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Bonnie Mincu

Senior Certified ADHD Coach

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An ADD / ADHD Adult’s letter to a disbeliever

To an ADHD DisbelieverHave you ever discovered that someone you trusted turned out to believe ADD / ADHD wasn’t real?  It happened to a person who took my Procrastination Transformation program.

She was shocked to read a friend’s Facebook post saying that he believed ADD / ADHD was just a “crock!”  At first, she was stunned and angry.  But then she realized that this person, like many, was influenced by what he heard and read — which all too often came from erroneous, prejudiced and misinformed sources. 

So she wrote him a letter to set him straight.   I’m printing it here to help inspire you  to enlighten your own people as well.

Pat Ann’s Letter:

“I have ADD.  It’s not called “Attention Deficit Disease” nor “Attention Deficit Symptom,” it’s Attention Deficit Disorder!  Anyone who calls it either a disease or symptom has been misinformed.  However, it’s not a crock!

“I’m 47 years of age and without knowing I had the disorder, until my diagnosis roughly four years ago, my entire life was pure hell. My years of schooling was riddled with teachers and professors wondering why I could have such a high IQ but couldn’t pay attention in class. There was one teacher back in Grade 3 who suggested that I attend a private school focusing on nurturing talented children, but we were poor, and childhood scholarships did not exist back in the early ’70s.

“My husband figuratively rips his hair out because I work my ass off on illustration work or storyboards, but barely meet deadlines.   Not a great trait for a freelancer!

“Suicide and suicidal thoughts run rampant in the ADD community. The percentage of suicide by people with ADD is much higher than with non-ADD suicides.

“ADD is hereditary.  Since I have been ‘properly’ diagnosed, I’ve researched the disorder and now I can pinpoint family members who might have ADD.   Also, ADD (often is not) diagnosed alone.   Parents sometimes think their child has ADD and over focus on just that rather than having their child take the proper psychiatric tests that reveal an Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) alongside ADD.

“I must admit, when I was diagnosed, my family, alarmed, went berserk on the ADD side of the diagnosis and let the OCD get away with murder.

“I don’t talk about ADD much, simply because of people like you, who find it a fiction.  It hurts.  It’s no different from teasing someone who is obese.  I also have a hard time finding employers who want employees with ADD, even though I have been told that there are many out there, eager to have a Thomas Edison working for them!  (Psychiatric researchers studied Edison’s diaries and came to the conclusion that he had ADHD.)

“The neuroscience is there as proof of its existence.  I’m missing a bridge that connects the ‘thinking’ section of my brain to the ‘Control’ section in the frontal lobe.  Even my husband has noticed a difference when I take my medicine and when I don’t.  When I’m ‘on,’ I’m calm, focused and articulate.  When the medication wears off, I’m wired, easily distracted or hyper-focused (which mainly happens at night so sleeping is very difficult for me and even a sleep-deprived migraine headache isn’t strong enough to unwind me).

“So please, PLEASE… think twice before you call someone a crock because they have ADD.  Ask intelligent questions such as ‘have you been properly diagnosed by a psychiatrist?’ during a friendly conversation before you go ahead and label them.  You just might be losing someone who could be a good friend if you don’t!”

(Printed with permission from Pat Ann Lewis

Were you ever in a position to enlighten someone who was misinformed and prejudiced against ADHD?   What did you do?

 

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Author: Bonnie Mincu
Senior Certified ADHD Coach, Founder of "Thrive with ADD," Bonnie has been coaching adults with ADD / ADHD traits since 2001. She has developed numerous training programs to help with the challenges of Adult Attention Deficit Disorder.

Comments

    Bob Dronski

    I find a lot more people who have ADD and refuse to admit it. I try to send them to legitimate sites (like this one) but they have to accept it for themselves. Not always an easy thing to admit to….

    Bob, I think the name “Attention Deficit DISORDER” is something that feels like a stigma to many people. Also, if someone believes that ADD is just a made-up condition for people to excuse their bad habits, it would be pretty hard for that person to then accept that it was not only real, but that they actually HAD that condition.

    I’ve found many times that when I explained to people some typical symptoms of ADD / ADHD, they would say, “Why would that be a sign of a disorder? That’s just natural for a lot of people. I’m like that myself!” As if they couldn’t possibly be ADD; therefore, the condition itself must be bogus.

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