• Lindzi Mayann

ADHD is a Rubbish Name

Updated: Oct 21, 2021

October is ADHD Awareness month and the theme for 2021 is Reframing ADHD: Changing the Perspective.  Rename it. Reframe it. Attention-deficit, hyperactivity disorder is a completely rubbish name. Translated to "short attention span, wildly-active and frenzied condition" it sounds like the average state of a toddler. Or a puppy. Hardly a label many adults want to associate with, although perhaps a feeling many ADHD people can relate to. The chosen descriptions, attention-deficit and hyperactivity, trivialise ADHD representing a narrow portion of any difficulties; barely scratching the surface of what it actually means.  Realising that the ADHD body differs and how, is a start to understanding how and why it impacts on the person in the ways it does. A "short attention span" yet displays hyper-focus - the COMPLETE opposite and a phenomenon that can cause just as many issues. "Wildly-active and frenzied" yet also prone to burn-out, despairing lows and an empty feeling that needs fulfilling but can't be satisfied. A "disorder" because you don't fit the rules of the main game. It's also a long, four syllable annoying sounding label.

An acronym that spells something short and simple might be better received. I know I get fed up repeating it. It's a weighty debate whether ADHD is a disorder when it exists alongside a list of wonderful abilities. The term ADHD now sounds like something people "have got" rather than just "are". You're not contagious although you might be described as having infectious energy. It's not an excuse for poor behaviour - although the differences in systems can make meeting expectations harder. The diagnosis and term does get misused. A lack of nurture, instability and ineffective discipline all adds to a child's behaviour and character anyway - an ADHD brain in these conditions can obviously become, and remain, problematic. It is known for the issues, never being accepted as a reason for achievements or positive qualities. Many people don't realise they are ADHD unable to realise from the biased information widely available or even an avoidance of this label, regardless of the benefits that come from understanding.

It would be helpful to rename it. Or better yet, reframe it completely as a basic difference in senses, emotions, abilities and ideals. A whole other tribe that share qualities and understandings, different to the mainstream.

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