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ADHD Stereotypes

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I abhor prejudice. To decide that someone is unacceptable on some level because of a perceived difference is intolerable to me. I cannot believe that a person is better, or worse for that matter, because of a difference in skin color, faith or religion, political affiliation … the list goes on.

Stereotyping, while a milder form of prejudice, is still a form of prejudice. And it isn’t always milder. Witness racial profiling.

In the same way that some people think that a person with a physical disability has all physical disabilities, a person who has the appearance of the so called “average terrorist” … must be a terrorist.

So what am I on about?

I’ve been thinking about the gift of creativity and how so many of the people with ADHD seem to have an ability to create. But because the issue of prejudice is so dramatic I never connected it. I notice a preponderance of ADHDers at venues where creative folks gather. Last night was another glaring example. Friends of mine were playing a gig at a local café and I couldn’t help but notice that those in attendance were my kind of people.


This morning I realized that I didn’t have the right to make that judgement. Just because several of my like minded acquaintances were there doesn’t mean anything. How many weren’t there? Out of sight, out of mind.

Maybe it’s true that more of us are creative. But not all of us are creative. And not all creative people are ADHDers.

And not all ADHDers are late, not all ADHDers forget to return their library books, not all ADHDers forget appointments, not all ADHDers … You get the picture I’m sure. There are things that many of us do, but not all of us, not all the time.

I’m intolerant of intolerance

So, I need to apologize. I have been thinking of us as a homogenous collection of similar beings. It’s something I’ve railed against, and now I find I’m guilty of it myself.

I’ve been looking so long and so hard at my symptoms and my foibles, and writing about them that I’ve become even more introspective. And talking with people who share our quirks, hearing from readers who resonate with things I write has fueled this.

I need to pay attention

I need to remind myself that I’m not looking for hallmarks, not looking for a means to identify us, but rather for help for us to feel valued as individuals.

I want people who read my blog and recognize similarities to use that recognition to help them feel less alone, to feel a sense of community. But I want everyone who reads my blog to feel like they are individuals.

So I’m sharing my lesson from last night with you. I will try not to assume anything about you from now on. I’m liable to fail a few times, so please let me know if I start profiling again.

The only thing we ALL have in common is that we are valuable individuals.

ADHD Stereotypes

Kelly Babcock

I was born in the city of Toronto in 1959, but moved when I was in my fourth year of life. I was raised and educated in a rural setting, growing up in a manner I like to refer to as free range. I live in an area where my family history stretches back 6 or more generations. I was diagnosed with ADHD at the age of 50 and have been both struggling with the new reality and using my discoveries to make my life better. I write two blogs here at Psych Central, one about having ADHD and one that is a daily positive affirmation that acts as an example of finding the good in as much of my life as I possibly can.

Find out more about me on my website: writeofway.

email me at ADHD Man

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APA Reference
Babcock, K. (2012). ADHD Stereotypes. Psych Central. Retrieved on May 25, 2020, from


Last updated: 27 Apr 2012
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