I have ADHD - and I have lived with this every day of my life since junior / primary school. As an Adult ADHDer, it’s only now, nearly 5 years after my ‘clinical diagnosis’ that I feel I can say I have ADHD. I’ve preferred to keep it a secret.
I’ve wanted to avoid negative stereotypes
We automatically attach labels to people we know and interact with - we do this so we can understand the world we live. Labels can be good like ‘cool guy’, know-it-all, easy-going, motivated, caring - around the office we use lables to stereotype and pigeon-hole our colleagues.
Stereotypes become ‘negative’ when combined with another label - inattentive, motor-mouth, hyper-active, ‘micro-manager’, task-focused - all have different meanings when you ADHD to these labels.
So I didn’t want people too know. I didn’t want my professional life to be affected by ADHD. And yes, I also thought that people would react negatively or try to treat me different.
Funny thing is, I’m in more control of my life now. When I wake up, I take my medication and by the time I leave home I feel human. Actually I’m better professionally now then I have been. Sure, my brain still leaps between ideas faster then you can possibly understand. I can switch from on task to another in a fraction of a second and I can walk out of a room and back having forgotten what I was going to do. BUT - I can sit down and do stuff. I can concentrate more, I write better, I think in detail better and I find the method in the madness.