You would never tell a Parkinson’s patient “just get a grip on yourself!”. You would never tell a Schizophrenic “Just don’t listen to the voices.”. But us ADHDers so often hear “You just need to focus”
Or “you just need a plan”.
Or “that happens to me too, that’s no excuse”.
We (as in Society in a generalized way of speaking) accept an incredible amount of ailments and conditions of the mind. If a doctor or a news article explains that it has to do with a malformation of the brain (saaay, in the pre-frontal cortex) and/or with a chemical imbalance in the body (with saaay, dopamine), everyone is willing to accept that and even go to the extent of feeling sorry. In the very least, they try to respect and take some distance if they personally can’t deal with the person’s symptoms, but they don’t blame the person in question.
But with ADHD, well sure, we don’t hear voices. We are very clumsy, but we don’t persistently shake like people who are afflicted with parkinson’s. And yes: Parkinson’s and Schizophrenia are, for the patient and those surrounding them, WAY much worse than ADHD. But ADHD still is a condition. We still have to deal with it, whether others have it worse or not. But we drop things, we forget stuff, we procrastrinate, we fall into bouts of depression and anxiety.
So maybe we just need to be careful, get a planner, just do it and just have a bit more confidence and think positive. Hey, because everyone else can do it, right?
I once saw a big outdoor poster of an organization for helping families of those who have mentally challenged (do we still say it like that?) children. I remember staring at the woman standing with the child on that huge poster and intently staring at the child, wondering. Wonnnderiiing… because the child looked mentally challenged, but not quite. Quickly, my hyperactive brain came with an idea for a story: a single mom of a mentally challenged child struggles with lack of money and lack of help with her child. As a last resort for getting some money, she goes to a casting session for a poster of a foundation that helps families in need who have children with mental illness, trying to make money off of her child and its condition. When it’s her turn, they look at her kid and say “I’m sorry m’am. Your child just doesn’t look retarded enough for what we want.”
I sometimes think this is the trouble with ADHD.