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ADHD at Work

Did You Disclose Your ADHD In the Workplace?

I am the Chairperson for the Workplace Committee at the ADD Association. My team is conducting a survey to find out if ADHDers disclose their ADHD in the workplace. If not, we’d like to know why not and if you did, what were the results.

We will use this information to build awareness about the still existing stigma of ADHD in the workplace. Hopefully, we’ll also find out that many who disclose are met with compassion and receive help.

So please complete the survey:


Please post your results…... 


Posted by LakeLife on Mar 04, 2014 at 9:02am

No because I don’t want to be treated differently or have it be an excuse.

Posted by Mickey like the Mouse on Mar 06, 2014 at 9:16am

We don’t yet have results but will post them if people in this forum participate. If you have ADHD and are or have been employed, please complete a survey at


Posted by CoachLinda on Mar 06, 2014 at 9:22am

Thanks, CoachLinda… I will look forward to seeing the results.  And, yes, I did complete the survey… I have a home just south of you in Plattsburgh, New York…  BTW.  Nice to know such efforts to understand this thing are occurring so close to where I (often) am.

Posted by LakeLife on Mar 06, 2014 at 6:47pm

Thanks LakeLife! We appreciate your participation. There’s still so much to do.

Posted by CoachLinda on Mar 06, 2014 at 8:13pm

I disclosed in my interview knowing that the Adderall I take would show up in my drug test.  I am very open about my ADD which may or may not be the best idea.  However, I feel it is as important to educate our employers as it is to educate ourselves on how to be the best we can be.  Disclosing, to me, is more of an explanation than an excuse.  I just started a new job in September of 2013 so the jury is still out on the intelligence of my disclosure smile

Posted by Deej on Mar 16, 2014 at 9:39pm

I am open about having ADHD with everyone, including at work. I don’t “disclose” it in any formal way, but if I’m talking with my boss and for example, mention that I work much better later in the day I’ll say, “it’s very common for someone with ADHD.” I even mentioned it in an interview once when I was describing a career advancement program I did that was specifically designed for ADHD.

I feel like you have to be open about ADHD and embrace it as a difference or a strength, and not a weakness or a “disorder.” You have to be confident that your work product speaks for itself, even if you have trouble with say, presenting at early morning meetings. I often say that I “am” ADHD, rather than I “have” ADHD, as if it is a disease. If you treat ADHD like an excuse or try to cover stuff up, it will end up causing problems.

I think you also have to pick your jobs wisely. To many people are forced or force themselves into jobs they are not right for. I have done this in the past, but I know better now. I turned down a job once because the schedule was totally inflexible and I had to start at 7am on the dot. My family members were adamant that this is no reason to turn down a job and trivialized my concerns about it, as if they came from laziness. But I knew that this was setting myself up for failure—not because I wanted to sleep in, but because I am disaster getting my act together in the morning. It’s so important for anyone to work in jobs that are right for them, but so much more so for people with ADHD.

Posted by LLB827 on Mar 27, 2014 at 6:41pm

No, and I have been at my job for over 7 years. Only disclosed my use of Adderall since it showed up on the drug screen test. I recently told 1 co-worker only because she revealed that her daughter has ADHD.

I do not want to be treated differently.

Posted by Berta22 on Mar 29, 2014 at 12:45pm

CoachLinda, Thank you for the work you’re doing. Here’s the “Reader’s Digest” version of my situation:

I’ve been knowingly dealing with clinical depression for 18 years. It took me many years to fully embrace my Dysthymia (chronic, pervasive low-grade depression.) Too many shrinks and too many different medications ultimately brought me to my current psychiatrist, whom I’ve been seeing for a number of years now. She listens and works with me, and tells me no when I ask to try something she knows is wrong for me. We finally found a good combination of meds that have helped maintain my standoff against the scourge of depression.

In July of 2012 my daughter and I got into an over-the-top screaming and crying battle, and it got to the point where neither of us could calm down. I decided to take her to the ER because I was concerned about her. We got there, met by my ex-wife, and the intake counselor took my daughter in. Well, there I am in the waiting room, my heart going a thousand miles an hour, my mind lost in a maze of confusion and guilt. I finally asked my ex to sign me in as well, for I really needed some intervention as well.

Ultimately a psychologist came in the examination room to speak with me. In about two minutes of interviewing me, she asked me if anyone had ever discussed the possibility of me having ADD. When I said no, she rattled off a litany of scenarios that was my life! She recommended I get tested, which I did the following week, and a few days after, my shrink called to inform me that I do, in fact, have ADD, no H. I went to see her and she prescribed Vyvanse, which is a most amazing drug for me.

A week later I began my new job. I informed my boss that I have ADD, and he said he always figured that. (I’ve know him for many years.)  A few days later, after having done some research, I told him, as an aside, that ADD is actually a listed, viable and recognized disability. He essentially ignored me.

Fast-forward 15 months later. After a year-and-a-quarter of one of the most stress-filled work environments I have ever encountered, and having lost my Mother six weeks earlier after watching her deteriorate over the months prior, I was called to the carpet. It was like an intervention, with my four managers telling me everything I do wrong, asking me why I did things I did, and not accepting any of my answers. During this I tried to discuss my ADD and grieving with them, and I was told that they were instructed to not discuss personal things with me! Afterwards, I tried to give my boss a handout I had prepared the night before regarding ADD symptoms and what the law has to say about making reasonable accommodations. He wouldn’t even look at it. I was given until the end of October to improve or be fired. Then he told me he’ll give me the opportunity to quit, and would tell unemployment he fired me so I can collect.  I stuck it out until March, but it was getting more and more difficult to go to work, and the stress was exacerbating my ADD symptoms.  I ultimately got fired.

I tried very hard to ensure that my employer knew about my ADD, and all that entailed, to no avail. I’m glad I tried though, because I’m nothing if not an honest and up-front person.

I do have one question for you: Are there any legal ramifications for an employer ignoring when someone tries to discuss any kind of disability with them?

Posted by Loquaciousnjguy on May 05, 2014 at 7:49pm

Yes, but not in any formal way.  I have not asked for any accommodations (mostly because I can’t think of anything in particular to ask for that would be a reasonable accommodation).

However, I did not make a point of saying anything until after I was put on written warning and a 90 day “improve or else” plan for performance issues related to my ADD. Actually, I wasn’t actively trying to manage it at all until then. That was the first time I decided to take the idea of regular medication seriously, anyway, went to my doctor and got prescribed.  After that, I did mention to my boss that a long time ago I had been diagnosed with ADD but recently started working on managing it in order to improve my work performance.

She basically shrugged and said everyone has ADD to one extent or another, especially with tasks they find boring.  I also told our HR rep and got a similar non-response.

Kind of not what I wanted to hear, but I suppose better than a fully negative reaction.

Posted by missmeamea on May 06, 2014 at 8:14pm

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