You know I get upset when I hear people say things like “You don’t seem like you have a mental disorder, are you sure?”
But let’s consider the world in which opinions like these have been nurtured. We live in a world where mental health is considered a vulgar topic of conversation.
If you’re not feeling emotionally or mentally stable, you’re supposed to keep it to yourself. If you need help, you have to figure out how to find it with little to go on in the way of signage and less in the way of knowledge in the community.A little background
When it comes to ADHD, we are, as I’ve said before, dichotomies or possibly even trichotomies. Quadrachotomies? Multichotomies? Who knows?
Take for instance the fact that I can forget what message I was supposed to relay to someone, but I can remember that tomatoes are fruit and rhubarb is a vegetable. If it’s too quiet, I can be distracted easily, but if the radio is whalin’ I can stick to my work easily. I can forget to make an appointment, forget I made an appointment, forget when my appointment is for, but I can remember that May the 4th will forever be, unofficially, “Star Wars Day.”
Why do I know that holding down the [ALT] key and typing “0169” on the keypad is how you make the copyright symbol, but I couldn’t tell you what my phone number is without it being a mnemonic. (I had to ask for the number I have, just so I’d remember it.)
When I’m interacting with people, I usually display my strengths and hide my weaknesses. Thus, I will regale you with bits of fantastic trivia that are seemingly at my fingertips, and they are. But when I suddenly realize that I’m not supposed to be here chatting with you in a café and am actually supposed to be meeting my income tax specialist who is supposed to extricate me from my tax woes, I’m not likely going to mention that.
So when I say I have a mental disorder called ADHD, and you don’t believe me, I guess I shouldn’t be too surprised.Meanwhile, back on topic …
Anyway, as I was saying, The world is not receptive to the idea of open conversations about mental health, and that’s not really surprising either. Because not only do others not want to talk about it at all, we tend to keep it under wraps too.Catch 22?
Do we do that because there’s a poor reception for conversation about mental health? Or is there a poor reception about mental health because we do that?
I decided some time ago that it didn’t matter which way ’round it was. It’s a chicken and egg question, you know, which came first? And I still eat chicken … and eggs. The question is irrelevant.And so?
So I talk about mental health. And I tell people I have a mental health disorder. And if they say “You don’t seem like you have a mental disorder, are you sure?” I say “Yes, I’m sure. It isn’t something that anyone can notice. And it’s actually quite common. It’s almost, you know … the norm.”
I was born in the city of Toronto in 1959, but moved when I was in my fourth year of life. I was raised and educated in a rural setting. I live in an area where my family history stretches back 6 or more generations. I was diagnosed with ADHD at the age of 50 and have been both struggling with the new reality and using my discoveries to make my life better. Find out more about me on my website: writeofway. email me at ADHD ManLike this author?