People With ADHD Break Down The Unsolicited Advice They're Tired Of Hearing
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Neurotypical people giving neurodivergent folk unsolicited advice about their conditions is exhausting.

Can y'all stop that? Please?

It's not helpful, even when you mean the absolute best.

What works for your brain is literally not likely to work for someone neurodivergent. Conversely, what works for someone neurodivergent may seem like an absolute disco bloodbath to you.

And believe me, we WISH things like making lists and setting alarms actually worked.

Reddit user sk8fast8ass asked:

"Fellow ADHD folks, what are you tired of hearing from people without ADHD who try to give you advice on how to manage your ADHD?"

We know you love us.

We really do.

And it's because you love us, you'll read these answers and stop to ask yourself:

"Is this a really obvious solution that they've probably heard and tried 47 times already?"

Does it sound anything like:

Try Harder

" 'Try harder. Set an alarm. Make a list. I lose things too…' "

"There are lost and semi completed lists all over my house.!"

"The unsolicited advice was neither helpful nor warranted. I just don’t tell folks now."

"For the most part people outside of my immediate family think I have my sh*t together. I guess I'm good at masking."

"I made it to my 30’s without meds although high school & college would have been way easier if my parents had acknowledged that I actually had ADHD & had meds. But somehow I made honors/dean’s list & bought my first house by age 25."

"It’s pretty chaotic & stressful but the suggestions/guilt tripping/excuses don’t change anything. So, aside from my fam, only a few friends know."

"I just hold myself accountable, and know my limitations. And actually honor them instead of pretending I'm somehow going to magically get my life together for this thing."

"I have to say no to a lot of extraneous responsibilities asked of me like church volunteering, community/civic involvement - I try to do 1 or 2 things but no more than that at any given time. Even now with Rx, My regular responsibilities are barely manageable as is."

- California_Kat360


Lists. Do. Not. Always. Help.

"I got tired of explaining how lists are the worst thing you can do."

"You never remember to update. You never remember to actually look at the list."

"It gives you more anxiety knowing that you might have forgot to do something. Seeing everything all written down like that is overwhelming and makes everything feel impossible."

"And the worst part; you write lists to not having to remember, so you forget 100% of the things in the list because of that!"

- ch3l4s

"I've found lists and schedules very effective..."

"... When my wife manages them and just tells me what I need to know when I need to know it."

"Unless someone's volunteering to do that for you that's terrible advice."

"My wife is an extremely organized person. She keeps a diary in which every important date, appointment, etc of every member of the household is written, and she checks it regularly. It's sorcery."

- Otherwise_Window


Get Real

"Kinda tired of people trying to treat it as a quirky thing that I should love and not something I’d remove from myself the first chance I got."

"I saw some stupid thing on Instagram about how people with ADHD are so lucky because we get to think colorful thoughts and remember random lyrics or something insulting and ridiculous."

- Quirkyserenefrenzy

"I mean on one hand I don't want to hate my ADHD since it's a part of me that's never going away. If I'm going to be stuck with it forever, I wanna try and be positive about it and find ways to like that about myself, even if it is a hindrance most of the time."

"On the other hand, though, it really is a huge hindrance most of the time and it makes it nearly impossible for me to do anything. I don't want other people treating it like it's not a big deal when it really is."

- AliceJoestar

"Those people are in denial about the practical roadblocks ADHD puts up. You certainly shouldn't waste energy feeling butthurt about it, but you still need to function in the world and that means some work is in order."

- Desdinova74


We're Not All Hyper

" 'Oh, you don't have ADHD. My so-and-so has it and they are not like you at all.' "

"Yea I know I don't seem to have ADHD! I have inattentive ADHD which is very different from other types of ADHD."

- _Railley_

"I used to doodle in my notebook while teachers would give lessons because it was impossible for me to just sit and watch them talk while still retaining information."

"I had more than one teacher try to tell me that it wasn't ADHD because 'you can pay attention to your drawing but not the lesson?' despite the fact that I was paying attention to the lesson. Drawing was HOW I was paying attention."

- White_Wolf_Dreamer

"My son has inattentive ADHD and getting him diagnosed was hell."

“ 'But he is always so well behaved!' Yes, but he is failing 3rd grade because he cannot concentrate on his work."

"I had to really push the issue with everyone. And now, 8 years later, after being a straight A student while on the medication, people, his father included, still don’t believe it, because he is never hyperactive."

- Coconut-bird


In Your Head

" 'It's all in your head!' "

"Yeah no sh*t."

- Ph6r60h

"Yeh, F that. I want to ask them 'OK? So, I can’t leave my head at home or swap brains so this is the only brain I have.' "

- California_Kat360

" 'And your back pain is all in your back.' of course a neurological thing is all in my head, where else would it be?”

- Pseudonymico


A Little Is Not A Lot

" 'Everyone has a little ADHD.' Ok fine maybe, but some of us have A LOT of ADHD."

"Some people dismiss it like everyone gets distracted or procrastinates or is disorganized. Essentially saying you're not struggling with ADHD; everyone experiences this."

"Not true. Losing things sometimes or something being disorganized is not the same as being born with a chemical imbalance in your brain."

"People try to downplay the fact you need treatment just because everyone may experience this from time to time."

"For me it’s truly frustrating when someone tries to downplay the need for ADHD meds because yes, I could go without them and be miserable. But with them my life is so improved."

- igoachu


The Distraction Is ME

" 'Have you tried putting your phone away so you’re not distracted by it and can focus on work?' ”

"Listen, it doesn’t matter if I’m in a completely empty room with no windows and white walls, my brain WILL find something else to focus on beside the task I actually need to do."

- discarded_scarf

"Finally somebody that understands!"

"Only thing that might get me to do it is if you literally remove all my senses, put me in a empty room and then maybe I'd do it without distraction. I just have to factor it in to my day at this point. There WILL be distractions."

- MegaRayQuaza126

"Exactly this."

"I'm not distracted by things. I AM THE DISTRACTION. My brain just changes the channel and without meds there's no controlling it, I just need to wait til my brain decides it's time to circle back."

"With meds I at least have a chance."

- [Reddit]


Just Because We're Making It Work

"Had a new psych basically say he didn’t think my ADHD diagnosis (from an earlier psych) could be accurate because I got good grades in college."

"Like, yea I crammed before EVERY assignment and exam. Just because I was successful doesn’t mean my methods are not VERY dysfunctional/anxiety inducing for me."

"I felt very invalidated. Worse because it was coming from the person who was supposed to help me with the problem."

- Millarbles

"My psych laughed at me when I first brought up that when my husband talked about his ADHD symptoms I started to realize I was also experiencing those symptoms... a lot."

"She and tried to say something like 'don't we all want to pretend that we're all alike?' as if I was just mirroring his symptoms so I could suffer with him or something like that. I couldn't possibly have ADHD cause I was making my life work."

"Anyway, not long after that she actually talked to me and I was quickly diagnosed. Those initial dismissals always hurt the patient."

- Wreck-A-Mended

"For real. Like a normal car can use 2 tanks of gas to finish a race."

"Another car can sputter and burn up 5 gallons of gas because it needs to work harder because it's three times the weight of the first car. Both finish the race, the other needed way more gas though to do the same task."

"That's what ADD/ADHD is like. Being that 2nd car."

- FlynnLight


Like An Addict

"Honestly I'm less tired of hearing people's advice and more tired of how hard it is to get medication for ADHD, and how some doctors treat you like an addict for trying to get medication that is literally needed to just be able to try to function during the day."

"And still, any unexpected change to my schedule makes me forget a dozen other things I have to do. In my state it's not legal for my prescription to be auto-refillable so I have to remember to call my doctor's office every time I need a refill for my medication, sit though being on hold, then get transferred to voice mail anyways."

"As well as having to take piss tests randomly when I visit despite being on this medication for a year."

"Guess who is currently unmedicated because I forgot to call Friday since I woke up to the power being out, hoped it would be on when I got back from classes at my Uni (Spoiler alert: it wasn't), and since I had online assignments had to drive 40 minutes back up to Uni to realize as I parked that I forgot literally all my things and immediately had to drive back."

"So I'm saving the 3 doses I have for the 3 finals M-W that I have just in case it takes a week to get it refilled again."

"Honestly I can deal with the bad advice, I not only have inattentive-presenting ADHD but also major depressive disorder, so I've heard basically all of the 'just get better' statements."

"But just to get the diagnosis, to keep medicated, worrying about even moving because honestly I was lucky how much mental health support this small town even had, etc, is exhausting."

- Kryso



" 'You could just set an alarm!' "

"No. Firstly it's patronizing they believe I've not considered this, secondly it shows a fundamental misunderstanding of how executive dysfunction presents - they think we merely forget to do X task."

"What they've actually done is added a whole new complicated task for me to remember to do every day, on top of attempting the original task."

"Now I'm somehow meant to organize my entire day around that alarm going off, so I'm completely free at that exact time to do whatever task it's meant to prompt me to do? Or in my case I'm more likely to attempt to organize an entire week in advance to ensure this, which is massively overwhelming and likely to fuck up executive functions in other ways."

- UKKasha2020

"The issue people don't get is, it's deterministic vs stochastic."

"If you want something done, you can create in an ADHD individual the tendency to get that task done at some temporally decoupled time. As opposed to asking someone who can schedule it with known timings."

"Like you could say 'The furnace filter needs changing.' In general, it will get done when possible, in the next few days, probably."

"As opposed to 'The furnace filter needs changing, so do it immediately and drop everything else.' "

"If we try to do things in that immediate way, it often causes other things to fall apart because we are now chasing the immediate gratification of doing all the things we suddenly remember need doing."

"Now we have started 47 things and completed nothing."

"Really it's just, time doesn't matter on the order of minutes or even hours, there is no anxiety or acknowledgement around it."

- chcampb


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Just What To Say

"My first doctor told me that he knew people while in school who knew exactly what to say to get adderall and implied I was just wanting it so I could sell at the university around the corner."

"It took several more years before I opened up to another doctor after that, despite being pretty sure I had it."

"Surprise, surprise. I have it bad."

"The implication that I just wanted drugs was 100% not helpful."

- excitedpiddler

Mr Bean Thumbs Up GIFGiphy

The Usual Variations

" 'If you just applied yourself you'd do so much better!' ''

" 'We both know you're smart; stop being lazy! ''

" 'Write it down' "

" 'You're fine, you can focus on video games no problem!' "

"Because I had so many symptoms, I was diagnosed with a bunch of stuff in addition to ADHD (Bipolar type 2, General Anxiety, Avoidant Personality Disorder), and never realized it was all actually kinda ADHD, cause I had it *bad*."

"And I also never really knew what being 'normal' was, so I was never able to accurately state whether or not my meds were working. My guardian said they were, so I just agreed with him."

"But they weren't."

"I was still always forgetting things, fidgeting, having huge mood swings, short temper, etc...But my guardian was convinced I was just lazy and not disciplined or whatever."

"Eventually began making me write everything in a planner, per school period per day, and I had to get my teachers to sign it, or I'd get in trouble."

"...Guess who kept forgetting to get their teachers to sign things?"

"Guess who forgot their school planner?"

"Guess who would forget they had to write things at all?"

"Cause y'know, ADHD STUFF."

"But yes. The usual variations of 'you're just not trying/lazy/undisciplined.' "

- thunderstrike23

Britney Spears Reaction GIFGiphy

Mentally Deranged?

"I'm sick of people talking to me as if I'm mentally deranged."

"I was diagnosed when I was very young (6 years old or something like that) so every school I have been to the teachers think they need to treat me like a small child."

"I have ADHD, I'm not a three year old. You can speak to me like you would speak to anyone else my age."

"This pisses me off so damn much because I've been talked down to my whole life when I'm certain that most children at that age would be diagnosed with it had they been examined."

"Oh and also, f*ck people who tell you that you have to take medicine. People have no idea how shit it feels taking it and no idea how much it doesn't help for everyone."

- Latter_Ad_6226

Will Smith Wtf GIFGiphy

"Not Allowed" To Have ADHD?

"We were part of a group of parents with young kids. A wonderful friend and father and I were talking about my ADHD son."

"He really didn’t know the 'reality of our experiences on the ground.' ”

"So as we were discussing it he just said, 'Oh we don’t allow that behavior.' ”

"I said, 'Oh, we don’t either, but there’s that behavior we deal with daily.' ”

"No matter how open and kind, unless you live it, it’s impossible to understand. You can't just 'not allow' someone to have ADHD."

"The symptoms are absolutely real and punishing them rather than getting help only makes everyone have to struggle more."

- onascaleoffunto10

irish setter no GIF by Robert E BlackmonGiphy

Sleep Schedules

"ADHD can cause insomnia. My father would just say 'Have you tried going to bed earlier?' ”

"That’s not how that works…."

- NudistDudest

"On how to sleep better: 'just make a habit of going to bed earlier!' ”

"It’s taken me 2-3 hours to fall asleep since I was a baby. In my 40’s now and tried everything, I don’t think it’s going to change."

- Swedish-Butt-Whistle

Fast And Furious Sleeping GIF by The Fast SagaGiphy

Denial Doesn't Help

"Mom got mad at me for asking if I had ADHD when I was growing up."

"Went through high school and graduated (practically living on my own too) with a lot of stress in the house."

"I felt like something was wrong with me, but mom swore it couldn’t be adhd right?"

"Ya that f*cked me up all of high school. Now here I am; still f*cked, but finally starting to get help. "

- Easyusername777

Deny Khloe Kardashian GIF by Bunim/Murray ProductionsGiphy

"But You're So Calm!"

" 'You have ADHD? But you’re so calm. I think that doctor misdiagnosed you.' "

" 'You’re not like XYZ who’s just jumping off the walls all the time! You just have to stop being so lazy!' ”

"Um. My ADHD is inattentive, not hyperactive. That’s why I’m calm. I’m not lazy (ok maybe a little)."

"I just cannot get myself to do that very important thing that has to get done out of fear that I’ll do it completely wrong or embarrass myself."

"And no. My doctor didn’t misdiagnose me. I have very clear, life affecting symptoms."

"Oh and my memory sucks. It’s pretty bad sometimes. I’m concerned for the future over that."

"My head also never shuts up. I could be totally calm and quiet, but inside I’m thinking of a million different things all the time."

"And when I’m not, it’s like I can hear a continuous buzzing. It’s tiring."

"Ugh and the meds suck. It worked at first. But I would have to up my dosage every few months because it always seemed to stop working eventually."

"Worst part is how much weight I lost from lack of appetite and pure nausea and how much sleep I lost on it. My head just would not shut up and I couldn’t sleep until 3am only to have to get up for school at 6."

"Everything sucks. And I feel like no one in my life really gets it so I don’t get the chance to really vent over it or talk about it."

- slytherinxiii

everything sucks GIF by Late Night with Seth MeyersGiphy

Here's Why

" 'Why can't you just focus?' "

"Well you see... I had a plan of action, but there was a REALLY nice squirrel outside and it was going all ftfyfyfttyyfgyyyy and stuff."

"And I wondered how squirrel claws worked. They must be sharp right? Since they climb so well?"

"So even though I put my laundry in 2 hours ago I started googling about squirrels and learned a lot! Then I realized that I was hungry so I out a bagel in the toaster, then I realized I needed to go grocery shopping, but I was kinda stinky so I should shower."

"Then I thought I should probably get some work done first, but that squirrel tab was still open so I kept looking at that. Then I found some cool ferret videos!"

"Why are they so stinky? Why can't I have one?"

"Oh that's why. SH*T! My bagel! Sh*t my laundry! Sh*t, my shower!"

"F*ck it's like noon... I deserve to play some video games."

"Sh*t! Stuff has to download!"

"Oh look that squirrel is back."

- Kunkyskunts

squirrel eating GIFGiphy

Focus Frustration

"I'm sick of hearing that hyper-focusing isn't abnormal."

"Tell me that when I can't get my work done because I can't stop reading about TV specs after I decided I wanted to buy a new one and I need to know everything about it."

"I know I'm screwing up. I cannot stop."

"Also, I'm over hearing how the inability to focus at all on anything I don't enjoy is completely normal and how I don't need medication, I just need to follow their tips for focusing."

- Nivasha

Tired Sick Of It GIF by TLCGiphy

I Know What I Need

"So I have Inattentive type. I come off as a very cool, calm, and collected person but under the surface my mind is utter mayhem."

"So many thoughts, ideas, worries, memories, etc. flying through my head 24/7. It’s fucking exhausting."

"People have ragged on me for being antisocial but I NEED quiet, alone time in order to calm down my brain and recharge the batteries."

"Going out to public places, or family events, essentially any situation where there’s a lot of stimulation will make it so much worse because everything grabs my attention. I hear every conversation taking place in a room."

"I struggle super hard to just be present in the moment instead of feeling like my brain is just being jostled to and fro with every tiny thing happening around me."

"When I’m really having a hard time and tell friends and family I’m not up to going out because I need to rest, they just look at it as me being sulky and I often get 'You need to get out! Go have some fun! Come out of your shell!' ”

"It’s so frustrating. I know when I need to spend a Saturday night with noise cancelling head phones on just listening to classical music and meditating."

"Going to a party when my brain is exhausted will make me so much more miserable."

- TheVeryElect

Season 4 Starz GIF by Survivor’s RemorseGiphy

If it does, we've heard it.

We've tried it.

It maybe worked for 15 minutes or until the stickers ran out.

Those of you with ADHD or other neurodiversities probably had several "oof" moments reading through these.

I know I did.

What would you add to the list?

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