Recently I read a blog by an adult with ADHD who claimed that he hopes that they never find a cure for ADHD, because he apparently revels in the fact that he has this disability.
His status gives him the right, he argues “to wear his pyjamas the whole day long”. His wife and son apparently do not like it, but you know what he doesn’t care. It’s “who he is”.
So what is my problem, you might ask?
It is thus, ADHD should never define who you are. It is merely one of the many caps you are wearing in life. It should never be ‘the cap’. The moment it becomes ‘the cap’ – it becomes an excuse for bad behaviour. And then you are on a rocky road …
“Sorry judge I didn’t see the other car … because I have an attention disability. Sorry honey I only slept with him because I have poor self-control ….Sorry teacher I only hit him because he was teasing me and I am impulsive ….”
We have fought so hard and long just to get this serious neurological disability recognised and treated with the concern it deserves that, by ‘acting out’ your ADHD-ness in this manner, albeit by an adult, is doing more damage than good. We need adults with ADHD that are living with this disability in a proactive way, to help show the rest of the population, yes ADHD exists, it is treatable and it is possible to live a full functional life regardless of your status. What we don’t need is adults acting out and behaving like naughty children.
ADHD should never be an excuse. It’s an explanation at best. If you do not follow this coping strategy you are not holding yourself accountable for your actions. Nor can the rest of your family. I often see that mothers over-indulge their children with ADHD, mainly because they feel sorry for them. Sorry for what they have to put up with at school, being bullied, having a hard time with the teachers and other people in general.
Over-indulgence feeds the ‘Darth Vader’ in ADHD. Mollycodling makes ADHD worse. At most these kids need to know you are their champion, their support and that you love them unconditionally. That’s it. As a matter of fact, they should be held more accountable for their actions than other children.
Because they have an executive function disorder. They have poor self-control, poor self-regulation, and an inability to control their emotions. And the only way to help them take control, is by holding them accountable for their actions and making sure there are consequences for inappropriate/bad behaviour. They should learn this every time they show poor executive functioning. It is the basis of behaviour modification.
If we don’t do that – we are not helping them and not following a sensible treatment protocol. Then we are dangerously close to family dysfunction and marital discord. Not to mention the other, much worse outcomes like criminal behaviour, substance abuse etc.
This blogger admits his wife is “fed-up with him” wearing his pyjamas to the drug store, and it embarrasses his child when he picks him at school dressed this way, but you know what “it is who I am”.
It’s great to be quirky and all, but not to the point where you’re loved ones are uncomfortable or embarrassed by your behaviour. Then you are only feeding your own ego.
So my message to this guy is: “Grow up man, take responsibility. Think about others. Your loved ones, other people with ADHD. If you want to label your odd behaviour don’t abuse your ADHD status and use that to define you, rather call yourself something else like conventional-clothing-disabled person or compulsive-pyjama-addict. Oh yes … with ADHD.