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ADHD Has No Choice?

not listening
I already know about ADHD …

If you don’t have ADHD, then you may not know these things. But that’s okay, I’m going to tell you, then you will know.

You may think that ADHD is being absent minded. That’s not true. Our minds are never absent, they are always present, they just like to be present in way to many trains of thought. We can’t help that.

You may think that we have too many things on the go. That’s not entirely true either. We do try to multitask, even though nobody can multitask really. Not even computers truly multitask. They do what everyone does, they allot slices of time to each task and do each of them for a little bit, constantly rotating.

And us?

We do that too, but we sometimes lose the list of tasks in our mind and drop several of them. We can’t help that.

You might also think that we are lazy. That’s also untrue. I do so much on a daily basis, even I have trouble keeping up with it all, remembering it all.

It’s true that we procrastinate. But when we procrastinate, to the untrained observer it would appear like we are just trying to get out of doing things that we don’t want to do. And I can’t deny not wanting to do those things.

But the truth is …

But it isn’t that I’m trying to get out of doing them, I’m trying to avoid doing them poorly. I’m waiting until I can give them the attention they deserve. I’m waiting, even while I’m aware that they will never be able to hold my attention. I can’t help that.

You may be laboring under the misconception that we are, for want of a better term, stupid. That is patently false. We are of at least average intelligence … on average, and some anecdotal evidence suggests that we are actually above average.

Pretty clever, huh?

What may make us appear stupid isn’t a lack of intelligence, but a need for instant gratification that drives us to skip the thinking parts of decision making. And to add to that, we have issues with a thing called executive function. That’s the thing that convinces other people to think things through before making decisions. Our executive function is often compromised and some of it may actually be learned and applied by other parts of the brain.

And all of that, that mash up of things that causes us to make rash, or hasty, or foolish decisions, we can’t really help that.

And yet …

But here’s something else you might not know. We are determined to make the most of this life. We are not generally quitters. If we were we’d have given up, given in long ago. We do not go quietly down in defeat. We do not often accept harsh judgment. We will not stop moving forward. We will not take a back seat, and rarely will we take a passenger seat in life.

You see, we know something about life, about our lives. And that is that there is every chance that we will only get this one. And we are damned if we will accept the hand we were dealt and accept your uninformed criticism of how we handle this life too.

Bottom line?

We have ADHD. We can’t help that. We have to share the world with people who don’t understand ADHD. We can’t help that. But we do not have to listen to people who don’t get it, tell us that all we have to do is not have ADHD anymore.

That’s something we can help! That’s a choice we can make. And I choose not to listen!

ADHD Has No Choice?

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. (2016). ADHD Has No Choice?. Psych Central. Retrieved on July 14, 2020, from


Last updated: 12 Jun 2016
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