When you first discover you have ADHD, you might be tempted to shout the news from the rooftops because you are thrilled to know this new piece of information about yourself. It explains why you are the way you are and why ‘simple’ things that other people find easy are difficult for you. You might feel relief, excitement and want other people to hear the good news.
But before you tell anyone, please proceed with caution.
Even though we know more about ADHD than ever before, there are still a lot of misconceptions, negativity, and prejudice again ADHD. People have been denied insurance, promotion and faced prejudice at Colleges or University because they shared their diagnosis. None of these things are politically correct and can be fought, but that takes a lot of time and strength to do.
Even well meaning people in your life, might just see the label ‘ADHD’ rather than the whole of you including your unique qualities and strengths.
Of course, tell your nearest and dearest, but beyond them, carefully consider who else you share your news with.
However, what you can do with everyone in your life is to address your symptoms. Develop a really good understanding of how ADHD affects you and then think of ways that will support you to perform at your best.
For example, if you know your memory for details is poor and a work colleague asks you something as you are rushing out, you could say, “Would you mind emailing me that request, my mind is so full right now and I really don’t want to forget it?”
If it’s difficult for you to pay attention in meetings, take notes, and explain to the people there you are doing that because it’s an important topic and you want to have it in writing.
If early morning appointments are tough for you because it takes a few hours to ‘come round’ explain to people that you are at your mental peak after 11am and would prefer to schedule things then.
No one will argue with any of these requests because they are things we can all identify with. They make the person feel respected, while all the time honoring your ADHD so that you can perform your best.
1) Think of 5 challenges you face because of your ADHD
2) Brainstorm solutions
3) Practice saying the solutions out loud, so when you are in a real life situation, it will roll off your tongue.