I want to make my friends feel my adhd

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    • #142451

      (This is a long rant and I’m sorry) I’m in college now and I’m experiencing some friendship stuff I never have before. Back home, my best friends from pre-k to high school graduation all had adhd. I know I’m extremely lucky for that. We never had to explain what we were going through, and we never felt misunderstood by each other. Even when we mixed up words or accidentally said something misleading because our mouths put out words faster than our brain could process what we were thinking. We understood, we’d laugh with each other. Now in college, I’m getting the feeling that my friends see adhd as a personality trait instead of a disorder. they are never mean, they never make comments. They just can’t separate that some things I do are because I have adhd. For example, my impulsivity in speaking seems to come off as stupidity, or ditzy, or not really knowing what I’m talking about. Or my auditory processing issues make me come off as spacey. I’ve never had to explain how I feel adhd before, and how it’s separate from who I am. and I think doing that could help them understand me better. But I really don’t know how to do that, I never have had to. It also doesn’t help that they’re all on the deans list and Im struggling to stay in school. They never rub it in my face or even think about comparing me to them. But I really feel misunderstood. My mom once told me about a study (she may have made it up to make me feel better) about a researcher who invited people who didn’t have adhd to a classroom. He over exaggerated noises and smells in the classroom, and taught the lesson at an incredibly fast pace and skipped around in sentences and in the material making the participants feel like they were missing valuable information. I haven’t been able to find this study since, but I would love to put my friends in that room. It doesn’t give much insight to how I feel outside of the classroom, but it would give them a glimpse. They’re on the deans list and I’m scraping by with C’s because accommodations are put out like a fake stepping stool to make us feel like we’re equal. No amount of extra time on exams or extra notes will make up for the fact that I have not had a professor that teaches the material in a way that gives me any kind of a chance. Instead I spend hours trying to teach it to myself or shell out on student tutors but they can’t really teach either. I want them to know how many times I have been corrected and accused of not knowing how to talk because my brain just doesn’t understand words the same way, or spits them out faster than I can figure out what I’m saying. I have to fight off my depression and anxiety every to have a shred of self confidence that I am not what my adhd makes me look like. That’s a really new development too. And I don’t know what to say. Nothing has happened with them that would make it relevant to bring up. I just want to feel understood.

    • #142914

      First, I get that non-ADHD people don’t understand unless they are around someone else. It sucks being overwhelmed and misunderstood, not having anyone to turn to. Hopefully you have at least someone there who clicks and gets you.

      I can’t offer much in terms of getting help from classes, but have you tried talking to the professors for help?

      Take some time and focus on yourself too. You’re not in the same situation, so just keep your expectations realistic and don’t compare yourself.

    • #143069
      Dr. Eric

      Although I understand your frustration, folks that don’t live it won’t know.
      Trying to get them to feel it feels like you will be setting yourself up for disappointment.
      I would be searching for professionals, especially ones that can facilitate groups for you.

      A good peer group counseling session is where you find people who live and feel it.

    • #143240
      Penny Williams

      This article on telling people about the diagnosis and breaking stigma could help with discussions with your friends.

      Coping With the Stigma of ADHD

      ADDitude Community Moderator, Parenting ADHD Coach & Author, Mom to teen w/ ADHD, LDs, and autism

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