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The DESIRE to Manage Your ADHD

Five important steps for getting started on the path to managing your ADHD.

10 Comments: The DESIRE to Manage Your ADHD

  1. Since my diagnosis, I have found this website to be a source of valued information, comfort, and community. I hold a lot of respect ADDitude; however, the insensitive viewpoint shared in the “Individual Responsibility” section left me feeling deeply hurt. Yes individual responsibility is a HUGE part of ADHD, but article’s take on it only promotes shame. Saying ADHD isn’t debilitating and advising readers to “stop whining” is not constructive! Every adhd experience is unique, and some people just don’t have the ability to “deal with it” on willpower alone. For me, a necessary step towards taking responsibility of my life was accepting that my ADHD is real and DOES make things harder. You can stop the cycle of self-blame for “not being normal” and make peace with your symptoms. Then you’ll be able to manage your life around your adhd.

  2. ADDitude – What? Have you been taken over by ADHD deniers?

    It’s beyond ironic that the article is attributed to nameless editors, rather than a named individual – NO ONE WANTED TO TAKE >>INDIVIDUAL RESPONSIBILITY<< FOR WRITING THIS!!

    I am shocked and appalled to read this article, with the horrible paragraph on "individual responsibility," on this site, where I have received so much good information. The rest of the article is okay, although it would certainly not stand out among the thousands of motivational articles on the internet and in books. But WHINING about being disabled? Seriously? I am literally sitting here with my mouth open in disbelief that I read that on a site for people with ADHD and those who support them.

    Sure, everyone needs to take individual responsibility. But stop whining? About having a disorder with impact on all areas of life?

    If this author truly has ADHD, he/she appears to be in the phase of denial of its impact, and has no empathy for others who have it.

  3. “I get tired of hearing people whine about how they are ‘disabled.'”
    It’s disappointing to see blatant ableism in an article on managing a chronic disability. Would you tell a person that uses a wheelchair to stop “whining” about being disabled? Disabilities don’t need to be physical to be valid. ADHD looks completely different from person to person and even from day to day in the same person. If it isn’t disabling to you, that doesn’t mean others aren’t disabled by their ADHD. Please consider hiring writers with empathy for others and avoid publishing articles that promote ableism in the future.

  4. “Stop blaming everyone else” ??? My entire life I’ve felt shame and blamed myself. Why would it be assumed that people newly diagnosed with ADHD are blaming others? Most everyone with ADHD that I’ve talked to or read about are struggling with self blame, and are working hard to understand themselves with this newfound information. They’re not whining and blaming others.
    And to speak frankly, I quickly grew tired of the authors unfeeling squawk implying they think people with ADHD should shut up and deal with it because it’s not that bad. Why is the author writing about ADHD if they don’t fully understand how ADHD can impact one’s life? Are they not aware of the number of comorbidities? And yes, having a negative attitude does not help but neither does the author’s aggressive lack of empathy.

    It’s bad enough that this person writes for your ADHD magazine, please tell me they don’t work with people with ADHD or anyone else who needs assistance.

  5. While there is truth in the following paragraph at the bottom of this comment, the way it’s delivered and the language it uses sounds incredibly ableist. It’s sad coming from a site that purports to help.

    This line is especially bothersome: “The Attention Deficit Disorder is not nearly as debilitating as the ever steady whine of Attitude Deficit Disorder.”

    WOW, honestly this sentence disgusts me and MANY others with this disorder. They are talking about it online and pretty much everyone agrees.

    I feel like that sentence is especially problematic for those diagnosed later in life (statistically higher to be WOMEN), who haven’t had the assistance of medication or guidance on handling the issues, and have been told by others and their own inner voices that they just don’t try hard enough, are lazy, are irresponsible, are losers, are stupid, or just don’t care. Try having a lifetime of that experience and then get back to me about how we just need to “take responsibility”.

    Not until getting on meds at 51 have I been able to finally implement many of the tips and lessons I tried to learn for so very long, and “take responsibility.”

    HOW THE HECK IS SOMEONE SUPPOSED TO TAKE RESPONSIBILITY WHEN THEY’VE NOT KNOWN UNTIL LATER IN LIFE???!!! Also, the struggle to get approved for medication, later in life, is REAL!!! Without meds it was infinitely harder for me to try to do the things that help with the issues.

    Check yourselves!!!

    That paragraph sounds like it was written either by – someone who has a “mild case” of ADHD, is a “professional” who doesn’t even have it, someone who does but has had the luxury of early diagnosis, treatment, and tools, or someone who is bitter. Please do better, because this is gross.

    “Individual Responsibility
    Stop blaming everyone else and take a good hard look at yourself. Take responsibility.

    Speaking frankly, as a person who has ADHD, I get tired of hearing people whine about how they are “disabled.” The Attention Deficit Disorder is not nearly as debilitating as the ever steady whine of Attitude Deficit Disorder. Yes, you have a disorder. So do I. Deal with it.

    Take some responsibility. Do your best to do what needs to be done. When you screw up, admit it, deal with it, and go on. Teaching a child that their ADHD excuses them from any consequences of their actions only handicaps the child.

    Treatment for ADHD can help, but medication alone won’t make you pay your bills on time. Being responsible means finding some way of meeting your obligations and commitments.”

  6. I find it disappointing that the authors – the ADDITUDE editors – did not acknowledge the diversity of experiences amongst people with ADHD in the following paragraph under Individual Responsibility:

    “Stop blaming everyone else and take a good hard look at yourself. Take responsibility. Speaking frankly, as a person who has ADHD, I get tired of hearing people whine about how they are “disabled”. The Attention Deficit Disorder is not nearly as debilitating as the ever steady whine of Attitude Deficit Disorder. Yes, you have a disorder. So do I. Deal with it.”

    This isn’t my experience. I lived the first 27 years of life undiagnosed. I always put in in 110% effort but still got called “lazy”, “disorganized”, “smart but somehow really dumb”, “not a great fit here”, “has potential but never reaches it”, “always looks sad and tired”. I cried a lot because I couldn’t figure out what was wrong with me and none of my friends, family members or psychologists could give me answers either. I was often scolded for not taking responsibility and making silly mistakes. Everytime I made a mistake I would be so hard on myself and essentially say to myself “take a good hard look at yourself! take responsibility!” This wore me down over the years and eventually I wanted to disappear.

    Since diagnosis things have got a lot better for me. Instead of scolding myself for mistakes, my internal monologue says “that’s your disability”. It’s a game changer because I don’t internalise the shame of being scolded by myself and others. My mental health is a lot better and I perform at lot better at work, home and in social situations because of this.

    Perhaps you hear the “ever steady whine of Attitude Deficit Disorder” because you work for an organization providing a resource for people with ADHD. I never heard it until I suspected I had an attention disorder and that was because I was actively seeking out resources and like-minded people.

    Your experience of ADHD may involve needing to take responsibility but that is not all of us – some of us have been taking responsibility for years already. I finally have a metalanguage for what I am experiencing. I can finally advocate for my needs because I now know what they are and how to fulfil them. I am careful to watch for people’s body language when I explain my ADHD experience to them to gage how interested they actually are or if I should switch topics. So please do not tell me to stop “whining” about my disability because others have been whining about my symptoms to me for my whole life and up until now I have been defenceless against that and powerless to change it.

    To be completely honest, I’m very surprised at this lack of consideration for the diversity of our experiences. ADDITUDE was amongst the first resources I enjoyed reading when I was first diagnosed. I have returned to ADDITUDE time and time again for information on specific aspects of the ADHD experience. It’s one of the first resources I recommend to parents of newly-diagnosed students.

    So please consider this when providing future advice about managing ADHD

  7. I have spent my entire life holding myself responsible for all of my disorganization, missed appointments, failed connections, etc. Maybe some are “whiners”, but I have the sense, (and I know from my own experience), that coming to terms, and dealing with ADHD, allows many of us to begin releasing the self blame and shame we have lived with. Yes, I agree that being a responsible adult requires that we look at situations honestly and recognize when we have been at fault, however, I believe that a lot of self-compassion allows us to do so.

  8. I wish you had a poster with the acronym DESIRE because I think my students (and I) would benefit from being reminded these points.

  9. I would also add that making adjustments to the structure each stage of life may be required . I moved recently after 9 years in one location so you can just imagine where my keys and glasses and wallet are.. i hope you can because i am spending countless minutes finding them and everything else and being late as a consequence. Everything takes twice as long and unless i get serious about organizing my life again I too will become a whiner not a winner.
    This time i have the time and will do it this coming week. I always worked well with imminent deadlines and promises by doing them immediately before i forgot and doing the most difficult first to get that accomplished feeling knowing that the rest was easy by comparison.

    1. You know that after 70 years of having no excuses for my behavior I was beginning to like sitting back and saying ” oh thats just another D day insread of thats another Seniors moment. 70 years of being totally responsible for those screwups was enough i thought. But now i have come full circle and found that my friends are sick of hearing about it. Deal with it they say. So you are right knowing what it is only helps this much {. } the rest is up to me.

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