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The Stigma of ADD/HD

December 4th, 2013 05:00:00 am

The Stigma of ADD/HD

Despite evidence showing that people with ADD/HD can be as skilled as other people, they are still labeled as people with “mental defects”.


Why is there a stigma and how does it harm people with ADD/HD?


The stigma surrounding ADD/HD can be traced back to the noticeable effect of a person’s performance in school. A child with ADD/HD may not fit in a traditional school set up, leading to poor grades. On the other hand, society views good performance in school as in indicator of future success, which is why poor grades are often believed to make someone less likely to succeed. Is this really true though?


The more we read about people with ADD/HD, the clearer we see that it is not a hindrance to success as countless celebrities with AD/HD who work in politics, Hollywood, science, technology and business, prove.


Could the stigma of having ADD/HD still harm a person’s future? Certainly! Discrimination and prejudice are at the top of the list of reasons why this can be damaging.  People tend to shy away from those who are not behaving within societies “desired” social standards.  Some people also tend to misjudge or jump to conclusions when dealing with people with ADD/HD.  Moreover, there is the risk of developing what is called a “self-stigma” which is defined as “the formation or a degraded identity that creates negative effects on the person’s quality of life”. This can undermine a person’s passion and exuberance, resulting in self-doubt and lack of motivation, as demonstrated by a statement like “I am not cut out for it”.


Even relatives and friends of people with AD/HD suffer from courtesy stigma. This is the stigmatization simply due to being associated with someone who has ADD/HD.


Is there anything that can be done to lift the stigma? Raising awareness about what ADD/HD actually is, can help a lot.


Next time you hear some say hurtful things about a person with ADD/HD, what will you do?


***For help Managing the Gift of ADD/HD, you can download the FREE Managing the Gift app from the iTunes store.***


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