MYTHS OF ADMITTING TO ADHD

Since 2001 when I first came to the place where I was forced to face the fact that ADHD was real and that if “I” didn’t change, then my son and family were going to suffer, I have looked at life in a whole new perspective. One of the observations I continually have seen through the years is those who, for various reasons, don’t want to open their eyes to the reality of the role ADHD is playing in their or a family member’s life.

For 10 years now I have been speaking to people, both professionally and in friendships, about ADHD. Even at the suggestion that he or she might want to see a qualified doctor who could either confirm or deny has often been met with resistance and sometimes even anger.

In today’s blog I wanted to share with my readers several myths that I have uncovered as a professional coach, consultant and advisor. I also want to share the positives when a person can move past the myth and takes action.

If I or my child is diagnosed with ADHD:

Myth 1: It’s not ADHD; just a matter of the right discipline.

Truth: You may be absolutely right. In the early years (and even sometimes today) parents and teachers have used ADHD as an excuse for their children/students poor behavior. There are occasions where unruly children are just a product of parents who lack discipline in the home.

HOWEVER…this is not always the case.  IF you and/or your spouse have this type of thought process my guess is that your child lives in a disciplined home. So this begs to question, if you are disciplining your child for his/her behavior and it isn’t doing any good, what then? ADHDers truly can’t always help what they do or don’t do, especially if they don’t know why they are the way they are. Not sitting still, constantly tapping, forgetting homework, inability to focus or making spontaneous decisions without considering the consequences. These are all signs that IF your child lives in a solidly disciplined home, yet still struggles you might want to consider that it’s more than discipline.

Myth 2: I (or my child) will have to be on drugs.

Truth: First let me do a disclaimer and clarify that I am not a licensed doctor so whether someone chooses to take medication or not for ADHD is totally between them, their family and doctor. I do not advise one way or the other. Having said that, I can confidently share that I have seen people who make different choices regarding medication and have been just fine.

When my son, was diagnosed at 10 years old, we tried several medications and after a few tries with different meds we found one that seemed to work. Even so we (my son, wife, doctor and I) collectively made a decision for him not to take the meds. BUT…when we sat down to discuss this we made it clear with our son that it would be more challenging and that without medications to help the brain sort things out, he would have to learn who he was, how his mind operated and would probably have a little more struggle handling the ADHD. This proved to be true; it was not an easy road for us parents or his teachers, but today I am proud to say my son graduated and is serving our country as a United States Marine.

Truth is everyone is different and can make his or her own choice. I have had clients who use medication for a short while to develop  new habits to compensate for ADHD, some just take them only during the week, others don’t take any at all, while yet others choose to take them for life. Again, this is a decision that is made between you, your family and a doctor who is an expert in ADHD. But never should medication be a factor to keep you or your child from being diagnosed.

Myth 3: Means that I (my child) have a weakness.

TRUTH:  ADHD people are some of the smartest, most energetic and creative people on the planet! Every client that walks through my door amazes me. Often I find myself asking questions about their life and think, “Wow! I wish I were that creative and could do that!”

The trick, if you are a professional or your child is ADHD, is to harness the energy and creativeness so that it is controlled. I always use the analogy of dynamite. Dynamite is a powerful tool when used by professionals and in a controlled environment for a purpose. But if dynamite is left in the hands of someone who is untrained and utilized it for the wrong thing, it is deadly. The same can be said for ADHD. Get trained on the gift you have been given and watch it open up doors you never thought possible.

Myth 5: I (or my child) will require a lifelong series of psychological help.

TRUTH: Everyone is different, but never make the assumption that anything is “lifelong.” It is true that a psychologist and/or coach can help both children and adults learn new behaviors to become a success, but the goal is to help each person become successful on their own. When this thought comes to mind think about this, what is the lifelong consequences if I DON’T get the assistance needed?

Myth 6: My child will feel inferior and never amount to anything.

TRUTH: Parenting 101, all children want to know where their boundaries are in life; that is why they push parent’s patience. Children find security in knowing where boundaries are. The same is true for them discovering about themselves.

When you found out your son was good at football, did you hide that? What about when your daughter discovered she had a beautiful voice? Did you not tell her she had a gift? When a child (or you as an adult) learns about themselves it gives direction and understanding. It’s the NOT knowing that leads to a confusing life of saying, “I don’t know why I do these things” that makes a person feel inferior.

Myth 7: we will have to spend an enormous amount of money on doctors, coaching and/or psychologist

TRUTH: The amount of money one spends is different depending on his or her needs and desires. However whatever amount of money we should change our  perspective. We are talking about giving someone a better chance at life. Whether coaching, diagnoses with a psychologist or medications, think about this as an investment in your or your loved one’s life.

Most don’t have a problem paying money for their children to have a cell phone, the most popular clothing, go on vacations, or the tons of money spent on sports and activities. So why would money be a factor in something that could determine their direction life?

TAKE AWAY

This week’s blog is longer than I like, but I thought the subject too important. In my profession I see many who could benefit from facing their ADHD, yet do not. These people are going down a dirt road; often getting stuck yet all the while all he or she has to do is make a slight turn to the right to a freshly paved road to where they want to go.

If you or someone you know believes they might be ADHD I hope these thoughts will influence you to at least investigate with a professional. Even if the diagnosis is “no” at least you put that one thought to rest and can move on. You will be glad you did.

Got a story about ADHD? Share with me; I’d be glad to hear your story.

Leave a Comment