Here’s What Not To Say To Someone With ADHD

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a challenging and often misunderstood disorder. A lot of myths and beliefs regarding the condition continue to persist even today with the advent of multiple information channels. Many people have difficulty understanding the complex nature of ADHD and how it affects people’s everyday lives. 

Being there for someone with ADHD is tricky, and sometimes due to your unawareness about things, you could end up saying something that might actually hurt your loved one deeply. That is why it is so essential to understand the condition and what not to say to someone with ADHD.

A teenage girl whispering in the other girl's ear

List Of What Not To Say To Someone With ADHD 

1. “ADHD is not real.” 

The one thing that tops the list of what not to say to someone with ADHD is thinking and preaching that the disorder isn’t real. Most of the time, when people see individuals with ADHD, they consider their symptoms as a part of their personality, refusing to acknowledge the complexity of the situation. This can end up hurting and, even worse, misguiding an individual about their condition. 

Additionally, we will make it clear for the ones who don’t get it. ADHD is a severe mental health disorder and requires proper treatment and care, just like physical illnesses.

2. “Everyone is a little bit distracted sometimes.”

Well, this is a different kind of distracted. ADHD is much more than the common symptoms of distractedness people associate it with. It can get frustrating for an individual with ADHD to continuously be regarded as equivalent to a routine feeling everyone experiences. 

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3. “You just need to try harder.”

People often associate people having ADHD with being lazy and slacking on work. They feel like they are using their ADHD as an excuse to get away from work. However, this is extremely untrue. People with ADHD might indeed do some things well and others rather poorly. However, this is not a sign that they haven’t been trying. They want to complete their tasks, work effectively, and be productive. But it is just not their fault if this severe condition restricts their functioning to a certain level.

4. “Isn’t everyone a little ADHD?”

Another phrase that makes it to the list of what not to say to someone with ADHD is terming everyone as a little ADHD, thereby negating the whole disorder. 

This phrase can be hurtful and infuriating for a person dealing with ADHD for multiple obvious reasons. Firstly, it implies that you don’t understand the severity of their condition and are disregarding their daily struggles. It can also make people with ADHD unseen and guilty of being unable to perform everyday tasks, as well as other people without ADHD.

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Inaccurate beliefs and stereotypes often push people with ADHD into the corner and isolate them. They act as a significant barrier to reaching for the right help. Without proper treatment, they continue to suffer needlessly. It is important to correct and restructure people’s beliefs regarding ADHD so that we as a society can provide a comfortable and kind space for those going through it.

The mental illness awareness week is an annual initiative to spread awareness regarding mental health and related issues. To learn about how you can be a part of spreading awareness and making the world an inclusive space, click here.

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