I told a colleague once, “You know what, I think you have ADHD.”

She confidently shrugged me off, “Really? Well, that’s ok, I am functional, anyway.”

For a moment, I thought I just said something too invasive and out of her comfort zone.  I was tempted to go back and tell her, “Oh, I didn’t mean to judge you.  I am just at the very moment when I am wondering how real adult ADHD is… because I think I have it.”

But she seems happy and accomplished in life, so she might have considered she had ADHD before and she was working well with it so there is no need to fuss about it.   Indeed, there are many among us who may have ADHD, very classically so.   Maybe some know of it but choose to ignore it and still get by.

American data say there are about 3-5% of the population with ADHD.  That’s quite a lot.  In children about 2/3 of the 9% diagnosed take medications.  My own backward thoughts says, “in time, that would mean we’re going to be a drugged population… ewwww.”

Then I saw this article that raises the possibility of people playing up their symptoms of ADHD:
Adults who claim to have ADHD? 1 in 4 may be faking it

I shuddered at the thought.  Maybe I was just acting up like many people. Maybe I am just too pressured as well in this achievement race and my own shortcomings search for an escape.  Being diagnosed with ADHD gives a label to all these difficulties.  While I consulted a psychiatrist friend in passing about my symptoms, her initial impulse was to say that may it is just a trait.  Then I came to enumerate all of my symptoms, then she said, “but you are functional, aren’t you?”  I said yes weakly.  I have not flunk major things and I have gotten into training programs I want, so I guess I am.  Then she said, “oh, maybe you  have mild ADHD and won’t need medications”.

Now, I will wonder forever whether I just coerced her to say yes about the diagnosis by enumerating my symptoms that seemed to me in my prior reading that fit ADHD.  Prior reading may have magnified it all. Hmn… What if I am just claiming I have ADHD and joining this bandwagon of people with ADHD?

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