Admitting you have ADHD: Hello All. I... - CHADD's Adult ADH...

CHADD's Adult ADHD Support

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Admitting you have ADHD

Bangtan profile image

Hello All. I was diagnosed with Adult ADHD months ago. I never had an issue with it until now. I am in a high stress, highly visible position. I make little mistakes here and there but it's starting to add up. Management came to me the other day and said that there were some "concerns" with my work. I want to tell them that I have ADHD but I feel like it would be an excuse. Does anyone have tips on how to divulge this information to their employer?

12 Replies

It's so hard to find balance. 😫 I wish I could tell you but I struggle with the same issue. Sometimes I want to tell them but then having the anxiety of them thinking I'm on "drugs" when I'm "on" is terrible too. I find that sometimes direct eye contact sometimes makes my mind spiral down an anxiety loop of anxiety that they are judging me or thinking I'm on drugs...as the meds me a little ocd with keeping things together(cleaning) which is good at work but still. And then sometimes it dulls my personality so I don't catch my serious tone of voice or matter of fact responses.

My advice would be to not take it too personally and ask them what areas areas of concern and work on them. Ask a lot of questions when you don't understand...it's better than assuming and doing something wrong. Not sure if this is you case but that's something I have had troubles with in the past.

Feel free to reach out if you want to talk about it!

Thank you for the feedback. Their main areas of concern are my attention to detail, decision making, and forgetfulness/poor memory. Having ADHD, I'm already aware of my "issues". I thought I was doing a good job in handling it but apparently I am not. So I'm at a loss. I'm doing the best I can do but it's not enough.

Firstly, give yourself some credit for how hard you’ve been working and not letting your ADHD stop you from doing this job! If it’s good enough for you, it’s good enough!

I’ve found it helpful to just let my employers know I have ADHD. Why don’t you tell them when it next makes sense to bring it up, eg next time they discuss their “concerns” and little mistakes you’re making. They’re not allowed to fire you for having a condition. Letting them know means that hopefully they won’t be as hard on you, and you can ask for additional support or training. Also taking meds helps!

The things that you’re struggling with are harder for someone with ADHD to do, but that doesn’t mean we can’t do them, we just need to much much harder to develop those skills. The more you do and practice, the better you will get. If there’s room for improvement that’s not a bad thing, it means you have the opportunity to grow and become better.

Good luck!

I don't believe it's necessary to tell them. Find a treatment that works for you and you'll be fine.

I wouldn’t tell them. It sounds like that your performance is an extremely important thing to them and that it might be more important to them than your overall welfare otherwise. I mean there are lots of reasons why your employer can’t fire you, such as you are the wrong color or the wrong religion, but I think if you tell them that you have a medical condition that makes you more likely to make the type of mistakes that they want you to make a less of, I don’t think good things will happen. Maybe I’m wrong, I guess other people will let me know.

Of course the laws vary by country. But I live in the United States and I think you do too yes? I would either a) try harder or b) Get a job more in line with your abilities.

You might want to check out this website which discusses wrongful termination because of a disability. It talks about the Americans with disabilities act. It says that as long as your disability does not interfere with doing the essential functions of your job, your employer can’t fire you for having one. So the question is, does having ADHD interfere with your doing the essential functions of your job? Sounds to me like it does. Anyway, this is the webpage.

nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia...

Bangtan profile image
Bangtan in reply to Learning101

Ironically enough, I work in HR in a hospital. There are no past cases but still, I don’t want to be the first.

Learning101 profile image
Learning101 in reply to Bangtan

I understand. Good luck with it.

I have recently been diagnosed and it was result of my boss suggesting I get counseling due to issues with my work performance. I am blessed to work for an organization that will offer that help. However, It is really hard for me not to convince myself that it is an excuse. If that makes sense. I feel lie I should be able to do everything everyone else should do without help. I am just beginning to learn about the real challenges that living with ADHD presents. I have so far done pretty well at coping with something I didn't know I was coping with. But it has become increasingly more difficult to manage. I understand your hesitancy, but they may be more understanding than you think. You need to advocate for yourself.

Wow! Your organization is amazing. Thank you for your story. It’s comforting knowing that there are others in similar circumstances.

I was in a similar situation and considered telling them I have ADHD, but I was too worried about being labeled. The legal protections seem thin. So instead I expressed to my team that everyone processes differently and it's not ok to assume less intelligence etc. This was in response to my manager and a few colleagues commenting about my memory being poor or not being able to multi-task / produce fast enough etc. They expected me to learn complex new material super fast given the workload. After seeing little change in the team culture, I was recently able to change teams. I'm hopeful to carve out a niche that is complementary. If not, self-employment is a potential solution. Wishing you luck and just wanted to share my story. You're not alone.

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