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The issue of who to tell and who not to tell about my ADHD

The issue of who to tell and who not to tell about my ADHD2011-05-04T16:58:55+00:00

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    Post count: 18

    My (“Neurotypical”) wife refers to it as this, which might be a good one…

    Nuances in
    Yearning and


    Patte Rosebank
    Post count: 1517

    I prefer to call it “Executive Function Deficit”, since this seems to me to be the most accurate description of it.

    However, the abbreviation “EFD” could be mistaken for ED, which, inexplicably, gets a lot more respect than ADHD does.


    Post count: 23

    @BabaD I don’t have a problem with the term deficiency either. It’s just so much more than a deficit of attention.

    @Larynxa EFD: That’s kind of what I had in mind (no offense BabaD)

    Two other options:
    Genetic Neural Activation Disorder
    Brain Neurotransmitter Deficiency,

    At least when I say this or something similar to people, all they can do is nod their heads and pretend like they know what I’m talking about (I’ve had people do this, actually) or ask “what the h__l is that?”

    They are then free of the usual preconceptions about what I identified as my “problem”.


    Post count: 18

    @Pallist no offense taken. I don’t get offended by differences of opinion.

    The biggest thing here is what people know ADHD as. If we started calling it something else, because we wanted to make the name more “accurate”, then we would have to start almost all over again with educating people what the condition is, what we call it now, and why.

    At the end of the day, it comes down to a question of where do we want to spend our time and energy. I suggest that what we call it really is the least of our concern. I’m more concerned with true diagnosis rather than overdiagnosis, and managing my own ADHD rather than worrying what people think of me for having it, which is one of the reasons I came up with the silly names as suggestions.

    And when it comes to awareness of the non-Adhd, or “Neurotypical” community, it’s getting better. Many people still don’t believe it exists, and many believe it is vastly overdiagnosed (and, while I think there’s a tendency to overdiagnose, it’s getting better in that regard). I do think that it’s improving.

    The people I have elected to share my ADHD diagnosis have, to a person, been positive, respectful, and inquisitive (as in, “what does it mean?”) rather than hostile or dismissive. I do, of course, make a bit of a joke about it, referring to that imaginary SQUIRREL. (Oh, look! a butterfly!) I find that if you get people smiling a bit, you disarm them and them – you show them you’re okay with it, and they’ll be a lot more receptive, simply because they aren’t feeling as awkward at that point.

    I have ADHD. It’s part of who I am.

    And I’m okay with that.

    (Did I just “come out”?)


    Post count: 23

    I guess we’ll have to agree to disagree, BabaD… I don’t see much improvement in perception among the general public, because the mainstream media continues to misrepresent ADHD and there are many more stories about over-diagnosing or disagreement between “experts” and skeptics as to what medication works and what causes it. Stories about how people’s lives can change when they get the diagnosis and are then treated don’t rank. And there isn’t enough consensus on what the causes are because the research is still coming in on that, and medical professionals don’t follow these developments as closely as we’d wish them to.

    Why does getting it right concern me so much? I have a niece who is introverted, has very inconsistent grades in school and depression with no hyperactivity. She daydreams and cannot stay organized or finish her homework without major struggles. She is 18 and no one, including her parents, teachers, counselors or her doctor understands she probably has ADHD, though her issues point directly to this condition. I have to answer to management at my job if I I am late to work because I forgot where I last placed my keys or completely lost track of time. Since I work in a job where focus, timeliness and caution are absolutely mandatory (I drive a bus for a living) there is low tolerance for making mistakes. If I tell them too much or they misunderstand what medical problem I have, I could easily be out of a job.
    Disarming or charming most people isn’t my goal, since this is something that runs in my family and started at least 2 generations before I was born. My goal is to educate and get as many of my relatives into some form of treatment as soon as possible, since I see the unfortunate consequences of their disorder and how much their lives could improve if a.) they did get treatment and b.) society stopped stigmatizing those of us with this disorder as immoral, lazy, stupid, etc…

    Epilepsy was once call “grand mal” and demonic possession before that, and Bipolar Disorder was once called Manic-Depressive illness. Mental retardation has now been re-categorized into varying forms of cognitive disabilities or learning disorders. The medical world didn’t fall apart as a result of using a more accurate term for those conditions, nor did any fallout affect those who needed help with their disability. The terms merely changed as more information was discovered about how these disorders actually affected the brain. As a result more effective treatments could be administered based on the new research.

    Overall, comprehensive and comparative studies on brain functioning are a relatively recent phenomenon, since recent computer technology advances have given scientists more tools for their research. More types of scans provide a better map of the brain. Substantial discoveries in the growth of human brains from age three months to the age of fifteen have been made due to the creation of high-resolution brain maps and technology to analyze these maps over various periods of time and growth (MRI and a CT scan provides more information).

    I see nothing wrong with reclassifying or renaming something we have better, more accurate information about. If it reduces confusion, more people who suffer from undiagnosed ADHD will see they have a medically-recognized problem more clearly, as will their loved ones and doctors. I see it as a win-win for everyone.

    And it won’t change your identity or the fact that you’re okay with it. If anything, more people will accept their condition as a part of who they are, just as you have.

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