Be Careful With Those ADHD Eyeglasses
Maybe this has happened to you. As soon as you started learning about ADHD, you suddenly saw it all around you. You have officially donned your ADHD Eyeglasses.
Among many people you know, you started seeing oh-so-familiar behaviors in a new light—through the lens of ADHD knowledge.
Blame 21st century brain-science breakthroughs. That’s why we’re developing enlightened attitudes about the organ linked to everything we do, feel, or think: the brain.
Yet resistance remains. Understandably. We can’t expect everyone to immediately embrace the reality of ADHD: that it is real, it is more common than anyone knew, and it has the potential to limit the options and self-realization of those who have it. Change comes very slowly to some people.
Many People with ADHD Cannot See They Have It
Sure, we might find it exciting, our newfound ability to detect possible ADHD symptoms all around us, thanks to our shiny new ADHD Eyeglasses. Still, we do well to stifle the temptation to start “diagnosing” loved ones and acquaintances—or that fidgety guy ahead of us in the grocery check-out line.
For one thing, we could be wrong; only a trained professional can make a diagnosis. More critically perhaps, we could be right.
Certainly, some people might welcome our observation with gratitude; they’re relieved to finally understand why their lives often seemed unnecessarily frustrating. Others, however, will greet our “helpful factoids” with defensive walls—walls that, once erected, might remain immovable. Either way, the manner in which you initially share your insights can dramatically affect outcome.
What’s more, no matter how clearly you start seeing ADHD, other people with ADHD might not see things the way you do.
Think of it this way: The person with weak vision may not realize what they’ve been missing until trying on eyeglasses
(Personally, I’ve gotten a shock when I’ve neglected to remove my reading glasses before ambling into the kitchen. And here I’d thought the counters were spic ‘n’ span!)
Likewise, a person with unrecognized ADHD knows only the way life has always been. Moreover, ADHD symptoms themselves can “blind” their ability to accurately perceive themselves or their behaviors.
Moreover, just as ADHD can distort individuals’ self-image, it can also distort their image of loved ones. Who wins in a world full of misperceptions and distortions?
I welcome your comments.
12 thoughts on “ADHD, Eyeglasses, and Stigma: Part 4”
I just found you tonight and I already love you, Gina. This post made me laugh out loud. I have a long story. To long to share right now. Later!
I’m glad you found me! And thanks for your comment.
I was just chatting with my friends on Facebook, nostalgic for the days when I first started blogging on ADHD (2008) and readers left more comments. 🙂
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Thanks Joy for these comments… I’m at that point you were a few years ago .. Can’t take much more .. He’s aware of his ADHD and has tried some meds but now has stopped.. There’s lots of anger and stigma for him around it all… Currently he’s out of our house for 2weeks…we’ll see what comes from this break..
We keep having these “epiphany” type of conversations where he recognizes our issues and that ADHD is a factor in our patterns and then those doors close so quickly that my fingers get stuck in them.. And there’s usually a big backlash as well..
Basically I feel he’s overwhelmed by such a late in life recognition and is struggling with it and himself in so many ways..
Btw.. Almost 30 years, 3 kids, and it only got really bad about 6 or 7 years ago.. Was reasonable .. Not great.. But ok up till then..
Thanks for joining the discussion. I hope Joy will respond to your post. Meanwhile, I’ll chime in.
You write that your husband “has tried some meds but now has stopped.”
Unfortunately, this happens too often. The standards for adult ADHD treatment are woefully uneven nationwide. What should happen seldom does. He might be feeling hopeless, that treatment will never make a difference so why try.
Sometimes, it definitely takes a team effort. So, if you want things you get better, you might need to work jointly on treatment. And check the treatment chapters in my book.
Also, you write that things were okay until about 6-7 years ago. Can you pinpoint what changed? Was it unhealthy lifestyle habits catching up with him? A parent’s death? A job loss?
Actually, you are my heroine,
I read your book, You, Me or ADD a few years back
and I got Very Upset, cuz I was reading our life story.
Before that, I fluctuated between
Confusion, rage, exhaustion and hopelessness.
I was sucked into the vortex of chaos.
Everyone kept saying “all men are like that” but I knew that couldn’t
be true cuz we’d have no roads or houses to live in.
You gave me hope, Gina, you gave me Some idea about what was happening and what needed to happen.
It’s been very hard, believe me, but the main thing is finding proper Meds – And Simplifying our lives radically.
Plus Being Unrelenting about what needs to happen. Every day.
If 4 focus factors, 3 omegas and
1 Wellbutrin changes our destiny, well then, my job is to make sure they go down his gullet.
Because he still forgets.
Its not perfect, and I’m not perfect,
but we are happy now most of the time.
We can’t undo the past, but the past is Gone…..unless we decide to live there.
We only have today.
Today was a good day.
Many many Thanks to you!
You are amazing.
ADHD glasses or not,
I can tell when my DH hasn’t taken his Wellbutrin and focus factor in the morning.
So when he starts arguing with me about “nothing” or acting negatively about “nothing” or spouting off nonsense or constantly interrupting me…..
I gently ask if he took his pills this morning? In the past that would have caused More anger & ruckus, but now he runs to grab his pills and downs them, we wait 30 mins and we proceed with a lovely day.
If any of you might wonder why he stops himself mid-fight to take his Meds, it’s because I am ready to walk out the door and stay in a hotel for a few days or longer.
It’s called “principled leaving” and it is the only thing that has worked after over 30 yrs of life sucking
Non-Sense. I did it first for a week then for 3 weeks and last time was 4 months. ( I rented a furnished room)
We are doing so well now!
I love that…”Principled Leaving.”
I have suggested similar to people over the years, and often the suggestion is met with horror.
I guess some people fear their ADHD partner will not forgive them or will take it as a sign that the relationship is over, and move on to find someone else.
It’s sad that, for some, that is the only card they can play. But it’s not easy to pull off when you have children or limited funds. But drawing clear boundaries is the only thing that gets some ADHD partners’ attention.
I’m glad it’s working for you!
I believe I Could write a book about
That’s too bad people are horrified by this biblical principle. It works!
Jesus taught it in Matthew 18.
So many of my girl friends
~waited till they hated~, and then somehow found the tools / money/ support to live single, divorced with Kids and lawyers etc etc.
Believe me that is a far harder road in most cases.
My last straw solution was
to have a “plan in place” for the non -compliance of taking Meds and unacceptable behavior.
I always told him it was his behavior that I would not tolerate, never attacking him personally.
The bible says if a wife leaves her husband let her be reconciled or live unmarried.
Women are the ones who make a house a home.
( sorry if that sounds sexist, but it’s pretty much true)
So if he loses his home and family instantly, it’s quite a wake up call.
Even for ADHDers.
If there was adultery or violence I would not hesitate to divorce,
so that is a different issue.
Many people with diabetes or
bi- polar stop medicating cuz they think they are “Fine” .
And family gets the horrible fall out of the irresponsibility.
I would do the same thing with them if that were the case.
If they want you, they will take the Meds.
But they often need CONVINCING that they Need the Meds.
They don’t know the difference in their own behavior, they cannot self assess.
Having a strategy is vital to the
families of Crazymaking Nonsense.
Or you just descend into insanity.
Does that sound militant? Maybe, but pacifying the behavior has ruined everything.
I’m winning the war to take it all back, and setting the hostages free.
Which was both of us.
You are a heroine, Joy!
Thank you for detailing more.
I never though I had ADHD I really did not know the full extent of the condition until my son was diagnosed and I have been reading everything I can about it for 18 years and learning and dicovering things about myself and this condition. I never realized how much of my life has been a struggle because of it. I still struggle with things but at least I can now see it and understand myself.