It’s ADHD Awareness Week, but how do you make people aware, if you’re keeping your ADHD a secret?
In Friday’s post we met Jessica, a woman with ADHD who has, after some deliberation, decided to keep her diagnosis from her employer. I questioned whether or not that was the right approach, but I only questioned it in order to explore the subject. I believe that each person needs to decide on their own, whether or not to reveal any aspect of their health. And I respect and support the decision that each individual makes, we can’t decide for others unless we are in their situation.
On Monday I listed a few accepted, if not proven, negative aspects of our common situation. The purpose of this was to forewarn you of some potential opinions that may, in the future, drive a new wave of stigmatization. If I left anyone believing that those things applied to each of us I must apologize. It was not my intention to make things worse for you.
For still another view on revealing your mental health to your employer, you’ll want to read Zoë Kessler’s posts:
If, like me, you’ve followed Zoë’s blog from its inception, you know that she is a woman of great integrity and that one of her intentions is nothing short of the betterment of the world in which those of us with ADHD must live. Thank you, Zoë.
Is it going well, or has it been a rough and rocky road for you?
Others are standing up to be counted and I want to take a moment to say thanks to them also. Is it going well, or has it been a rough and rocky road for you? Either way, though we may not be saying it often enough, you are the leaders that we cannot move forward without. We quietly honor you all.
I’m not suggesting that those of you who are not advertising your situation should drop everything and proclaim that ADHD is part of your life. But I am saying that those who are revealing their challenges to their employers and co-workers are paving the way to a day when this will possibly no longer be an issue.
I’m not sure when that day will come, or even if that day will come, but I hope it will. I do know that it will never come without leaders and it will never come without bravery and it will never come without all of us supporting those who are making inroads to be followed.
Lastly, I’d like to point out that while some of us are out and some of us are still gathering strength in seclusion, there are things that we all can do. We can educate the people around us to the best of our ability. We can reveal a knowledge of ADHD without revealing that we have it. We can support people who are out without telling on ourselves.
Remember, mental illness is not a choice, but judging those with mental illness is a choice, a bad choice. And we can, and should, make others aware that we will not tolerate this stigmatization.
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Last reviewed: 20 Oct 2011