It seems that this person thought that calling ADHD a “disorder” was, perhaps, an insult to other disorders. Or to put it another way, “Is ADHD debilitating enough to be considered a real disorder?”
You would have been proud of me, I kept my cool. I took a deep breath and took inventory of what I wanted to say, what I should say. My thoughts went something like this:
“Okay, where do I start? Do I tell this person that I’ve never been able to stay with the same vocation long enough to become a success at anything? Do I list off the eight different careers I’ve had or do I list the 17 different jobs? Do I tell them that my level of interest in each and every one of them waned so dramatically that I was unable to concentrate, I was rendered useless.
“Do I tell them about my self defeating anxiety that makes a shambles of every day. Do I try to explain that no matter how brilliant anything I do may appear it is not what I wanted to do, not even close. Do I say that I had to sacrifice four other projects to do what I could to make one seem complete?
“Do I invite them to my home and show them the clutter that builds up as I acquire “stuff” to be used on projects that present themselves to my easily beguiled mind. Do I present the disorganized piles of papers that contain the forms required for filing my taxes for the last four years stacked along with the grocery store advertisements from two months ago?
“Do I try to explain my lack of friends because of my inability to censor my conversations, my inability to refrain from telling people what I really think of them or do I let them find out for themselves … when I tell them what I really think of them?
“Do I tell them that I hope to get my snow tires put on my truck before the snow melts? Do I tell them that my insurance payments have to be made by monthly bank withdrawl because if I have to make payments … I’ll forget, and then I’ll have an accident.
“Do I tell them that there is no cure and there are few who care. Do I tell them that ADHD is the hidden thief that robs us of our days and our friends and our dreams, and no one believes us because they can’t see this thief? Do I shake with anger at having to try to explain the loss of years? Do I stand up on a soap box and pound my fist into my palm and testify to all who would question the validity of ADHD?”
All this went through my mind in a flash of indignity, and then I looked again at the friend asking the question, a friend who had just given me the topic for today’s blog post. I looked that friend in the eye and said: “Is ADHD debilitating enough to be considered a real disorder? — Hell Yes!”
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Last reviewed: 18 Nov 2011