My brother and father are being insensitive towards my condition.

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    • #83688

      I’m a 20-year-old male. I recently just discovered that there is a very high possibility that I have ADHD-PI. I broke the news to my family. I’m going to the doctor in a week to talk about this. Yesterday I was out with my father and older brother. We were driving through an empty parking lot at an abandoned supermarket, and my brother goes, “This will be the perfect area for you to practice driving. Do you want to do it now?” I said, “I want to speak to my doctor first about ADHD before I do anything else.” My dad and my brother go, “What the hell does ADHD have to do with you learning how to drive?” I’m 20 years old and still don’t have a driver’s license.

      That goes to show that they know nothing about the disorder. I have driven in the past, but I never felt comfortable driving because I don’t pay attention that well and I have a hard time processing everything at once. My brother told me, “You’ve driven in the past and you didn’t do a bad job.” I said, “But I have a hard time paying attention. If I have ADHD I believe it interferes with my ability to focus. I believe once I start treatment I can do better.”

      I told them, “Don’t be insensitive towards my issues.” My brother goes, “You’re acting like a p%^&*!” I said, “Whatever.” Because I’m expressing how I feel and in touch with my emotions, I’m a p%^&*? My dad and my brother said, “If it turns out you have ADHD, you can’t use that as a crutch or an excuse. You have to take control of it and not let it run your life. You think anyone out here is going to give a fuck you have ADHD?”

      I told them, “I know I can’t let it run my life, but let me just go to the doctor first and go from there.” My father says, “Going to the doctor isn’t everything. The doctor is a licensed professional, but he’s still human. He can’t read your mind. He’s only going to go off what you tell him. The doctor is there to help you, but your the one that’s going to have to do most of the work.” You think I don’t know that? I was just trying to tell them to just be a little more sympathetic and supportive towards my decisions and my problems.

      I also told them about how I use the internet to do a lot of research and ask for advice. My dad and brother both said, “Stay off the internet and social media. That doesn’t represent real life. It’s toxic.” I disagree. I don’t have any friends so I have no one to vent to my problems that occur inside of my home. I use the internet a lot to ask for advice to speak to people outside of my home who went through or are going through the same or similar things I’m going through or are just understanding towards me. We live in the era of technology and the internet. So why not use it? Am I wrong for asking the internet for advice?

    • #83741

      People who have not been around ADHD much don’t really “get it.” That’s why it’s called a hidden disability. I have a friend w a neurological clumsiness, including a “scissors ” gait and balance problems; people are constantly trying to coach her to “do better,” telling her she “needs to practice,” even though she will never be much better, no matter how much she practices. Similarly, when I learned how helpful a list can be — it seemed like magic! — a high EF friend looked at me w some disdain and said, “Of course!” (I need a list of steps to tidy my messy rooms.) Even teachers, who should know better, can be totally on the wrong wave length w their students w ADHD. I gave up trying to get friends and family to understand. My family thinks I am wallowing. Oddly enough, My truly good friends weren’t surprised at my diagnosis.

      There’s no reason you can’t learn to be a good driver. Kudos for recognizing how ADHD can interfere w that. And for ANY student driver, a large, empty parking lot is an excellent place to practice!

      Good luck.

    • #83754

      Hey @DCT2019,


      I’ve always noticed that family seems to think they have a licence to comment on things that anyone else would never dare. I’ve gotten, “You’re getting fat”, “Why are you wearing that?”, “When are you going to get married?”, “Your hair is going grey”. Seriously, there is something about family that just seems to make them say things they’d never even think of saying to a non-family member.

      I’ve even had family tell me to be stop talking when I was just having a conversation with someone and there wasn’t anything else going on.

      So, the point here is simple. Take family for what they are. You can choose your friends, you can decide where to go to college and where to work. But, you can’t pick your family.

      Regarding driving – you know what’s safe. You don’t have to explain it to anyone. If you want explain you don’t drive because of your ADHD, do so. If you just want to tell them your doctor told you not to drive, do that.

    • #83777
      Penny Williams

      You can try to enlighten non-believers, but, more often than not, they’re not open to changing their thinking:

      Enlightening an ADHD Non-Believer

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

    • #83790

      Hey there, I’m a 29 year old with ADHD and don’t have my driving license yet. Sounds like your family need to do some research. You are going to have a lot more battles with a lot more people over similar things like this so brace yourself. People will get pissed off with you because of a poor understanding of the condition, not because they are bad people. It’s not your responsibility to educate anyone about your disability, but printing off some information for your family for them to read in their own time might be a start. Just a word of warning though, just because you have ADHD does not mean you are not capable of making excuses. Bringing out the ADHD card when it is not relevant will further entrench ignorant people. So be honest with yourself when you have problems, and don’t fall into the trap of using your ADHD as an excuse for everything. Good luck 🙂

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