Today’s article is from the archives. I’m sharing it again because frankly, I am soooo tired of hearing and reading misinformation, myths, and outright lies about what ADHD is.
I’d suggest you print this out and keep it on hand. Maybe even come up with some helpful (not mean) retorts that should be, if you can keep your rage under control, informational.
Don’t forget that I’ll be rotating this newsletter with my “3 Minutes with Terry” mini-mailings. So, please do keep an eye out for that one. It’s a quick, easy, and fun read.
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Stay safe. Stay well!
10 Big Fat Lies about ADHD
I’ve been around a loooong time in the ADD world and have worked hard to help, support, and educate those with ADD as well as their families, friends, teachers, bosses and more. Yet, the amount of ADD misperception that still lives in this world confounds me.
Here are 10 misconceptions that are still alive and (not) well:
- You can’t have ADD! You’re married with kids and have a great job!
- You can’t have ADD! You have two college degrees!
- You can’t have ADD! You can watch TV/work on the computer (fill in the blanks) for hours and be fully focused!
- You can’t have ADD! You’re a great cook!
- You can’t have ADD! Your desk/home/office is tidy!
- You can’t have ADD! You like to read!
- You can’t have ADD! You’re not hyper!
- You can’t have ADD! You’re too smart.
- You can’t have ADD! You look so…together!
- You can’t have ADD! You have lots of friends!
The truth is, you can do all of these things very well, even with ADD. But what the outsider does not see is how HARD we work at the things that come easy and naturally to others.
To do many of the things above, we exert more energy than most because of our distractibility, inattention, impulsivity, fear of boredom, and more.
Then we hit the sack, and our bodies- burned out from a day of running uphill- collapse, but our brains continue raging down the railroad track into ever- lasting loops of thoughts, worries, ruminations.
What about you? What naïve comments have you heard over the years about your ADD? How do/did you respond?
Please leave your comment in the comment section, below.
Terry’s Top Hits
Rick Green of TotallyADD had me on recently as his guest, where I spoke on the topic of Women with ADHD, Hormones, and Memory.
It’s a fine 10 minutes’ worth of conversation, but to hear the interview in its entirety, become a TotallyADD patron at https://www.patreon.com/TotallyADD and you’ll get access to all his videos and much more.
Watch our short, 10 minute pre-session here.
Terry’s Top Picks
Life is Good is a company that makes not only upbeat T-shirts with positive messages, but they are super super comfortable. They come in all cotton or a cotton blend and I wear them all summer. Since I hate fitted tops, I often buy the men’s sizes. Here’s a cute one for women.
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Check it out HERE.
ADHD Top Reads
This one is flying off the shelf!
My friends, Drs. Ned Hallowell and John Ratey blew this one out of the park. These two started it all with their first book, Driven to Distraction. Now, they return with this gem: ADHD 2.0!
Struggling to tackle paper piles, toy piles, projects and more?
Then join me and your fellow Queens of Distraction online in a private, secret room where we Get Things Done. We “get” it and are here to help you.
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Let’s work together to help you get back on track (or get started on your journey!).I provide short-term sessions offering psycho-educational information, resources, support, and mini-coaching to help you get started- whether you’re looking to find someone to evaluate you or if you’ve been struggling your whole life and are ready to get unstuck, I can help.
I get it. Because I have ADHD, too, and over 25 years of experience working with adults with ADHD.
(I have a limited number of slots available; if you don’t see a time that works for you, email me at terry@ADDconsults.com).
* Like this article? I write about all kinds of ADHD experiences here on my website in the blog section, and if they spark something in you, talk to me! I offer online consultations for men and women with ADHD.
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Thank you, Terry.
I would love to keep this list on hand to send to anyone who does say these things.
Almost as maddening is when they come at you with “I have clutter too or I forget things too (fill in the blank) so I must have ADHD”.
Neurotypicals, hmmf. (Shake my head).
Thanks for your comment and woa…I totally agree. The “me too” comments we get that are nowhere near the struggles we deal with. Grrrr.
I was diagnosed with ADHD at age 56 and I’ve heard many of those lies from the doctors and therapists that were supposed to be helping me. Worse yet, those same people misdiagnosed and medicated me for other things. I lost nearly a decade of my adult life.
I want to encourage anyone who is struggling with getting the help they need to NOT give up. It’s worth it to keep searching and pushing for the help you need. If you come across an ADHD coaching site, for example, and you read that the coach welcomes questions (like Terry), reach out and ask if they can help you. I did. And it led to finding the help I needed. It still didn’t happen over night. In fact it took several months. Don’t ever give up and don’t ever let anyone make you feel less than you are. Even neuro-typical folks has their weaknesses and shortcomings. Mine aren’t any better or worse and I feel no obligation to apologize for them.
Bottom line, fight for what you need and reach out to your tribe for the strength and support you need to be the best you possible.
I apologize if I got off track, it’s one of my super powers 🙂
THANK YOU for your message- so helpful and encouraging to those of us who are tired of being misunderstood. And yes, the professionals can be the worst offenders. I’ve spent my career trying to educate them, too. I hope lots of people read what you posted, here. It’s certainly not off track at all- it needs to be heard. So thank you for that! 🙂