“I believe that when a student does not understand his or her condition (in other words, his or her label), this can lead to a self-assigned label: “I have ADHD. I can’t focus well enough to do math. I’m stupid.” This is more disabling than the terms ADHD or LD. My work in schools supports my view that stereotype threat, and the stress it causes, can be countered with positive self-attributions related to the disability label.” - Jerome Schultz, ph.D. in ADDitude Magazine
The Label of ADHD
Schultz brings up a critically important point – the stereotypes we attach to the label of “ADHD” can be crippling. We stuff a great person into a negative box and pretty soon everyone believes the negative stereotypes, including the person with the ADHD.
It’s important for everyone to separate out the symptoms of ADHD from the person who has the ADHD. The symptoms simply produce an overlay of behaviors that can be changed and managed, usually pretty well. But management takes effort, and effort is hard to sustain when you are discouraged or have low self-esteem.
Not only that, but focusing on the negatives means you often miss the positives that are right in front of you. A distracted person might be wildly creative, for example…who says she has to conform to all the rules?
Do you put yourself or someone you love into an ADHD ‘box?’
For those in marriages impacted by ADHD
You can find great resources for couples impacted by ADHD at adhdmarriage.com, including: a free online treatment overview; free downloadable chapters of my books; a community forum with other couples facing similar issues; a large number of blog posts on various topics; referrals; and my very popular couples course: ADHD Effect In-Depth Couples' Seminar - Next live session starts October, 2016 - this eight-session phone seminar has helped many couples turn around their relationship. A self-study version is available for those who can't wait that long.