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Engaging with ADHD

There can often be stigma associated with having a diagnosis of any type. When one gets diagnosed with ADHD some people feel that stigma deeply. Stigma can manifest as a feeling of shame - as if having the thing makes one less than others.  In the case of having a diagnosis of ADHD - it feel less than -  to be not neuro-typical.  

Intellectually one can affirm that everyone is valuable - but a diagnosis of ADHD can invoke stigma because there is pressure to be neuro-typical. 

How do you work through stigma?

There are many answers to that question, but two that are significantly valuable are:

1. Educate yourself. Reducing stigma around ADHD involves educating yourself about ADHD:

- Talk to your family doctor

- Check out the Center for ADHD awareness in Canada

- Read a book about ADHD (here are a few suggestions)

A recent book: ADHD 2.0:New Science and Essential Strategies for Thriving with Distraction--from Childhood through Adulthood

Gabor Mate's book, Scattered Minds

A book about woman and ADHD:

A Radical Guide for Women with ADHD: Embrace Neurodiversity, Live Boldly, and Break Through Barriers     

A book about ADHD in marriage / relationships:

The ADHD effect on marriage

2. Pay attention to your attitude and feelings around stigma

The Center for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) has found that in other spheres of mental health, stigma prevents significant numbers (upwards of 40%) of people from seeking medical and professional help (see note). Stigma has a way of internalizing into us a sense that we are less than if we have something so we can't get help or don't deserve help. With ADHD one can internalize that ADHD is less than. Paying attention to that thought pattern can help you address it. 

There is a lot of help for ADHD. If you have been diagnosed with ADHD, engage with it. If you are looking for a therapist to help you with strategies to manage ADHD, reach out and schedule a free consult.


Photo by Marek Studzinski on Unsplash