This past weekend I had the opportunity to represent the Attention Deficit Disorder Association (ADDA), at a local health and fitness expo. I was one of two “mental health professionals” answering questions at the Shire booth - where adults could take a free screening to find out whether or not they should see a physician or treatment professional about Adult ADHD.
The experience was a lot of fun. I met a lot of great people, and had the opportunity to answer a great number of questions about ADHD.
But of all the questions I heard… And out of all the questions I was asked, one thing stood out for me the most.
As people approached the booth, couples, friends, and parents came up together snickering about attention, distraction, and all the other hallmark symptoms of ADHD.
“You totally have ADHD!”
“I don’t have it, but your sister absolutely does.”
“I’ve been telling my wife for years!”
As people approached the booth for their screening, it seemed like ADHD was more of a game than anything else. All day long people were sure they knew who had it (of course, no one themselves had it).
Ok, that’s not entirely true. There were a handful of people who came up and acknowledged that they had it.
But for the most part, it seemed like a game. And this was the most evident to me when people would walk away from the “screener” shouting - “I passed!”
At first I didn’t know what it meant, or what to make of it. But apparently, “I passed,” meant that someone did NOT appear to have symptoms consistent with ADHD.
All I can say is “WOW.” This was mind-blowing to me.
It became more apparent than ever that ADHD is grossly misunderstood… It was obvious that people are more aware of the so-called “deficits” of ADHD, rather than what someone is truly capable of accomplishing.
For that reason - on that day - my mission and purpose of sharing more information with as many people as possible became more relevant than ever.
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