Not sure why ADHD is trending on Twitter, but sure, here’s my big post about ADHD, because now it’s too long to be a Twitter thread (ADHD, amirite?):
ADHD has possibly THE most inaccurate name for a medical condition:
Dysregulation of attention, not deficit. We focus MORE intensely than neurotypicals on things that have caught our attention, because our neurotransmitter receptors (e.g., dopamine) developed atypically. But we struggle with switching tasks, because of this.
Inattentive-type ADHD won’t be as obvious, because it’s not the “physically disruptive boy child” stereotype.
Yes, it is a real neurodevelopmental condition, and yes, the medical community knows what it is.
No, not everybody “is a little bit ADHD.” Saying that shows that you haven’t educated yourself about the condition.
It usually manifests very differently for women, & MANY medical professionals aren’t informed about that.
Letting a child’s ADHD go undiagnosed and untreated leads to a VERY high risk of adulthood co-morbid anxiety & depression.
Letting someone’s ADHD go undiagnosed also leads to VERY high risk of addiction, because addictive substances trigger a fast release of dopamine, and the reward centers of our brains desperately need dopamine to live a happy & fulfilling life.
Black kids are 70% less likely (and Latinx kids 50% less likely) to be diagnosed than their white peers, because the most noticeable behaviors are attributed to willful misbehaving defiance, as opposed to a neurological cause.
This contributes to higher suspension rates for Black and Latinx kids, and higher likelihood of entering juvenile detention systems.
The misdiagnosis-to-prison pipeline is very real, with some neuroscience studies estimating that 40% of inmates in the US have ADHD.
Stigmatizing pharmaceutical treatments is harmful, because it inhibits people from accessing treatment.
Stimulant medications do not affect people with ADHD the same way they do for neurotypicals. They have a calming and focusing effect on folks with ADHD (unless co-morbid anxiety, depression, or other co-morbid conditions interfere)
Many folks with ADHD struggle to even remember to take their meds, and the most commonly prescribed treatments now have a time-delay mechanism that helps limit the risk of addiction.
Getting diagnosed as an adult made me cry, out of relief. I finally had an explanation, & I could forgive myself.
I am perpetually hyper-aware of how “not normal” I am in social interactions. I go through life feeling like an alien, every day.
This can lead to a perpetual cycle of self-isolation and self-consciousness, along with other maladaptive coping mechanisms.
Many symptoms that occur with Autism can also occur with ADHD: sensory overload, hyper-fixation/hyperfocus, directness, rejection of societal norms, emotional dysregulation.
The reason people with ADHD seem like they make every conversation about themselves is because they are trying to make genuine connections with other humans and stay actively engaged in the topic. Anything else seems superficial, disingenuous, and meaningless. People with ADHD seek genuine connection, and we are trying very hard to make that connection with you.
As with Autism, people with ADHD frequently reject society-imposed notions of gender and sexuality. These societal constructs are fairly useless, frequently harmful, and honestly feel contrived, awkward, and silly. I’m not just making that up. There is a VERY high correlation between gender dysphoria and ADHD (as well as Autism).
The reason I have to write everything down is because my working memory basically doesn’t exist.
The reason we interrupt in conversation sometimes is because we literally won’t remember what we need to say by the time someone finishes talking.
I forget someone’s name before they even finish their sentence. There are a million other things happening in my brain as I am trying to navigate a social situation.
Folks with ADHD can struggle with “Information Retrieval,” which is ironic for me, considering my PhD research focus. The information is THERE, however, and if there is an external stimulus to trigger, my brain can access and retrieve the information that I have stored.
So many folks who have ADHD struggle when they are put on the spot, unexpectedly. They can’t just conjure something out of thin air, so none of their words come out right, and then they will feel like an imposter.
It’s not all bad stuff. The running joke is that people with ADHD don’t just “think outside of the box”…they throw the entire box out, and provide innovative solutions that many wouldn’t have considered.
ADHD is highly-correlated with innovation, entrepreneurship, physical accomplishment, and artistry (e.g., Bill Gates, Michael Phelps, Simone Biles, Jim Carrey, John Mulaney)
We have so many hobbies, hidden talents, and interests…and we’re VERY enthusiastic about ALL of them. They used to have a word for folks like that, and there’s a reason scientists have postulated that Leonardo da Vinci very likely had ADHD.
I can detect someone else who has ADHD or Autism almost immediately (even if they don’t know it), & immediately form bonds with them. I don’t make the rules. It just happens. And I find it very refreshing to interact with folks who are neurodivergent, because I can let my guard down and just be myself.
One time the Cullens move to a new place and Carlisle is like “can I take the next couple of years off we’re literally billionaires just this once I wanna be a stay at home dad” and Esmes like “oh I got this” and she becomes the countries best real estate woman in a matter of a few weeks, she’s a power mom, she brings her trophy husband Carlisle to a bunch of fancy events
I don’t take requests on the whole BUT I did want to throw down a concept sketch for part of a future story- everyone agrees that it’s cute when the ducks wag their tails when they’re happy, right? right.