- This topic has 8 replies, 1 voice, and was last updated 11 years, 3 months ago by Anonymous.
In my life, one of the big things I’ve had to deal with, is people telling me I don’t have adhd, or that adhd doesn’t exist. “If you’d just get more self control.” “That’s just an excuse for bad behavior.” “Everyone’s inattentive!”
It also turns out I have migraines. I was diagnosed during my first tenure in South Korea (if you don’t know, they’re not really big on psychology). At the neurologist’s office I mentioned that I had adhd and he was convinced that I didn’t. No matter that he hadn’t given me a questionnaire or mri, had only known me for ten minutes, and I had a headache so I was sluggish, and nervous because just day ago said headache had cause me to white-out. NOoo, I *couldn’t* be adhd. Why? And I quote “because adhd people cannot hold a job. They cannot function in society!” I wanted to punch him! I mean, I loved my job but I was still late to class almost every period (not day, but every couple of hours), I lost may attendance folders weekly, my pens, the students’ papers. I (the teacher) sometimes (you know, every week or two) got in trouble for the volumes of the games I had us play. It was great fun for me and the kids, not so much for the other teachers (…or the quiet serious kids, they didn’t seem to have much fun either). I pointed out the bouncing leg and he suggested that I must have RLS because I *couldn’t* have adhd. You know, diagnosed three times, but all those doctors and specialists and psychologists were wrong. Guh.
I also encounter a lot of ideas that adhd equals social jerk. So, I’m not a jerk, (I never have been, my mother says I was a “difficult child, not a rebellious child or strong willed child, just difficult. And high maintenance” [ironic that I’ve come to associate that word with the highest insult possible. I’m terrified of being “difficult” yet quite convinced that’s exactly what I am] I just interrupt, and share tmi, and mouth vomit, and talk too much, and fidget to madness, or sit in a corner munching on chips in an attempt to shut up and give other people a turn, or get in the way and get upset, but I’m not a jerk so I can’t have adhd.
My parents advise me (wait, no, my father, who never wanted to believe I had adhd in the first place, advices me) not to tell anyone. Ever. Because they’ll either think bad of me (aka. think you’re an unhirable freak) or think badly of me (aka, think I’m the kind of person who listens to crackpot theories and makes excuses for my own bad behavior).
So, what do I do? How do I respond to all this? Is it better to be thought lacking self-control than adhd? Should I try to convince people my adhd is real? Or should I just work on “managing” it so no one feels I’m difficult and would thus never ever believe I have adhd?
ps. in my attempt to deal with my own stuff I’ve found that placing everything in an obvious,eye height, visible place or having see-through containers is awesome. Much less likely to forget it if I can see it. Also, some sticky notes are good, many sticky notes are just pretty colors. Then I just have to deal with leaving my cell phone in the fridge…veronicaMember
brio! uhm, are we like twins? but you are an “i” and i’m an “e”….. btw, word vomit and i are total BFF’s. hahahahaha
“And high maintenance” [ironic that I’ve come to associate that word with the highest insult possible.]” i despise that term
“I’m terrified of being “difficult” yet quite convinced that’s exactly what I am] I just interrupt, and share tmi, and mouth vomit, and talk too much, and fidget to madness, or sit in a corner munching on chips in an attempt to shut up and give other people a turn,” ahem, yeah… this happens to me. and add that my hubby, ya know the isfj… when we go out and i do these things, like interrupt and give out tmi, or word vomit, he totally and completely makes me feel self-conscience for being me.
i have the same questions you do. and i’m trying to find resolution on those things as well. personally i believe it’s better to let people know that you have adhd, rather than lacking self-control, whether they believe you have a valid issue or not… who cares… you know what you have and it’s time to work on it. don’t waste your time on the non-believers. i just don’t bring up the topic with them and if they try i change the subject or direct them here now. are you on meds? have you tried to find help with a doc? i think that a lot of your feeling and emotions stem from a business still in your head. i promise these questions get easier and easier to answer as the days on meds go on. you do find clarity. and you learn that some people will just never understand. good luck! hey PM me your email addy on Type C, would ya? i really want to have a dialogue with you about this.
sticky notes ARE fun! *insert kool-aid smile here* oh yeah!AnonymousInactive
No, I’m not on meds, and no I haven’t had help with a doc. Had help as a kid and a couple years of therapy in college, and I used to be on meds but not anymore. Partly this is because when I’m in the States I’m without insurance. And insurance doesn’t like to insure people who already have a dx of, like, any kind, especially something that nearly assures them of depression and risk taking. Fun!
I’m sure there are lots of things in my head.
Sent you a note in TypeCAnonymousInactive
I’ve recently been going through the whole “should I tell people or not” thing as I’ve recently found out that I have ADD. I opted to tell people. The people who really deserve my time and attention have supported me, and the others I have decided to make less room for in my life. It sounds simple but having almost no family and having to back away from my own mother who I used to talk to every single day on the phone and felt closest to in this world nearly broke my heart. She won’t accept it, and by default makes me feel like I don’t even know my own self, so I had to back away for a while so I can figure this out for myself.
We are who we are, we can’t magically change, and it’s better to be around people who support or at least offer respect and to try not to worry about the other people(I know at work it’s a little different, but I mean with friends and what not). Sometimes I even feel like if I say it I’ll sound like I’m making excuses, but that’s a sterotype even I have to get over. I can’t be ashamed, or else how far am I really going to go.
One wise man told me that we shouldn’t ever try to fit in, when it’s the right place or people we just will fit in as ourselves naturally.
Does hearing any of this make it easier? Who knows, but if we can let go of what others think and really just focus on what we think and how we want to feel about ourselves, our stress levels go down a lot and life seems, if only for the moment, a little less nuts.
As far as doctors my god, sometimes that just takes the cake doesn’t it? But, there are usually plenty more where that one came from, who maybe are a little more educated and/or reasonable. Anyways I am not sure if any of this helps, but I do wish you the bestADDledMember
To tell or not to tell. As if our lives aren’t difficult enough, there’s this, too.
I deal with that on a case by case basis. Those who really love you and care about you won’t have an issue. So far, so good. My mother, brother and other family members, well, just to prevent making a bad situation worse, I haven’t. My ADHD would be viewed much the same way the rest of the world see us. And I don’t need that. There is no point in trying to enlighten them.
When I encounter a situation where some sort of disclosure is required, say a learning environment, I generally wait to get a read on the people around me. (And you all know about our perceptiveness…..).
If it will help reduce my frustration and I know the instructor is “receptive”, I will fully disclose the ADHD after class or some other time when we can have some privacy.
When I find a situation where people may not understand or disagree about the existence of ADHD, I will say it’s neurological thing, or an information processing disorder/learning disability. Non ADHD types generally respond to that reason better because it’s something they perceive as you having no control over it and gains some sympathy. Kinda like freckles, or blue eyes….
At work, well, I’m still trying to figure that one out. In my previous posts I have alluded to the difficulties I’m having with that: all I can say is it’s still an uphill battle.
We now have a forum where we can speak amongst ourselves, help and be helped, and I hope that we can eventually form an advocacy group to bring to light these issues we all deal with on a daily basis. Maybe get T-shirts made up saying ” I’m ADHD and it’s NOT MY FAULT….”
Hope this helps….AnonymousInactive
I’m going to make a t-shirt that says on the front: I’m ADD
Then on the back it’ll say: Wait, what am I again?AnonymousInactive
haha. I don’t think I’ll be breaking contact with either of my parents any time soon. Family is very important and as I only have one I’m going to try and not burn my end of the bridges, they already have fires regularly.
Anyway, just want to let you guys know that I read the suggestions. And thank you.
I’m not sure I’m bold enough to wear one of those shirts. I think that adhd in females can sometimes be even less understood than it is in men because it’s rarer.
I’m not sure I’ll tell bosses but I will try telling select people.AnonymousInactive
Ha! I haven’t had much issue with getting my employer to understand my ‘issues’ related to ADHD. When I revealed my diagnosis to my current employer, she stated that she already knew. She even went on to tell me that immediately after I walked out of the interview for the position with her, she had turned to the other interviewer and said, “Now that’s the most ADHD person I have ever met!”
It’s all good though. She thinks I do a wonderful job even if it takes me just a wee bit longer to get myself organized to get there to get the job done. No, just in case you’re thinking she’s also ADHD. She’s not. We’re both educators who know that ADHD doesn’t mean ‘BAD’, just different behaviours and different learning styles.
In the education field, there are still plenty of teachers who are non-believers. Personally, I find THAT hard to believe. With all the info out there on ADHD available for even the general public to see and read, how can it be that there are still newly graduating teachers coming into the field who still believe that kids with ADHD are just NOT trying their hardest or are just trying to CAUSE problems?? *gives my head a shake*
The non-believers? I’ve talked myself blue in the face (easily enough done for some of us) trying to convince some of them but have realized that was going nowhere. Instead, when I hear complaints I offer my sympathy (we are a trying bunch to spend a day with!) and ask if there is anything I can do to help. They ALWAYS love a sympathetic ear and don’t mind any strategies that I can give them.
I believe that in the US, a student dxed with ADHD requires that an IEP (Individual Education Plan)be provided to assist them with any learning concerns/needs associated with the ADHD. It’s certainly a different story up here.
Fortunately for me, most principals are well aware of ADHD so I’ve had no problems dealing with them. Perhaps that’s only because I’ve always gone a bit overboard to make sure I didn’t ‘mess up’ on the job because of my ADHD!AnonymousInactive
I haven’t had any problems when I’ve chosen to disclose. I find that it’s often a great time to educate. When I told my current boss, she thought that it was a mental health issue. I told her that I am actually quite well adjusted, I just have what is believed to be a genetic neurological disorder that can affect the balance of brain chemicals and make it impossible for me to tune out distractions or remember to complete certain daily tasks. It’s really not that different from diabetes. Just like a diabetic has to avoid sugar at certain times, I have to avoid the internet or I could go into an inadvertent comatose state.
I don’t agree with the idea of a mandatory IEP though. IEP’s can detract from the validity of the graduating document and are commonly regarded as a “dumbing down” of regular coursework. I do agree that there needs to be more understanding of how the ADD brain learns effectively and some consideration made for that. In addition, ADD children should be considered in classroom design. Right now there is WAYYYY to much distraction available in a primary grade classroom. Move all the displays to the back of the room. The front of the room must be plain. Sit the child in the front row at all times, and make sure that there are no windows within line of sight.
There was a test case in a Toronto school where children were given yoga balls to sit on instead of chairs. The benefit to something like this would be twofold. It would allow the ADD child a chance to bleed off excess figityness as well as provides some activity to promote better health.
Now in typical ADD fashion, I have gone completely off topic into a soapbox rant…
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