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