Unfair stereotypes about adults with ADHD still prevail despite inspiring stories like these. Why can't the world just let us succeed?
by Wayne Kalyn
A Canadian newspaper recently ran an article about a woman finding out that her doctor, after being under his care for more than 30 years, admitted to having ADHD. She said, "It kind of blew my mind." Her doctor didn’t fit her stereotype of an adult with ADHD.
Her doctor encouraged her to tell his story because he wanted her to drive home what much of the world is still not prepared to accept: ADHD is a real disorder and those who have been diagnosed with it can do wonderful things with their life. They can become doctors, lawyers, CEOs, or even bookstore owners or school teachers and live happily ever after.
"If my doctor had told me on my very first visit to him that he has ADHD, I probably would have jumped off the examining table and run the other way," she writes. But her view of ADHD has changed through the years, thanks to the volumes of research that have been done on the disorder. She has seen the light, and her fervent hope is that the rest of the world will, too.
Cameron Herold, 46, an entrepreneur who started several companies and now runs Backpocket COO, has a similar hope. He has ADD and has found ways to work around his symptoms. He mentors CEOs in fast-growing startups, helping them sidestep their doubts and find opportunity in unlikely places. Herold travels the world speaking to CEOs and imparting his good-news message of "you can be successful."
Herold only wishes that his teachers had encouraged him in school. "I won several speaking competitions in elementary school, but all my teachers could say was, ‘pay attention’ or ‘sit still’ or ‘stop talking.’ It would have been great if they had recognized my strengths in public speaking and found ways to help me succeed. It took me many years to realize my dream, but here I am making my living doing what I did so well way back in grammar school."
Herold’s advice: "Sometimes what the world thinks is your weakness is your strength. Don’t be afraid to ignore what the world is telling you. It might be the key to your success."