Do you really have ADHD? What if your family and friends disagree? Family and Friends sometimes Rebel against the ADHD Label and Why…
It is not uncommon for family and friends to rebel against the ADHD label. It is a sad but true reality for many with ADHD. Adults can decide for themselves regardless of what their family believes, but children must live with whatever decision parents make regarding the diagnosis and that decision can last for a lifetime with the repercussions thereof.
First thing for parents, siblings and friends to realize is that it isn’t against you and it isn’t necessarily about you. A valid diagnosis is very important and can be a way to a better future with treatment, consideration and yes, a bit of compassion. Holding the diagnosis against anyone isn’t fair and it certainly isn’t helpful. If you really want to help a family member recently diagnosed with ADHD, then as a loved one you should take it seriously and learn as much as you can about it.
I have received literally hundreds of emails from readers thanking me for my book and articles, letting me know that I have helped, through the writing of my experiences and opinions, their family and/or friends better understand what they live with day to day and why an accurate diagnosis is so very importantly beneficial to all involved.
The question I receive quite frequently is why? Why are they (family, friends etc) against the diagnosis of ADHD? There are many reasons for this and therefore I have put together my top ten list of the most common reasons. These reasons are from my experiences and the experiences of the many, many questions I have received from those diagnosed with ADHD:
Top Ten reasons others rebel from the diagnosis of ADHD and therefore you do NOT have ADHD (opinions):
- Confusion and Fear.
- Do not understand what ADHD really is. Not understanding ADHD leads to fear, confusion and denial. Back to number 1.
- Parents often think if their child has ADHD it is their fault. The reality is that no one is to blame for ADHD, not the parents or anyone else. Responsibility comes with diagnosis and what one does with that diagnosis.
- You do not fit their understanding of what ADHD is; therefore you can’t possibly have it. This goes, in part, to reason number 1. There are so many contradictory reports and innuendo about ADHD that many, if not most, do not really understand what ADHD is. It is most helpful to research the reality of ADHD through physicians specializing in ADHD and request accurate information from ADHD resource centers such as ADDA and CHAD. ADHD is not an excuse; it is a reality and a reason for many of our behaviors.
- The media has reported that ADHD is debilitating and that those with ADHD are less likely to do well. Yes, ADHD can be debilitating and it can cause those who have it to not do as well as their counterparts; however, with treatment, consideration and understanding those of us with ADHD can achieve great things and be a significant benefit to ourselves, society and the work force. Also, there is the other side of this which is not as often reported, many with ADHD are extremely intelligent and are very hard workers who do very, very well in the workforce, over achieving when compared to their counterparts. The problem with the ADHD overachievers is that they are often hyper focused on doing extra and continuously improving at work which leaves little room for other things in their life. With treatment balance can be found between work and personal life.
- Personal beliefs that ADHD and other Learning disorders do not really exist and are an excuse.
- Because if you have ADHD others will treat you badly or automatically think you are going to be a failure. Therefore, it is better to not admit to diagnosis or at least keep it a secret. This goes back to deep rooted confusion and misunderstandings of what ADHD is and how the different types affect people. I know many with ADHD who are extremely successful and there are many who have been able to utilize their talents and traits to benefit others as well as themselves. Doctors, lawyers, CEOs and many other high profile successful people are amongst the career categories for those with ADHD. Not everyone will be as successful as say, Richard Branson or Michael Phelps who also have ADHD. Then again, not everyone without ADHD will be as successful as Tiger Woods or Michael Jordan either.
- The pharmaceutical industry has made ADHD up to sell their products. Give us a break. Whoever believes this is in need of accurate information, the problem here is that those who believe this type of propaganda are usually not going to be willing to read the facts and understand the reality of ADHD.
- Recognize self through your ADHD characteristics. This is more often the case in families. Your traits may remind the person of them self and therefore could indicate to them that they too have ADHD. This reality, or belief, could bring on denial and added with misunderstood media reports and other confusion over what ADHD is makes this person want to convince you that ADHD could not possibly be the case.
- Other personal reasons.
The reasons I have listed here are only the tip of the iceberg and are not part of any official report, just my opinions which you can take or leave. It’s impossible to know every reason that others want to deny that you have ADHD or that ADHD even exists. If you have encountered a reason and would like to share that reason, please feel free to add by commenting below.
Those who have ADHD are not predisposed to failure. Actually, I believe the opposite to be true. So many ADDers I have met are very hard workers and have unique talents and traits which are a benefit to the community at large and the work force. When you get past all the scientific reports and media reports about the negative aspects of ADHD which confuse so many people it becomes clear that ADDers are possessed with many unique talents which are of benefit.
I met a young lady who had been working in a cubicle for ten years, just getting by, until her boss noticed her drawings, she had no major specialized education or a college degree, but her talents were so obvious and clear that the CEO of that company wanted to meet her and then promoted her to a very high position where she has become very successful and she is well known today. The company benifited and she did too. The reality is, if you have ADHD, or not, and you can be a benefit, it comes down to exactly that. Businesses are about dollars and cents, we know that and if you can help increase those dollars and cents with your ADDer talents, it is unlikely that they are going to be passed up. Businesses deal in what works and making a profit.
I am not saying this will happen for everyone, but I am saying that ADHD does not predispose anyone to failure. There are some instances where ADHD is co morbid with serious other issues which may be untreated. In these cases it is very important that a proper diagnosis is utilized with proper treatment. I personally think this is where the main issue and confusion about ADHD comes in, when people have more serious underlying issues which go unchecked. Therefore, denial can be detrimental.
If you want to have a chance, you have got to give yourself a chance. Proper diagnosis does that and the validity of diagnosis does not come down to an opinion from someone else in your family or a friend, it comes from the trained professionals who understand and treat ADHD.
Many readers have used my book to help their friends and family better understand how important diagnosis is and also understand the reality of being undiagnosed with ADHD for so long. Even if I say so, One Boy’s Struggle: A Memoir – Surviving Life with Undiagnosed ADD is a good read whether you have ADHD or not, and it sincerely humbles me that it is helping many understand our reality who do not have ADHD and are confused by it. If you have read my book please pass it on to friends or family, loan it out and maybe it will help as it has helped others in these cases.