Being diagnosed with ADHD as an adult it is a life changing event. Like all life changing events, you want to share the experience and get support from your family and friends. So it can come as a shock to discover your nearest and dearest might not be very supportive.
Even though they love you, they say things like:
“You managed this long without knowing, why do you want to know now”
“I don’t believe ADHD exists”
“Well it doesn’t change your day to day reality”
“Of course, that was going to be the result that is how those people make a living”
These comments feel rude and hurtful. You might wonder why it would take being diagnosed would upset them, because they already know all about your behaviors and ADHD characteristics. All that has changed is the knowledge that those behaviours fall under the ADHD umbrella.
For you, getting a diagnosis helps you to understand why you are the way you are. For them, it triggers some emotions. Here are 5 common reasons why the people in your life aren’t supportive of you ADHD Diagnosis:
1) Parents feel guilty that they didn’t notice you had ADHD as you were growing up. Even though so much less was known about ADHD twenty plus years ago, however, the guilt is still there.
2) They love you so much they don’t want to think of their child as anything, but perfect.
Partner (wife, husband etc)
3) They don’t want things to change. Even though living with your undiagnosed ADHD wasn’t always easy, they know how to do that. Change, even good change can be threatening. They might worry you won’t need them so much in the future and stop loving them.
4) They think you will use ADHD as an excuse to get of your responsibilities and they will have to do
Everyone, including parents, partner and friends
5) Scared of ADHD medication. There is lots of negative press about ADHD meds and some people get very scared that bad things will happen to their loved ones if they take it.
While it is upsetting that the people you love can’t be there for you during this new stage of your life, it does help to know that you aren’t on your own. This is a common reaction, however, don’t let stop you getting support. There are tons of ways to connect with others and learn about ADHD. Here are 10 suggestions.
1) Find a support group in your area
2) Join an ADHD Meet-Up group
3) Attend conferences, my favourite is CHADD’s annual conference.
4) Read or listen to books on ADHD
5) Listen/Download ADHD podcasts
6) Join online ADHD forums
7) Join ADHD Facebook groups
8) Hire an ADHD Coach
9) Work with a therapist who knows about ADHD
10) Find ADHD blogs and leave comments under posts you enjoy. This is a great way to connect with and share tips with other ADHD readers