I recently made a new friend courtesy of Twitter and she had a question for me: who do I tell about my ADHD?
She went on to say that she is a very open and honest person and that she wasn’t sure if telling others about her recent ADHD diagnosis was what she should do. She worried about losing others respect.
Do you feel that way too? Who do you tell about your ADHD?
Obviously, the world knows I have ADHD 🙂 but in my private life there are people who don’t.
As a family, we have had the “official” ADHD diagnosis for about 15 years, but it wasn’t until very recently that we told any of my husband’s family. There were certain members of his family who we felt would be extremely judgmental about the subject and there really was no reason for them to know. It only came out because they were coming for a visit at a time when I was traveling for business and I had to explain.
When you have a child with ADHD, you might consider telling the school officials and the teachers. Sometimes that’s helpful and sometimes it isn’t.
But when you’re an adult, things are less clear.
Of course, if you’re in a serious relationship, the other person should know. And I think it’s important to share your ADD experiences with your children, too, providing they are old enough to understand.
But what about your in-laws, your neighbors and friends, the people at church, and your co-workers? That’s when it gets a little tricky.
First of all, why do they need to know? And how are they likely to react?
In most instances, I would err on the side of caution, especially when it comes to work. You have to consider the nature of people that you might tell – are they likely to react with compassion or will they be talking about you first chance they get?
Like my friend, I was raised to be open and honest, but I wouldn’t consider not telling certain people about my ADHD as withholding anything from them. There are lots of things about your personal life that you don’t feel the need to share with anyone else; why should ADHD be any different?
As I said, people know that my family and I have ADHD because of the work that I do. But at the same time, my husband and my kids all have friends who know nothing of it.
You don’t need ADHD to explain to others who you are, and if they don’t like some of your ADD ways, are they worth keeping in your life?