Our Favorite ADHD Blog Posts of 2021
From laugh-out-loud funny to heart-wrenching and helpful, these stand-out ADHD blogs submitted by ADDitude readers in 2021 captured what it means to live with ADHD or alongside ADHD today.
1. “ADHD Self-Doubt, Shame & Gaslighting: My Anything-But-Perfect Storm”
“I am vulnerable to gaslighting. I have experienced it, and I have been accused of it. I also lost (arguably) the love of my life because I was gaslit five years before I even met her. And as with all things in life, ADHD complicates the picture.” — Les Steed
This blog post explores the nature of gaslighting, what happens when it mixes with ADHD, and how these factors impacted the writer’s self-esteem and psyche — triggering an impulsive error that ultimately cost the writer his relationship.
2. “What Will a Return to In-Person Learning Mean for My Child with ADHD?”
“Come September, will he watch his peers catch up from their academic losses at a much faster rate than him? And if he does, how will that affect his confidence and motivation to learn? Along with these keep-me-up-at-night thoughts, I do harbor some hopes for the year ahead.” — Victoria Bhegani
Most schools returned to some form of in-person learning in the fall of 2021. For many parents, back-to-school season reignited concerns about safety and academic performance amid an ongoing pandemic. In this post, a mother describes her hopes and fears as her child, who struggled with online learning, returns to in-person classes.
3. “The Night Watchman Theory for ADHD”
“The Watchman Theory posits that our hyperfocus and ability to give equal attention to every element in our environment is actually honed by evolution. The theory is that people with ADHD are wired to be the perfect night watchmen and hunters of our tribes and that most of our current advantages and disadvantages trace back to this vital role wherein our ‘symptoms’ would have saved lives.” — Les Steed
This blog expands on the so-called Watchman Theory to explain common ADHD attributes like irregular sleep schedules or a knack for entrepreneurship. It also questions the advantages of these traits in a neurotypical world.
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4. “I Have a Voice, Too: On Being an Asian American with ADHD.”
“I know all the ADHD and mental health lingo, and I can speak very convincingly. So self-advocacy in graduate school should be a breeze, right? Wrong. I am an Asian American woman – a second generation Taiwanese American. This very fact complicates my ability to self-advocate.” — Emily Chen
This blog post unpacks the model minority myth and stereotypes about Asian Americans. Unspoken expectations to excel kept the author from seeking and accepting help for most of her life. Here, we see how that changed when she applied to graduate school.
5. “My Child’s Neurodivergence Is Not a Choice. My Empathy Is.”
“If we can approach ADHD from a place of empathy and understanding, then we’ll see that the behaviors we find so frustrating are usually our child’s way of asking for help. And we’ll stop taking their behavior so personally and stop reacting to it in anger.” — Merriam Sarcia Saunders, LMFT
This open and honest blog post by a mother of three divulges the realities of raising a neurodivergent child. The author says she feels empathy for her children with anxiety and mood disorders, but struggles to do the same for her child with ADHD. Empathy, she realizes, is a conscious choice that parents must extend to their children every day.
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6. “My Mother Gave Us Everything — Except the Secret of Her ADHD Diagnosis.”
“I was diagnosed with ADHD two months prior to learning about my mom’s own secret diagnosis. Coincidentally, she was 49 when she was diagnosed; the same age I was when I was diagnosed. Even after her death at 75, this revelation and connection was the final piece of the puzzle that explained our complicated and often explosive relationship.” — Kelvin Blunt
When preparing his mother’s obituary, Kelvin Blunt came across a document detailing her ADHD diagnosis — a document she never shared with anyone. His blog details this discovery and how he begins to see his mother in a new light.
7. “How I Recognized an Abusive Relationship from the Inside”
“Over the course of that dozen or so breakups, and the years of finally getting over it afterward, I came to see that I was in an abusive relationship. But like other adults with ADHD who throw themselves fully and wholly into relationships, I was blinded by my own desire (fueled by low self-esteem, no doubt) to never let down my partner.” — Les Steed
In his blog post, Les Steed describes how shame and a lifetime of criticism — common experiences for adults with ADHD — made him vulnerable to staying in an unhealthy relationship.
8. “8 Rules of Wellbeing: An Aid Kit for Women with ADHD”
“Maybe you’re a fellow mom or woman with ADHD who is barely treading water these days…That’s why I’m sharing my ADHD wellbeing kit — in hopes that it will help make your days a bit easier.”— Kate Moryoussef
From moving your body and EFT tapping to practicing self-compassion and breathing exercises, this blog post recommends eight strategies to help calm the mind and enhance wellbeing.
9. “How Teachers Can Initiate and Promote Inclusive Education”
“Most teachers go into the profession because they feel a calling. They genuinely want to help, support, and potentially change a young person’s life. And yet, in my role, I am often met with resistance and cries of, ‘I don’t feel qualified to teach someone with special needs,’ or ‘That sounds great, but I don’t have enough time/energy/knowledge to do this.’ What I hear is fear. Fear that if you try to help a student with a learning difference, you could somehow mess it up.” — Suzanne Robertshaw
Drawing on her experiences as a teacher trainer, Suzanne Robertshaw provides simple techniques and accommodations that educators can use to make their classrooms and instruction more inclusive. Even small changes in approach, she notes, could significantly alter a child’s learning experience for the better.
10. “It’s Hard Being the Mother of Electricity. And Also Quite Dazzling.”
“I doused my little superhero in water every day and was livid that this didn’t extinguish his electricity. But we all know what happens when you throw water on electricity.” — Becky Kingsman
In this touching story, a mother describes her child’s ADHD symptoms as “electricity,” filling and consuming everything. After years of trying to slow his current, she realizes that he was a “beautiful storm” all along. “I pray that he still knows that he is electricity,” the author writes in this powerful and poignant love letter to her child.
11. “On Getting Unstuck from the Cloud of Stuck-ness”
“When I have a choice to make, I imagine all of the possibilities in different colors. At first, it’s just two colors. Do I wash the dishes, or do I not wash the dishes? But then, as I think about my decision, those two choices split off into a million more. Suddenly, there are hundreds of colors in every hue imaginable.” — Mia Stegner
After a lifetime of crippling indecision, this author describes how she came to understand her thought processes more clearly after her ADHD diagnosis. A tough decision, she says, often manifests as a heavy cloud hovering over her. She details how she learned to use visuals to confront the cloud and manipulate it with her fingers — like an image on a touch screen.
12. “How Anne of Green Gables Comforted and Inspired Me”
“There were so many ways that I struggled to connect, to fit in, and to keep up as a kid. To see fictional characters struggling with the same problems I had was outright cathartic. Anne, Meg, Amelia, that little mouse who nibbled on a cookie and ended up with a haircut — these characters were the first to comfort me and help me cope with my ADHD symptoms long before I knew what to call them.” — E. J. Wenstrom
After recognizing her ADHD traits and struggles in beloved fictional characters, this contributor learns that she, too, can be loved and celebrated despite her quirks.
More Great Blog Posts
“I Pinned My Struggles on My Mixed-Race Background. Then I Was Diagnosed with ADHD.”
“All this time, I had ascribed my longing for being elsewhere to the mixed-race, dual-heritage experience. I thought it represented a disconnect between two cultures or the effects of a lifetime of racial micro-aggressions. But with my newfound knowledge of ADHD, I was forced to re-evaluate.”
“Crime and Punishment and ADHD: When Parents Disagree on Discipline”
“My husband thinks I’m coddling our son by not agreeing to a sizable consequence for his repeated misdemeanors. I don’t want to dismiss the situation entirely, but I fundamentally disagree with many of my spouse’s accusations. I believe it all boils down to a misperception about our son’s intentionality.”
“I Branded Myself a Misunderstood Freak. But It Was ADHD All Along.”
“After years of self-loathing, I had only just found an identity: the misunderstood freak. But as I went down the rabbit hole of ADHD online, I discovered I wasn’t so weird, unique, or freakish at all. All roads just lead back to this condition.”
“When I Look Back, It Is Hard Not to Feel Like I Was Failed.”
“We don’t talk enough about the heartache that comes with seemingly unrealized potential. Knowing I couldn’t live up to dreams and expectations that were set out for me, because the deck was stacked against me, hurts. Who could I have been now if I had only known sooner?”
Use Your Time Wisely by ‘Spending’ It with Intent
“We can think of time the same way we think of money. We are constantly advised to invest, to set an emergency fund, to track our expenses, and to spend our money with intention. So why not invest and bank our time more intentionally as well?”
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