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ADHD Adults

Cant get Family to understand

I will make this short, how do i get family to understand my adult add/adhd?

parents dont believe in it, and dont take it seriously…very very mentally draining i might add


I understand, Daniel652. Family AND most people who know me, people I work for, people I work with. It is indeed draining.

Posted by TrainManJack59 on Sep 04, 2011 at 2:26am

People not believing in it is always a problem, I was assigned a Dr who didn’t believe in it some years ago… needless to say I’m seeing another Dr now!

Do you know if they don’t believe that add/adhd exist at all, or if they don’t believe that you have it? I was diagnosed at 46 and haven’t even told my parents, don’t think they’d understand. They do know I’m on stress disability, many of my symptoms are very similar, so I’ve never told them when I got the add diagnose. Most people still think that if you didn’t get diagnosed as a child you can’t have it. Well, many of us know that that’s wrong!

Since I don’t know your main problems I can only guess; organizational problems, time management problems, getting tired very easily, needing lots of rest etc?

If you have been diagnosed maybe you can show the paper to them? And then try to explain what your problems are, how you react in certain situations, some things you just can’t do etc?

I hope somebody else comes up with a better answer for you, since it must be awful when not even your parents believe it. Maybe you should talk to them about this, how difficult and draining it is for you that they don’t believe you. I do hope this situation is resolved soon!

Posted by Ullamae on Sep 04, 2011 at 2:47am

There might be someone info on this link you could use,  like the 7 Myths, Snappy Comebacks to ADD Doubters and Spread The Word About ADHD.

Posted by ann.stovel on Sep 04, 2011 at 4:30am

Yeah, my wife doesn’t believe in ADD or depression. Attributes it all to character failings in myself and my son. Ya can’t fix willful ignorance.

Posted by ADDedValue62 on Sep 04, 2011 at 4:56am

There is a lot of “research” that shows that ADHD is real.    The interesting thing is that ADHD/ADD is inherited so the reason you parents may not believe it is real it is because they are living in that space and don’t realize it.

The severity of ADHD/ADD can vary so mild forms may not impact daily life as much as some of the more severe forms.

fMRI technology is able to show the difference between a normally functioning executive memory vs those who don’t have a strong executive memory.

There are many people from all walks of life that believe that ADHD isn’t real.  It is a choice that they make, you know where you stand and the issues you face.

Posted by coachwithheart on Sep 04, 2011 at 9:15am

Right there with you! I have a sister and mom nearby.  I think/know they have it as well, but are in denial. My son was dx first and now me. It is so hard to organize us both.  Being a single mom, working full time and trying to stay on top of everything is almost impossible.  When I leave to go to work, I have to turn off completely anything to do with home life, ADD, appts my life is out of control.  But I focus on my blessings and keep on going.  When anyone has a smart remark or say I am just making up all of this, I tell them to read up on it, or go on line to see what I am going thru and how they can help.  If they chose not to, oh well.  I am getting my priorities in order.  Also there are many disorders/disease that can combine w/ADD.  Depressions, anxiety, BIPolar and even sleep disorders.  I have all of it and I can only focus on the moment.  I miss alot of appts etc but I can’t worry anymore about it.  Know there are alot of us that have this and I am thankful this website is available to keep myself sane.  Good Luck! Take one day at a time and don’t give up

Posted by positivenprayer on Sep 04, 2011 at 9:51am

I think some people don’t want to understand because they’d rather take the ignorant way out. They want to label individuals with ADHD as lazy or unmotivated when the opposite is true. Medicine is often a source of controversy but in some cases it can help, along with support from those who do want to help.

Don’t waste time trying to get everyone on board. Won’t happen unless they want to. Just know that you are wonderful and nothing is going to change that. You, me and others like us, just have to work a bit harder and focus more to get some things done. In different ways, perhaps, but hey, progress is progess!

Posted by Rhmuwr on Sep 04, 2011 at 12:01pm


Your family, friends, employers, anyone else, don’t have to believe anything you tell them. Likely they will believe what they choose to believe based on what they tell themselves must be true.

That being said, you can’t make anyone believe anything. Truly and deeply accepting that fact of life will relieve much of your anxiety associated with this issue.

ADHD is an explanatory framework for ‘how’ you are. They believe that you are who are you, and the way you are, and that should be enough. As for others ‘accepting you for’ how you are, that’s a different matter.  That relates to what they tell themselves what is acceptable or not.

Accepting your traits and their assumed needs from you is probably up for negotiation - hopefully. For example, with your ADHD you may be late for appointments, get mad quick, forget to pay bills, waste money on frivolous purchases… etc.

Then if you are this way, and it makes others mad, maybe you can offer them your doing the dishes an extra night, taking a pay-cut to reflect your lateness, letting your sweetheart have an extra night with their friends when you watch the dog / kids / the laundry spin cycle, or reading your young ones an extra bed-time story (... as your complex and meaningful life dictates).

Good luck.

Posted by on Sep 05, 2011 at 1:04am

I’d have to agree that, as frustrating as it can be when people don’t understand why we struggle where we struggle, there’s not much you can do about it that matters.  I get frustrated with the “non-believer” types—ADHD is a medical diagnosis, not a religion!  It’s like saying that diabetes doesn’t exist because they don’t “see” it.  We’re not talking about Santa Claus here, either! There’s nothing to “believe.”  But that’s another post for another thread!

As much of a relief or an eye-opener the diagnosis can be to those of us who are diagnosed as adults, it’s not nearly as important or even relevant to the rest of the world when we mess up.  People don’t want to hear explanations, they want to see improvements in our behaviors/actions that affect them negatively.

Also (from what I have seen, personally and professionally) it seems that when we give our ADHD brain wiring as a reason for a challege (being late, forgetful, impulsive, messy, whatever), it often comes off as an excuse—even if it is not truly intended that way.  What most people care about is the behavior, not the explanation.  It’s received a lot differently when you say, “I’m sorry I was late again. That’s something I struggle with, but I’m really working on it.” (and they can really see your efforts).  On the other hand, it’s never received as well when we say something like, “I’m sorry I was late again.  It’s because of my ADHD.” 

I guess my point is that any explanation (no matter how hard we try to deliver it well), is going to come off like an excuse to many people if whatever the “offense” was isn’t something we’re working hard to overcome and the can really SEE the effort and improvement.

The proof really seems to be “in the pudding,” so to speak!

That’s just my observation! I look forward to seeing others’ thoughts . . .

Lynne Edris, ACG
Life & ADD Coach

Posted by ADD_Coach_Lynne on Sep 05, 2011 at 2:13am

I am sorry to hear about your situation.  I have been there and as you said it is very very mentally draining as well as emotionally & physically.  I know it is extremely frustrating.  All of the information from the other posts is accurate to me.  I have had it since I was 7 and my 13 year son has it also.  I work in a school where it is better understood because they are professionals.  I don’t mean to say they understand what goes on in the person’s head, but that they associate the behaviours with the children who have been identified.  It is very frustraing that even though it is in the DSMV IV as a medical condition and it can now be proven on a brain MRI, that all these organizations including CHADD don’t advise people on how to cope, or teach, family members about the condition.  As I always say, and one other post said, you can’t “see” it so it doesn’t exist.  Do you see a Dr. for medication?  If so, maybe you could ask your parents to go to an appt with you so the doctor could explain.  Be SURE, however, that it is a psychiatrist or neurologist that can explain and show on a “plastic” brain (hope you know what I mean) all the different parts of the brain, how they work, what hormones/chemicals are missing in an ADHD brain and how medication supplies that lost hormone.  Let the Dr. give them examples of behaviour, symptoms, challenges, etc.  Maybe then they would have a better understanding.  Unfortunately, reading about it won’t help because people just don’t understand how incredible the brain is and that it is the most powerful part of the human body.  Ask them how a child has down syndrome (something you can see) and what part of the brain was effected for that to happen?  Also, a child with Autism, cerebel palsy, etc.  Then maybe they can relate the brain “dysfunction” with some of the symptoms of ADHD.  Hope this helps.

Posted by boo97mom on Sep 05, 2011 at 5:55am

I have to agree with Michael and Lynne. Your ADHD diagnosis is to help YOU, not to help THEM.

Which brings me to a question for you: why is it important to you that they believe you have ADHD and that ADHD is a real disorder?

I was just diagnosed earlier this year at 44-years-old. Some of my friends don’t believe it’s a real disorder and that doesn’t cause any problems for me. Your friends and family don’t have to accept ADHD, but they do have to accept YOU. Imagine that you had a broken arm, but that you hadn’t been to the doctor yet. Your friends and family would likely accept that you just couldn’t do some things with your arm, even if no one believed it was broken. You would just tell them you couldn’t lift something and they would be fine with that. If they weren’t fine with it, then you would likely reconsider those relationships.

The same goes for your ADHD diagnosis. You’re an adult. If people can’t accept that you are the way you are (and that you’re working on improving), and love you the way you are, then maybe it’s time to get new friends and family. The mental energy you’re spending trying to get them to understand is energy you can better spend on creating structures and other things to help yourself.

Having said all that, if you want them to understand ADHD so you’ll have an excuse to not work on improving those areas, then that’s a whole other matter. grin

Posted by RickySpears on Sep 05, 2011 at 5:55am

I was diagnosed when I was 42.  I asked my father what ADD stood for, he said I do not know but it sure makes you sensitive, he still still does not know. To my family and teachers I was treated as though I was broken.

Posted by Rancher John on Sep 05, 2011 at 10:09pm

I agree with so many of the others who have replied.  Who cares if they don’t believe you?  You should get treatment for YOU, not for someone else. 

I was just diagnosed at almost 41 and my ex (who I’m still very close to) always makes comments whenever I make a mistake, like “Oh, let me guess, you forgot because you’re ADD, right?”  Of course it’s hurtful, but I know I could never make him understand so I don’t even try.  I take medication and just don’t ever talk about it with him.  I know my daughter (who is 11) has the same problem, but I know that he will probably never allow me to get her officially diagnosed.  So far, she’s extremely intelligent, so it hasn’t affected her academically thus far, but that’s a different story.

I refuse to use my ADD as an excuse and I really don’t think that anyone else should either.  I am just glad to know that all of the flaws I thought I had were characteristics of ADD, so I know that it’s not because I am incompetent and a failure (which I thought for so many years).  I was relieved to put a name to it so that I could finally do something about it and that I could learn some strategies to make better choices and to be more organized and productive.  It is something I work hard at every day and I know I always will.  But I do this for ME, not for anyone else.  I don’t care who else knows I’m ADD and on medication, and I really don’t care if they think less of me.  I know now that I am a smart and competent person despite my label.

I wish you lots of luck in your journey.

Posted by Jenstew on Sep 06, 2011 at 2:13am

Good for you!!!

I am a college professor who has taught full time for over 14 years.  I noticed the first two years of teaching students, who had been identified with learning disabilities ADHD being one, required more time for testing, record the lecture and other considerations.  I noticed I was very much like those “special” students.  I decided to get my self tested at 48.  Sure enough I too have ADHD.  I truly connect with my students.

We can’t help the way our brains are wired.  Just because we have ADD/ADHD does not mean we can’t be accomplished professionally and or socially.

Knowing that I have ADHD, I believe, makes me a better teacher.

I currently have a student who is close to failing my class.  Tomorrow I plan to have a discussion with him about time management, to do his assignment in blocks of time, not try to do the entire assignment in one long block of time.  It hurts me when he looks at other students and calls himself stupid.  He is not.

Being smart has nothing to do with how our minds are wired.  We cannot help how we are wired. We ARE smart.

Sorry to ramble.  I am one of those who hates to read too.  Rather be doing.

Posted by Cherylnj on Sep 06, 2011 at 2:35am

thank you all very much for your replies, they all gave me something to think about.

if people cant accept me for who i am, theres no point in explaining. i need to do this for myself, and stop trying to explain to people that dont want to understand out of pure ignorance. its just sad because my father who doesnt believe in it, also had severe anxiety problems, and still does actually. i personally think its denial, but whatever not my problem, i have enough on my plate already!!

thank you all so very much


Posted by Daniel652 on Sep 06, 2011 at 8:20pm

My husband totally believes in my ADHD - he’s had to live with it for 35 years - I was just diagnosed about 4 years ago at age 51 and believe me it’s been a long haul for both of us - we were actually relieved to find out that I had something that could be dealt with on a day to day basis
I never told my mom because she was 84 at the time and having health issues - I truly believe she had ADHD also but I really didn’t see any point in hitting her with any of this at that stage of her life - she passed away 2 years later after battling stroke issues and I’m glad I never said anything to her
It’s always a gamble trying to figure out who you should tell and who you shouldn’t - I’ve told one close friend, no one else knows . . .

Posted by Aloha Liz on Sep 08, 2011 at 1:41am

My family doesn’t believe in it either, it’s very hard dealing with it all alone, but I’m so glad to have this group to be able to relate with everyone. And what’s so sad a lot of them have the same issues, my mom was mentally ill and they (my family) did nothing for her early on when she had her break down, so sad.

Posted by Sheila101 on Sep 08, 2011 at 2:19am

I’m retired now and working at getting disability.  Working full time was an uphill battle for me, always.  For many years I didn’t know I had ADD, so when the reprimands and “discipline” were dished out at work, I was hurt, confused, and defensive.  I honestly didn’t know, most of the time, what I had done wrong, and I wasn’t told, apparently because my bosses/supervisors believed I already knew and was simply trying to deny my mistakes or blame someone else.  They held to this belief after I was diagnosed and disclosed my ADD, asking for accommodations. 

I would really, truly like to know—to have explained to me—HOW to work at changing my behaviors.  I have read many books, had discussions with experts, sought therapy.  But, when I was still working, all my attention and energy had to be focused on the job; there was no time, no energy left to work on MYSELF.  So, although I never wanted to use ADD as an excuse (and don’t think I did), I couldn’t make much progress with the problems that annoyed the bosses and co-workers.  I have other disorders, too, and it was as if I was trying to juggle boulders.  I became so depressed and worn out I finally collapsed.  I have been early-retired now for about six weeks.  (My supervisor tried to fire me, but the higher-ups, who were more understanding, reversed that and allowed me to retire early and apply for disability benefits instead of a regular pension.)

So, I still haven’t gotten a handle on HOW to make changes.  I guess I am still very tired, shaken, and somewhat hurt.  I had never been fired from a job before, and I am 58.  I worked for this company for over 18 years and was never treated very well.  In fact, I was often abused and humiliated before my co-workers, and, being ADD, it all but killed me, trashed my self-confidence, made my symptoms worse.  I can stand back from it all now and see that the people in charge mistreated many employees, not only me, but I took it harder than anyone else, I guess.  I know now they were pretty dreadful managers with some gosh-awful people skills.  It has all left scars I am doing my best to recover from, but it’s going to take time, I can tell.  I used to get so frustrated and bitter I would wonder, WHY am I always the one who must change?  Just because these people don’t “believe” in ADD.  What has happened to tolerance?  To giving someone the benefit of the doubt?  There was plenty of room for improvement in those around me, but I never saw any evidence that they were working to improve any of their own flaws.  And I simply had no idea how to improve mine.  I was too tired, too discouraged, and too alone, with absolutely no support or encouragement from anyone, only threats and warnings to “shape up or else.”

Well, now all that is behind me, and I can start fresh, but I would like to know how to get started.  So much of the advice I read is so vague and general, like “take it one day at a time”, “take baby steps at first”, etc.  I have never been able to get much help from slogans.  I feel very much like a child who needs someone to say, “first,do this, then do this,” and walk me through the process with specific instructions every step of the way.  I have always needed this kind of instruction.  It makes me feel rather stupid at times, but I don’t care as long as I can have things explained so that they make sense to me.  I love to learn! 

Please, now that I have the time, and no one is yelling at me, how do you begin to manage a poor memory, or control impulsive behaviors better, or deal with all the distractions that knock you off course all day?  How do you learn how to focus better, to concentrate better, not perfectly, but better?  To manage time a little more efficiently?  I would like to know what other people do that really helps bring about change.  I would dearly love real, practical advice, tips, and don’t be afraid to talk to me as if I were a young child—in many ways, that’s what I am.  Thank you.

Posted by Mara on Sep 08, 2011 at 2:46am

Education, education, education. I have spent a great deal of money at the bookstore buying teachers and loved ones books about ADHD so that they can understand my son and the children that they will encounter elsewhere. It is the key to understanding.

Posted by Mommabear on Sep 08, 2011 at 3:53am

@Mommabear I never thought about that, I just wanted them to listen to me, I will try or share this idiea with others, thanks smile

Posted by Sheila101 on Sep 08, 2011 at 4:04am

This issue of “believing in” a brain disorder makes me burn! When I hear this from someone I don’t respect much, I say “yeah and they believed the world was flat, too!” to show them they are not up on science. But when I run into someone I would like to convince, I calmly but enthusiastically extoll the ‘wonderful results of new brain research done with fMRI’ (I may not be scientifically exact, but I give the gist of it) I say that lots of people USED to think as they do, but in the last 10 years, brain research on lots of conditions, like Alzheimer’s has helped our understanding of ADHD. I try to leave them thinking I’ve given then new information they just didn’t hear yet!! It at least stops them from going on and on; I usually get the last word!

Posted by Katty on Sep 08, 2011 at 5:03am

@Mara I COMPLETELY understand what you mean about ‘slogans’ not doing it and needing actual step-by-step instructions! It has taken me far longer than it feels like it should have but still less time than others to get where I am now. I am 37 and I was diagnosed about 3 years ago now. I am on Adderall and it has literally allowed me to change my life.

I couldn’t find a place to email you, so if you want to discuss any of this further, my email is .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). I am also on IM that way. I hope this helps not just you!

Step 1 - pick a specific area you want to improve, ideally one that affects your life the most. For example when I started, my finances were the biggest problem. I run a business with my husband and we would constantly owe various extra fees or interest due to late payments. Our bank account was frozen more than once by the dept. of revenue for failure to pay sales taxes!
That might not be it for you - maybe time management or organizational problems plague you the most. Deciding that is the first step.

Step 2 - Once you identify what causes you the most problems pick ONE thing to work on. Paying bills. Putting your keys/purse in the same spot. Picking clothes out the night before. Washing dishes.
Whatever that activity is, that is the only activity you concentrate on for at least 30 days! I’m serious. It takes that long to build the habit of doing it. If you screw up and don’t do something, don’t be surprised if the habit takes another couple weeks to re-create! this is a constant thing, but the longer you do it the easier it gets to re-start and the less anxiety you feel about re-starting. At least that’s been my experience.

Step 3 - After 30 days of doing whatever that is, you should start to see an improvement and hopefully it will boost your confidence you can do this! Time to go back to step 1 or 2 depending on if the next thing you want to work on is in the same area or not. Pick another task/habit and go 30 days with both the first one and your new one. Build on this every month!

Putting your stuff in place is one thing, but when it comes down to things like time management, you possibly need accessories. Here is a brief list of my favorite tools for surviving ADD life with a husband, business, 6-year-old who just started K and my mother living with me! (gasp - did I mention some days I just take a ‘mental health day’?!) - I can’t follow her program “to the letter” but her suggestions about how to go about doing things were very valuable to me in getting to this point! HINT - Her emails were downright overwhelming to me and actually made me feel worse for not jumping on the tasks! So don’t sign up for that! lol - Ever since I found this calendar it has made my life much better! Like many ADD folks, I prefer something I can put my hands on versus technology. This serves as a wonderful backup to my Google calendar and I see it more often in my kitchen! -  HINT: You don’t need to have 5 family members, either. I put 3 of us that have stuff to do on there - hubby and I both get 2 lines, one for AM, one for PM and daughter gets just 1 since she’s in school all day.

I use Google Apps for our business and I LOVE LOVE LOVE putting stuff on the calendar and setting a reminder that goes off on my phone! There are several other type applications to remind you of things (like RemindMe) but since I have an iPhone this works for me and my contacts/email are all in the same place. The less clicking around I have to do, the better! Less chance to get distracted by a different URL. :D

Posted by Zafra on Sep 08, 2011 at 5:52am

It is exhausting to defend yourself and your ADD symptoms.  Us older people grew up with it, thinking we were crazy, wondering why everyone else can do it and we can’t, setting a pattern in our internal dialogues of how we’re such losers and can’t do anything right, living with teachers that think we don’t care.  It’s soooo frustrating.  The thing is, we’re expected to live such stagnant lives now a days.  If we were in caveman days, we’d be the hunters and they’d be the gatherers.  Without us, they’d starve!  So, in the back of your mind, remember that.  Being late or forgetting a birthday isn’t critical, the critical things we usually get right.  My son and I are proud of our ADD, we have a lot of talents that others do not.  Although society has made it a burden, we try to remember the many gifts that come with it! It doesn’t matter what Dad thinks, it matters what Daniel thinks and I bet your ADD makes you a pretty cool guy!!!!

Posted by LovableLL on Sep 08, 2011 at 7:27pm
Posted by mghcoach4ADD on Sep 13, 2011 at 6:31am

Sweet Daniel (and anyone else struggling with ADD invalidators)

Reading this thread is like reading a history of my own emotional journey around and through this issue, and my heart hurts for where you are in this process.

Undiagnosed until my late 30’s, I am the developer of the world’s first ADD-specific coach training curriculum (not currently offered), along with many of the ADD Coaching techniques in use today, co-founder of the entire ADD Coaching field, and an ADD advocate for almost 25 years—the ADD Poster Girl!!

You can imagine what it must feel like that MY father *still* won’t accept the validity of the diagnosis!  (A shrink would have a field day making connections between what I do for a living and my father’s refusal to validate even the existence of the condition that forms the centerpiece of my life ::evil grin::)

And I’m sure you can imagine all of the many ways I have attempted to change that sad dynamic, and the wide range of emotional responses I have experienced as a result of my continued failure to do so. 

I’ve gone through everything from sorrow (“So I guess he must think I’m just a flake.”) to rage (“It’s not Tinkerbell - it doesn’t need you to clap for it to allow it to exist”), to judgment (“You’re a scientist, for God sakes.  The research is out there - DO it!”)—along with my emotional reactions to my ongoing struggle to reconcile my values (interpersonal as well as spiritual) with my very real desire to “shake some sense into him.” 

So the conversation (and the battle) turned itself over and over in my brain for YEARS like the notes of some dumb song you don’t like but can’t get rid of.

OF COURSE it is emotionally painful to have people who claim to love you reject the validity of the very information that could turn a frustrating relationship into an enlivening one.

OF COURSE it is emotionally draining to be invalidated by the very individuals you would like to believe would be “on your side” and not only willing, but EAGER to relate to you through an understanding of your experience of the world.  Many families walk through fire to get help for their loved-ones, and I’m sure you must struggle, as I did, with, “Why not mine?”

OF COURSE it is intellectually confusing to an ADD brain (with impaired cognitive filters that make rumination all the more likely) to try to understand WHY NOT—fueling an obsession with figuring out what to say and how to say it to “convince” them.

OF COURSE it is infuriating to believe that anyone who claims to love you would rather believe that you lack the moral fiber to “just do it” or are too lazy or flaky “to get it together” than to embrace a cogent, scientific, brain-based explanation for your very real struggles toward ongoing, on-track accomplishment.

So the first step for you, as it was for me, is to normalize what you are thinking and feeling.  It seems counterintuitive to “vanilla” brains from the context of “vanilla” norms, but the only way to turn off an ADD mental soundtrack is to validate it.  You feel what you feel - and you’d be crazy if you did NOT feel a pull to be understood.  Allow it, and it will gradually fade.  Oppose it, and you will spend decades in the internal obsession to change everything!! (there’s sound brain-based reasoning behind this, but I’ll spare you!)

It also makes sense to hang out online with the rest of us “Chicken Littles” sounding the ADD warning bell to those without eyes to see what we see or ears to hear what we hear, grateful for a place to express our blind panic that, “Oh NO - not only is the sky falling, THIS idiot doesn’t GET it!!! 

A shrink might add that it may well make sense but it won’t be helpful, but I promise you that it WILL help!  It’s normalizing to “preach to your own choir” and a real relief emotionally to hang with your own tribe where you are accepted and understood - at least as much as any two human beings are ABLE to understand each other’s experience of reality.

Let yourself stay in the question for as long as you do, but also try to hold the thought that, for whatever reason (don’t go any further on that one ::another grin::) the chronically ADD-clue-free CAN’T let themselves get it, anymore than you can get why they can’t let themselves hear the information that would change that. 

Disconnect CARING from “understanding” and/or “agreeing” or “embracing” - they really don’t have anything to do with one another.  It doesn’t mean people don’t LOVE you, even when they act in ways that seem unloving in expression. It’s also not disrespect to believe differently as long as their ACTIONS toward you are respectful.

NOW - and this is the crux of the overlong (soon to be longer!) post - the real issue here is one of BOUNDARIES. 

Regardless of whether they do or don’t believe or understand anything whatsoever, your message to them must be that they simply must stop commenting from an invalidating position.  If they don’t want to hear your ADD explanations, they must stop commenting on behaviors that can only be understood through hearing those ADD explanations.

Said another way, using blindness as a metaphor, speaking in hyperbole to make the point -  they don’t have to believe in blindness, they don’t have to understand blindness, and they don’t have to believe you are blind,  They DO, however, have to believe that you can’t navigate the room when they move the furniture around without your knowledge.  And they have to stop with the tsk-tsk-tsk or asking you to explain why you keep tripping over the furniture every time they rearrange the room - EVEN if they can’t wrap their minds around the concept of blindness.

AND, if they want to have a relationship with you at all, they have to stop moving the furniture around or you will stop coming over—and, by the way, in your space, they abide by your rules or you won’t let them in.


So now when I am presented with idiotic comments from “non-believers,” I begin with some version of this [memorized] request:
“That is an unfortunately cruel point of view, and my request is that you do some research before you offer your opinion about ADD or my behavior again.”

The next time - even if it is 2 seconds later - I repeat the request a little stronger:
“Seriously - I don’t want to get in an argument or a discussion about this until you know what I know about it.  So please don’t language your thoughts about ADD or my behavior within my hearing until you’ve done your research.”

Third time’s the charm - SET THE BOUNDARY, cool, calm and collected (with a smile, if you can manage it!):
“I am dead serious about this.  I will not participate in any relationship with this dynamic.  I won’t be around it.  So if you won’t do the research, then I can’t be around you if you can’t refrain from commenting about ADD or my behavior.”

If they say another WORD about it- smile, say, “I’m leaving now.  This is not ok with me.”  AND REMOVE yourself, even if you have to lock yourself in the bathroom to do it.

Do it every single time unless they open the conversation with an apology or a sincere question that indicates that they ARE, in fact, doing the research.

It’s an ongoing sadness that it feels like my father and I must now “talk about the weather” when we speak, but that is his choice, not mine, and he is as entitled to his opinion as I am to mine. 

However, the world is round, not flat, no matter what EITHER of us choose to believe about it.  Still, there is nothing to be gained by heated discussions where we each push an agenda at the other, quoting research, radio “pundits” or anybody else’s view attempting to “prove” our respective points to one another.

So I am at last at peace with the issue.  My preference is that it would have arrived in a completely different form, but peace beats turmoil with a stick!!

mgh (Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, SCAC, MCC - blogging at ADDandSoMuchMore and ADDerWorld - dot com!)

Posted by mghcoach4ADD on Sep 13, 2011 at 6:45am

BOMBARD THEM WITH INFORMATION,,, EXPLAIN ITS IS PROVEN THROUGH SCIENCE.  or some folks do not want to believe because that is something that happens to others…

Posted by trb50 on Sep 13, 2011 at 6:13pm

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