adhd · Blog Challenges 2019 · Personal

Visibility and ADHD

e1d57-atoz2019tenthannWhy are neurodivergences still stigmatized?  Well, it’s sort of self-perpetuating.

They are stigmatized because no one wants to talk about having one; no one wants to talk about having one because they’re stigmatized.

But the National Institute of Mental Health says that, in America, 4.4% of adults have ADHD.  That’s approximately (if I’m doing my math right; feel free to check me) 13 millions people in the US dealing with ADHD. That’s greater than the population of Greece, Portugal, or Sweden.  It’s also about as many people as identify as openly LGBTQ in the US (hello, fellow lucy ones in the inevitable overlap!)

In other words, it’s not just a handful of people.  It’s millions of us.

And I’m willing to bet that thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of us still feel isolated, alone, and embarrassed by our failings and shortcomings, and how great would it be if we could be more visible to one another, to give one another a sense of support.

And — not to detract from how much it sucks to have ADHD as a students, but — especially the adults.  We especially need the support and visibility, because so many people think a.) ADHD is a “kid’s thing,” or b.) believe you grow out of it, and because c.) even those of us who have it and recognize it now in adulthood are from the cusp of the generation just before ADHD really started getting diagnosed, and have to unlearn a lot of negative self-talk because we spent so much of our lives being told we were over-emotional and lazy, and it’s impossible not to internalize at least some of that.

So I went looking for an ADHD Visibility Day.

Well, there’s not  single day.  But there is an awareness month.

ADHD Awareness Month is recognized every October.  The website’s banner has been updated to reflect the upcoming year, though the content has not (which makes sense; it’s only April, after all).  Last year they highlighted art, personal stories, and humor submitted by people with ADHD; please keep them on your radar for next year in order to contribute and consume content produced by other ADHD folk, and to feel a little less alone by reading their stories.

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