Like many things in life, with ADHD/ADD comes some stigma. It’s not always easy to admit that you have ADHD/ADD. For me, it hasn’t always been the easiest thing to do, and I’m sure I’m not the only one who has found it difficult to admit. It took me a long time to do.
Some may ask: Well, why did it take you so long? Why were you having a difficult time telling people about your ADHD/ADD? Why do people with ADHD/ADD have a hard time saying it?
Well, there are a couple of reasons for this. There are reasons why some ADHDers/ADDers do find it difficult to talk about.
One reason is the opinions that some people have about ADHD/ADD. Some people do believe that ADHD/ADD really is just an excuse, that we’re just lazy, that ADHD/ADD is made up by someone or other, and such. It can be difficult to admit to others that you have something they don’t believe it. It’s hard to let them know that it’s not made up. The fear of being judged is real. It’s difficult to explain something that others don’t see. It is difficult.
Another reason is denial. Sometimes, it is difficult to even accept our diagnosis. We may pretend like we don’t have it. It can take time to accept. For a long time, I knew that I had ADHD/ADD and it was nice to have an explanation, but I guess part of me wanted to pretend that I didn’t have it, that I was just like everyone else. Pretending that I didn’t really have a problem.
Although I can’t speak for everyone, I can still say that I have struggled with both. Perhaps the second more than the first. Some kids in grade 7-8 did kind of made fun of the whole Ritalin thing, and it was one reason I didn’t say anything, as I didn’t want anyone to fun of me. What kid at that age wants to be teased and/or bullied? Even after kids stopped talking or joking about it, I was still worried about what some people would say. By that point, I was just used to not thinking or talking about it, and not really addressing the issue, or accepting the fact that I have ADHD. Yes, I was in denial. Looking back on it now, I do realize it now.
It’s really only in the last few years that I’ve slowly began to accept that I have it and that it’s not all bad. There are some good things about having ADHD. I’ve come to realize that there are some good things. My brain may be different, and I may learn things differently, but that’s okay. It’s what makes me who I am.
Sure, there will still be people, who don’t believe that ADHD is real, that ADHDers/ADDers are just lazy, or is caused by parenting. And yes, we ADHDers/ADDers and all the doctors, psychologists and such, who help us, know that these are misconceptions, that all of these statements are false and could not be farther from the truth. These are all false. Let’s face it, we do know exactly how hard it can be to have ADHD. We know exactly what it’s like.
ADHD is real. And it can be a struggle. We know it.
At the end of the day, all we can really do is keep trying to learn about it and share information with others. Hopefully, there will be more studies done on ADHD as well, and more information available to us on the subject. We should keep talking about it and help others learn about it. There are definitely people out there willing to learn about it and to listen to what we have to say about ADHD/ADD. We may have a long journey ahead and a lot of work to do, but I think that this is the best that we can do. We do need to stick together, learn about it, share information, and just keep it out there. We shouldn’t be ashamed of having it. There is nothing wrong with having ADHD/ADD. As much as it can be a struggle, there are many good things about ADHD/ADD as well and there are ways that we can manage our symptoms. Sometimes, we just need time to find out.
So, let’s just keep the discussion open. Hopefully, one day, the stigma won’t be there anymore. Let’s keep working on it together.
For those who work like a little more information on stigma, here are some other articles as well.