ADHD Is Not An Excuse

ADHD is not an excuse

My friend Kerri recently put up this post. Which made me think I should update my own. Thanks Kerri!

Every so often I hear someone use ADHD as an excuse for some action or behavior they regret.  The people that say this type of thing often do not have ADD.  And if they do there are other factors at play.  For those of us that struggle, having someone casually throw it out as an excuse is extremely annoying.

Then there are the people who joke around about it saying, “I had an ADHD moment”, or “It was like I had ADHD or something.”  This type of thing makes me crazy because I do have ADHD and it is 24 hours a day 7 days a week. It never goes away and it effects pretty much every aspect of my life.

So lets clear a few things up.

ADHD is not an excuse f

A diagnosis of ADHD is not an intellectual disability

Nor does it mean that you are unable to function in the professional world. I admit, sometimes the fact that it takes us longer to process things makes us doubt ourselves. As I have said before, we need to reverse the negative thoughts in our head.

For help with this check out my post on Emotional Management with ADHD.

Most people with ADHD have rather high IQ’s. The problem lies their inability to deal with their symptoms. If you put systems in place for yourself at work and at home, you can be a successful at whatever you try.

For example, I know someone with ADHD, anxiety and depression. This person is a well-respected doctor at one of the world’s best pediatric cancer centers. She has spoken about their research at conferences all over the world. The only difference between you and her is that she figured out what she had to do to get where she wanted to go.

She had a plan and she didn’t use her diagnoses as an excuse.

ADHD does not excuse dangerous impulsive behaviors

What I mean by this is that someone who is a chronic cheater is not just seeking stimulation because of his or her ADHD. If you are seeking constant sensory input through sex, you should discuss this with your doctor. Sex is not the answer to impulsive behaviors or meeting your sensory needs.

On a similar note, behaviors such as using excessive speed or starting fights with strangers have been documented in individuals with ADHD.  Aggression can be both physical and verbal. None of these behaviors are productive and none of it will help you to deal with your symptoms.

Besides, is the way you feel the next day really worth it?

ADHD is not an excuse for checking out

You know that feeling when someone is talking to you and you see their lips moving and you hear them talking, but not a single word actually penetrates. Think of Charlie Brown’s teacher, “wa wa- wa wa -wa wa.”

Either you are thinking about your next statement or you are focused on something outside the conversation.

[bctt tweet=”If there is one takeaway from this it is that you need to really be present to hear people.” username=”@HealthyADHD”]

You want the people in your life to be heard. Your husband, your children, your boss, your best friend. Really make an effort to hear people. You would be shocked how much this improves your relationships.

ADHD is not an excuse for self-medicating

People with ADHD are prone to substance abuse issues. The two conditions have been linked in numerous studies.

I know what it feels like to have your brain on constant fast forward. It is not pleasant. I also know how good it feels to say, have a glass of wine or two, and feel relaxed. That relaxed feeling does not always come easily for us.

Nobody that knows me would use the word “relaxed” to describe me. I am very conscious of my frenetic list making, cleaning, thinking….living. I am also very careful not to abuse substances. That carefree feeling you get from a couple glasses of wine can be a slippery slope. Enough said.


Have you ever used your ADHD diagnosis to excuse your behavior/choices?

Is it ever ok to use ADHD as an excuse?