ADHD Stigma

Anna Tanko, Opinion Writer

Growing up with ADHD (attention deficit/ d i s p l a c e m e n t h y p e r a c t i v e disorder) bothers a lot of people. The looks you get while the bleacher is shaking during mass from your leg bouncing, getting called “too much to be around” and annoying, you either talk too much or not at all, and honestly, you get treated like a liability. People love having you around when you are in a “spaz” mood or when it’s time to have fun. As soon as that battery dies and the other aspects of ADHD set in, you are just as easily a burden to hangout with. The interesting part about ADHD is how different it is between boys and girls. While girls with ADHD tend to have more anxiety and have internal symptoms, boys tend to act out, show anger and appear hyperactive. One of my guy friends who also has ADHD almost got kicked out of class and yelled at multiple times just for talking and being hyper, which is totally normal for his personality. I understand that this would bother some teachers but what I did not understand was how I was not treated the same way even though I could not stop talking and being distracted. This is an example of low impulse control. Personally I lack impulse control very much, I say everything that comes to mind without thinking unless I am medicated. The same boy in my class struggles with the exact same thing but because of his reputation he is treated differently. ADHD brings out a whole new side to sexism. Every kindergarten age boy who likes to wrestle and talk in class gets diagnosed as hyperactive and “needs to be medicated”, however, girls with ADHD are just “social butterflies” and hardly ever get diagnosed. Adults often think ADHD is just an excuse to act disrespectful or get medicated but these people don’t understand the internal struggle. It becomes hard to control after going through several rounds of medication with multiple side effects that don’t work for each person. Medication is not as easy as it sounds when you take it. The side effects vary from losing emotion, change in appetite, feeling dull, sleepless nights and even depression. However, it gets treated as an excuse to be disrespectful or annoying. No matter what, it just is not good enough.