Do You Have ADHD? No? Then Stop Saying You Do.

It’s obnoxious to tell someone they don’t have a disorder, or that a disorder doesn’t exist, but when people claim they have a disorder and blame everything on their disorder is even worse. If you’re using your disorder as an excuse all the time, I question if you have it or you’re just lazy, selfish, or just making excuses. Yes, having a disorder does greatly impact a life. But newsflash, when you claim to have a disorder you don’t, you are taking away from those who do.

Let’s talk about ADHD for a bit. I have ADHD. There has never been any question of this; I have every symptom in the DSM-V. Lucky me, right? Let’s talk symptoms.

So yes, one of the symptoms is not being able to focus. But here’s how it’s usually done. Someone says, “I just can’t focus on this assignment. I’m so ADD.”

Newsflash, it’s not ADD unless it’s like that for every single assignment. It’s not ADD if you’re able to get up in the morning, and not become distracted from your daily routine. It’s not ADD if you zone out occasionally while driving. ADD doesn’t just come and go like that. It is a struggle which occurs every single day.

Another symptom is being hyperactive. Hyperactivity is not always present in ADD, but it probably isn’t what you thought it was. Guess what? Everyone is hyper sometimes. Some people are just more hyper than others. And people with hyperactivity and ADHD are driven by a motor. It’s like a constant out of the body experience. You watch your body do whatever it wants, your mind screams to stop, slow down, calm down and you just can’t make it stop.

Oh, and the hyperactivity also goes with impulsivity (I have yet to see a case that doesn’t). That’s more with the body doing whatever it wants. You have no control over you do. You watch words come out of your mouth like a train wreck. You interrupt others, and you feel horrible each time you do so. People always tell you to grow up, act your age, learn some control, and you try so hard to do this, but you just can’t. Any confidence in yourself is now gone because you just can’t control it.

There is so much more with ADHD. It’s more than struggling to focus, it’s a struggle to fit in. A simple way to think about what happens with ADHD, not a true way, but simple none the less is to think of ADHD as a misconnection within the brain wires, effecting the portion of the brain which controls executive functioning. What is executive functioning? It controls focus and impulsive. But it also controls so much more…

It controls emotional management, time management, processing speed, decision making, motivation, memory, and much more. It helps with building social connections. And when you have ADHD, this is all impacted. Some people outgrow it. Most people don’t. And most people with ADHD are brilliant. Some people simplify it by saying everyone learns differently. It’s not that simple though.

ADHD impacts every part of my life. I’ve lost friends, jobs, failed school because of my ADHD.

And when people claim to have ADHD, it kills me. It makes my life so hard. I will be using the term undiagnosed-I mean it as they do not have ADHD, not they have a case that is undiagnosed. It makes it so I don’t get the accommodations I need at work because someone who was coming in late a lot (as they were partying the night before) claims to have undiagnosed ADD. When someone says they can’t focus in a class because of their “undiagnosed” ADD, they take away from me and take away the validity of my needs.

It’s taken me years to learn how to control my ADHD, and it hasn’t been easy. I have a long way to go as well. I am proud of my ADHD only as it shows the struggles I overcame while growing up. When people claim they have ADHD, it takes away from the struggles I and others faced. It’s the same with every disorder.

What I’m trying to say is, don’t use a made up disorder as an excuse and don’t kid about it. A disorder of the mind is still a disorder, or an illness in a manner. Would you claim to have cancer? I hope not. Then what makes it okay to claim you have a disorder like ADHD or OCD?

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