I'm sick of being told ADD is a crutch.

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    • #109154

      I got in a fight with my friend today because she thinks I use ADD as a crutch. I had been day dreaming about things I’d like to have if I was a millionare and thinking out loud when suddenly she turned on me and told me that I needed to stop talking about dreams because I wasn’t fixing my life now to make those dreams come true. She proceeded to list off all the things I should fix, like how I keep losing my keys or my wallet, how I forgot to take important paperwork to my office, or how my money is always scattered around the house. I told her I knew that those were issues I needed to fix but that it was hard to fix orginizational issues because of my ADD, and that I knew I could do it if I tried but it was very difficult for me. She didn’t seem to get it and just kept repeating about how I need to “keep all my things in one spot” or “just start making to-do lists”. And I honestly wanted to cry or just scream “I KNOW” because I do know. Honestly I could be a life coach based on knowledge alone because of how much research on productivity and orginization systems I’ve done, trying to “fix” myself.

      In the end I felt frustrated with my friend but I also hated myself because I felt like really all my problems with my ADD, depression, and anxiety really are my fault because I’m just not coping well.

      My mom also used to get on me about this. She always said I was not allowed to use ADD as an excuse if I got bad grades or didn’t turn school work in, she said those things were my own fault and I couldn’t write those off as things caused by ADD. So I guess I’m always just stuck between trying to be kind to myself and feeling like I’m never trying hard enough.

      Do you guys feel this way too sometimes?

    • #109162

      Many people won’t understand and there is not much you can do about it. Because of that, my ADD is very personal to me. I don’t talk about it with many people at all because I know they cannot understand. But I know. And knowing is helpful for me whether others understand or not.

      But yeah, I really don’t mention it…at all…ever. And I DEFINITELY don’t blame my shortcomings on it. (Even if it is 100% ADD’s fault)

    • #109163

      This is why I’m very apprehensive about talking about my problems and that I’m taking generic Concerta for A.D.D.
      The thing is, if you don’t have A.D.D./A.D.H.D you will never understand how difficult a seemingly super simple task is.
      Like in my case, taking the wheelie bin out to the curb on Thursdays (with exception for holidays) it’s ALWAYS on Thursdays, I have a weekly reminder set on my phones calendar and I even write a note and put it with my glasses before bed on Wednesday night, I will STILL forget half the time.
      Yes I feel the same, it’s so frustrating to be an adult and have someone treat you like a child because of their ignorance about a legitimate medical condition.

      • #113368

        Great post.
        I still forget the trash too—it makes me crazy. Funny enough, ours is Thurs too.

        I have an index card on a magnet that I’ll put on the door—and I still forget!
        In all fairness though, me & my husband can get away with skipping one trash day–so that’s a +

    • #109165

      Ya, I feel like one of the biggest challenges of ADD is that often it comes across as someone just being lazy. Like the garbage thing, most peole don’t understand that even routine things you do every week or everyday, even if you have tools to help you with it are sometimes easilly forgotten by people with ADD.

      I used to not talk about my ADD too, because growing up I was expected just too buck up and bear it and it was a source of shame. At this point though I’ve come a long way in trying to understand and forgive myself fo all the countless small mistakes I make, I just wish sometimes the people in my life would accept it too.

      Thanks yall for replying though, it’s nice to know some people out there get it. 🙂

    • #109462

      Firstly, I’m sorry you’re feeling this way and you’re not alone. I’ve felt like this many times. One thing I’ve been doing in the last year is not calling it ADHD. People assume that means I am just hyper and also on “legal meth” which is just wrong. Instead, if I feel the need to explain my symptoms I simply say “I have a neurological disorder and it makes it difficult for me to remember things/think clearly in distracting situations/regulate my emotions/whatever the symptom I’m struggling with is. Once I have explained that some ppl will pry more and I will tell then I have adhd. That seems to ALWAYS lead to more curious questions on their end. They are always surprised at how ADHD affects me in so many ways and it becomes an empowering moment for me.

      That’s my personal choice and everyone needs to decide for themselves if disclosing is appropriate but for me, it always makes me feel better. If someone chooses not to understand, especially if I call it a neurological disorder, then I assume they are uncompassionate twats.

    • #109469

      Wow. Do all of your “friends” suck the creativity and whimsy out of you?

      There are so many things about my life that would probably be better if I had this website to learn from at a much younger age. There are even things I “tried out” as a kid to make things work better, but Mom ridiculed me… You are learning! Application of the lessons takes time. We didn’t learn multiplication and division in a day, right? (Oh, egads!!)

      When I make a mistake I just say “Ooops” and move on. So the garbage gets taken out a day early once in a while. That’s much better than a day late frequently. Going to an appointment a day early? Better than a day late. The bigger booboos get louder Ooopses. I’m making that a word.

    • #109470

      I am very sorry for the struggle anyone with ADHD goes through. It really should be looked at as a neurological disorder as people would be more sympathetic to the struggles. My grown son has it and almost always fought treatment for it. He struggles many days because of it. We have a pretty strained relationship because he can treat people in very disrespectful terrible ways and his family gets frustrated with him not because of the symptoms but because of his refusal to get some kind of treatment to help reduce some of the symptoms.
      Fast forward and we are raising and adopted his son whom has very severe ADHD symptoms. We have learned a lot about ADHD through this journey. No one wants to be afflicted with these symptoms, life can be a daily struggle without effective treatment. Finding that treatment is also very difficult as what works for one person does not for the other. Lots of trial and error. We’ve talked about this with him since he was little and continue to teach him it is not his fault, he was born with a disorder that needs symptom management just like a person born with diabetes needs medication and dietary modifications. All we ask of him is that he keeps trying to manage his symptoms. We try to make resources available to him and not make a huge deal when there is a symptom that gets the best of him.
      I do feel for your struggles. Surround yourself by supportive people, rely on a friend that can tell you when your symptoms are getting the best of you and keep working on finding the best symptom management strategies for you. Find moments where you can just laugh and then pick yourself up and move on.

    • #109471

      Unless your friend has ADD or is an expert in the field, her comment is nothing more than an ignorant, c, cruel, insult. And,unless your friend is willing to educate herself on ADD and apologize, IMO, you need to drop her from your friend list.

    • #109474

      I can’t tell you how often I’ve felt this way, you are not alone! It always seems hardest when that unhelpful feedback is coming from someone close to us. For me it usually triggered a precipitous drop in mood and a fast downward spiral of self-hatred.

      I think this is one of the hardest communication objectives anyone can face: sharing your perspective/understanding with someone who’s brain functions fundamentally differently from yours. Try to remind yourself that it’s okay if you didn’t conquer that Herculean task, and you can try again.

      What helped me the most was learning how to clearly express my feelings (about what they said.) To learn how to do that, It took a few (difficult!) tries to kind of work together to “unpack” why they said what they said and why I felt the way I did about it. It was important to me that this person know that I felt hurt, even though they were probably just trying to help me. It takes a lot of vulnerability and trust to do that, so I know it’s not a great option in a lot of situations.

      It might help to talk more about how your brain works when it isn’t in the midst of conflict. Look for the times when your difference is a gift. Like when you find a fun and creative way to do something or solve a tough problem, remind your loved ones that THIS is what AD(H)D looks like too. Anytime sometime says, “I never thought of it that way!” You can say it’s because your brain works differently.

      Another thought: think about what would be a helpful alternative to these hurtful comments, and then communicate it. More than likely, loved ones want the best for us, and we can give them the tools to communicate in a way we better understand. But we have to show/tell/teach them these tools. My example is that my boyfriend would ask these questions that I perceived to be demeaning, like, “Is that what you’re doing now?” “Are you sure you want to…?” “Why aren’t you…?” And then I’d feel stupid and hurt and get angry at myself and we’d fight. Until I gave him an alternative: he clearly thought something different should be happening, so instead of asking a question with an obvious (to him) answer, I asked him to just say what was on his mind. So, “Are you going to be playing on your phone all day?” Became the much less judgemental “Babe, remember you said you would fold the laundry right when we got home.”

      Didn’t mean to write a novel here, sorry! I hope you can find something helpful in these comments.

    • #109476

      I’m sorry your friend is not understanding but it sounds to me like she cares but is coming across the wrong way. I’m 28 years old and my 4 best friends are like sisters to me. They say things like that to me but not in an aggressive or attacking way. Because we talk about my mental health frequently (I have ADHD) they help me manage all those small little things that I constantly forget. Not everyone is so understanding and I am forever grateful to be so lucky to have great friends. They have become very familiar to my day dreams and ideas. They know when to encourage me and when to tell me to step back. I trust them and their judgement enough. Try having a conversation with them and maybe even read some articles on this site together to show them this is a Neurological Disorder that unfortunately many people suffer from. True supportive friends will understand and love you no matter what.

      I am very vocal about my ADHD because my ADHD is not so easy to hide and I am not on medication right now. I am in weekly behavioral therapy even at my age and I find it very helpful. I am also going for retesting hopefully within the net 6 months. Also because I am a female with PCOS my hormones are are not fond of the medication treatment I was using. This makes my symptoms A LOT more noticeable if I don’t try to explain I end up feeling bad about myself.

      I read the other day a women in FL who is very vocal and open about her High Functioning Autism just passed the bar exam and was hired by a law firm. This is so awesome to me because Neurodivirsity in the work place needs to be recognized and especially in our school systems with all these children swimming upstream against the school systems.

      If you feel comfortable talking about your ADD I encourage you too. You will be judged people will say hurtful things but that isn’t because you are a bad person its because they will just never understand or care to understand what we go through. But everyone here who goes through the same we get it. Reach out to other people just as you did on here to make yourself feel less alone if you ever need too. <3

      • This reply was modified 2 years, 11 months ago by mlink078.
    • #109479

      This happens to me so often, or people hear me say I have ADHD and I get the old “squirrel!” joke. I have also been diagnosed with many symptoms of ASD and I know if I were to say I have a neurological disorder that causes x, y, z, they would treat it with more seriousness. I know ASD is on a spectrum, but I also know many of us share traits with those on the high end of that spectrum, yet we say we have ADHD and get jokes made, compared to someone who says they have ASD and it turns into a far more dignified conversation. Most people just don’t understand that ADHD permeates literally every area of your life, not just that you daydream or bounce off the walls with energy. I wish there were many more mainstream publications to give ADHD more of a voice so it will be taken seriously as a neurological condition.

    • #109484

      First of all why does your friend even care if you loose your keys, forget things at work, or have money laying around your house? How do these things directly effect her? Is she your boss/coworker, do you owe her money, do you call her and ask if she will help you look for your keys? If the answer is no, then I have to think that she is invited into these problems by you, in the form of your complaints and you are telling her and expecting sympathy. Not saying that it doesn’t stink to have ADHD, because it does, but is it your excuse for everything bad in your life? No one has a perfect life and ADHD is just one of many things that people struggle with and it can be your reason, but I challenge you not to use it as an excuse. It is empowering to have a label for the reasoning behind your executive function issues. Your choices are still your own, what is holding you back from implementing these things that you have researched?

      My husband, myself, and my 3 kids all have ADHD (some of us struggle more than others)…do we loose our keys? YES! Do we forget to take the packed lunch from the kitchen counter in the morning and have to eat almonds for lunch instead. Unfortunately yes! Have I forgotten my son had a birthday party to attend! EEK parenting fail, yes! Are these my ADHD’s fault, nope they are mine. Things happen, but because I make lists, pause at the door before I leave the house, keep a detailed calendar, and do a host of other things to keep me organized, they happen less than they could. I own all of my successes and failures. We do not allow the phrase “I can’t because I have ADHD.” Honestly it isn’t true…it might be harder, and you may have to adjust your idea of success, but you CAN do it!

      That being said:
      If your friend was just butting in, and your weren’t inconveniencing her or laying all of your sorrows on her then, yeah, drop her like a hot potato! 🙂

    • #109486

      We are unfortunately on the front lines of educating the public and health care system about ADD. Your “friend” is woefully uneducated about ADD!

      I find it most helpful to talk about it in comparison to diabetes. Everyone understands diabetes and knows that people with that problem cannot simply make their blood sugar mechanism work better by willing it to be so. Most people know that insulin injections or medication are often needed for someone with diabetes and won’t criticize them for taking it. I let people know that ADD is a deficit of neurotransmitters just as diabetes is a problem with insulin. I mention that while everyone has had low blood sugar at some time, people with diabetes can’t just fix it without outside help, and that it is like ADD. Most people have been unorganized or procrastinated at some time, but people with ADD can’t just “cowboy up” and fix it without outside help.

      I come from a family with ADD and so does my husband. We both are on medication for ADD (it makes a huge difference for us both even though we are very different in our presentations of symptoms) and 75% of our children are also diagnosed ADD and are on medication for it. It makes a night and day difference for them too. If we had both been diabetic, no one would question the diagnosis of our children, but because it is ADD I am often called names and told that I’m just trying to get everyone diagnosed as ADD. It hurts.

      We are 40 years behind understanding. Challenges like down syndrome have been recognized since 1960 and so they are well understood and recognized. Challenges like ADD are about 40 years behind them in recognition and understanding. Someday – 40 years from now – I hope that my efforts to educate people will have made an impact and that people with ADD will have much less difficulty than we do today. Until then, I’ll go on “preaching” (as my kids put it) the information about ADD whenever it becomes an appropriate piece of information to share. So many people with ADD struggle without any idea that it’s not their fault. I want to be part of the solution.

      Hopefully, someday people like your friend will be informed and understanding. Until then, know that you are NOT alone and that you are worth every bit as much as a neurotypical human being. If this friend of yours can’t become more educated and understanding then find a new friend! 😀

      Hang in there!

    • #109488

      One other thing, It’s good to remember that ADD is a spectrum so what is enough help for one person with ADD may not be at all enough help for another ADD person. Just like people with diabetes are varried in their treatment regimes, people with ADD also need specific and individualized treatment plans.

      As I was reading the comments for this post, I was sad to see some criticism and unsupportive comments. For one person, awareness and lists may be all that is needed, for another person that treatment may not be enough and medication may be necessary in addition to awareness and lists.

      Especially in and amongst ourselves as those with ADD, let’s remember to be supportive and helpful to each other. Don’t criticize another ADD person because the management and treatment that works for you isn’t enough for them. No one person has the same body and life as someone else. We are all unique! Allow each other to find the solution that works for them and be supportive! If we won’t help and support each other, who the heck will!!!!


      • #109489

        First, let me say that being told ADD is a crutch is pretty awful. But the example of the diabetic with the insulin about is perfect (at least for me). Of course, a diabetic can’t control their insulin through will alone. Of course they need the proper medication. But it isn’t the medicine alone the makes a diabetic healthy. They also have to be conscious of their lifestyle and their food choices – FOREVER.

        I have no problem with someone needing medication for ADD (or any other mental health for that matter). But the pill alone isn’t going to fix it. There also has to be lifestyle choices – lists, reminders, schedules, etc. Whatever works for the individual.

        I get frustrated when the person in my life with ADD says “I don’t feel like myself when I have to follow a schedule or set timers to keep track of time”. So they just DON’T DO IT and consequently time management is always a struggle and always an issue.

        A diabetic can have all the insulin they need, but a steady diet of snicker bars is going to catch up with them. The same way medication for ADD can help, but it won’t fix everything without other strategies being used as well. It isn’t a magic pill. There is still work to do and failure to do the work will have negative consequences.

    • #109496

      It happens to all of us. For me the most painful is if I’m in a relationship and am honest abt who I am. Than it’s used against you. I’m learning to become more private about my disorder. In my opinion you won’t get any support. Forget sympathy. It’s reserved only for physical diseases. Cancer. Hiv. and you get the idea. If you mention this too a person who doesn’t suffer you will be ridiculed. I spend so much time alone hiding from people I question my reality. Your Definitely not alone.👍🏽

    • #109498

      I had the biggest criticism from my sister. I’m not diagnozed but I’m working on getting tested. The whole thing is practically imposible in the place I live in.

      My sister berated me over these issues and the irony is that I think she has ADHD too because it’s in our genes. She’s hyperactive and she can’t be still and all the symptoms I read about H part of ADHD really shows on her. I want to talk to her about it I haven’t found a way to do it. I haven’t even told her that I think I have the disorder.

      Both our parents exhibit these symptoms but getting any medical help in this country is close to imposible.

      If ADD is 40 years behind other syndroms and disorders, my country is 40 years behind other country in any field including medical especially ADHD and neurological issues.

      The country is Serbia.

    • #109499

      People don’t understand ADD won’t go away if you try harder. It isn’t a lack of effort. Extra effort makes it worse. it causes stress, which makes it harder to concentrate, and whatever it is you are struggling with in the first place, gets that much harder. You are likely already trying way too hard, at something that isn’t natural for you to do.

      Most of us do better without Judgments of others making noise in the background. It is like poking a fire with a stick and watching the sparks fly, again and again. Things we struggle with are easier with support and encouragement.
      Tell the crutch people to try that instead of the crutch nonsense. If you tell them to stop doing it, and give them something else to do instead, they will try it or they won’t. If they won’t, once you are sure they won’t, you will know what works, what doesn’t, and what to do. Just my two cents. Advice is easy to give. it is much harder to be in your situation. Good luck

    • #109502

      Always when people don’t have the illness or disability that plagues someone else they don’t understand how hurtful they can be. They should educate themselves and if not just stay quiet because they’re just hurting people.❤️🇨🇦🙏🏻

    • #109503

      I have a friend I game with and every time something goes wrong and it is because of him, He will say I’m ADHD and I come from a broken home. He does use it as a crutch but not in every situation.

      My family just started this thing where once a month they meet to have lunch. It’s my mom, her cousin from her dad’s side, another cousin from her mom’s side, my aunt (her sister), and me with or without my kids. Yesterday was a lunch day, My mom was talking about how my aunt loses EVERYTHING, how she is so disorganized and forgetful. I know this frustrates my mom very much as she has said if my head wasn’t screwed on so tight I would lose it too. I don’t think there is any explaining to them how difficult it can be. My mom says that it needs to be made into a habit for it to work and last. I have done that, set up a great organization, found places for things and I will still absentmindedly set my phone down and have no idea where I put it 5 seconds later. I don’t think my mom is neurotypical, I know she struggles with some executive functioning.

      • #109505

        That’s the hardest part. I tried lists, memos and all that stuff and the irony is I forget where I put my list. I was going to some concentration therapy as a kid and when I was coming home I forgot the backpack at that place.

    • #109507

      Me too. Or that I use it as an excuse. Or that it’s not a real condition. Or that people just take pills for everything these days.

      I wish I had a positive response for you, but I don’t. I’ve learned never to even mention it.

      And I agree with you, I could just lose my mind if I hear one more person tell me that I wouldn’t lose my keys so often if I would just always put them in the same spot. “Really Mom? Damn! I have NEVER even thought of that.”.

      Yes. I would make lists and then forget them, or lose them.

      I do feel that way all of the time anymore. I’ve pretty much just given up. I have come to the conclusion that the intense effort that I put into trying to overcome my problems rarely makes much, if any difference.

      Technology has helped me a lot. I’ve learned to e-mail myself things like passwords and text myself my grocery lists. Paying bills used to be a nightmare for me. If I could find the bill, I couldn’t find an envelope. When I found an envelope, I couldn’t find a stamp. By the time that I found or just went out and bought new stamps, I had then lost the bill or the envelope again. Thankfully, I can find and pay all of my bills online these days.

      It aint easy being me and I have become depressed about it all, when I’m not usually the type of person to get depressed. I am almost 60 years old now and I feel like I am just exhausted from my ADHD. I don’t care anymore. I have done the best that I could and things aren’t much better.

    • #109512

      My son lost a friend for the same reason. He’s an actor/writer/produce and puts everything he has into it and it’s exhausting but it’s something he loves and no matter how scattered he gets he keeps on pushing through.Even family members have said he just uses it as an excuse to not do things or to be late but I stand up to them and say” What if you had a condition that your brain wouldn’t work the way you wanted,would you like people to put you down, NO!” Stand stron everyone, millions support you ❤️🇨🇦🙏🏻

    • #109514

      I”m sorry your friend is so judgmental and ignorant.

      Basically her advice boils down to “be neurotypical, like me!” Which unfortunately is the same advice in the majority of self-help books and organizational systems.

      Which is, when you think about it, a really, really stupid thing to say. Like, “Hey quit using this excuse, you just need to rewire your brain and be a different person!”

      Gee, thanks, that’s so helpful. /sarcasm

      Now, on the other hand I have a bit more sympathy for your mom. I feel like maybe she meant something like, we all have to take responsibility for getting our stuff done, and using our tools and adaptations to make it happen. But it sounds like you weren’t getting the guidance and emotional support you needed to find your own way of succeeding. That stinks.

      You do get to choose who you get to spend time with and how you allow them to treat you. Please don’t feel like you need to sit around and let people berate you. Especially when they have zero clue what they’re talking about.

      Having ADD, anxiety and depression is not your fault. You need to be around people who lift you up, not beat you down.

      Daydreaming is awesome. It’s free, harmless, lifts your mood and helps you find creative ideas and problemsolving. And now you know that this friend is not somebody you can daydream with.

      Very sad. Her loss.

    • #109516

      It’s amazingly unfortunate how society puts us in the position of defending ourselves.

      I hate this disease. I get mad at people who criticize those of us with ADD/ADHD. I get mad because I’m jealous. I am jealous of the people who don’t have this disorder. I am jealous that I can’t do normal things. I get mad at people who take normalcy for granted.

      I don’t live in a state of anger. frustration or hatred. Those are the feelings that come about when the subject of criticism is brought up.
      If the person who is criticizing me matters to me. I will tell them something to this effect… Criticize me for something I can fix. If I tell you I can’t fix it then be respectful enough to take my words as true and either stop criticizing me or get informed.

      Like the rest of us no one has a quick fix or a permanent solution. I just hope that my words might help another that’s in the same type of situation I’m in.


      Edit: I wanted to add that I am 48. For the majority of my life I have felt obligated to educate people about my disorder. It’s taken me until this year to stop doing that. People forget that we are just one person. They ask us to educate them but forget that everyone in our lives expects us to educate them. It’s overwhelming and not our responsibility. At 48 years old I finally accepted that I can’t fix myself. I hope that gives me a little bit of freedom and normalcy.

      • This reply was modified 2 years, 11 months ago by Fluteknees.
      • This reply was modified 2 years, 11 months ago by Fluteknees.
      • This reply was modified 2 years, 11 months ago by Penny Williams.
      • #113351

        You know, it’s very interesting that you say you’re jealous of people who don’t have ADHD. I’m the same age as you but diagnosed late. I can’t imagine being jealous of “the normals.”

        I would rather deal with every single problem my ADHD brain causes than be trapped in a vanilla brain that could only think about one thing at a time. That sounds like pure hell.

        Normals have their own problems, I wouldn’t trade for the world.

    • #109517

      I have a friend who I love dearly. She always told to “get over myself”. One day I had it and asked if she would suggest that someone in a wheelchair to just get up and walk. We had a long talk and she got tearful and apologized. She said that she was frustrated because she couldn’t help me. Anyone who isn’t personally living with ADD and becomes pedantic is like putting a bandaid on a bullet wound. Holier than thou can be cruel unless, like my friend, there’s a heart behind it. I am certain that I’m much older than many here and wasn’t officially diagnosed until my late thirties. I have a hard time with meds because my mouth gets very dry so I take Adderall (have tried them all)as needed. I ca empathize with all ADD sufferers.

    • #109520

      I have a friend who I love dearly. She always told to “get over myself”. One day I had it and asked if she would suggest that someone in a wheelchair to just get up and walk. We had a long talk and she got tearful and apologized. She said that she was frustrated because she couldn’t help me. Anyone who isn’t personally living with ADD and becomes pedantic is like putting a bandaid on a bullet wound. Holier than thou can be cruel unless, like my friend, there’s a heart behind it. I am certain that I’m much older than many here and wasn’t officially diagnosed until my late thirties. I have a hard time with meds because my mouth gets very dry so I take Adderall (have tried them all)as needed. I can empathize with all ADD sufferers.

    • #109530

      I can relate and I too feel so angry at the illness. I have recently been diagnosed and I’m in my 40s. I have lost several jobs as a result of this stupid illness. Sure, now when I reflect on my childhood — I can see where I already had symptoms.

      I feel so much shame. I know how to deal with the anger and shame. But, I’m so confused on how to move forward with the illness. I’m merely trying to organize my closet following helpful suggestions by Susan Pikett (sp?). But I wish I had a friend with whom I can talk to. I feel so alone in trying to sort out strategies to improve productivity etc with this illness etc.

      How can ADD be a crutch when you have to do so much work to manage it ?

    • #109531

      Do you think asking her to be a “body double” could help you organize a few things at home & help her understand how routine things AREN’T routine. Maybe “acknowledging” that you do need help in certain areas, instead of saying “I can’t because of ADHD”. Talking to her & recruiting her to your side might help bridge the gap. Maybe ask her to post a couple reminders to you for an event, or help “finish/cleanup” an event or projects with you, or whatever you do together Pre-plan, divide your tasks based on your strengths & ask her help where needed. Someone mentioned Habits/routines. You may need to hire someone to help you set up systems to support your needs, but ultimately, you have to do your work also & know when to ask for help. It is very difficult to establish routines, but the more you practice “starting” each habit, the longer you sustain it until it becomes self-sustaining!

      • #109552

        You know, the thing about “just keeping at the habit until it sticks” is kind of a double-edged sword.

        Persistence is key, yes. But I find in my own life that there are some routines I simply never habituate to. I can keep at it for weeks or months, and the second something derails me (illness, a family emergency, some disruption outside my control) it just vanishes. There’s no baseline to go back to, It’s like I never had the habit to begin with. I have to put in all the conscious effort to rebuild the routine from the beginning.

        That’s the thing I’ve had to make peace with: some things just don’t stick. On the one hand, it’s frustrating. On the other hand, that puts me in “starting over” and “learning” mode, which I do enjoy.

    • #109548

      Ok, I really sympathise because I’m married to someone who likes things run like a well oiled machine, it’s like being married to the enemy. I even got ridiculed and gaslighted habitually before I found out I had Aspergers with ADHD and guess what, even now that he knows I’ve got no breaks, I’ve just learned to draw more boundaries because otherwise my brain will be running on fumes and I’ll have a meltdown. I began to document like crazy to deal with the gaslighting and his behaviour towards me has improved considerably. As for friends, like one of the other commenters remarked, how does it matter to her if you’re doing all the small tasks, the only person harmed here is you. The only way I got happier was when I figured it’s better to be alone than be dragged down by judgy friends, regardless of any condition you have. I’m not saying go cold turkey and ban her form your life or anything, but draw boundaries, they’re going to keep you sane.

    • #109621

      Its amazing how we all are on the same page.
      But I do want to bring out that as much as ADD is a real challenge using it as a crutch would basically mean you are doing nothing about it, this friend of yours obviously does not understand ADD but it is our job to not hide behind it and try everything in the world to help us with this challenge. THATS NOT A CRUTCH!!!!!!!!!!!
      If you are doing nothing about it and only complaining about your challenges and not seeking help then that can definitely be defined as using ADD as a crutch.

    • #109659

      All my life, my parents, my wife and friends have criticized me because of my ADHD symptoms. The fact is that I was only diagnosed 3 years ago! Before then, everyone thought that I could improve my performance at school, work or at home by just “trying harder”. Now they know that it doesn’t work that way!

      y advise is to educate those around you about the symptoms of ADD/ADHD, so that they won’t try and correct you all the time. Along with that, it sounds like your friends and family need to show a little more compassion, given your issues with ADD.

      wish you all the best.

    • #113261

      Your friend needs some education, but it makes sense that they say these things. ADHD, to the neurotypical mind, is a confusing and poorly understood thing. I like the above mentioned comparison to diabetes, and I might use that if anyone ever asks how my ADHD affects me.

      I’ve been learning for a while not to try and use my ADHD as an excuse. I always use it as the reason for why something was lost/forgotten/missed, but I will then turn around and start fixing it because I know that my actions were what caused the problem. Unfortunately, my own wife (separated from her now, unfortunately) always saw my behaviors as excuses for why I didn’t get something done. No matter how hard I explained something to her, nothing could get her past calling my ADHD an excuse.

      Don’t ever change who you are. But if your own struggles are bothering you, medication and therapy are effective (they are for me anyways). Remember: sticky notes can be your best friend. Take it easy.

    • #113358

      Since I was diagnosed with ADHD over three years ago, I have come to see how my mental condition is actually a very positive thing in my life. Since I’m now age 71 and retired, I don’t have to worry as much about how people at work react to my ADHD symptoms now. I’m divorced and live alone, so I don’t have the partner issues any longer. And since everyone’s ADHD is a little different, I simply try my best to cope with my condition in public, at church or with the volunteers I work with in my community. Most of my family and friends know of my condition and what the symptoms are (thank you Facebook!), so there is somewhat of a general understanding among them.

      An example of how ADHD has probably been a positive thing in my life, I find that I can hyperfocus on a project to my advantage and then pop out mentally when needed much easier than others.

      I also wanted to add that I am grateful for all the great articles I have read over the past three years from doctors and other professionals about the ADHD condition in the ADDitude community. Keep up the good work, guys & gals!

      • #127699

        Hi–I’m just wondering how/why you see our condition as a positive. This is brought me nothing but frustration and I would appreciate hearing a different spin on this. Thank you! Lori

      • #127700

        Look at it as a super power. There are a lot of things my ADHD gets in the way of but there is also a lot of things I can do and a lot of problems i am able solve with with way my brain works. I am able to look at things and see things from different points and perspectives. This has been a key tool in problem solving at work for me. Also, this allows me to get past any “road blocks” in my life. I am always able to find a way to over come, adapt, or evolve based on the life situation I am facing.

    • #113369

      One of my go-to’s for people who think ADHD is a crutch or fake, is to tell them it’s a neurodevelopmental disorder that can be proved in Spect scans. Our brains do not function like other people. Also, a friend that doesn’t understand you….hmmmmm, not cool.

    • #113485

      It can be stressful to keep having those ‘you need to fix your issues’ talk because it feels like they’re not listening or helping much.Only my best friend would ask, how can things be made easier for you? How do you remember things?

      I told my teachers that I’m a visual learner who remember things like photo screenshot and pictures, so I had a lot of issues following verbal instructions or digesting text information that are not visual enough,which are hard to remember. They may think I forget a lot of things but sometimes I can’t find the word in my brain to link it and explain it when I see myself doing something wrong in the kitchen. So I need to ask them what is the key word,like temperature.

      Sometimes I use sound and touch to remember things instead of in words ‘remember to bring keys’. I have a little routine when I pack my things the night before or before I go out – jingle keys and pat my pocket to check that the bus card and wallet are there.

      It may be true that what your friend suggested may not work for you – but you may have a less frustrating conversation if you can also highlight some examples of what you remember and how. Maybe it’s easier for you to remember one thing at a time or reduce the number of things you need to do that day. It’s not that you don’t understand English, but what if thinking in words is harder and tiring for you compared to others?

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