A lot of people I know wear glasses. Many kids in my middle school and high school wore glasses.
No one told them “why are you wearing glasses, why not just try harder to see better? “
Glasses helped my friends to focus. They couldn’t see the chalkboard or read a book without their glasses. But their glasses did not make them smarter. Glasses did not do their homework, and glasses did not take their exams. Thinking otherwise is just stupid.
ADDYTeens also have a hard time with focus – that is we have a hard time maintaining our attention on a task – like your homework, or cleaning your room, or completing a project.
So for example, when you are focusing on reading this blog post. Your brain should be just thinking only about the words on this page. Your brain should see the words on the page as more important than all the other things your brain could be paying attention to—the pictures on your walls, what your friend said to you yesterday—or, your phone. But that is not always how ADDYTeens think.
Sometimes ADDYTeens think in a unfocused way. Your brain may start with the words on this page, but then you might also start thinking about other things. You might notice that a picture on the wall isn’t quite straight, and then get up to straighten it, and while you are up notice that you had left something on your bookshelf that you wanted to give to your friend. Then you might remember that you had ANOTHER friend you wanted to talk with, and go over and call her.
Yep, your brain started with the words on the page, but instead of that remaining more important than other thoughts or items around you, you get distracted and stop reading.
Now, you know why it takes so long to do your homework!
I take ADHD medication sometimes to help me focus. When I was in high school and college, I took my ADHD medication all the time, since I had so much work on which to focus. My ADHD medication did not make me smarter. I had to study, do my homework, and take my tests. It did help me focus, like glasses helped my friends. I graduated with honors! But I was also in the library studying 60+ hours every week.
No one says “stop wearing glasses and just try harder to see”. Why do people say bad things about taking ADHD medications then? ADDYTeens are not stupid, but we think differently. My friends needing glasses see differently. So what?!
The problem is stigma! ADDYTeens are often stigmatized, which means we are discriminated against, treated unfairly, or with disapproval. That sucks! But its true.
The best way to fix this is to speak up and join the ADDYTeen community! When people show ignorance and stigma toward you send them to this site, and they will learn that having ADHD and using ADHD medication is just like having poor eyesight and needing glasses. No difference, no biggie, its just how we were born.