ADHD Superpowers? Do not Romanticize a Dysfunction and Its Signs

Apparently, I’ve superpowers. However in contrast to common superpowers — invisibility, shape-shifting skills, laser-beam eyes — my superpowers are a bit extra prosaic.

So prosaic, in truth, they don’t look very like superpowers in any respect: Lethargy. Impulsivity. Substance abuse. Power distractibility. Abject frustration. Unemployment. Neuroses. Irritability.

The Misadventures of ADHD-Man

Who can overlook Marvel Comics #27? ADHD-Man rises after midday to defeat leftover takeout and doom scroll on Twitter whereas nursing a nagging urge to do one thing productive.

That clearly isn’t an actual comedian. And ADHD isn’t an actual superpower. Not once I was a child, and never in the present day as others proudly brandish the irony-tinged proclamation throughout social media.

Don’t get me incorrect: I perceive why some folks would check with their ADHD signs as superpowers. I perceive that it’s meant, partly, to speak the neuroatypical benefits we now have, like hyperfocus, boundless power, and creativity. However these traits are a small a part of the ADHD puzzle. As a result of what good is a inventive mind, say, if it’s unable to use itself? That isn’t cool; that’s Kafka.

[Read: 7 Myths About ADHD… Debunked!]

And sure, I additionally get that “ADHD is my superpower” is a defiant two-finger salute to a world that tries to tear neurodivergent folks down. It’s additionally a pleasant factor to say to youngsters who’re fighting identification and ADHD.

I do know what you’re considering: Why am I getting labored up over one thing pretty benign? As a result of I used to be ADHD-Man for a very long time. In my darkest days of pre-treatment, I used to be a substance-abusing, suicidal mess. I didn’t really feel like a superhero. I didn’t even really feel human.

Let’s Be Sincere: There’s Nothing Romantic About ADHD

Traditionally misunderstood situations take pleasure in better recognition in the present day than ever earlier than. However there’s way more work to be completed. I’m sure a “What’s ADHD?” vox pop on my metropolis’s streets would produce quite a lot of shoulder shrugs and remarks like, “Oh, is ADHD the one the place all the youngsters run about loopy and the dad and mom give them ricin, or nutritional vitamins, or no matter to calm them down? That one?”

Within the ongoing battle to boost much-needed consciousness round ADHD, it’s very important we don’t romanticize it. Pithy expressions do little to assist folks with ADHD after they’re known as unproductive at work or disruptive within the classroom. As an alternative of being cute, we needs to be clear.

[Read: 10 Things I Wish the World Knew About ADHD]

We must always clarify the infinite love-loss sample of hyperfixation that scuppers our possibilities of gaining proficiency in a passion and infrequently leaves us with litter: unstrummed guitars within the closet; squash-racquets-turned-fly swatters; forgotten knitting needles threatening to rise from beneath the sofa cushions. Others ought to find out about our inside chaos and complete lack of ability to use ourselves regardless of having the need to do one thing, something, apart from carry out an infinite start-stop loop.

We must always clarify the actually ugly facet of ADHD. The stuff that, left unchecked, can cap an individual’s potential and smash their life. The implications of lacking a prognosis in childhood. The yo-yoing employment standing in maturity. The susceptibility to substance abuse and different detrimental outcomes.

However no person’s going to place all that in a Twitter bio.

Remedy Is the Actual Superpower

The antidote to ADHD isn’t #slogans; it’s remedy, remedy, and train. It’s formulating a sport plan and working it each day so that you don’t find yourself like ADHD-Man.

Once I assume again to my life earlier than I used to be identified with ADHD at age 32, it makes me doubly grateful for the place I’m now.

To me, the true superheroes are the folks — far cleverer than I — who had been in a position to devise options to assist these like me. Because of them, I’m in a position to take a capsule every morning that permits me to make wholesome choices, provides me better management of government features, and helps me think about duties to a stage that ADHD-Man by no means thought attainable.

ADHD Superpowers: Subsequent Steps

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