October is Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity (ADHD) Awareness Month. Many are familiar with the term “ADHD,” formerly known as “ADD." The disorder is characterized by impulsiveness, hyperactivity, and difficulty regulating focus. However, many people are not familiar with why ADHD should be recognized and not dismissed as a made-up or exaggerated condition. This is why we have a month dedicated to bringing awareness to ADHD.
Stigma - Adult ADHD
We expect our name and address to be available to various agencies, but here's some food for thought. Is your mental health status a data point on a government screen somewhere? It is if you're from up north, and it's affecting their lives in unexpected ways.
Got too many irons in the fire? Running out of room in the furnace you call your schedule? Maybe it's time to focus in on your core projects so you can actually complete them.
Maybe because I was once diagnosed with minimal brain dysfunction, I don’t find the newer label of ADHD so bad. MBD sounds like something the cast of Monty Python and the Flying Circus came up with. ADHD on the other hand sounds somewhat more descriptive and less post lobotomy-ish. This is why I was so surprised to encounter somebody yesterday so embarrassed by the ADHD label, they censored me. Is someone else's ADHD self-stigma something I need to better understand?
One aspect common to many adults with ADHD is low self-esteem. When you live your life making stupid mistakes, falling short of—or forgetting entirely—your goals, or being yelled at by figures of authority, you'll likely be a mess when you reach adulthood. If you haven't learned to laugh off the gaffes, you might either adopt an insouciant attitude over time, or internalize the criticisms. I was of the internalizing variety (Signs of Self-Stigma: Do You Stigmatize Yourself?).