ADHD at Work
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How to Help Your Boss Help You

Stay focused and boost productivity at work by communicating your ADHD needs to your supervisor. From working in teams to complimenting success, here are Dr. Hallowell's best tips.

4 Comments: How to Help Your Boss Help You

  1. First of all, hiding is the reason neurotypical people don’t understand ADHD. Secondly, ADHD is NOT a mental illness, it’s a disability protected by ADA in the United States.

    Secondly, my current boss IS one of my best friends, but even if she wasn’t, I would still talk to at least HR, who is legally bound to accommodate your disability in a more confidential manner, should you not want your peers to understand why you have a slightly different skillset than them.

    Being 42 myself, I was just diagnosed with ADHD this year and OMGOSH what a difference it had on my self-esteem and understanding of the world and how to get along in it.

    Being an ADHD person means I have skills others do not, and my obstacles are different somewhat, but honestly, EVERYONE has skills and struggles, regardless of how their brain is weird.

    I’m so sorry you had such toxic work environments where people acted like toddlers. I have experienced that also, but I quickly found a new job and refused to live like that. As an engineer, I highly doubt you couldn’t do the same, having a job that is high in demand.

    Lastly, people with neurodivergent brains should learn as much as they can and teach others. Communication is important to break stigmas like this!

    Remember: you are worthy, you are smart, you are amazing when allowed to work in a way that allows you to shine!

    TO THE AUTHOR: THANK YOU! This is very helpful for anyone working in a professional work environment 😊

  2. Whether the “boss” is male or female or many persons is a silly argument that completely misses MAIN the point: a “boss” by definition is someone who dangles a sword of Damocles over your career. He/she has the the choice of hiring you, firing you, demoting you, denying you a raise or just plain making you so miserable that you will want to quit.

    Even worse, if you should be so reckless as to out yourself, your peers will look at you askance and you will eat alone in the company cafeteria, a reprise of 6th Grade. Everyone has a jealous peer. How so? You’re probably younger, smarter, better educated or you support a political candidate that they despise. Get real! These people will trash talk you all over the office.

    In my 42 year career I have never seen a boss that cuts any slack with any employee who seems to have a mental illness. At the risk of repeating myself (go re-read my post above) the “boss” will check out the DSM-5 and assume the worst about you. This will not be good for your career!

    Gang members who just got busted understand their Miranda rights and don’t say anything. You too have your Miranda rights, plus HIPAA and no law requires that you out yourself. In my employment history I’ve seen it happen to many coworkers: one big mistake + a suspected type of mental illness = You’re fired!

  3. Your boss is not your friend! No law compels you to reveal highly personal health information, so why would you? Why even start an argument that could have a disastrous outcome for you? Why start a fight if you don’t want a fight? If you need help, get help but just STFU about it. It’s nobody else’s business.

    If you admit guilt about your ADD, you WILL regret it! Gang members in handcuffs don’t start blabbing unless they are stupid. Coworkers will look askance and conflate manic-depressive with unpredictable and maybe even dangerous and unstable. Your jealous peers will weaponize this info, and to your detriment.

    Your boss will scan the internet and assume that you check all the boxes: that you are a closet drug user and an alcoholic; that you have a frightening proclivity to blurt out something stupid in a critical customer-facing meeting.

    I always worked at for-profit companies. These places are run by hard-ass dudes to whom the only thing that matters is the bottom line. They have 0 tolerance for mistakes and/or missed deadlines. I’ve had a successful 42 year career as an engineer and I did not get there by being reckless or stupid.

  4. I don’t like seeing “the boss” represented in only male language. Why not use the wonderful option we have in the English language of writing “them”?

    Thanks for the input though, when I found the energy to not distract myself more from the fact, that a boss has to be a “him”, I enjoyed reading that article by Mr Hallowell!

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