Today I’m going to talk about stigma.
For many of us it’s not an issue – we aren’t forced to wear funny hats or anything, so it’s not that easy to spot us when we’re out in the world. It’s an invisible disability (it is a disability), sometimes it would be helpful if it wasn’t so invisible.
Seriously folks – you get people that will say to you ‘You don’t look like you’ve got ADHD’, like there’s an ADHD look. Or ‘If you’re disabled why don’t you have a blue badge?’
Actually – some of us do, but not many. There’s nothing wrong with our mobility, usually, unless we happen to have a mobility impairment or a severe amount of social phobia.
But we do have impairments – that’s how we got diagnosed.
I’m terrible at relationships – personal/work/whatever – it means I’m single, when I don’t want to be, and have never been promoted in my life. That means I’m close to retiring and am still only employable in entry level positions – would sir like fries with that?
Bosses and me are like…petrol and air. Just waiting for a spark.
For some of us it’s more of a problem. Some have family members that refuse to believe that ADHD is real or have workmates with ‘strong opinions’ or bosses that don’t take it seriously. So we might not admit we have ADHD (no funny hat, remember?).
And some of us have jobs where having a neurological condition could be seen as a liability.
For example (an analogy) I have a driving licence. I passed the driving test, not a special, easy, driving test for disabled people. I’m as qualified as any driver (except I’m better qualified – I have advanced driving qualifications). But I definitely passed that test and have that qualification.
What if you’re a doctor? Same tests passed, same qualification as other doctors. But somehow having a condition makes people nervous, as if you aren’t as good. I’ve got news for you – you’ve been surrounded by ADHDers (including doctors) for ever – and they weren’t diagnosed. Us diagnosed are actually an upgrade – I’m better than I was before. And I passed my driving test before I was diagnosed.
So now you know there are doctors with ADHD you might be surprised to hear that a lot of them are undiagnosed, because it might put a brake on their career. They passed those exams, you know!
ADHDer Of The Day – Dr X
Dr X is great. Kind, caring and supportive – just how you want a doctor. Fairly recently qualified, they now work at *********** hospital as a junior ***********.
It’s a long way from *********, where they still have family, but that’s how it is at this stage of a doctor’s career – you move around a lot.
Dr X finds the situation difficult and has taken to social media as an outlet for their frustration at the stigma.