Motivational and inspirational writer, Bryan Hutchinson is the author of several books about life with ADHD including the highly acclaimed, best selling "One Boy′s Struggle: A Memoir" and the author of the hilarious eBook that went viral "10 Things I Hate about ADHD"

ADHD and Higher Standards

Think about it for a moment and consider that people, like you and me, with ADHD, we are seemingly held to higher standards. I don’t mean higher standards in that we are better than anyone else. I mean that if you have ADHD you are expected to do more to improve yourself. Our responsibility to ‘self-improvement’ is much higher than the average. First we must strive to attain what normal people attain, and then we must compete to be even better. Due to public opinion of ADHD we are constantly proving ourselves. Even so, it’s not the general public that concerns me, it’s the attitude and behavior of ‘a few’ who take it to the next level and are quite offensive towards anyone with labeled imperfections.

Even with Michael Phelps’ success in swimming and achieving there are a few who say ‘oh you just wait his day of under achievement is going to come’. There’s nothing Michael can do to prove this isn’t true. He has much higher standards to meet because he is who he is and perhaps, maybe because he has ADHD. He’s got to fall on his face eventually, especially since he stopped his medication as a child. Right? When he was caught a while back with that bong I am sure there were those who let out a sigh of relief that he had finally goofed up; therefore, showing his supposed true colors of having ADHD. Somehow the fact that he is human is forgotten. Of course, I could also discuss how his success should be down played as much as possible as to not to get anyone else’s ADDer hopes up. As if we shouldn’t aspire or dream. I used to dream of writing books, but I digress.

People with ADHD, by the very nature of our symptoms, seem to have many faults. We are expected to find proper treatment and work hard on our shortcomings to live up to our potential and to abide by what others expect of us, even if we don’t always agree. If we don’t agree we may then be insulted, ridiculed and chastised for our delusional thinking by those few who are always waiting for the other shoe to drop for us. Pounce! Some of it is just masked as constructive criticism in order to help us, but it is really just a put down about something else we can’t seem to do right and wounds relationships of any kind, which leaves deep scars that take a long time to heal, if they ever truly heal.  

I don’t have a problem with the fact that we must strive to improve ourselves. I think most of us want to improve, overcome and mend our self-esteem even if there is no external pressure to do so. However, what I do have a problem with is those few that feel the need to be insulting to get their point across to us. Such attitude and behavior doesn’t help and sometimes I wish those who do such things would live up to the basic standards of human decency.

Just because I have ADHD doesn’t mean me, or the fact that I have ADHD, should be put down. Yes, I have ADHD, but being aggressive, mean and offensive isn’t something I do to anyone, so why does it mean others can do it to me? It doesn’t, but sometimes it seems there are those who feel they have a free pass to do so. And I am the one with the labeled flaw? In these instances I just want to hold up the proverbial mirror, but I feel that would be a wasted effort.

Or, maybe it doesn’t have anything to do with ADHD. Maybe it is a reflection of a few who have their own insecurities and are therefore, projecting. Those who feel the need to use ill-mannered behavior to get their point across to anyone, well, they could probably use a little self-improvement themselves. Now there is a higher standard to consider.

To be a little clearer about this post, my experiences talking openly about my ADHD has been mostly positive and fulfilling. It’s just a very, very few who actually feel the need to be offensive and insulting. So in all honestly, I think we have come a long way, but we still have a ways to go. Then again, it’s not just those of us with ADHD that find ourselves contending with those type of people that I mention in this post.