ADHD and Identity

It’s not uncommon for people to use ADHD as a synonym for inattentive or hyperactive. It wasn’t until a sociology course at my university that I realized why I used to get so annoyed by this. Humans have a tendency to assign moral values to labels. In a culture that emphasizes individualism, it can be easy to focus on a single aspect of our identities, especially if it’s stigmatized.

It can be difficult to accept a diagnosis, but ADHD isn’t inherently bad. When I catch myself starting to only discuss the struggles with a friend, family member, therapist, or coach, it’s helpful to remind myself of my strengths. I can’t change the way my brain works, but I can learn to use the tools at my disposal to succeed. I have ADHD but it is not all that I am.

Tina

On the struggle bus

I am currently struggling with ADHD, still need guidance with school.

Anyways ADHD can be good, bad at the same time. Because of the impulsiveness I do get in trouble. But there are ups, like being social.

I know, having a disorder sucks because of people make fun of you. But maybe, people could change. I do have my problems. I struggle with keeping my locker organized so, for the zoning out I decided to ask all my teachers to let me sit in the front because of zoning out, they said yes. I also lose stuff frequently and get mad easily, no idea if that is part of it so, yeah..

Kaydence

ADHD for Me

Everywhere I turn, it seems there are messages about who can and can’t have ADHD, its causes, how to “fix” it and what it has to look like. Some of these messages are informative & empowering, but many of them are confusing & dismissive.

These messages often distract me. Instead of using the strategies & tools that help me thrive as an adult with ADHD, I find myself trying to force my ADHD to “make sense” or look a certain way… but the problem is it never works. My ADHD never stays in the box I make out of all these ideas that I try to fit it into.

Slowly, I’m learning that I don’t need to listen to all the ideas & messages out there- my ADHD certainly doesn’t! I can take the ones from those I trust and set aside those that distract me and lead to confusion & shame- the ones that dismiss & reduce the complexity of ADHD in my life.

My ADHD is a lot of things and it’s not a lot of things. I’m learning to embrace that it doesn’t need to be anything other than exactly what it is.

ADHD Has Amazing Gifts 🤪

If you have ADHD then you will want to understand this.

You are special in your own way. Don’t listen to others about what they say about ADHD. Your diagnosis brings gifts.

If you are inattentive, (like me) then you have an amazing quality of thinking out of the box and being really creative! I daydream a lot of the time in class, but that does not bring me down when the teacher says PAY ATTENTION.

If you are hyperactive, then you have a lot of energy. This energy can lead you to be enthusiastic and really good at active things. Your energy and sense of humor can brighten up someone’s day!

If you are impulsive, then you do not think before you do or say things. You can have a very adventurous spirit and a tendency to try new things. This makes you less stubborn to try new things. People will like this quality.

Learn to love your ADHD just as I learned to love mine. It does not have to bring you down. I love my ADHD. It is the thing that makes me unique from others in a special way.

A Beautiful Mind

In our home, we refer to ADHD as Super Brain Power.
ADHD is simply a different ability, not a disability, an excuse, or even something negative. The ADHD mind is brilliant.

The associated symptoms are not bad behavior, disrespect, or a result of poor parenting. In fact, ADHD has taught my family the importance of never judging others. It has taught us patience, compassion, and tolerance.

It reminds us that we are each unique and beautifully made. It has shown us the power of resilience, beating the odds, and embracing who we really are. ADHD can be messy, it can be loud, it can be busy. At times you may want to cry, burst in frustration. You may feel alone and misunderstood, like no one knows just how you feel.

You are not alone. You are cared about and deeply admired for all that you over come. You are strong and capable. Your Super Brain Power will always be a part of you and your story. Be proud of who you are, for every quirk. Shine bright and stand tall!

Just cause I don’t misbehave

Growing up, none believed my mum when she got me tested for ADHD because in class I was quiet and a girl. However people seemed to overlook the fact that when there any noise, I wouldn’t work because there were too many distractions, or that once I was out the class I was like a bouncy ball.

I’ve tended to find that in situations and with people I’m more comfortable with, my hyperactivity is more noticeable because I know they don’t judge me, whereas in class I’m focusing on not being hyper rather than on my actual work.

Teachers always liked me because I was bubbly, but many wouldn’t believe I had ADHD because I wasn’t the stereotypical boy who was always in trouble.

I was the girl who just needed a bit of extra help and everything explained a lot more times than my usual peers did. Even the head of SEN at my school didn’t believe I had ADHD, so when I was diagnosed with ADHD and my results came back that I was 97% more hyperactive than my peers, it showed that I had just learned to control it.

Olive
Lightly edited

Learning to accept my ADHD

When I was diagnosed with ADHD, it was nerve racking, but a good way to explain my focus and time management skills.

It was the end of fourth grade when I received the diagnosis, but I was very insecure about it. I told one of my good friends about it, but she ended up telling the whole class. People treated me as a nobody and thought I was weird because of my brain difference.

After my 5th grade graduation, I decided to make a change in my habits, so I started 6th grade with a fresh start.

I started to think of ways to help myself focus better and become more organised with my work.

Researching about my ADHD helped me learn what caused me to do the things I did. I became more educated and hoped to make a difference in people’s views about ADHD.

At the end of 6th grade, I achieved all A’s in school and learned how to focus. I want to spread this message to all of the ADHD’ers out in this world that you have some amazing gifts to offer. Do not let anything bring you down.

B

Functioning to Focus

ADHD has been a challenge all my life.

Finding ways to cope with it has been fun. At work I have so many distractions around me.

However, using a noise canceling headset and jamming to the oldies but goodies has been ideal. Not only do it help me disregard distractions I also get to groove in at my desk as my co workers pass.

The beat to the music also gets me in a zone to work faster than usual. You would never know that I have it if I didn’t tell you.

ADHD won’t control me!

T. Williams

Accepting my ADHD, the good and the bad

It was not until junior year of college that I got diagnosed with ADHD. Medications after medications, one cognitive therapy after another, I uninhibitedly searched for explanations. I needed some closure for why I couldn’t help being late to everything no matter how hard I tried.

I often wish I had gotten diagnosed earlier, so my life wouldn’t have been so difficult. I hated my ADHD. I blamed it for my setback in high school, for everything that went wrong. But in hindsight, my messy brain that wants to do everything all at the same time is the reason why I’m where I am today. More than 3000 miles away from home for 5 years now, I have been pushing through alone. I accepted how passionate my ADHD makes me about things that interest me.

I began writing, painting and now I will be starting a Masters after finishing undergrad. Once I accepted that ADHD is a part of me and that there are great sides to it, I stopped fearing myself and there was light at the end of the tunnel.