Ever heard someone say, “ADHD is an excuse?” Me too. And yes, it’s infuriating.
Here is my list of Classy Comebacks to rude comments.
We won’t even go into all the reasons why the above statement is inaccurate. Usually the people that say it are the ones struggling with their own ADHD symptoms and the realization that they probably need an evaluation.
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.
But you know what annoys me MORE than the ADHD deniers?
When people who do have ADHD use it as an excuse.
So lets clear a few things up.
ADHD is not an excuse
ADHD is emotional
having ADHD does not mean that you are unable to function in the world, or that you need to hide. It’s not something to be ashamed of. BUT you do need support.
Most people with ADHD are very sensitive. It’s tempting to just give up and stop trying. Or to get angry because neurotypicals don’t understand us.
The problem lies our inability to deal with our emotions. If you learn about how your nervous system is wired, you can start to teach yourself strategies to make your life better.
For help with this check out my post on Emotional Management with ADHD.
My entire story, from childhood through starting this website and building a business is a good example of how healing yourself emotionally can free mental space for the everyday things.
ADHD doesn’t excuse impulsive behaviors
In college I was a party girl. Partially because alcohol numbed my anxiety a little, and partially because I could do impulsive things without being called out on it. I mean college, right?
ADHD adults have more motor vehicle accidents, and more accidental injuries than the typical person. See this post.
Sensory-seeking behaviors like sexual promiscuity have been documented in individuals with ADHD, as has aggression and picking fights. Most of this is related to our impulse control issues and need for sensory input.
All of these impulsive behaviors make sense if you know how ADHD works.
But 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.”
You’re thinking about your next statement or you are focused on something outside the conversation, like the email argument you are having with your spouse.
The person talking to you is talking about something you do not care about. Not one little bit.
When we are bored, we check out. We cannot sustain attention on anything that we aren’t interested in.
Unfortunately, sometimes we cannot sustain attention even with the people we love. It sucks!
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.
Don’t numb out. Actively work on being present in your life by getting off social media.
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?