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No One Believes I Have ADHD

“I don’t believe in ADHD.” “It’s made up by Doctors and big Pharma.” “ It’s lazy teachers and weak parents who refuse to discipline their kids.” “ It’s just a fad. It’s because parents have to work these kids run wild in the street…” And on and on. You’ve probably had your fair share of dismissal, scorn, and outright, ‘what a load of crap’ from people who have no idea what ADHD is. Sadly, one of them may have been your Doctor, a family member or a friend. It began for me the moment I started telling people, “I’ve found out I have ADHD.”


The more you learn about ADHD, the more frustrating it is to deal with people spouting uninformed nonsense. It’s easy to want to smack someone, literally, or figuratively. It’s wearing after a while. I have to admit, I’ve been advocating openly for a mere ten years now, some of the experts in our videos have been fighting this fight for twenty or thirty years.


While the world grows more aware that ADHD is real, that it’s neurology, chemistry, and genetics, not a moral failing or a reaction to red food dye, there’s still much to be done.


The answer to that question? They were suffering. And misdiagnosed. And treated for something, but not for their ADHD. So they weren’t getting the help they need. And by adulthood they either figured out how to make the world work for them, as I was lucky enough to do, or they have gave up and live lives of frustration and despair. As Linda Roggli, the ADDiva admitted in her interview with us, “I thought that everyone else had the secret. I called it the secret… kind of like everyone else had the answer, everyone else knew how to get along, everybody else knew how to be friends…. And I could never figure it out. Instead, I built a façade that was socially acceptable and inside that façade I was praying that no one looked behind the curtain and found out… I really was a flake.” Rick Green Patrick McKenna Photo


The first time someone snorted at the possibility that I might have ADHD and that it explained a lot of how and why I struggled in life, I was mortified. And angry. I didn’t handle it well. So I became, what my brother calls a fire-hose of information. Pouring out an overwhelming torrent of information to PROVE I’M RIGHT!!! I would defend and I would argue. I would demolish them and defeat them. But oddly, no one ever said, “I think you’re right. Thank you for sharing.” Instead they changed the subject. And it never came up again. Which I assumed meant they had seen the light. In fact they’d just seen someone rant and rave. And they’d been made wrong.


So, for many years I managed to silence the smug and ignorant. But I never truly changed their minds. Yes, they stopped spouting their uninformed balderdash… when I was around. But rather than consider that what I was saying might have merit, they simply dismissed me as a fanatic. I would have done the same. It only took about a decade to find a better response. But now I have. Rather than turn it into a battle, rather than defend, demolish, and defeat people who don’t have the facts, I’ve learned to disarm them. How? I talk more about how in my next blog ADHD? That’s Just an Excuse I also  explain how in our video Facing The World, I’m going to show you how I disarm ‘the enemy’ by admitting an awkward truth… That I used to be one of the enemy. I was just like them. Yes, that’s right. There was a time when I didn’t know the facts about ADHD. Even today, there is a lot I don’t know. Heck, there is still a lot that the top experts don’t know. But when I start with, “Yes, that’s exactly what I used to think…”, well, magic happens.


Rick ADHD Video
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  1. Larynxa November 25, 2013 at 2:33 pm

    I used to think it was B.S., too. So did my whole family. Until we saw this article (http://www.thestar.com/life/health_wellness/diseases_cures/2010/02/26/comic_rick_green_talks_about_his_adhd_seriously.html), which sounded so much like me, that we realized (a) It IS real, and (b) It explains my whole life…and my mom’s, too.
    I’ve found that explaining my ADHD as simply as possible (as if it’s no big deal), with a reference to something people already understand, seems to open a lot of closed minds.
    I say it’s like being left-handed in a right-handed world, and having to wear glasses (which I do) to be able to see straight.

  2. blackdog November 25, 2013 at 7:45 pm

    Food additives! That is the one that makes me see red the most. That was debunked sooooo long ago.
    Of course, I believed it myself at one time. Back in the ’80’s when I used to babysit a boy who was “hyperactive” I took away the red fruit punch and the sugary cereal he usually ate and refused to let him have them when I was there. And it seemed to help. But I now know it was the other methods I used to calm him before bed, which I came up with on my own, that were responsible for the change in behaviour.
    And it’s interesting that I knew exactly what to do when no one else was able to handle him….

  3. sdwa November 26, 2013 at 1:23 pm

    Looking forward to it. Bad parenting, lazy teachers, kids hopped up on Red Dye, or the side effect of vaccines and environmental toxicity. It’s your diet. It’s your attitude. It’s an excuse to avoid accountability. And a moral failing. We’re terrible, delusional, drug addicted people, colluding with the evil pharmaceutical industry to destroy the world. Bwa ha ha.
    But you know, ADHD is kind of hard to pin down. I can see it in everyone here, from hanging around on the site for a few years. In how we communicate, in patterns of thought, in the challenges we face. I know these are not challenges experienced by the majority of adults.
    I’ve had doubts. Plus I’ve been through a cult movement, a fad diagnosis, and some religious fervor. I grew up around rapid vegetarian fascists who wouldn’t cook with an aluminum pot because of the threat of Alzheimer’s. I know how groupthink works, and actually prefer to wash my own brain.
    When I was diagnosed, ADHD made more sense than anything I’d heard to that point. The medication initially allowed me to do all sorts of things – like talk to people – that I’d been unable to do before. The more I’ve heard from others who share this diagnosis, the more I see the commonalities. That can’t be a coincidence – we can’t all independently invent behavior patterns that turn out to be so similar it’s like reading my own diary when I hear it.
    In a way, I’m at peace with the ignorance of others, because whatcha gonna do? I have my own problems. They can hate on it. I’m the one who lives with it, mostly in the privacy of my own home. I’m not out on the street campaigning for special privileges (other than a decent education for my kid – okay, I guess I am a terrible person).

  4. Pridan November 27, 2013 at 8:44 pm

    “The Holistic Solution to ADHD” and this new video are fantastic. Thanks guys! The Rick vs Rick punching scenes cracked my wife and I up!!!

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