I believe one of the most frustrating things a person with ADHD has to endure is the disbelief coming from “normal” people. A lot of the time when I comment about ADHD influencing my behavior I hear stuff like, “Doesn’t everybody have that?” or “I think you’re just not trying hard enough, it’s not ADHD.”
Sometimes I want to say, “Oh, where did you get your M.D.?” or “I didn’t know you were a psychiatrist!” but I don’t want to be rude. Sometimes I do say things though; like the other day when an acquaintance said, “Oh, ADHD, maybe that’s my problem.” I said, “No, you don’t have ADHD, but you might have mental issues though.”
She didn’t like that very much.
I think what happens with some people is that they think I get away with stuff because I have ADHD; like I use it as a crutch. I actually really try to avoid doing that because I don’t want people to treat me like I have a disability or like I am “Handicapped” or just dumb.
For people who appear to be jealous of my ADHD, for some reason, I say, try growing up with teachers giving you a “D” because you “aren’t trying” or you’re not “performing to your potential.” My Army drill Sargent made me sit out of my units marching parade because I wasn’t “following his orders” and my marching wasn’t “good enough.”
Anyway, I wouldn’t wish my “disability” on my worst enemy. ADHD is both a struggle and a big part of my personality. It can be very frustrating one minute and sort of fun the next. A lot of times I dread having to learn new things at work just like I had trouble with previously un-learned material in college. I don’t transition from one activity to the next well and I know I have a lot of trouble in relationships. I can be very frustrating to my wife just like I might have been frustrating to my parents at times. I don’t have a lot of close friends. My army buddies were true friends, but I haven’t seen any of them in 20 years or so.
To people who say that ADHD is a “childhood disability” (including a former psychiatrist) I say, “You’re kidding, right? Is autism a childhood disability also?”
I guess ADHD is, and always has been, a double-edged sword for me. I like the energy, the humor, the creativity, and the risk taking that is part of the ADHD experience. And I dislike the frustration, the depression, the struggle, and the isolation that is also part of the ADHD experience.