Just so you know that I’m not making it up, here is the link to the ADHD Awareness Month website: http://www.adhdawarenessmonth.org/. There is an abundance of information on the Awareness Month website, including fact sheets and posters along with videos and audio recordings with both first-person and expert information.
For me, it’s hard to believe that the headline on the ADHD Awareness Month site is a reminder that ADHD is real and isn’t up for debate.The reports, even in the mainstream media, that ADHD is overdiagnosed and/or that it is a syndromecreated by the pharmaceutical industry serve to perpetuate the stigma against those with ADHD. The result can be tragic for people who need help but feel that they’ll be judged harshly.The estimate is that there are 15 million people with ADHD who are undiagnosed. 15 million people who are not living up to their potential: how sad is that?
The power of a diagnosis can be life altering. Many of the adults that I meet who were diagnosed as adults have a mixed reaction. I call it Relief & Grief. The Relief is that the prevailing assumption that they are Stupid, Lazy or Crazy (as in the title of the book by Kelly & Ramundo) is wrong. As the negative self-image that has weighed them down can begin to lift, they start to feel better. At the same time often, theGrief and mourning they feelfor all of the wasted years, a lifetime of trying and not succeeding, can be significant. If only they had known, things could have been different.
I think back to all my report cards that said “Mindy could do better if she would just try harder.” From the outside it may have looked like I was stupid, lazy or crazy, but I was trying. However, I remember giving up at some point, because trying harder didn’t produce better results.
I am fortunate to have learned over time that I need to find a different approach than most others. I signed up for a blogging program and created this 31-day ADHD Awareness Day challenge, where I have extreme accountability to both a coach and high expectations from you, my audience. The motivation circuit in my brain is activated, giving me the ability to focus without giving into distractions. Who knows what will happen at the end of this month when writing might become, again, just one of those things on my to-do list? Believe me, it is a work in progress. Today I am working harder and it is producing better results.
How has being diagnosed with ADHD made a difference in your life?