Awareness Isn’t Acceptance

In theory all of my fellow autism parents understand that being aware of autism is not sufficient; rather anything short of acceptance is useless. In practice, as an adult with ADHD, I wonder if widespread acceptance is even possible. I am in my first ADHD awareness month and it’s a complete joke.

No offense to my ADHD brethren, but an awareness month for our condition is a waste of our time and efforts for two primary reasons.

1. At least in the US, awareness of ADHD (or ADD) is widespread; the problem is acceptance of how debilitating it is to those who have the condition. Instead, every hour of the day, some American thinks being distracted for one hour when trying to write a memo for work is the same thing as struggling to cook dinner every night for fifteen years of adulthood. You don’t have ADD if you have occasional minor struggles paying attention.

2. Unless a therapist has ADHD and can understand what it’s like, forget about trained professionals treating you like a person with ADHD when, say, you’re trying to jump through hoops to get an evaluation for ADHD.

We have ADHD. Adjust your new patient pathways accordingly. Ugh! If therapists can’t even accept our condition, what hope is there for the general public.

ADHD Diagnosis and Treatment

If you think you might have ADHD, and if you’re a woman over the age of 16, who has symptoms of inattentive ADHD, congratulations. Most of us don’t find out we have the condition ever, honestly. You’re one of the few who found out your symptoms could mean you have ADHD.

It’s a challenge to get diagnosed. Assuming you are able to be assessed, and the diagnosis fits, now you may be considering medication. Sad to say that in my experience, pharmaceuticals rarely surpass exercise in efficacy. The best treatment is semi or very intense exercise in the morning, each and every day.

I hope to write more about ADHD for my first awareness month, because I only found out I could have ADD through a random blog post. Prior to that, all I’d ever known as “ADD-ish” were hyperactive 8 year old boys.

A resource I would recommend to newly diagnosed ADHD adults: Peter Shankman’s podcast Faster than Normal.

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