Idk if you've seen that new YouTube video titled "do I have ADHD" by Vox but I looked at the comments (big mistake) and saw so much hatred and misunderstanding towards ADHD but also disorders and illness. part of the video they had audio of a doctor talking about how ADHD is false and I totally had an emotional breakdown about it. Am I making this all up in my head? I don't think me having ADHD is an excuse for me to be lazy or have bad behavior. Idk man I'm trying my best.
The fact that there are so many people who completely misunderstand what ADHD is in its entirety and claim so many things with nothing to back them up frustrates me to no end. While I think the video did an okay job explaining the very basic parts of ADHD, comments on these kinds of things are unfortunately something it’s best to stay away from. Most of them are written by people who have a very stereotypical view of ADHD (as mentioned in the video) and seem to think ADHD only means not being able to sit still and constantly being dist– oh look, a bird!*
This is, of course, completely ridiculous. These two things alone don’t even begin to take into account all the ways ADHD affects you. Executive Dysfunction, Emotion Dysregulation, higher risk for comorbid disorders like depression, anxiety, sensory processing disorders, learning disorders; these are just some of the things ADHD does in addition to hyperactivity and inattention. People are worried that ADHD medication can cause depression? How about the fact that girls with ADHD are 4-5 times more likely to attempt suicide? For some reason these people don’t seem to want to admit that ADHD could actually have a huge effect on all areas of your life. There will always be those who think any kid could be diagnosed with ADHD just because 8 hours of boring is impossible for anyone to sit through without zoning out. Frankly, I’d like to ask them how they’d explain the fact that it doesn’t matter where I am or how interesting what I’m doing is; I zone out anyway.
Then there’s always the people who say that ADHD is a modern disorder caused by social media and technology. Yes, the internet might make it hard to stay on task. The internet also makes it possible to find studies and observations done as early as 1798 that basically describe ADHD (even if it wasn’t called that before the 20th century). I don’t think smartphones and TV’s were an issue back then. I politely suggest that those who think ADHD is a new disorder try this thing called Scientific Evidence when making ridiculous claims. Yes, more and more people are diagnosed with it. The same phenomenon has been recognized with ASD, but studies have found that the actual number of people with ASD symptoms hasn’t changed; only the amount who actually get a diagnosis and help for it. Psychiatry has made huge steps in recent years, especially when it comes to ADHD. Maybe people are just finally getting better at recognizing it.
I let a lot of pent-up frustration and anger out on this one. But do not feel like you’re using ADHD as an excuse. It is a real thing; there is so much scientific evidence to back that up, it’s not even a question anymore. There will always be people who think they know everything about it. They don’t. The best thing we can do is continue sharing our experiences, being vocal about it, and refusing to let who we are be reduced to a stereotype. Hopefully, as the second doctor in the video said, we won’t even be having this discussion in 20 years. Keep trying your best. Your best is good enough. Don’t let ignorant idiots tell you otherwise.
*Obviously these things can also be part of ADHD even if they’re stereotypes. I always stop what I’m doing and shout “DOG” whenever I see one, and I never stop fidgeting. But these things are by far the least annoying part of ADHD for me.