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"

Is Awareness the Answer to ADHD Suffering?

I created ADDer World, the ADHD social network not just to create awareness of and about ADHD. – Nearly everyone is already aware of ADHD unless they have been living in a remote area without TV, the Web or Newspapers for the last ten years. The problem is something else. Most do not fully understand what it is or the people who have it. That’s where the real problem is, understanding and relating. I created ADDer World so folks with ADHD can come together and discuss things we ‘get’ together. A lot of times we are not looking for specific answers or specific solutions, we just don’t want to be alone, or worse, feel like we are alone. 

The truth is we don’t have to be alone.

Everyone has problems with or without ADHD, we all have issues and differing dynamics and most people simply focus on their own situations and how they are going to make it from one day to the next. It’s very ADHD-ish one might think, but I don’t think that’s as accurate as many believe. Within the ADDer World I have met so many people who do care about others, who seriously consider the needs of others, often above their own, which can lead to its own detriments. The problem comes with what to do about it, or how to show it. They say men are from Mars and women are from Venus, well, ADDers are from an ADDer World and non-ADDers are perhaps from Norm World. Relating to each other is quite difficult most of the time.

There is an overwhelming belief that people with ADHD are inconsiderate and take no notice of anyone else, but themselves. I am starting to seriously question this type of thinking. Yes, we have a distracted nature and we are often inwardly focused. Even so, I believe that ADDer’s in general are hyper-aware of their problems and dynamic issues, even if they don’t always know exactly what they are or what to do about them. I believe that we want to be better and, in our own ways, most of us strive to be better.

When someone has been discounted, disrespected, punished and abused and used enough, becoming distant is natural, becoming self-protective is natural and unfortunately, to stop giving is natural too. So, it’s not always just ADHD, there’s often a lot more to it. A lot of good folks who did care have stopped caring or they are getting there, outside the ADDer World.

Medication does help with the symptoms of ADHD, but giving someone a pill or suggesting it so they can get over their disposition for the way they have been treated due to their confusing behavior, isn’t the answer. There’s another answer and it’s far more complex, such as compassion, empathy and an educated understanding of what ADHD really is. There are very special, understanding, caring non-ADDer’s out there, but they are too few and far between.

The John Wayne era of get over it, move on and toughen up is coming to an end, I think, and although there are still millions suffering in silence, ADDer’s the world over are seeking proper treatment, but then comes in those who would dictate what proper treatment is for you or insult how you view and/or treat your situation, or they might insult your differences if you are not following their beliefs – considering that, why would anyone want to tell someone who doesn’t understand or get it? 

Awareness, my friends, isn’t enough. Medication isn’t enough. Counseling isn’t enough. Self-help isn’t enough! 

All of those things clearly help us as individuals, but the missing links of understanding, relating and compassion may be beyond the capability of most of the Norm world, outside the ADDer World. Check out any major online newspaper with any article about ADHD and you will find comment after comment from folks who clearly do not understand and do not attempt to understand ADHD, but too many do take a moment to tell us how ADHD doesn’t really exist. Some believe ADHD is a fad, or it is made up by pharmaceutical companies, or that certain people need a good excuse, but what this shows more than anything else is the common lack of compassion and thoughtfulness in the modern world, which has become somewhat of a fad itself – that’s not ADHD-ish, that’s something else entirely and it is an unfortunate, less than brilliant reality.

Still, we are not alone.

We simply do not enjoy being alone, or feeling alone, but sometimes it seems that is the only choice. Who wants to be degraded by someone who doesn’t ‘get it’ or told to take your meds as a reactive comment, even though meds are a good option, helping many get along and/or excel. It’s easy to feel alone in the Norm World and that my friends is why I love our ADDer World, because we might not have all the answers, but we ‘get’ each other and we do care! And let’s not forget that there are indeed very special, understanding people out there who do not have ADHD, but they also care and they are a part of our ADDer World too! 

We are not alone, no, never alone!