Just Try Harder – Understanding Stigma
Ever have the really bad cold, or the flu? Terrible, feeling sick in bed, stuffed head, you feel like crap. When you are sick in bed, family and friends come to help you, offer you soup and get well wishes: “Feel better soon!” Now, imagine if they treated a flu like they treated ADHD.
ADDYTeens here this all the time: “Just try harder”. Imagine your family and friends said ”Why don’t you just try harder….not to have the flu? Maybe if you just change your attitude a bit, then you won’t have the flu!”
What the heck?!
Why would anyone think that something like ADHD is something that is any less real or challenging than having anything else? In a word – Stigma.
We ADDYTeens can be just as competent, personable, and skilled as anyone, but when we are treated differently because of our condition, that is called Stigma. No, its not fair, but you need to get used to that.
Can this stigma be avoided? Yes, by making sure you tell people what having ADHD is all about, and rejecting any ridicule, contempt, or discrimination for “thinking differently.”
Having ADHD is no different than needing to wear glasses! Its hard for us to focus, but we can adapt and deal with that challenge. Remember that next time someone questions you about your ADHD. Wearing glasses doesn’t invite stigma, neither should having ADHD!