I’m so thankful that there are so many wonderful resources on what to do if a loved one, a student, and/or a friend has ADHD.
However, there’s something that we really need to talk about.
And that’s what NOT to say to someone with an ADHD brain.
Unfortunately, many of us with ADHD struggle lots with having our moments in which we are impulsive and irritable; and, while we benefit lots from treating our ADHD and learning some different tools/hacks to prevent these moments, there are things you can avoid saying to prevent these moments to maintain a healthy relationship with us.
Here are 3 things NOT to say to someone with ADHD:
#1.) “You don’t seem like someone with ADHD”
I’m not sure where to begin here.
“ADHD does not have a look to it, nor is it just one thing. While there’s a lot of common ground, there are 3 different types of ADHD. Inattentive, hyperactive and combined.”
Many of us with an inattentive type of ADHD don’t exhibit the same behaviors that we think of when it comes to ADHD such as hyperactivity/behavioral issues. This, unfortunately, leads to many women with ADHD being underdiagnosed being that women with ADHD sometimes have the inattentive type.
#2.) “Try harder”
Here’s the deal – people with ADHD are trying harder than you think. That isn’t the issue here.
Our brains are lacking dopamine, a neurotransmitter that largely influences our ability to be motivated, consistent – so much.
But simply “trying harder” is never helpful.
”What people with ADHD do need to do is to find healthy ways to boost dopamine. Things such as properly prescribed medication/supplements, exercise and reward based systems are all good ideas.”
#3.) “Don’t we all have a little ADHD?”
Here’s the deal.
“We all get distracted. We all get impulsive. We all have areas in our lives in which our organization is not ideal. That, however, doesn’t make us all people with ADHD.”
It’s similar to how we all forget things every now and then, but we don’t all have dementia. It’s the extent to which one deals with these symptoms that determines as to whether or not a person has ADHD and while there may be many things you can do to help your friend if they are having issues, I can most certainly confirm for you that undermining their issues is not one of them.
“It’s similar to how we all forget things every now and then, but we don’t all have dementia.”
That all said, I appreciate you taking the time to read this article, that tells me you care. And neither of us are perfect. In different relationships, we all make plenty of mistakes but like with anything, we can get better. My hope is that you consider preventing these things being said in a relationship with someone with ADHD, as you’ll be doing a much greater good deed to the person than you may think.
Marc Almodovar has diagnosed ADHD, anxiety, and depression. Upon turning his life around, Marc now coaches ADHD men to live their very best lives, including integrative nutrition.