ADHD is Real (Part 2)
Didn’t realize that I would need a part 2. I finished the other piece and felt that I’d covered it pretty well. But as I was reading it over to do the touch ups, I kept finding myself wanting to add in little personal tidbits. But that wasn’t the post for that. In this post, I want to talk about my experience with those who have ADHD denial. There are 2 types of ADHD denial: those who deny the disorder and those who deny that I have it.
As far as encountering people that deny that the disorder is real, this has been mostly an online experience for me. I’ll be cruising along and come across some dumb ass making some inept argument about it not being real. I love it when the fuckers throw in that the only reason that someone gets the diagnosis is so they can legally use stimulants. There are a lot of medications that are abused by some people (even Tylenol) but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t people out there using those same medications the way that they should be. And over arching statements like that are just ignorant and seriously piss me off. If nothing else in my life: I FOLLOW THE RULES. Always. And it really isn’t that I am personally offended that they might think this way about me. Because seriously, they aren’t the kind of people I need in my life. But it feeds the stigma that is already out there and it makes it harder for those people with ADHD to get help and support. If you aren’t going to help, fine. But don’t hurt people.
As far as people denying that I have ADHD, my experience has been pretty limited. The only person in my close circle who has voiced this to me has been my dad. He thinks that I’m a hypochondriac (even though how he describes it doesn’t fit the definition). He is really pretty good at pissing me off on a deeply personal level and there is a part of me that wants to bring my large medical record over to him and force him to look at all the diagnostic testing for the numerous medical things I have going on. I couldn’t convince him of the ADHD or OCD that way since there are no tests. My broken tail bone? Here’s the x-ray. Nerve damage? Here’s the EMG. And so on.
But in the end, it’s not worth it. Sure, it would feel nice to rub his nose into all the concrete data that is impossible for me to fake but it would be a fleeting pleasure. Then I would feel like an asshole and doing that would make me an asshole. And he’d just find some other barb or conveniently forget the evidence and continue to declare that I’m obsessed with being sick. He has basically diagnosed me with factious disorder. I’ve diagnosed him with serious denial and judgmental tendencies. Maybe that makes us even…
My relationship with my father is complex. I love him. And that’s why his denial and accusations hurt. But I gave up on his approval a long time ago. I look for approval only from myself. I can’t live life any other way. And I know that the ADHD diagnosis is right. And I know that I am doing better and feel happier since I’ve been receiving treatment. Everyone around me (except my father) see the changes (for the better) too.
My experience with his denials has always reminded me how difficult it is for people who have no support in their lives. My father is supportive in his strange way, but luckily he is far from my only support. But when I engage with him, I can imagine what it would be like if that was how everyone in your life treated you. It would be so hard if everyone you know and love thought that you really didn’t have the disorder.
Most of the time people deny that I have ADHD it is people I don’t know really well and they find out some way or another. Sometimes it’s through conversation or sometimes I choose to tell them. But they usually deny it on the basis of my being female or being an adult. I find them to be annoying, but I provide education and move on. There is no real barb there for me.
I’m sorry, but I’m a fire breathing unicorn and I’m ok with that!