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"

The wicked ways some people are offensive and insulting to those that have ADHD

Too often as people with ADHD we stand idly by while others are being offensive to us, or just outright insult us, and if we call them on it they tend to say the only reason we see it as offensive or insulting is because of our black and white thinking or that we have a mental illness, or the last but not least is we can’t take a joke. Does anyone else see those types of excuses as offensive, or is it just me? Besides, I have never met an ADHD person that thinks in black and white, we have the most colorful, creative minds in existence!

Here’s one I see a lot online, to the point many ADDers say it about themselves: Such as, when we hyper-focus we are self-medicating, when we do something a lot that we like such as exercise, or some other activity that we enjoy in the view of others ‘as too much’ then we are self-medicating. I understand the ‘intention’ of the statement, but self-medicating has such an offensive tone to it – how about if I am hyper –focusing, then why not say I am, well, hyper-focusing? Doesn’t mean it is good or bad, just a fact. Do I self-medicate when I write my books because it sooths my brain and feels good? No, I do it because it is the natural thing I do and I like it, why make it sound wrong? If anyone writes too much it is perhaps Stephen King! But, I hope Stephen continues to self-medicate, oops, I mean, write. See, it doesn’t even make sense and is just plain wrong. But, if Stephen has ADHD then we can say it? No, I don’t agree with that. Do you?

In my opinion the term self-medicating is overused to basically state that enjoyment of any kind by someone with ADHD is self-medication. Should we live in a box or be robots to escape the term? What if I say the offenders self-medicate their anger about us by throwing about such pop psychology? Still not right.

The absolute worst I see a lot of online is if someone with ADHD disagrees about medication, or certain treatment options, then it becomes about their mental illness which, of course, must be deluding them. Why does an opinion about medication always have to be because of someone’s supposed mental illness? For example, I cannot take ADHD medication, but I see that it benefits many others, which is a good thing – is it my supposed mental illness that recognizes this? No, in this case it would be my sound judgment, but if I express how certain medication caused me problems and therefore would not endorse them, then I am expressing from the mental illness part of me?! Does anyone see something wrong with this? Besides, why do people call ADHD a mental illness in the first place? It’s a different way of thinking than normal thinking. Yes, our brains are wired differently, but an illness? I don’t agree with that either. Maybe that’s just me?

There are many other subtle ways that people online are insulting people with ADHD by using low-handed terms to get their points across, and I am getting kind of tired of it. Listen, we don’t have to all agree and we don’t all have to share the same opinions, but when someone has a different opinion it does not mean that the opinion is always caused by any mental illness that they may have, or that they are self-medicating, or that they are thinking in simple black and white terms. When someone stoops to that level to say such things in such ways, it is because of a problem that they have! We need to start recognizing such vernacular for what it is and not stand for it!

There are many other ways in which people are offensive and insulting to us because we have ADHD. Some are more obvious than others, but it’s the more subtle ways that rile me the most, because they come across as superior and thus we ADDers are inadequate as humans, better to medicate us and get us to realize everything we do is self-medication anyway. I agree that medication is a life saver for many of us, but we don’t need insults and radical opinions to help us realize where help can be found, which is least of all from them.

I am simply saying: Do not allow people to be offensive and insulting to us just because we have ADHD or for any reason for that matter. It’s like racism and we should not have to agree with it, condone it or support it. We must have zero tolerance for it zero! Now what if I were to say to those people who are insulting and are offensive as I described, that they are just projecting, insecure and narcissistic or just plain mean? Am I stooping to their level and is that what they are really bating after?

The best solution, in my humble opinion is to not give them comments, not to visit their web pages, not to in any way engage with them in forums and if they sell products or services, not to buy from them. Do you like those ideas? Do you have more suggestions on how to deal with such people? I’ve noticed such people tend to impose themselves, so would love to get your suggestions, might be better than what I have come up with.

Ah, and normally I am so calm? :)

Bryan

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Sally July 20, 2011 at 2:26 pm

Bryan, I think your ideas are good. It amazes me
that people can be so rude about a subject that
that they are so clueless about. I am so tired of
people telling me how harmful it is to take my
medications and I should stop and take a herbal
alternative. I wish it were that easy! I would
never tell a diabetic or cancer patient to stop
their medications let alone think I know enough
about their disease to question their treatments.
This subject makes me crazy and I have never been
able to figure out why people think it’s okay to
be so abusive and then if we stand up for ourselves
they shake their heads and act like we are stupid.
I agree with you not to lower ourselves to their
levels and ignore and not support these people. I
need all of the energy I have for more productive
things and I’m sure you do too!

Bryan Hutchinson July 20, 2011 at 3:06 pm

I am glad you were able to understand my post Sally :) With Peter’s input I was a little worried I went too far off the mark.

I also agree with you, if the medication is working for you and the side effects are not overwhelming, then there is no issue, besides if there was an issue, then it would be your issue and not theirs.

Thanks for stopping by and commenting :)

Bryan

Peter J July 20, 2011 at 2:41 pm

Hi Bryan,
Personally I prefer the terms like mental disorder if anything the criteria being something in my wiring causes me distress or disables me which is considered outside whatever the norm be.
I am not familiar with using the term self medicating for the examples you used as for overused or cliche-ed i don’t know. There is a lot of misuse of medications, drugs, alcohol and treatments it seems to be growing.
I had a little difficulty following the post. It’s clear your pissed but the
post sort of took a buckshot approach going everywhere around and including the center point or target.
Is or was there a specific issue, posting, article or reference point that might add some clarity as a reader or just the cumulative effect ?
Just trying to get a better understanding of the post.

Bryan Hutchinson July 20, 2011 at 2:57 pm

Hi Peter, yes, it is a reactive post, and that’s probably the difference from what I normally write. I almost never post something reactive. However, I think it is rather clear that insulting others or being offensive to use ADHD against someone in terms of saying they are self medicating whenever they do something they enjoy is wrong. Or, if one disagrees then they are thinking in black and white or it is because of their ‘mental illness’ and therefore cannot see the ‘whole’ picture and so forth.

I am suprised a little that you have not read the term ‘self-medicate’ before in the ways I describe, I’ve heard it and seen it a bit too often for my tastes. Although there are a few posts I can point to directly, but won’t (because I would have to search for them), it was more of a cumulative effect. I tend to visit forums here and there just to get the pulse of what people are talking about concerning ADHD and I see it too often. I read a disagreement today and one side took to such low hand insults.

Bryan

Helena Caldwell July 20, 2011 at 5:26 pm

Hi Bryan I understood what you were saying people can be critical/insulting when they are fearful or uninformed,and yes the way we handle our ADD, or our cancer, or our weight etc. is not anybodies business but our own.People do better when they do not feel judged. I have heard the term self medicate before but in different ways I remember saying it about my first husband after our divorce because in my opinion one of the reasons he became addicted to heavy drugs was because he never discovered, was never diagnosed with ADHD and didn’t receive any support. I know that many people “self medicate” in the world and in lots of different ways as a coping or survival mechanism, you are right it is neither right nor wrong. I suspect that ADHD is labeled a mental health issue more for the Doctors and insurance companies to have a diagnosis for billing and prescription criteria we all just need to remember we are not our labels everyone is so much more than any one thing

Peter J July 20, 2011 at 2:41 pm

Hi Bryan,
Personally I prefer the terms like mental disorder if anything the criteria being something in my wiring causes me distress or disables me which is considered outside whatever the norm be.
I am not familiar with using the term self medicating for the examples you used as for overused or cliche-ed i don’t know. There is a lot of misuse of medications, drugs, alcohol and treatments it seems to be growing.
I had a little difficulty following the post. It’s clear your pissed but the
post sort of took a buckshot approach going everywhere around and including the center point or target.
Is or was there a specific issue, posting, article or reference point that might add some clarity as a reader or just the cumulative effect ?
Just trying to get a better understanding of the post.

Bryan Hutchinson July 20, 2011 at 2:57 pm

Hi Peter, yes, it is a reactive post, and that’s probably the difference from what I normally write. I almost never post something reactive. However, I think it is rather clear that insulting others or being offensive to use ADHD against someone in terms of saying they are self medicating whenever they do something they enjoy is wrong. Or, if one disagrees then they are thinking in black and white or it is because of their ‘mental illness’ and therefore cannot see the ‘whole’ picture and so forth.

I am suprised a little that you have not read the term ‘self-medicate’ before in the ways I describe, I’ve heard it and seen it a bit too often for my tastes. Although there are a few posts I can point to directly, but won’t (because I would have to search for them), it was more of a cumulative effect. I tend to visit forums here and there just to get the pulse of what people are talking about concerning ADHD and I see it too often. I read a disagreement today and one side took to such low hand insults.

Bryan

Helena Caldwell July 20, 2011 at 5:26 pm

Hi Bryan I understood what you were saying people can be critical/insulting when they are fearful or uninformed,and yes the way we handle our ADD, or our cancer, or our weight etc. is not anybodies business but our own.People do better when they do not feel judged. I have heard the term self medicate before but in different ways I remember saying it about my first husband after our divorce because in my opinion one of the reasons he became addicted to heavy drugs was because he never discovered, was never diagnosed with ADHD and didn’t receive any support. I know that many people “self medicate” in the world and in lots of different ways as a coping or survival mechanism, you are right it is neither right nor wrong. I suspect that ADHD is labeled a mental health issue more for the Doctors and insurance companies to have a diagnosis for billing and prescription criteria we all just need to remember we are not our labels everyone is so much more than any one thing

D W July 20, 2011 at 3:12 pm

Hi Bryan,
I am a 45 year-old male with ADHD.

You do not describe on which sites or forums you have encountered insulting behavior – are they ADHD-specific sites or not?

In the real World I can choose my environment. I belong to a religious and ethnic minority and live in the USA and I choose where to live, work and shop. Does it bother me that there are many places in the US where I would either be unwelcome or at best misunderstood?

Not at all, I don’t need to live everywhere – one place is enough for me. I don’t need to work everywhere – at any one time one job is enough for me. I don’t need to shop everywhere – I can shop comfortably in-person almost anywhere in my own State and surrounding States – and that’s fine for me.

Just as I choose my everyday environment in a way that works for me – I can choose my online environment by using anonymity to my advantage.

Online communities are open to everyone and therefore entirely open to prejudice, ignorance and superficiality. So I only share my religion and ethnicity in sites that specifically serve my own ethnic and religious community.

I feel the same about my ADHD. I do not disclose my ADHD on non-ADHD sites because I believe that it is unreasonable for me to expect every last online comment to be tolerant and well-informed.

At least personally I do not feel any need, nor do I believe that there is any value, in trying to educate the ignorant and uneducated with zero-tolerance or boycotts. If I encounter ignorance or misunderstanding I have two choices that work for me. If I have the patience, I can make an attempt to reach out, engage and maybe even succeed at informing. If I do not have the patience then I can just let go and move on.

Bryan Hutchinson July 20, 2011 at 3:30 pm

D W, thanks for your comment, you make excellent points.

Nadine MH July 20, 2011 at 3:29 pm

Hi Bryan —

I completely agree with what you’ve said here. I do take medication — which helps me with all of my diagnoses. That’s always a personal decision.

Some folks are able to get their skills to a point where they can manage without them, and some of us need the filter the meds provide.

Here’s my central thought. My goal is to be a model of a successful ADDer for my students, my colleagues & administrators, my family & my friends.

I know there are doubters among them — some have made it no secret — so the better I can manage my symptoms, the better for all of us. Why give the doubters something to talk about?

Being human — sometimes my symptoms & attitude get the better of me. Knowing that I am not my symptoms but I am responsible for the consequences they bring I make amends.

It’s not my business what “others” think or say about ADD. They haven’t walked in my shoes, had my experiences, and come through my challenges.

What is my business? To be the finest example of who I am and to share my story with like-minded or curious people. If that helps a skeptic change his/her view — great!

Thanks, Bryan — for all of the time and talent you give to support our community. You’ve helped me more than I can say. :P

Bryan Hutchinson July 20, 2011 at 3:36 pm

Thank you Nadine!! If nothing else, this post is opening my eyes to other opinions about this that I will consider :)

Nadine MH July 20, 2011 at 3:29 pm

Hi Bryan —

I completely agree with what you’ve said here. I do take medication — which helps me with all of my diagnoses. That’s always a personal decision.

Some folks are able to get their skills to a point where they can manage without them, and some of us need the filter the meds provide.

Here’s my central thought. My goal is to be a model of a successful ADDer for my students, my colleagues & administrators, my family & my friends.

I know there are doubters among them — some have made it no secret — so the better I can manage my symptoms, the better for all of us. Why give the doubters something to talk about?

Being human — sometimes my symptoms & attitude get the better of me. Knowing that I am not my symptoms but I am responsible for the consequences they bring I make amends.

It’s not my business what “others” think or say about ADD. They haven’t walked in my shoes, had my experiences, and come through my challenges.

What is my business? To be the finest example of who I am and to share my story with like-minded or curious people. If that helps a skeptic change his/her view — great!

Thanks, Bryan — for all of the time and talent you give to support our community. You’ve helped me more than I can say. :P

donna July 21, 2011 at 2:43 am

If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck and yes quacks like a duck……….it is the same in any language……a DUCK!!
Mean,insulting, self rightous, condensending comments also are equally unacceptable in any company. I for one will not continue to accept being disrespected by anyone who considers it ok. Regardless of whatever our personal challanges are, there is no excuse for unkindness especially when it is due to ignorance.
Reacting to my own situation, just happens to be family!! I am so sorry to have shared my dx with them. It was such a wonderful thing for me and now with meds, my life is beaufiful. I just see more clearly the field in which I live.

Bryan Hutchinson July 21, 2011 at 7:31 am

I agree Donna! I have not experienced this in person. It’s really more an internet thing and unfortunately most of us have become resigned to it. I noticed that as well when I posted about my free eBooks being sold on Amazon. Sort of “This happens, what can you do about it? Oh well.” Well, I did get Amazon to take down the books and if I hadn’t said something about it, then they would not have been taken down.

However, with regard to insults etc I will never link to them from my blog because that gives the insulters due attention, which is really what they want, nothing more and nothing less. Actually, I have had a blogger or two write about me with clear intentions to bate me to comment, or send my readers to their blog post – it will never happen. What’s interesting though is from those posts compelled some of their readers to write me in complete embarrassment for the blogger(s) words, which were not their doing, but they were embarrassed and ashamed just the same, which I guess shows that there is still value and those who know right from wrong regardless of how the words are fashioned.

At first I wasn’t sure I should have posted this, because normally I am in the ‘ignore’ group.

I am sorry to hear about that with your family. That’s a sad situation, but I am glad the medication is helping you and that you are able to see more clearly now the field in which you live :)

Bryan

Madelyn Griffith-Haynie July 22, 2011 at 9:18 pm

You KNOW, Bryan, that I get to this “rant” place myself. I believe we ALL do, ADD or not. You’ve created a community here where rants are safely explored AS WELL AS a place where they are not ground of being. (but I also know that I sometimes hit “publish” with trepidation that maybe THIS won’t go over so well, so I can relate to the relief when the feed back comes in.) You are well-loved here, and I’d be SHOCKED if the feedback were ever negative, btw.

To my mind, it’s the come-from that makes us crazy (underlying dynamic and unconscious belief-sets)

What I believe is most annoying and plugs us in quicker than almost anything else arrogance masquerading as expertise and unresearched personal opinion presented as factual information.

:idea: Here’s a tip massaged from a coaching technique that works like a charm (when you can remember to override your murderous urges so that you USE it ;) ) And it only works LIVE, btw (phone or in-person)

Start your responses with a particular type of mirroring that begins with “So you have it that . . .” in a tone of true inquiery.

Whatever they say in response, simply say, “Huh!” (tone of voice: “Odd, but at least I’m beginning to understand your come-from”).

Then put mental duct-tape over your mouth except for that “Huh!” thing, no matter what they say after that.

Often it stops them completely, sometimes they are genuinely startled by how it landed and back-pedal or apologize. But it is a totally unexpected pattern-interrupt for most people that inserts a break.

If they keep going with the clue-free insults, or are intractable, you walk away – as calmly as you can manage, AFTER slowly-and-thoughtfully saying (nodding your head all the while): “Yeah, I think I’ve heard enough to understand what you believe — but I don’t think you’ve researched this as well as I have, so I’m gonna’ go, rather than getting sucked into a disagreement. Let’s agree not to talk about this again until you’ve done the research. Later, bye!” (tone of voice: I have to go now before it starts to rain so that I can close some windows followed by a bright see ‘ya later with a smile)

Once you’ve said that, keep walking. If anything more becomes necessary, turn only partially, smile, and say, as simply and calmly as you know how, “Really – gotta’ go now, bye”

This one even works with family members, btw – IF, as I said earlier, you can keep from getting sucked into WWIII first (or stumbling into a reaction that they use to advance their point).
xx,
mgh (Madelyn Griffith-Haynie - blogging at ADDerWorld and ADDandSoMuchMore - dot com!)

Bryan Hutchinson July 23, 2011 at 1:03 pm

Excellent input Madelyn, very helpful. As someone who has worked customer service all of his natural born life, well, since 12 years of age, I can’t get sucked in that easily :) But sometimes, something needs to be said, even if it is not to the person or people it is intended for, especially those from online forums when you have no clue who the person really is or otherwise.

Diane July 23, 2011 at 1:42 pm

Hi Bryan
I can understand why you find those sought of comments insulting. I have a son who is six that has been diagnosed with adhd and now possibly epilesy as well. Since he started having problems at school last year I have been told he is just naughty and won’t do as he was told. To when he did get a diagnosis that he has got the bad one (not autism) and that the next sixteen or so years were going to be hell at school for us both. To its your parenting he needs a good kick up the backside or that its because I’m a single parent. I know I’m rather strict due to my job I work in a legal area and I see what can happen to young people if not given clear boundries. If anything his doctor told me to lighten up a little. Then to top it off the other day he had a real bad melt down plus what I thought may of been some form of seizures as lasted two hours. I rang the local GP he told me to take him to the hospital for observation. I took him after much difficulty as he was non compliant and when he was there he wondered all over causality even though he was told not to and was making repeated baby type noises then came back to talking properly to colapsing on the floor for a few seconds non resposive then came back talking normally and the nurse rang the doctor I could hear the conversation and she just told him that he was been really naughty. He has never behaved this way before and I was really worried as it was so out of character. As we were about to leave he came out of it and had a proper conversation with the nurse and I said thats what he’s normally like not like before thats why I brought him down. I was told they couldn’t do anything and to tell the neurologist he has had some sort of episode as he may of had some form of seizure. But to say he was naughty in front of him was just wrong as he feels bad enough when he acts impulsively or does something he feels he has no control over. From what I have read I think he had a melt down then the stress from that has caused some form of seizure. I find it hard enough to deal with as a parent without such nasty comments. These sort of comments can make it real exhausting somedays. All I want to do is help my son and protect him I don’t have time to fight off these sort of comments all the time. People need to make informed comments based on an understanding of his conditions and not be so quick to judge. I wish they could walk in his shoe’s for a day and that might just shut these arogant people up.
Sorry for the long note but just had bad time of it of late.
Regards
Di

Bryan Hutchinson July 23, 2011 at 9:22 pm

Diane, your son is very lucky to have you! There’s no right for anyone to say such things. Especially adults, if they have a problem or think he is indeed being naughty, then they should discuss it with you and insure there is not another issue at play. It is so good he has you, I can’t say that enough. Keep going after answers and never give up hope.

Best wishes,

Bryan

Diane July 24, 2011 at 1:13 pm

Thankyou Bryan for your kind comments your site is great because no matter how hard it gets at times. I know that here I will find people who understand and have good advice to get me through it.

Bryan Hutchinson July 24, 2011 at 2:32 pm

You’re welcome Diane, I am glad you are enjoying ADDer World, that means a lot to me.

Bryan

Madelyn Griffith-Haynie July 24, 2011 at 3:10 am

Ditto on the comments from Bryan. Judgment is almost always ill-informed, in my experience, but I do have a bit myself about a NURSE, for heaven’s sakes with such a lousy set of people skills. How painful for your son. And for you. I’ll say a prayer for both of you – and that the nurse’s heart might be touched with a bit of empathy so that she never repeats such dreadful behavior.
xx,
mgh (Madelyn Griffith-Haynie - blogging at ADDerWorld and ADDandSoMuchMore - dot com!)

Diane July 24, 2011 at 1:18 pm

Hi Madelyn

Thankyou for your lovely comments I wish there were more people in the world like you.
Regards
Di

Diane July 23, 2011 at 1:42 pm

Hi Bryan
I can understand why you find those sought of comments insulting. I have a son who is six that has been diagnosed with adhd and now possibly epilesy as well. Since he started having problems at school last year I have been told he is just naughty and won’t do as he was told. To when he did get a diagnosis that he has got the bad one (not autism) and that the next sixteen or so years were going to be hell at school for us both. To its your parenting he needs a good kick up the backside or that its because I’m a single parent. I know I’m rather strict due to my job I work in a legal area and I see what can happen to young people if not given clear boundries. If anything his doctor told me to lighten up a little. Then to top it off the other day he had a real bad melt down plus what I thought may of been some form of seizures as lasted two hours. I rang the local GP he told me to take him to the hospital for observation. I took him after much difficulty as he was non compliant and when he was there he wondered all over causality even though he was told not to and was making repeated baby type noises then came back to talking properly to colapsing on the floor for a few seconds non resposive then came back talking normally and the nurse rang the doctor I could hear the conversation and she just told him that he was been really naughty. He has never behaved this way before and I was really worried as it was so out of character. As we were about to leave he came out of it and had a proper conversation with the nurse and I said thats what he’s normally like not like before thats why I brought him down. I was told they couldn’t do anything and to tell the neurologist he has had some sort of episode as he may of had some form of seizure. But to say he was naughty in front of him was just wrong as he feels bad enough when he acts impulsively or does something he feels he has no control over. From what I have read I think he had a melt down then the stress from that has caused some form of seizure. I find it hard enough to deal with as a parent without such nasty comments. These sort of comments can make it real exhausting somedays. All I want to do is help my son and protect him I don’t have time to fight off these sort of comments all the time. People need to make informed comments based on an understanding of his conditions and not be so quick to judge. I wish they could walk in his shoe’s for a day and that might just shut these arogant people up.
Sorry for the long note but just had bad time of it of late.
Regards
Di

Bryan Hutchinson July 23, 2011 at 9:22 pm

Diane, your son is very lucky to have you! There’s no right for anyone to say such things. Especially adults, if they have a problem or think he is indeed being naughty, then they should discuss it with you and insure there is not another issue at play. It is so good he has you, I can’t say that enough. Keep going after answers and never give up hope.

Best wishes,

Bryan

Diane July 24, 2011 at 1:13 pm

Thankyou Bryan for your kind comments your site is great because no matter how hard it gets at times. I know that here I will find people who understand and have good advice to get me through it.

Bryan Hutchinson July 24, 2011 at 2:32 pm

You’re welcome Diane, I am glad you are enjoying ADDer World, that means a lot to me.

Bryan

Erich July 23, 2011 at 5:08 pm

That’s looks like an excellent model for dealing with any aggressor or ill-informed person, Madelyn- should defuse the confrontation, or at least provide a quick exit strategy. I need to commit that to memory so I can use it when faced with individuals who want to attack and belittle thoughts they don’t like(where the *only* goal is ‘win’ & ‘be right).’ ‘Come-from’ might be a bit confusing, though, unless it’s an already-understood phrase (had to see it in a couple of contexts before I knew where you were coming from! ;) ).

Madelyn Griffith-Haynie July 24, 2011 at 2:55 am

Yep – “come from” is a coaching term, and probably not the term to use with others. I’m glad it got clearer through context – at least to you – and thanks for your comment.

I do know that many of us with ADD have hair-trigger “startle” responses and our brains kind of shut down for a moment — that’s when we get hooked. In my case, it helps to have “the lines” – like in a play – for times like those. I posted for those who, like me, are helped by deciding how to respond before the need to respond arrises. Unfortunately, we know it will arise sooner or later.

Our world has much to learn about BEING love vs. “feeling” love. I guess we’re here to do some work on that field. Step one is awareness, always. Then language to share awareness. Together, we can heal our world. And it desperately needs healing.
xx,
mgh (Madelyn Griffith-Haynie - blogging at ADDerWorld and ADDandSoMuchMore - dot com!)

Bryan Hutchinson July 24, 2011 at 2:35 pm

Madelyn: ‘Together, we can heal the world’ – what a wonderful concept :)

Betsy Davenport July 29, 2011 at 5:53 pm

It is not always possible to not associate with people who insult us. A case in point is the physician whom we consulted about our child’s ADD and who in his ignorance declared that since I had a neurological disorder, I could not be relied upon to report accurately on the child’s symptoms.

Of course, had I not been diagnosed, he’d have been unable to say that, and had I not been medicated, I’d have jumped down his throat instead of taking a more measured response which eventually led to medication without diagnosis and his subsequent backhanded acknowledgment that he might be missing some diagnoses.

Bryan Hutchinson July 30, 2011 at 3:36 pm

That’s a bit sad Betsy, from what I have read from you over time you seem to be pretty well aware of your daughter’s symptoms and how she behaves. How, have we ever continued to exist?

Jake Dutmer September 21, 2011 at 8:28 am

Hi Bryan,
I was diagnosed with ADHD when i was in 5th grade. I remember many of my teachers not being able to understand what ADHD is. These teachers seemed to just assume it was similar to a mental retardation. The way some teachers would treat me differently was incredibly offensive. I just wanted to fit in with the other students. I was calmer, smarter, and more concentrated than most kids in my class. I remember looking around my class and thinking, “Wow! I know I’m not the only one with ADHD in this class. I’m just the kid who’s parents looked into ADHD and tested me for it. It’s not fair I’m treated this way!” I’m not really sure why I’m writing this to you. I guess i have similar views as you and I very rarely see that. I’ve never had the chance to talk about my ADHD life, but after reading your article i felt compelled to talk to you about it. But if I’d like to receive a reply i suppose i should ask a question. Have you ever heard of situations such as mine, where teachers make their ADHD students feel so different? Thank you for writing this article. I’m sorry for any spelling or grammar mistakes. Writing isn’t my cup of tea.

Jake Dutmer

Jake Dutmer September 21, 2011 at 8:28 am

Hi Bryan,
I was diagnosed with ADHD when i was in 5th grade. I remember many of my teachers not being able to understand what ADHD is. These teachers seemed to just assume it was similar to a mental retardation. The way some teachers would treat me differently was incredibly offensive. I just wanted to fit in with the other students. I was calmer, smarter, and more concentrated than most kids in my class. I remember looking around my class and thinking, “Wow! I know I’m not the only one with ADHD in this class. I’m just the kid who’s parents looked into ADHD and tested me for it. It’s not fair I’m treated this way!” I’m not really sure why I’m writing this to you. I guess i have similar views as you and I very rarely see that. I’ve never had the chance to talk about my ADHD life, but after reading your article i felt compelled to talk to you about it. But if I’d like to receive a reply i suppose i should ask a question. Have you ever heard of situations such as mine, where teachers make their ADHD students feel so different? Thank you for writing this article. I’m sorry for any spelling or grammar mistakes. Writing isn’t my cup of tea.

Jake Dutmer

Joan March 4, 2012 at 4:31 pm

One doesn’t have to have any “condition” (I’m treading lightly here) for people to treat you the way they do. I was taught to honor friendships thro thick and thin. I am frequently verbally abused because I’m perceived as a pushover. I do not express my opinions regarding anything personal, be it medications or clothing styles. I will not hash anyone behind their back. I am then accused that I think I’m better than they are. It gets a little lonely at times but I shall stick to my values.

Joan March 4, 2012 at 4:31 pm

One doesn’t have to have any “condition” (I’m treading lightly here) for people to treat you the way they do. I was taught to honor friendships thro thick and thin. I am frequently verbally abused because I’m perceived as a pushover. I do not express my opinions regarding anything personal, be it medications or clothing styles. I will not hash anyone behind their back. I am then accused that I think I’m better than they are. It gets a little lonely at times but I shall stick to my values.

Anonymous November 30, 2012 at 1:13 am

I agree 1000%!
And if you think that previous statement is because I don’t pay attention in math, it probably is!

Bryan Hutchinson July 20, 2011 at 3:06 pm

I am glad you were able to understand my post Sally :) With Peter’s input I was a little worried I went too far off the mark.

I also agree with you, if the medication is working for you and the side effects are not overwhelming, then there is no issue, besides if there was an issue, then it would be your issue and not theirs.

Thanks for stopping by and commenting :)

Bryan

Bryan Hutchinson July 20, 2011 at 3:30 pm

D W, thanks for your comment, you make excellent points.

Bryan Hutchinson July 21, 2011 at 7:31 am

I agree Donna! I have not experienced this in person. It’s really more an internet thing and unfortunately most of us have become resigned to it. I noticed that as well when I posted about my free eBooks being sold on Amazon. Sort of “This happens, what can you do about it? Oh well.” Well, I did get Amazon to take down the books and if I hadn’t said something about it, then they would not have been taken down.

However, with regard to insults etc I will never link to them from my blog because that gives the insulters due attention, which is really what they want, nothing more and nothing less. Actually, I have had a blogger or two write about me with clear intentions to bate me to comment, or send my readers to their blog post – it will never happen. What’s interesting though is from those posts compelled some of their readers to write me in complete embarrassment for the blogger(s) words, which were not their doing, but they were embarrassed and ashamed just the same, which I guess shows that there is still value and those who know right from wrong regardless of how the words are fashioned.

At first I wasn’t sure I should have posted this, because normally I am in the ‘ignore’ group.

I am sorry to hear about that with your family. That’s a sad situation, but I am glad the medication is helping you and that you are able to see more clearly now the field in which you live :)

Bryan

Madelyn Griffith-Haynie July 22, 2011 at 9:18 pm

You KNOW, Bryan, that I get to this “rant” place myself. I believe we ALL do, ADD or not. You’ve created a community here where rants are safely explored AS WELL AS a place where they are not ground of being. (but I also know that I sometimes hit “publish” with trepidation that maybe THIS won’t go over so well, so I can relate to the relief when the feed back comes in.) You are well-loved here, and I’d be SHOCKED if the feedback were ever negative, btw.

To my mind, it’s the come-from that makes us crazy (underlying dynamic and unconscious belief-sets)

What I believe is most annoying and plugs us in quicker than almost anything else arrogance masquerading as expertise and unresearched personal opinion presented as factual information.

:idea: Here’s a tip massaged from a coaching technique that works like a charm (when you can remember to override your murderous urges so that you USE it ;) ) And it only works LIVE, btw (phone or in-person)

Start your responses with a particular type of mirroring that begins with “So you have it that . . .” in a tone of true inquiery.

Whatever they say in response, simply say, “Huh!” (tone of voice: “Odd, but at least I’m beginning to understand your come-from”).

Then put mental duct-tape over your mouth except for that “Huh!” thing, no matter what they say after that.

Often it stops them completely, sometimes they are genuinely startled by how it landed and back-pedal or apologize. But it is a totally unexpected pattern-interrupt for most people that inserts a break.

If they keep going with the clue-free insults, or are intractable, you walk away – as calmly as you can manage, AFTER slowly-and-thoughtfully saying (nodding your head all the while): “Yeah, I think I’ve heard enough to understand what you believe — but I don’t think you’ve researched this as well as I have, so I’m gonna’ go, rather than getting sucked into a disagreement. Let’s agree not to talk about this again until you’ve done the research. Later, bye!” (tone of voice: I have to go now before it starts to rain so that I can close some windows followed by a bright see ‘ya later with a smile)

Once you’ve said that, keep walking. If anything more becomes necessary, turn only partially, smile, and say, as simply and calmly as you know how, “Really – gotta’ go now, bye”

This one even works with family members, btw – IF, as I said earlier, you can keep from getting sucked into WWIII first (or stumbling into a reaction that they use to advance their point).
xx,
mgh (Madelyn Griffith-Haynie - blogging at ADDerWorld and ADDandSoMuchMore - dot com!)

Madelyn Griffith-Haynie July 24, 2011 at 12:59 am

Re:

But sometimes, something needs to be said, even if it is not to the person or people it is intended for, especially those from online forums when you have no clue who the person really is or otherwise.

Absolutely!! You are “preaching to your own choir” on that one – and exactly the reason I posted my “tip.” I knew it would not be news to YOU, but I also know that a lot of people read here, and that it would be helpful to someone at some time. (BTW – “sucked in that easily” applies to me too, but there are times when all but the saints get hooked!)

Online, our advocacy takes another form, and strong words are sometimes the only words that can be heard by some people. I’ve done it – and will continue to do it when appropriate (and sometimes even if not :twisted: )

On my main blogsite I have posted a couple of top ten lists attempting to use humor to get the idea across (t-10 dumb questions & t-10 things we wish you’d stop). And “If the shoe doesn’t fit” STARTS by pointing out the dynamic, and Transformational Rant is cut from the same cloth as this post of yours.

So all of that to say this: I want to second your “plea” for ALL of us to stop allowing expressions of cruelty to pass uncommented upon in our own spheres of influence, in whatever form we are able to adopt at the time. Our planet needs “kindness workers” and “empathy teachers.” Maybe that’s part of the spiritual purpose for ADD to begin with. I like to think so anyway.
xx,
mgh (Madelyn Griffith-Haynie - blogging at ADDerWorld and ADDandSoMuchMore - dot com!)

Madelyn Griffith-Haynie July 24, 2011 at 2:55 am

Yep – “come from” is a coaching term, and probably not the term to use with others. I’m glad it got clearer through context – at least to you – and thanks for your comment.

I do know that many of us with ADD have hair-trigger “startle” responses and our brains kind of shut down for a moment — that’s when we get hooked. In my case, it helps to have “the lines” – like in a play – for times like those. I posted for those who, like me, are helped by deciding how to respond before the need to respond arrises. Unfortunately, we know it will arise sooner or later.

Our world has much to learn about BEING love vs. “feeling” love. I guess we’re here to do some work on that field. Step one is awareness, always. Then language to share awareness. Together, we can heal our world. And it desperately needs healing.
xx,
mgh (Madelyn Griffith-Haynie - blogging at ADDerWorld and ADDandSoMuchMore - dot com!)

Bryan Hutchinson July 24, 2011 at 8:38 am

Thank you Madelyn, your tip is excellent as I said. I am glad you posted it and I know it will help others.

Yes, that’s what I mean is that there are times on our blogs we can call those ‘others’ out and at the very least let them know we are on to them, without giving them what they want in the online forums and other places where they post. The more informed our readers are of ‘how’ these people insult us with ‘slight-of-(words)-hand, the sooner they will recognize what is going on. And although my post may have been confusing to some, I think those who have spent enough time in the online world recognize exactly what I was referring to in regard to some of the insults and offensiveness, and those who haven’t perhaps will now recognize it the next time they see it.

As always, thank you Madelyn you always have great input and consideration.

Bryan

Bryan Hutchinson July 24, 2011 at 8:38 am

Thank you Madelyn, your tip is excellent as I said. I am glad you posted it and I know it will help others.

Yes, that’s what I mean is that there are times on our blogs we can call those ‘others’ out and at the very least let them know we are on to them, without giving them what they want in the online forums and other places where they post. The more informed our readers are of ‘how’ these people insult us with ‘slight-of-(words)-hand, the sooner they will recognize what is going on. And although my post may have been confusing to some, I think those who have spent enough time in the online world recognize exactly what I was referring to in regard to some of the insults and offensiveness, and those who haven’t perhaps will now recognize it the next time they see it.

As always, thank you Madelyn you always have great input and consideration.

Bryan

Diane July 24, 2011 at 1:18 pm

Hi Madelyn

Thankyou for your lovely comments I wish there were more people in the world like you.
Regards
Di

Bryan Hutchinson July 30, 2011 at 3:36 pm

That’s a bit sad Betsy, from what I have read from you over time you seem to be pretty well aware of your daughter’s symptoms and how she behaves. How, have we ever continued to exist?

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