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How to Respond When a Loved One Is Diagnosed with ADHD

How should you NOT respond when someone reveals a life-changing diagnosis? That's easy — with judgment, doubt, or blame. Here, our experts and readers recommend more supportive and productive ways to react when a loved one reveals their ADHD.

2 Comments: How to Respond When a Loved One Is Diagnosed with ADHD

  1. You’ve missed the worst response (personal experience here):
    “I agree with so-and-so [insert minor comedian’s name here] who reckons it’s just a trendy thing everyone claims to have nowadays, but it doesn’t really exist.”

  2. This article wisely makes no ill-advised recommendations to tell your employer about this affliction. Do NOT, unless you want to put your reputation or career at risk!

    It also does not mention friends and associates. Smart! I once mentioned that I have this ADD $#!+ plus a bonus prize of Bipolar 2 to a retired couple, who are retired psychiatrists and they recoiled in shock and horror! The budding friendship I was trying to grow died instantly. If psych professionals find ADD and BP so repugnant, how can anyone expect ordinary lay people to be any more accepting? My wife still berates me for making such a confession.

    I told my wife about this and she still gets pissed off when my brain, which has this QC and manufacturing defect, wanders off when she is talking to me. I can’t say I blame her. Our older son is even more critical. I am seeing a psychiatrist and he has prescribed a mood stabilizer, but my son wants me to fire him and take stronger medications that might cause tardive dyskinesia, which will leave me even more screwed up.

    I am in my pre-geezer years but was only diagnosed with these two brain defects 5 years ago. It’s been enlightening but not liberating. It’s like having bought an expensive car that has a design defect and the dealer refuses to take it back while the manufacturer will not fix it under warranty. I am angry and I’m stuck with it!

    So, be very damned careful to whom you reveal this diagnosis to. I have not experienced any love, acceptance, sympathy or understanding. Only anger, frustration and contempt.

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