A friend recently asked the following question on social media: “What are some lies you’ve swallowed – from dominant culture, from your experience – that are soul-killing, damaging, or hurtful?” This was my answer: “That ADHD isn’t a thing and that my issues navigating neurotypical society stem from me being lazy/stubborn/stupid, etc.” Then, I added, “Also, that copious amounts of corporal punishment would “fix” my ADHD.” From the reaction my comment got, I could tell that I’m not alone in my experience.
Yeah, That Doesn’t Work
Talk to anyone who lives with ADHD and you’ll hear something similar to what I said in that social media comment. General denial of ADHD’s existence is entirely too fucking prevalent in our society. The regularity of some neurotypical claiming that what’s called ADHD is really just kids being kids is utterly fucking depressing. As is the idea that all a kid with ADHD just needs a good beating. And, those ideas bullshit. That characterization of them as “bullshit” may upset you. I really don’t care. I said what I fucking said and I know what I’m talking about. If you could beat ADHD out of a kid, I wouldn’t be dealing with this shit right now because my dad tried. Like, really fucking tried. And yet, here I am with a brain that makes brilliant-yet-crazy-ass leaps but can’t remember to put the fucking trash out from week to week.
Kyle Can Go Suck It
Because of that, I have to jump through a ton goddamn hoops as I navigate a world that is not set up for me (social awkwardness/anxiety, sensory issues, executive dysfunction, and more). I also have to deal with walking, talking examples of the fucking Dunning-Krueger effect telling me that there’s nothing different about my brain, I’m just lazy, stupid, afraid to try etc. Never mind the multitude of scientists who’ve done tons of research nailing this shit down, Kyle from Facebook says that if I was properly motivated, I’d remember that appointment. Of course, we know that Kyle and his ilk are full of shit. Unfortunately, that doesn’t keep them from spewing their garbage all over the place. Personally, I think extreme violence is the best way to deal with these assholes, but society says that’s not the answer. Which inclines me to violence even more. The life of an endie is a vicious cycle.
And, So Can Karen
In addition to the Kyles, there are all the anti-medication fuckheads. You know, the ones who love to spout bullshit like, “Oh, I’d never take stimulants. I certainly wouldn’t give them to my kids. You know it’s just meth, right?” No, Karen, these drugs are not meth, fuck you very much. But they can be essential to an ADHD kid’s ability to function. Let’s take a minute and debunk the particularly odious pile of shit that is the “ADHD meds are meth” claim. First of all, Ritalin, Adderall, Concerta, and all the other stimulant meds–aren’t meth. Ritalin and Concerta aren’t even fucking amphetamines, they’re methylphenidate hydrochloride. Adderall and meth are both amphetamines but that’s pretty much where the similarities end. Meth is a frequently abused drug with very limited therapeutic uses. Adderall, meanwhile, has a much lower incidence of abuse and is hugely beneficial for people with ADHD. Of course, I wouldn’t expect anti-med morons to make that kind of distinction. It would require you to understand nuance and not be a holier-than-thou shithead.
Of course, whenever the subject of ADHD comes up, there’s always some asshole who thinks it’s a fucking joke. They’re the ones who say some shit like, “I wish I had ADHD. Then, I’d get those good drugs/have extra time on tests/be able to hyperfocus/etc.” Or, they’ll give you the old “wink, wink, nudge, nudge” as they try to get you to share your meds. Because it’s “funny”. Yeah, if there’s one thing people with ADHD just love, it’s our lives being the punchline to your “joke”. Honestly, we live for that shit, man. If you’re one of these people, you can fuck right off.
ADHD Is Real. You Saying It’s Not Doesn’t Fucking Help
It’s hard enough navigating society when you deal with social awkwardness/anxiety, sensory issues, executive dysfunction, and all the other shit that comes with having Attention Deficit. Adding in this other stuff is just another layer of bullshit and it’s fucking exhausting. It’s part of why we always seem so fucking angry. You’d be pissed too if you dealt with all this stuff and had to put up with Kyle and Karen’s bullshit. The fact that we’re not walking around punching neurotypical people in the goddamn throat all the time is a minor fucking miracle. If you want to continue fending off that ever-growing possibility, you might want to give thought to the idea that, yes, ADHD is a thing. And you saying it’s not isn’t fucking helping.