Thanks to Tom Nardone for allowing me to re-print this post, originally entitled They Don’t Believe I Am ADHD? Oh NO!! What Ever Will I do?
It originally appeared on Tom’s site, ADHD People. I’ve never met Tom but I’ve enjoyed his posts. Italians raised in the U.S. South share a certain kinship. Grazie, paisan! — Gina Pera
They Don’t Believe I Am ADHD? Oh NO!! What Ever Will I do?
By Tom Nardone
So many of my friends on the internet get angry when they hear people speak about ADHD as if it is a made-up, ridiculous, notion. It offends them to hear anyone say that their medication is unnecessary superfluous drugs usage. I found myself among them for a long time.
It really frosted me for anyone to tell me that my ADHD was just a bunch of bullshit. I would see a post or a comment and I wanted to go to battle stations; many times, I did. There has always been a split: between people who claim to be ADHD, and people who don’t believe in the existence of it. I no longer am angered by this.
This comes as no surprise to me as an ADHD person. It shouldn’t come as a surprise to you.
Those of us that are ADHD know all too well that there is a much bigger division among us. There are those of us, who believe in medication, and there those that say, “Absolutely not!” I have seen and I have been involved in heated debates and discussions regarding this. This used to upset me too. It doesn’t anymore.
Beliefs Do Not Create Reality
I don’t get mad about this anymore because the beliefs of others do not cause reality. The fact that someone does or doesn’t believe that there is such a thing as ADHD doesn’t make it real or a myth. The fact that someone does or doesn’t believe that there are such things as bipolar disorder, Leukemia, AIDS or even a headache doesn’t change the facts.
I am ok for people to believe in anything they want to. We live in a world full of people that believe all kinds of stupid shit. Whether they are right or wrong is not determined by the fact that they believe it.
The naysayer camp says, “That’s bullshit, you are just lazy” or “You just use that as an excuse so that you don’t have to work as hard or do anything”. I can understand both sides of this.
Because I am ADHD, I understand the challenge it is to just get up and drive to work— while thinking about every stupid thing that I will have to listen to the other people say.
I know, for example:
- That my head will be in a million different places, while it is expected to be in one.
- That I will be far more focused on what time it is and how soon it is until I leave than anything that needs to be done.
- What it is like to do all of this while also being in fear that it might cause me to be fired. If you are a new reader, you don’t know this, but I have been fired many times in many ways.
We Can’t Expect Everyone to Care
Non-ADHD people do not understand any of this.
When we fall behind, our coworkers might have to work a little harder. That pisses them off and they don’t want to hear about it your “made-up, bullshit condition”. They are our peers and they don’t like their shitty job any more than we do. If most of you were not ADHD, you might not care either. You would be far less educated on the matter. We just can’t expect everyone to care.
Many of you might be surprised at my level of tolerance on this matter. You might be saying, “but Tom, you are so calm. You always get mad about something.” Well…give it a minute.
Eisenberg and ADHD as “Fictitious Disease”
Not long ago, the naysayers were so excited when Leon Eisenberg, the alleged “discoverer of ADHD,” allegedly said the following: “ADHD is a prime example of a fictitious disease.”
They were so excited they had boners. Wow!! Hooooolllly SHIT! They have the testimony of the man they now hail as, “The Father of ADHD” saying it is not real but a “fictitious” disease.
Here is what pisses me off. The arrogance of an asshole named Moritz Nestor. I will quote a line from his article about this very argument.
In any case, no one can easily get around the testimony of the father of ADHD: “ADHD is a prime example of a fictitious disease.”
Moritz Nestor, (a**hole)
The arrogance of these people knows no bounds. For years, they have denied ADHD as legitimate. They have labeled it bullshit. By proxy, they have labeled all of us as bullshit.
They could not possibly have had an inkling of respect for the “Father of ADHD”. They could not have possibly thought him more than a common a**hole. Until one glorious day, he changed his mind—or so they want you to believe. While he was only a modest 87 years young, seven months before his death, he changed his mind.
Then, he was no longer a quack, a hack, or an asshole. He was a relevant and credible doctor. Now he could be heard, quoted, and revered as a hero to the naysayers.
Once these arrogant sons of b*tches got the answer they liked, they branded him as “The Father of ADHD”. The Great and Powerful OZ. And then this writer was off to see the wizard.
It Just Doesn’t Matter
My reason for saying all this is to make a point. It does not matter what Leon Eisenberg, Ned Hallowell, Tom Nardone, or the person that cuts your hair thinks about ADHD. It has nothing to do with determining its existence. If you have ADHD, then great, figure out what you are going to do with it.
And, if tomorrow, a hundred thousand people wake up with a totally new and refreshed outlook and feel empathy for you and your ADHD? You still are not going to remember what in the hell you did with your keys, and you will spend your morning looking for them just as you always do.
I am Tom Nardone, and you are welcome.