Opening up to neurotypicals about ADHD/ASD

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    • #103913
      Sam k

      I was assessed a couple weeks back and am being referred to either an adhd/asd specialist depending on which pathway will get me seen in the shortest time (although the waiting lists in UK are long so will have to grit my teeth! Managed to get through all these years a few more months isn’t going to kill me.
      Been to see GP’s , counsellors, psychologists, psychiatrists, tried antidepressants which I learned at the meeting don’t work on ADHD/ ASD.
      This time was different, the assessor was able to identify my problems as I emailed her beforehand explaining all the difficulties I have on a daily basis. So when I turned up for a 45 minute meeting with her, she told me 5 minutes in that it was adhd and asd but she couln’t make an official diagnosis as she wasn’t a doc.
      I have confided in 5 family members so far and 5 friends, I’m already regretting it as I’ve received mixed reactions. Overall I think they don’t really get it. 1 person said the meds will dumb me down. Another said she has all of that, it’s probably hormones and growing older. I am starting to get worried And thinking the fewer people who know the better for me.

      What do you think, should I just hang On until I speak to the specialists or maybe look for a local support group when I do receive an official diagnosis?

      Is it a bad idea to tell neurotypicals?

    • #103925

      Um, yeah, I’ve had similar reactions neurotyps, some don’t care while others have started heated arguments.
      It’s a mine field, the annoying ones are, “oh yeah I have that, I’m a little ADHD from time to time”.
      Ugh, either you have it or you don’t, it’s not an “occasional “thing.
      I really hate the deniers, “it’s just a made up disease by the drug companies” oh really? I did not know there are pharmaceutical companies that have been around since 1775, when the first time an ADHD condition was written about.
      As long as there’s prejudice there’s always going to be stigma, so I pretty much don’t tell anyone unless I know them really well, and they can be an adult and have an intelligent discussion about it.
      I’ve been thinking of finding a support group, one my area, it’d be nice to actually talk face to face with people like us, with similar experiences and share ideas.

    • #103933

      Well, hello there fellow UK person!

      Yeah, I’m not surprised that you’ve received a bad reaction, based on my own experiences, and based on research I’ve done since. I’ve, so far, told my Dad, Brother, Mother, Fiancee, Boss, and Father-in-Law (to be), and two or three friends. For various reasons, my Mother-in-Law (to be) knows, too. The only wholly supportive responses I’ve had have been from the friends (who I’ve known for donkey’s years) and my Fiancee and Brother.

      The largest issue I find is that so many people only have a vague idea of what ADHD looks like, and no clue about the underlying causes. You could have a little fun with some people and explain that you think you have ‘executive function disorder’, and explain it the same way you explain your adhd symptoms. I can pretty much guarantee you’d get a better response because it’s an ‘off-brand’ condition, if you like 😛

      But enough joking for now. I wouldn’t ever call it a bad idea to tell people, generally. But, perhaps try to be more discerning with who you tell. And make sure you have the facts about ADHD clear in your head. That it’s caused by insufficient dopamine production in the brain, which causes issues with executive function (the thing that allows you to prioritise tasks, information, and concentration). While you can mitigate it with techniques, practices, and habits, that doesn’t work for everybody, and you MAY need meds. No, they won’t rob you of your creativity or intelligence, and if they SEEM to, then you’re on the wrong medication, and need to try a different one. As for your friend who says she shares the same thing, explain that there’s a difference between forgetting to call someone every now and again, and forgetting something you’re told in the time it takes to pull out a chair, or open the fridge. Everyone loses their keys, but do they ever lose theirs three times a week? If they do, then they should probably look into getting tested, too.

      At the end of the day, despite what a lot of people seem to think, getting diagnosed is not the ‘end point’, after which your life is effectively over. Instead, it’s the beginning of your BEST POSSIBLE life, where the issues you face that make things harder for you than for others hopefully start to get solved, and you can get along with being the you you actually want to be, rather than the you you have to put up with as a fact of being alive.

      If you have a teacher or close friend who you would trust to support you, I’d recommend confiding in them while you go through this process, and then later on taking your diagnosis to the naysayers and telling them where to stick their condescension. Read up on how ADHD ACTUALLY works, and what meds ACTUALLY do, so that you can correct anyone who tells you utter rubbish, and if they don’t like it, tell them to go do their own research, or shut the hell up and leave you alone. At the end of the day, as you know, ADHD is very much real, medication CAN be very effective in helping the symptoms, and your struggles are not as simple as ‘occasionally being a little ditzy, and just need to write more things down’. Writing down obligations and appointments doesn’t do shit if you forget the piece of paper you wrote them on even exists.

      Sorry, I’ve ranted, and I’ve maybe been a little more crass than I normally would. I’m sharing quite a few of your frustrations currently, particularly with my boss. I hope things go well for you, fellow British person.

      TL:DR- You can tell whoever you like, their responses depend on how much they know and understand. Educate yourself so you can protect yourself against the naysayers.

    • #103938

      Hello! Newly diagnosed ADHD and 30 here. Well I want to go to a psychologist now but sadly the US insurance sucks and have to wait till next year to get it. For now i was doing the bad thing of just letting everyone know, and some have a blank stare or just do the “ohh ok”. Luckily my family has been supportive and gets it. But I’ve been through enough in my life so far ((2) herniated discs from 15-22, dislocated same knee cap (2) years apart, perm nerve damage in leg) to at this point give a crap anymore. It still bugs me and it always creeps in my mind like most, (15) versions of the same event before it happens.

      I’ve always had two ways of looking at things and its either been mope and sit around or find a way out and better myself. Again this is just a combination of years of influence and coping mechanisms as I’ve had severe depression and anxiety. Everyone’s ADHD is different.

      I think the easiest way to put it for some, are antidotes. Put things in the perspective of the person. If they are techy, explain to them that your brain is like a computer. You have the newest parts, but the memory and processor are old. So it cant support the output of the always increasing RAM. (something like that, might of gotten it backwards but you get the drift)
      Or a general that people seem to get more, is that you have a line of thoughts. Each thought carries its own weight in problems. Sadly for you, they are getting tired of waiting and getting mad. Now the bouncer (Executive Function) having a hard time trying to figure out which person (problem) to pat down and make sure is OK to come through.
      Last one is you have X amount of people inside your head all talking at once and your brain cant process and focus on just one. There’s always something else said that distract from the original (that was sound more crazy then i meant it to but whatever).
      My Therapist has told me I’ve been giving her great antidotes so figured I’d share

      Only you know you. So if it gives you a bad feeling and you’re seeing for yourself maybe its not something that can be embraced. That’s ok, I’m thanking the stars for websites like this. Taken me out of some really dark places and same with the community of people with ADHD.

      Also @Spaceboy I think its an ADHD thing. Im always ranting and chatty haha.

      TLDR I agree with Spaceboy haha

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