is and come on this site with new threads such as “what if it’s not ADHD” and “Is it really ADHD” in an attempt to figure things out.
Only when, and it will probably never happen, ADHD is acknowledged and commonly understood will ADHD be looked at as something other than a completely negative condition. Until then, it will likely be lumped in with other mental conditions such as depression, a condition to which most can only vaguely relate, schizophrenia, autism, and other mental illnesses that negatively impact the lives of people and businesses.
So perhaps a good reason “coming out” would be to dispel the myths and misconceptions of ADHD so ADHD can be viewed and used in a positive way.REPORT ABUSEApril 6, 2012 at 2:40 pm #113796
CycloneMemberApril 6, 2012 at 2:40 pmPost count: 37
I like your suggestion on promoting understanding. This is the kind of thing I’m looking for.
Regarding the latter part, that’s really a question of HOW to go about it, which is a whole other matter. But I agree that shouting from the rooftop that you have ADHD may not be the best approach (although it might fit well with your hyperactivity ). After we gather enough positive reasons for doing it, the next question will be how to go about it. For another thread…
-CycloneREPORT ABUSEApril 7, 2012 at 1:18 am #113797
Rick Green – Founder of TotallyADDParticipantApril 7, 2012 at 1:18 amPost count: 473
The reason to come out, for me, is based on something that Gandhi said, “Be the change you want to see in the world.” For a long time I saw that quote as dealing with world peace, the end of suffering or whatever. I mean, it was Gandhi for heaven’s sake.
Now I see it applies everywhere. If I want my kids to be adults, I have to treat them like adults. If I want them to be trustworthy, I have to trust them.
Same with ADHD.
If you think there’s nothing to feel guilty about, no reason why a child should feel ashamed that they happen to fall at the end of the spectrum in terms of paying attention and monitoring their attention levels… then you have to behave that way. If there’s noting to be ashamed of, if you really believe that, you have to live it.
That said, there are practical costs to coming out. If it’s going to cost you your job, because of other people’s fears, beliefs or whatever, there’s no reason to come out.
I’m sure it’s cost me in my business, in terms of work, of having people wanting to work with me… But then, do I want to work with those people?… Anyway, it’s a tricky question. Maybe being a comedian and being able to laugh myself, helps. Dunno.
So a positive reason for coming out is that it felt like I was doing the right thing. And I know, and Patrick Mckenna knows from the feedback around the documentary, that we have literally saved careers, marriages, relationships and even lives. Can’t think of anything more positive than that.REPORT ABUSEApril 7, 2012 at 5:49 am #113798
kc5jckParticipantApril 7, 2012 at 5:49 amPost count: 845
After my son was diagnosed with ADHD at 20 years old, I realized that I was probably ADHD as well after reading about the disorder. I got tested and diagnosed in part because of curiosity but mainly in the hope that my son would realize that if I could be successful then so could he. And so he might not feel that he was the “odd one” of the family, he was just tracking in his old man’s footsteps.
I can’t help but think that such knowledge makes a child feel better about himself. A very good reason indeed to get diagnosed.REPORT ABUSEApril 30, 2012 at 8:49 pm #113799
BillMemberApril 30, 2012 at 8:49 pmPost count: 227
Let’s distinguish between child-ADHD and adult-ADHD. You can develop a child’s skills and give them good career advice so that they can live their life free of ADHD traits and without medication. Their life supports their emotional and intellectual make-up.
An adult who has gone 4 or 5 decades without a diagnosis probably has a thick layer of emotional crap in addition to the ADHD, built up as they struggled against unrealistic expectations. As I have changed my work habits and learned more about what I can and cannot do, the ADHD has become less of a disorder and more of a character trait that can be planned for and worked around.
I just want to warn people about coming out too soon. Wait until you have yourself pretty much figured out. Wait until you have a plan for your work / career. And don’t do it alone. Discuss it with others not connected with your work. You job is not a place to be impulsive!REPORT ABUSEApril 30, 2012 at 10:09 pm #113800
ScattybirdParticipantApril 30, 2012 at 10:09 pmPost count: 1096
Bill I think you have given some wise advice.
All my life I have been aware of certain character traits that made me ‘just me’. Now I have a diagnosis and suddenly for better or for worse those character traits have been given a name and taken on a whole new meaning. My perspective of ‘me’ has suddenly shifted. I am not sure why since I am the same person I was before. Maybe taking meds has contributed to that?
I think for the oldies amongst us who have had a late diagnosis, figuring it all out before we tell anyone who may have some say in our future life chances (like a boss) is important.
Thanks for pointing that out Bill.
Kc – you’re right. Young people should not grow up feeling like they have a disorder. So ‘coming out’ to them and being role models must be a good thing. (Although if anyone used me as a role model they’d probably be in jail or living as a hippy on a beach somewhere within a short period of time!)REPORT ABUSEMay 1, 2012 at 7:23 pm #113801
BillMemberMay 1, 2012 at 7:23 pmPost count: 227
Scattybird – where exactly is that beach? Is there room for one more?REPORT ABUSEMay 1, 2012 at 7:32 pm #113802
TiddlerMemberMay 1, 2012 at 7:32 pmPost count: 802
My reason is simple.
I can’t keep my mouth shut about anything personal. Everyone and his dog knows about my ADHD. I can’t stop myself. I’m much happier that way too.
Unfortunately, I haven’t been called in on the supply work I do once since I ‘came out’ in September. I am assuming this is coincidence. On the other hand, my boss at my main job has been super supportive.REPORT ABUSEMay 2, 2012 at 2:51 pm #113803
BillMemberMay 2, 2012 at 2:51 pmPost count: 227
Hi Tiddler – As far as I’m concerned, the first rule in coping with ADHD is “Know and accept yourself.” Speaking for myself, the single biggest problem I faced was trying to live up to what I perceived as other people’s expectations.
Incidentally, how did the dog take the news? I haven’t told our poodle yet, but she’s already ADHD, so I don’t think she’ll take it hard.REPORT ABUSE
Positive reasons for coming outCyclone2012-04-05T21:44:42+00:00
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