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I Hate When People Use ADHD As An Excuse

Cracks in your self esteem? Forget about them!
Cracks in your self esteem? Forget about them!

Some title, eh? And I hear this in different ways. There’s the old dismissive standard: “ADHD is just an excuse for  (fill in the blank)!” And then there’s: “Every time you do that, you blame your ADHD!” And one of my all time favorites: “Instead of talking about your ADHD, why don’t you do something about it?”

It’s nice that there is so much help out there, isn’t it? And the great thing is that any one of these remarks immediately makes me retreat into myself, disengage from the person who says them, and re-establish my relationship with the cracks I’d thought I had patched in my shattered self esteem.

But …

That’s a lonely place to be, standing within the walls you’ve built up in life, congratulating yourself on not having put any windows in and wondering if you should forget the cracks and just plaster up that door that leads to the outside world.

But here’s a question: What if some things are ADHD? I know that’s a far fetched idea, but I’m serious here, so follow through with me won’t you?

Let’s see where this takes us …

You see, we know that there are people who describe exactly what we go through so perfectly we think they must be reading our emails. And we know that most people adamantly insist that they do not suffer from ADHD, even when we can persuade them to inventory the extent to which ADHD symptoms do or don’t affect them.

So, if we know these symptoms are true and relevant, and so prevalent in our lives that they make up most of our being, and if we believe that others who say that they do not experience these things are telling the truth, and if we are in fact the 4% to 10% minority we are told we are, than ADHD must exist and it must not be the norm.

“And they do not have the right to pass off their opinions, opinions of this thing that they do not know, as knowledge.”

Who has the right to say these things?

If this is the case, than what we are experiencing when we hear those statements listed above, is the opinions of the majority being used to overwhelm the factual knowledge of the minority.

They speak with the authority of the many, but only have the strength of commonality at their disposal. They do not have the power of reality, since they are speaking from their own experiences, but they are speaking about ours.

And they do not have the right to pass off their opinions, opinions of this thing that they do not know, as knowledge.

Albert Einstein is often quoted as saying “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” If you keep suggesting that you know how to fix someone’s ADHD and it hasn’t worked yet, I think we might be better served by working on your mental health first, hmm?

And I think I’m going to put in a few windows, the cracks can stay, they show character. Besides, I’m pretty sure they’re a result of my ADHD.

I Hate When People Use ADHD As An Excuse

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 on the traditional lands of the Chippewas of Nawash in an area where my family history stretches back 6 or 7 generations and my First Nations friend's families go back hundreds of 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 am a freelance writer and I write two blogs here at Psych Central, one about living with 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. (2019). I Hate When People Use ADHD As An Excuse. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 19, 2020, from


Last updated: 31 Dec 2019
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