Friendship and ADHD: ADHD knocked me... - CHADD's Adult ADH...

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Friendship and ADHD

Billy50
Billy50

ADHD knocked me out at birth. It left me with low self esteem, severed depression, and incredible feelings of isolation. My parents were not enough. My dad had ADD. And so, friendships were pick and choose. Either it was friends of my parent's kids or a collection of people who were not necessarily unpopular, but maybe different in some way.

The course of my life has sort of been trying to wake up from a deep slumber, feeling like a wide awake drunk, in that I see everything that is going on but felt unprepared and unable to speak how I feel.

A lot of people, may say "Duh. Why did You let this happen?!". Not so simple, and that in itself put me in even a deeper depression. Through exercise and much effort I have grown. Many times, people do not see it but for me it is great strides.

So what about friendship? From years of customer service it is simple - empathy. It does not cost much, but surprising how few even in customer service engage in it. So here goes:

1). Empathy. I absolutely set the line of demarcation of friendship today with this. Most people if I mention ADHD are either A). Silent, B) In Denial/Bully Me Over It While Pretending To Be Tough Love. Silence is not okay, because that just means one does not care. Denial is the worst. Here are some things that really get on my bad side:

1. Oh. I had that. My niece had that. She is doing great. Have You tried being more positive, less selfish, and making new friends? Gee. I know that, and you are belittling me and blaming me. That is called bullying.

2. Well. Other people have problems. Yes. I know that. Their problems are not likely like mine.

When I think of friendship of the past, try remembering whether there were any happy and positive memories with that person. If not, do not feel badly that you are no longer friends.

It is getting more difficult in today's fast paced World to make friends, but all it takes is empathy. It is so easy.

"You have ADHD. That must be a challenge. Now, I see that. I have seen lot of progress. You see more positive. Keep up the hard work".

It makes me sound when I mention the A Word (Not the swear word) and hear "I do not know You well enough". Yes. You do, and it did not cost You much to show a little empathy. You made me feel positive and You kept me from rambling on, getting negative, and an argument. Maybe it is too much expect, but I would rather have no friends then people who do not value and respect me.

6 Replies
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Hiya Billy,just read your post.A lot of the stuff resonated with me.To be honest,if I ever told anyone that I had ADHD,for one,they wouldn't understand.My frustration is that it's taken till my 50th year to be acknowledged.but nowhere near being diagnosed with meds.if I said ADHD to someone,they'd probably say that you're forgetful,get over it.but it's the mental turmoil that goes with it,deep depression and stress.Im sure this has done plenty to bring on the stress on my internal organs.what I've started doing again is doing puzzles galore and daily exercise.Not sure if that helps any.

Billy50
Billy50
in reply to Jjflash

The one thing that has not happened is the World really adjusting to ADHD. In fact, the exact opposite. The World is still heavily dominated by those without ADHD, and the Non-ADHD World thinks we are trouble makers who are irresponsible and blame others for our "slowness". That is enough to cause anyone with ADHD to have enormous depression. That is why I do not consider myself depressive. I think it is mostly the result of having ADHD and being from a family of outsiders. The World is sped up so much that am almost glad I was not younger and went to school during the Internet/I Phone Era. Getting much harder. People may have used and acted more openly bigoted in the old days, but nowadays it is as though one is Left behind by it all unless one has money and connections. So, I agree with your efforts. Keep them up. We all need to occupy ourselves with goals and things we work on, even if they are not directly socially engaging. Maybe someone will show interest, and I need to develop better social skills. Maybe listening and asking the other person good questions. Positive acknowledgement. Whether one has ADHD or not, people remember empathy and praise.

Pretty cool Billy, baring your soul like that. I relate. I may not know you, but I really have a good sense of who you are and how you thirst for meaningful, authentic relationships in which you are Seen, heard and appreciated. I felt invisible for many years too. so keep up the good work of sharing and writing and being who you are. Btw, You are a good writer!

Billy50
Billy50
in reply to plenti42day

Thank You. And in this World one has to demand respect and draw a line whether one has ADD or not. It just took me a long time to fully realize that I Wasn't Born To Follow, like that old song. I have no choice. Society wants to define me all the time and tell me I am no value. So, one has to tell society that one has to be respected for ADHD. And whether that means walking the World friendless or not, I have gone too long to care. And to tell You the truth the people who have claimed to be friends but just put me in my place are not friends. But whether ADHD or not, humans have the same needs. Try saying something positive but not fake about someone and it is amazing how many people appreciate it.

plenti42day
plenti42day
in reply to Billy50

What characteristics are you looking for in a friendship?

Billy50
Billy50
in reply to plenti42day

Simple empathy and positive encouragement. Amazing how many fail this basic request.

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