What is your initial impression of people with ADHD?

If I were your new coworker, boss, employee, acquaintance, in-law, etc. whom you have recently gotten to know and told you that I suffer from ADHD when it is relevant, what would be your initial assumption based on what you know or think about the condition?

For instance, would you think I must be immature, hyper, talk too much? Do you think we’re making excuses? Would you think I was less capable? Would you be surprised if I had a certain personality trait? Be honest.

Why do I need to know?

It may be relevant, especially in a work environment.

How bout you do your job, and over time we’ll decide to what extent I need/want to know anything about your personal life?

I’d want to know if you take any medications for it, when did you get diagnosed, have you seen any good movies lately, tell you about what I had for dinner last night, find out if you know why some of the hallway doors swing in and why some swing out, do you drive to work, and where do you park, or if you take public transportation how can you stand that, and do you have lunch plans today? Do you like the burrito place? How about the Thai place? What were we talking about?

It has it’s strengths and weaknesses. If there is a conflict I would explain that we may have different ways of viewing things due to that, and I don;t mind that person saying that they are ADHD’ing if they don’t mind that I say that they seem to be ADHDing and I just need to manage thing my own way.

I’d reserve the right to still find you annoying, medical diagnosis or not.

l guess it would depend on why you’re telling me. Are you telling me this after you’ve worked my nerves and I’ve lost my temper over something you’ve done? Or are you telling me pre-emptively, before you’ve actually done anything?

If the former, I’d probably have a negative reaction. I don’t like that I’m like this, but I don’t like excuses. “Sorry if I acted like a jerk in the meeting, but I’ve got ADHD! Forgive me!” just sounds like excuse-making to my no-nonsense ear.

However, if it’s the latter, then I’d have more respect. If you told me something like, “If I am a little scatter-brained in the meeting, please be patient. I have an attention deficient disorder, and I really struggle sometimes”, you would at least prepare me so that I DON’T get annoyed. It’s kinda too late to make things better once I’m already annoyed.

I have a coworker I suspect is on the ADHD spectrum. Even knowing that he can’t help himself doesn’t change the fact that often he is very irritating. I’ve intentionally not invited him to a couple of meetings because he is notorious for derailing discussions and being the hyper, blabbermouth class clown. However, he’s a very smart guy, and he’s very good at what he does. The fact that he sometimes bugs the shit out of me doesn’t take away from the value he adds to the team. It just means I have to be extra patient with him.

You know we’re not thrilled with you people who have EAD (Excess Attention Disorder).

I know from family members that ADHD can present much differently in adults. I have two nephews and a daughter diagnosed with it. In all three cases when they were young there was no mistaking the symptoms. Now that they are older you could never tell. All three are calm and personable. But all three still have great difficulty concentrating on tasks and seeing things through to the end.

The only thing I would absolutely think is that you were an oversharer.

My rebuttable assumption would be that you’re self-diagnosing, or got diagnosed when you were a hyperactive little kid with a short attention span, and I’d wonder which.

My mother has ADHD and, even at 65, it is blatantly obvious to anyone that meets her. In fact, she has used it to her advantage. She got her doctorate in her 50’s, wrote three books that were successful and flies all over the world speaking to audiences ranging from the dozens to the many thousands. She is in 4 different countries some weeks and always has so many irons in the fire that it is exhausting to be around her even on vacation because she makes so many last minute plans and cannot refuse any new stimulus. Audiences love her because she is so energetic and covers so much emotionally charged material in a short amount amount of time.

However, it is really hard to be her child even though I try and probably do the best at it out of the three of us. We all live far away and it is difficult to talk to her on the phone because she has a really hard time listening rather than talking and the conversation will change completely based on her mental whims of the moment. I have complained to her about it directly many times and even made some progress but it still isn’t normal. If I need to tell her something truly important, I have to interrupt her and ask her to just listen and not speak again for the next 30 seconds or so because it really is that hard for her to restrain herself from interrupting or changing the subject to something completely unrelated based on something she thought of that second.

If you were my coworker, I’d probably have a negative opinion, especially if this revelation came after you ballsed something up. I have ADHD and I don’t use it as an excuse, I’d likely think, so why are you? I’ve never told a supervisor I have it because I don’t want fewer responsibilities or to thought of as doing well “for someone who has ADHD” so I’d wonder why you weren’t concerned about these things too. Of course, this perception is colored by having a colleague who really does use her diagnosis as an excuse, which pisses me off because my position is no less complex than hers and I manage to be a lot more competent.

In any other type of relationship I’d probably commiserate :slight_smile:

My boss, I strongly suspect, has a fulminating case of ADHD and I wish she would acknowledge it. Perhaps then we could finally dispense with the comforting fiction that it’s simply the demands of her busy busy job that prevent her from listening, concentrating on one thing longer than 5 mins, and speaking without rambling, and she can actually seek treatment for it. Or at least give her staff instructions on how to best accomodate her issues.

If I was your coworker I would appreciate the heads-up, because then I would know upfront to adjust my expectations and not be surprised if you started jittering in meetings or whatever. If your ADHD is bad enough, people will eventually spot the signs and it’s better they attribute your behavior to a condition than a rude personality.

This matches my experience somewhat, so I wouldn’t make any assumptions just from hearing that a person has ADHD. My relative just has a lot of energy, which his wife puts to good use. His job is quite physical too. It’s possible he’d have issues if he was in an office setting, but I can’t be sure.

I have a coworker who told me, apropos of nothing, that she has ADHD and takes meds for it. Of course, she also said she’s bipolar. I also think she’s a pathological liar(is that a symptom of ADHD?) Before she revealed her condition to me I found her somewhat irritating, rather stupid and just. . . off. When she told me about the ADHD I just thought “oh, that explains it”. Prior to meeting her I must admit that in general I had an underlying sense of ADHD being a crock of shit. She seems to have proven me wrong.

Someone can either do what they were hired to do or they can’t. If you tell me about your gallbladder issues, migraines, ADHD, gout, whatever, then I’ll consider it TMI unless we are friends away from work.

Look! A squirrel!

There’s a guy I occasionally talk with over beers at the bar. I assume he has Tourette’s. He grunts/barks loudly every so often. On a good day he does this maybe once every five or ten minutes. On a bad day he does it more frequently. On bad days he finishes his beer and leaves.

We talk about current events, cooking, our pets, boating, etc but he has never mentioned whatever medical problem he has.