Unlike many people with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADD/ADHD), I did well in school, graduating with honors from the University of Chicago and Harvard Business School. But ADD/ADHD was devastating to the early part of my career. Until I was well over 30, I could not hold a job for more than a year.
People with ADD/ADHD spend a lot of time on the defensive, as a result of not living up to other peoples’ expectations. Faced with that, some “drop out” of a system that doesn’t reward them. Others find a way to persist in shifting the blame to others. I took the latter route.
I don’t like the word “gift” applied to ADD/ADHD; it implies that we are special. People with ADD/ADHD are not special: We are simply neurologically different.
I admit it: Medication isn’t right for everyone, but under-medication is a much bigger problem than overmedication. Many people who go without meds suffer needlessly and profoundly.
Ninety-five percent of the world does not have ADD/ADHD. So while we can ask people for more understanding of our situation, we have to succeed in a non-ADHD world. The responsibility lies with us.
Read more from Michael Laskoff on his ADDitude ADHD CEO blog.
This article comes from the Fall 2010 issue of ADDitude.
To read this issue of ADDitude in full, buy the back issue.