My friend Leah (not her real name) and I started a conversation online the other day specifically about ADHD diagnosis and how older generations (like mine) relate and react to it.
“Of course their argument is that ‘back in their day …’ and ‘you don’t see [their] generation …’,” she said.
“I see gifts and talents from their generation.”
This got her thinking, and she admitted that it seemed to be true. People from my generation (not quite as old as dirt, but close) weren’t being unproductive in life.
“I see gifts and talents from their generation.” she told me honestly.
Then she said, “Fast forward to my age group, and even more, my daughters …. and I see a lot of people saying they didn’t, couldn’t, can’t because of their ADD.”
She said that she thought maybe opportunities were different back then, but she wanted to know my thoughts on this.
The truth is … I hadn’t thought about it before. So I thought about it then, and this was my response.
You’re right. … and so are they. Opportunities were different back then. Life style may not have highlighted the differences back then either. I agree that people who are diagnosed at a younger age these days do in fact plan their lives and their activities around the diagnosis. Those (like me) who might have been diagnosed back then and weren’t because there was no diagnosis had to just learn to cope and manage.
The obvious truth here is that having the option to say “I can’t do that” is going to create the situation where people won’t do some things, things that might be more difficult for them than for others.
And the sad part is that they then might miss out on some things. Consider animals that are raised by other species and think of themselves as that other species. This is what it is like to be ADHD and not know it. You just push your way through.
So, in my life, I do what has to be done. And while I now know that I have ADHD and may lament that some things are more difficult for me than for others, I don’t let that stop me from doing things.
” […] life is an experience, and nothing should stop you from having that experience.”
The important thing is, life is an experience, and nothing should stop you from having that experience. That full and entire experience. A diagnosis does not define your life. It may explain your abilities, but if you let it determine what you accomplish, and more importantly, what you do or don’t attempt, … you lose. So, let the old guys be. People from their generation could get a diagnosis now, but what would it change? They might try medication, but so many of them seem to be happy with the way they are.
And if we think of ADHD as a different way to be, and not a way in which we’re broken, than the old adage “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” applies perfectly.