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I’m Cured!

I'm cured! Ok...not cured, exactly, but I do feel a whole lot better about my ADHD…now that I have your attention…

Ok, I’m not cured exactly, but at least ONE of my ADHD symptoms has suddenly evaporated. Turns out, it never was a symptom in the first place.    …Let me explain.

When is an ADHD trait not an ADHD trait?

For the past year or so, I’ve been thinking I’m the slowest writer in the world. And of course, I’ve been blaming my ADHD.

Tonight, I read Margarita Tartakovsky’s excellent blog post, 12 Ways Successful Bloggers, Entrepreneurs Stay Productive and discovered that other bloggers (namely, Sally McGraw) like me, take 2 to 5 hours to write a post. (I had a quick look at McGraw’s blog, just to make sure she wasn’t writing about astrophysics or some topic that would require an inordinate amount of research; she wasn’t, although her blog is lovely and very well-written.)

This made me realize that I might have jumped to a conclusion when it comes to my slow blog post writing (unless, of course, McGraw has ADHD too and that’s why she takes so long. Or, say, if she and I are the only two bloggers on the planet that DO take that long… But let’s assume not, so I can keep on feeling better. I have some good points to make too, so stay with me.)

It also made me aware that I’ve been making myself feel worse by comparing myself with non-ADHDers and judging myself as coming up short. Darn! There goes that, “you’re your own worst enemy” thing again. (At least if I can handle this enemy, the others won’t be so bad, right?) (Right?!)…

In light of all this, I thought of a bunch of reasons why it’s important to be clear about what are and what aren’t ADHD symptoms.

Why you should know if it’s an ADHD thing or a rash or bad karma or something…

– if you’re going to ask for accommodations you need to be able to substantiate that it’s because of bona fide ADHD symptoms. “I really need the cubicle beside the hot new single guy,” will not cut it. Newsflash: everyone else in the office wants that, too. Well, the girls anyway. And some of the guys.

– it’s easier to help your kids with ADHD if you understand what is and isn’t a trait; “I’m allergic to homework,” doesn’t count; “I’m having trouble with reading,” certainly might (but it might be a learning disability; get a proper assessment!)

– if you’re arguing with your mate, you’d better be sure when you’re citing your ADHD trait; telling him or her that your need for stimulation means they should take you out three times a week and you need to go to West Africa on Safari might be a tad exaggerated; they’ll likely see through this (nice try, though)

– telling your family members your mind works differently is one thing; telling them you can read their minds is quite another

– knowing what is or isn’t an ADHD symptom will help you decide how it should be treated or dealt with; believe me, I’ve tried to fix everything with pizza. It ain’t working.

So how do I know if it’s an ADHD trait?

Here are a few ideas:

– get a thorough assessment and accurate diagnosis; I know, I know, you don’t want to feel left out. I realize adult ADHD is very popular right now, but even though we ADHDers are sexy, charming, vibrant, and youthful, you can’t just jump on the bandwagon. It’s not that easy. Sorry.

– read, read, read; there are lots of good books out there that describe ADHD symptoms. One of my favorites is Dr. Russell Barkley’s, Taking Charge of Adult ADHD, because Barkley practically channels an ADHDer…it’s downright spooky.

– find out if people without ADHD also struggle with it and to what degree. My slow blog-writing time is a perfect example; turns out, I may not be the slowest blogger in the West!

The bottom line

Of course our ADHD symptoms, traits, and challenges cause us difficulties; that’s why we got our diagnosis in the first place. But sometimes, it’s just stuff we all have to deal with. And remember how strong we are: we have to deal with both!

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I’m Cured!

Zoë Kessler, BA, B.Ed.

Zoë Kessler is an award-winning author, journalist, and speaker specializing in women and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD / ADD).

A frequent contributor to ADDitude Magazine, Kessler has also created video, standup comedy, and guest blogs on ADHD and Marriage covering ADHD-related topics.

Zoë, an internationally recognized ADHD expert, has been interviewed on radio and featured in magazine articles, documentaries, and books on the topic of women and ADHD across North America.

Her newly-released memoir ADHD According to Zoë - The Real Deal on relationships, Finding Your Focus & Finding Your Keys (New Harbinger Publications, 2013) about life with ADHD is now available.

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APA Reference
Kessler, Z. (2011). I’m Cured!. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 20, 2019, from


Last updated: 21 Sep 2011
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