No More

Series Bar ADHD & Me

As the late bloomers of ADHD Series draws to a close, I just want to thank all the women who choose to share their story with myself and all the other people who may be out there struggling with ADHD in later life. It’s not easier to bare your soul, even if it is anonymously; you’re still worried about people’s reactions to what you’ve said, even if your name is not out there.

Having ADHD for nearly a life time has been incredible difficult for a lot of these women, especially without access to the right support or acceptance. Yet, somehow, someway they managed to make it through and carve a life out for themselves with families or a good job.

“Gender norms are the biggest reason why girls and women are often missed when it comes to ADHD and it is unacceptable.

~ADHD Girl

Sadly, women are more likely to be neglected in terms of ADHD, than men, because unless they are kicking up a big fuss then they get ignored, well I want to irritate today that NO MORE is that acceptable. Just because we are not loud, disruptive, or misbehaving does not mean we don’t suffer. It’s time we started to rise up and stop letting the men take centre stage.

Of course, ADHD is hard for all, but it’s even harder without the correct support. I’ve said before that I’m so glad I was more like a boy in school, because if I wouldn’t have been then I probably wouldn’t have got diagnosed until later on either.

When you get right down to it, what it comes down to is this idea of gender norms. Gender is very much a social construct, Sex is biological. Despite us knowing this for around a hundred years, we still carry this assumption that boys should behave in a certain way and girls should behave in a certain way. The most common assumption is that boys are loud and boisterous, and girls are quiet and calm. While that may be true for some boys and some girls, it’s not the same case for all.

“Standing up for ourselves, spreading awareness, sharing our stories and making our voices heard are the only way we are going to ensure that women with ADHD are not overlooked.”

~ADHD Girl

You may be sat there thinking what an earth does gender norms have to do with ADHD, so let me explain further. As I am sure most of you know we all have this stigma around invisible disabilities. So how do we know somebody has got a learning disability? By the way they behave or the way they learn. So if girls are sticking to this ‘gender norm’ despite struggling then they get overlooked.

Yet, listening to those feature stories we found that it was only once it got to breaking point for a lot of these women or a big event in their lives did they actually get given the diagnosis. As girls and women, we need to stop allowing ourselves to be constrained by what societies expect for us and learn to kick up a fuss.

The best thing I believe that parents can teach their children is the ability to express themselves effectively and the power of determination. It’s an important skill that my mother thankfully gave to me. I’m not talking about being rude or saying screw everyone else’s point of view, I’m talking about effectively being able to communicate your difficulties and not giving up until you get some answers.

NO MORE should we have to put up with being ignored, forgotten, or treated like our difficulties just don’t matter. Just because everyone is struggling with something, doesn’t mean we deserve nothing in terms of support. The more awareness we can raise about ADHD, particularly how it impacts women then hopefully the more things will change for the better.

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