Reply To: Just diagnosed with ADD and belittled by (sexist?) psychologist

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foa
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That psychologist sounds as if he is very poorly trained and doesn’t know much about ADHD. About sexism, I used to say “oh, well, maybe that isn’t sexism, it could just be that …” but you know what? Every individual instance might not be sexism, but in aggregate, every time you suspect it’s sexism, you’re right: IT’S SEXISM. Sexism is so ingrained in every fibre of every area of our culture that it is ALWAYS implicated in the way we are being treated. We live with this because we have to. I sincerely hope that someday our daughters’ daughters’ daughters’ don’t have this problem. Maybe we should all move to Iceland.

But about the patronizing idiot you were dealing with: he’s wrong, that’s all. Yes, there are particular challenges associated with having ADHD. There are particular challenges associated with everything. I wasn’t diagnosed with ADHD until I was 59. By that time I had a PhD and tenure. ADHD has made me slower to publish, because I can always think of an even better new shiny idea and I’m bored with this one now, why do I have to write it up? But I can always think of an even better new shiny idea and that is not true of all of my colleagues. Making weird connections that turn out to bear fruit, and doing it really fast, and having more ideas than I can use, are all things that I strongly suspect I find easier because I have ADHD. I’m an excellent teacher and mentor. I have a writing group to help me actually finish stuff and get it out the door.

The difficulties of ADHD, now that I know I have it, can be coped with. The advantages are not things I could get anywhere if they weren’t baked in to the way I see the world.

So do pay no attention to that old guy. Take your diagnosis, because it is useful, and use it to get meds and coaching. And get on with your lively, high-achieving, creative life.