During ADHD Awareness Month, we asked ADDitude readers to share with us the (sometimes uncomfortable) truths about attention deficit disorder that they most wish the neurotypical world would understand and respect. Nearly 450 readers responded; here are some of the most poignant from adults with ADHD.
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When determining if someone meets criteria for ADHD we focus on what a person is struggling with and what isn’t working for them. For people with ADHD, the symptoms are significant and interfere with their ability to function. The symptoms of ADHD don’t generally enhance self-esteem or make someone feel on top of the world. Oftentimes, people with ADHD suffer from self-esteem issues; repeatedly feeling like a failure or feeling shame for struggling with seemingly simple tasks. Self-doubt and feelings of inadequacy can follow. So how is it possible that there are benefits of ADHD? I know you may be skeptical, but there ARE positive traits of ADHD! Let me tell you about 14 ADHD benefits.
Keep in mind, the diagnosis of ADHD doesn’t happen when people have trouble concentrating or make careless mistakes….sometimes. No, we all do that! ADHD greatly impacts many facets of life: school, friendships, relationships, jobs. It is not just an occasional “off” day. ADHD is a developmental brain disorder as real as dyslexia and autism.
When I first set out to write Order from Chaos, I wanted to help people like me get more out of their lives. Not coincidentally, a lot of people like me read this blog. While this certainly doesn’t describe all of us, many of us:
- Are women
- Have ADHD (often diagnosed in adulthood)
- Are the person in charge of keeping our household up and running
These three points both support and contradict each other. As women, we’re expected to be the glue that holds everything together for our families. ADHD makes this especially difficult to do. And we’re less likely to receive a childhood diagnosis because, surprise, many girls’ ADHD doesn’t fit the (boy) stereotype for the disorder. That means we may reach adulthood without the tools we need to fulfill the expectations dumped on our doorstep. And we may spend years wondering what’s wrong with us.