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    Friday, July 19, 2013

    ADHD & Invisible Illnesses

    I liked what I thought was a good and useful page on Facebook a bit ago. Then I followed a link on that page to their website, and discovered that they are prejudiced and ignorant. If you like Stop Workplace Drama, and aren't the type of person who tells people that they are faking if they have a disability that you can not see, you should probably un-like them right now. If it sickens you when you see others doing it, then you definitely need to un-like them.

    What set me off, you might wonder? Well it was this post: http://stopworkplacedrama.com/become-a-creator/destruction-and-distractions-keep-you-from-creating-what-you-want/ I thought it might be helpful, and contain real and helpful advice, but instead, it called me names and insulted me and thousands of others. Below is what I wrote as a comment on their post.

    "Seriously? You wrote ADHD, a serious, and often debilitating neurological disorder, on your list of "justifications" and "labels" to "excuse" distracted "behaviors" along with all the things that can be overcome with willpower or the desire to succeed? I liked your page on Facebook because it had some good wisdom on it. But now I know you are one of those ill-informed people who thinks that ADHD, and the torture it causes in my personal day to day life, is some sort of fake little pretend excuse for not facing my challenges. I assure you, I have more challenges than you will ever guess, and my willpower and desire to succeed is beyond measure. I work constantly towards my goals, from waking until bed, and sometimes I forget to eat or sleep because I am so devoted to my work. Saying that this disease doesn't exist proves that you are prejudiced against those of us with this invisible disability. I have changed my mind about both you, and your page. Good day to you."

    Needless to say, I am quite irate. This is the second time in as many weeks that I have encountered this type of bigotry. And the first time, it was from a woman with fibromyalgia! You'd think she'd know about the discrimination those with invisible illnesses are subjected to, and not spread the prejudice around, especially since my disease can actually be tracked in a brain scan and hers is the result of a subjective test and a bunch of doctors saying they have no clue what's going on! (For the record, I know fibro is real, and no I don't have it. I don't have to have it or know how it works to know that my friends and family are NOT lying, whiny attention-seekers, making excuses for laziness. -That is what the ignorant say about fibro patients-) I am simply making a highly accurate comparative example.

    But I digress. There are well-educated people out there who are so willfully ignorant on the topic that they think that decades of clinical research and documented scientific evidence are completely false. These people think that I and the hundreds of thousands of others with ADHD are crazy, stupid, and lazy. They might not use those words exactly, but that is what many of us grew up hearing. We were put in learning disabled and remedial classes, asked why we weren't "applying ourselves", ostracized by our peers, and degraded at every turn by the very people who were supposed to be teaching us and helping us grow into responsible adults. In fact, this type of treatment is so very common, a book was written about it! "You Mean I'm Not Lazy, Stupid or Crazy?!: The Classic Self-Help Book for Adults with Attention Deficit Disorder"

    The next time you see or hear some person speaking ill of someone plagued by an invisible illness, disease, or disability, or even just the ailment itself, speak out, take action, educate and make the truth heard. Because the next time an ignorant person speaks badly about it, they might hurt someone you care about. Even worse (for them), they might say it where I can hear. With all I've written here, you can imagine how clearly I might chose to educate someone who says that I or someone that I love is a lazy waste of air to my face.

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