Though ADHD implies a disorder in the name (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Dysphoria), I don’t agree with this.
While again, ADHD certainly has its drawbacks, I wouldn’t call it a disorder, that word has a lot of connotations I really don’t agree with.
Truth is, it’s not necessarily a disorder, it’s just a different wiring with your brain.
And different is not necessarily bad.
For example, when people think of ADHD, they sometimes think it means you can’t focus.
That’s just not true.
Where it gets tricky is in the term “regulation”.
See, while those people may think people with ADHD can’t focus, it’s not that we can’t, it’s that regulating that focus.
I can be one of the most focused people on the planet with things that I’m passionate about.
There’s even a term for it; hyperfocus. It’s when you completely block out the rest of the world you’re so hard at work on what you’re doing.
A lot of the time it hits me when I’m writing or drawing and it’s going especially well.
But if it’s something I’m not passionate about, focus is nearly impossible.
I just can’t give my own brain a good reason to buckle down and get it over with, no matter how hard I try.
For someone without ADHD looking in on the outside, that can be especially irritating.
A lot of times they’ll think, or even bring up in an argument, how you can be so good at focusing in one area, then claim you can focus where it “matters”.
It may even cause them to feel like you’re lying to them.
But again, it’s not that you don’t care about getting what has to be done over with, it’s a regulation issue.
It’s trying desperately to explain to your brain why you need to focus, and your brain not activating because it’s just not passionate about what you’re doing.
Trying to understand where you’re both coming from with that will probably take a lot of patience.
Related to that is positive affirmation.
Say you’ve been wanting to clean out your car for a while, but again, the regulation issues are making it nearly impossible to accomplish.
And then one day, far after when you initially wanted, you get it done.
Your partner may be genuinely proud of you, and saw how difficult that was for you.
So they may say something like
“Way to clean out that car!”
“I knew you could do it!”
That doesn’t help, at all.
Most of the time, against intention, it comes across as condescension, and could make things worse.
It all goes back to interest; the one with ADHD is completely uninterested and disengaged with what they just got done.
Trying to make it seem like a notable accomplishment doesn’t work when they really aren’t interested. At all.
They’ve already likely spent their lives feeling very insecure and vulnerable, because while they are things they are exceptional at, there are just as many things they are completely not fantastic at.
They usually have this expectation that they’re going to fail someone they love, or let them down.
So from there, a temper can develop.
It’s a flash reaction to letting other’s down again.
What a lot of people don’t know is, anger is s secondary reaction to hurt.
So if you know anyone with ADHD who seems to have a serious temper issue, know that they aren’t violent, they aren’t going to be.
It’s just a flash, as a side effect of a lot of the pain they’ve held most of their life.
Pain from knowing they’re going to disappoint people they’re trying to love with all they are.
While that may be a negative, another admirable trait in ADHD is…well, that passion!
Not only does that translate to what they’re doing, it translates to the relationship itself.
They’re fiercely loyal, and will usually be the first person to defend the people they love, and they’ll usually do it with complete willingness, or even an eagerness.
Speaking as a father, I know I would decimate and humiliate anyone who messes with my children with an honest smile on my face.
Again, this just shows it all goes back to passion.
If someone threatens the person an ADHD person loves most, start praying for that guy because it’s about to go down.
However, that passion has a cost, in the form of Rejection Sensitivity Dysphoria.
Dysphoria is a Latin word for pain that’s extremely difficult to bear.
It’s estimated that about 90 percent of those with ADHD have this condition.
Having RSD basically means, when you’re dealing with heartbreak, whether that be a serious break up or a divorce, the heartache that usually comes with that is cranked up to 11.
The pain is so great, and so deep, that there’s genuinely physical pain that comes with that heartbreak.
When people suffering from this were asked what it feels like, the word that come up most often was “unbearable”.
There is serious physical agony, and it can linger.
It’s the same reason those with ADHD can “hyperfocus”, they’re brain is phenomenal at locking on the certain things.
But with something like a break up, it goes from being a useful benefit, to an excruciating side effect.
The smallest little thing could remind you of them.
It could be a napkin that reminds you of the night where you spilled a cup of wine, and later in the night proposed to them.
Or a picture on the wall of a beach, and while it wasn’t the same beach, it was sort of similar to the one you two vacationed at a few summers ago.
Life becomes a constant and painful reminder of what you lost.
Other people may tell you to move on and get past it but they don’t get how impossible it can feel.
It’s the same thing that makes you a phenomenal artist, or writer, or musician, or whatever you’re passionate about, and it is torturing your mind.
It’ll lock your heart onto what you don’t want it to, and you’ll begin to spiral farther and farther into your own pain.
While all that may be a result of Rejection Sensitivity Dysphoria, there’s also Rejection Sensitivity Euphoria.
It’s the same reason I brought up what I did earlier, about not being able to compliment someone with ADHD.
While that may be true, when you compliment them on something they do care about, it’s like you’re charging them up.
Their face will light up when you do that.
You’re giving them exactly what they’ve always craved from others, and it’s what they’ve been hoping others could see in them their whole lives.
But to end on a high note; just keep in mind.
ADHD is not a drawback.
It has drawbacks, it has excruciating challenges and it can create rifts with those that don’t understand it.
But it also has the most talented, inspirational, insightful, loyal, and intelligent people on the planet.
Completely unbiased, of course. 🙂