In some ways it could be argued it is very visible. Nearly everyone has at least heard of it; they know a few of the symptoms (and often incorrectly think they know them all.) After all, how could something affecting 11% of children, usually continuing to affect them into adulthood, be invisible when so many people have it?
But then, where are all the ADHD people?
For years, I thought I knew no one outside my family who had ADHD. No one else ever seemed to mention it. Even now, I know that a large number of my classmates probably have it, but who they are, I have no idea.
Even beyond the people you personally know, it’s hard to find people who are ADHD. But ADHD people are everywhere. We are acting in blockbuster movies - people like Mark Ruffalo and Liv Tyler have ADHD. We are winning medals and making history at the Olympics - Simone Biles and Michael Phelps have ADHD. We are writing books, making music, founding huge businesses like Ikea or Virgin Airlines, we are everywhere. But how many people ever know that these people who are so successful are also ADHD?
How many fictional characters are ADHD? Not many, and if they are, it’s usually just to make them ‘quirky.’ Never do fictional characters really struggle with ADHD; they are never shown with memory problems, struggling with rejection sensitive dysphoria, getting distracted EVEN WHEN they’re trying hard to listen. Never have I seen an ADHD character who I could point at and say, ‘I see myself in that character.’ Never do I feel like there is any character who explains what ADHD is really like.
How people see ADHD is very strange to me. Everyone knows what it is. They know that it makes people hyper and unable to pay attention; but that is all they know. They don’t know about rejection sensitive dysphoria; about stimming or hyperfocusing; many of them don’t even know that ADD and ADHD are actually two different types of the same disorder. Even ADHD people don’t know these things sometimes.
ADHD is known; and at the same time it is unknown.
I hate it.
I know there are people out there who feel the same way I do, who have the same experiences. I know that other groups of people get plenty of representation in fictional stories; there are countless well-written characters with depression or anxiety - but those are the only two that get any expression. Other mental disorders are rare to see in fiction.
Online I see people posting about how seeing a character that had the same mental disorder as them was so helpful for them. How wonderful it was to see the thing that defines their lives portrayed in the things they enjoy. How when people asked them what their disorder is like, they could point at that character and they would understand. I’ve seen people without those disorders say how much more they understood it after seeing how a fictional character struggled with it.
But there are no characters to teach people about ADHD.
I want to know what it is like to see a character and feel like people can see what my life is like through them. I want to know what it is like to have people know more about this thing that defines everything for me than just stereotypes. I don’t want this part of me to be invisible.
I want to see more non-ADHD people who mention ADHD and know about ADHD outside of the context of jokes. I want to see people not treat it like something undesirable and childish but as the serious thing it is - and what makes ADHD people who we are. I want schools to teach children about ADHD in health classes as well as things like depression and anxiety and eating disorders and addiction, because some of the kids in the class probably have it. I want people to understand that ADHD doesn’t just make you 'quirky’, or mean you really like shiny objects. When you have ADHD, it affects… everything. It’s both positive and negative. It is part of what makes you who you are.
Because 10% of the population has ADHD, and we can be successful. We make movies. We win medals. We make history. And our ADHD is not nothing. It’s not something that is an afterthought, that can be brushed to the side. It’s important.
Because we are here, and we are not invisible.
[okay for non-ADHD people to like/reblog in fact I would very much appreciate it if you did]
Apparently there's a lot of hate going around about Tyler Joseph right now and if you have something to say about him you can unfollow my blog now.
This is a man who has literally ripped his soul apart just to let us know we’re not alone with our own issues and yet some “fans” are even playing in on the hate towards him. Give me proof of these allegations against him, and even then I’ll tell you you’re wrong. Tyler is a person of peace and love and he doesn’t deserve what you’re saying or doing to him.
Concept: The Fashion Files become a long running series in the WWE Network and it crosses to mainstream public knowledge. Tyler and Dango win awards, they travel around the world and live the high life, they’re together, WWE never breaks them up