Discriminated against because of my ADHD


Yeah…so yesterday I was discriminated against for my ADHD in work.

I have been transparent in work with my ADHD, I asked for reasonable adjustments to be put in place and were until the start of the year where a new manager took over. Since then nothing is in place anymore, approached 5 managers in total and all talk and nothing done and its been building up on my mind and ADHD has been getting worse.
Yesterday I was told that I didn’t get the job I applied for, interviewed for and have actually been doing for the last 4 months. We were given a scenario for fix a broken system and the feedback states pretty much I handled it perfectly but I failed the 2 follow up questions because they weren’t structured and I waffled.
The reasonable adjustment I ask for isn’t huge, I simply ask if you are going to ask me something like that, give it to me in writing or just put it on paper and I will give you the results. They didn’t, so because someone else could talk better than I could I didn’t get the job. I said in the meeting that I was going to struggle with that because of my ADHD and that’s why I asked for the reasonable adjustment and it was ignored.

I’m not just gutted but more devastated about the job. I love the team I was working with, my ADHD systems were so suppressed and I was finally in a role I enjoyed. But…I’ve been failed by the management and now I am totally deflated and in such a dark place. :pensive:


Being transparent with your ADHD is a double edged sword and you have to know this if you ever disclose your condition. However, I do not believe you’re being discriminated because of your ADHD.

One thing that’s incredibly hard to learn is that you cannot fall back on your ADHD as the reason of your failure. From what you described to me, you’re telling people the failure that you had is because of your condition. That doesn’t work, it shows weakness and it’s not an active mindset that you are accepting of your shortcomings. You have to remember that everyone has shortcomings.

It’s your attitude towards your shortcomings that people are going to see and how you approach fixing your own problems and selling yourself when those shortcomings happen. So what you explained here is that you can do the technical work for this scenario and that you executed it flawlessly. So it’s know that if you’re given a technical problem, you’re the best at it and that’s how you feel like you qualify for this new position.

Forgive me if I’m wrong because I’m going to make assumptions and tell a story that I believe will relate to your issues

Now, if I was a manager, and I heard that someone did a project/scenario and delivered on all the technical parts, fantastic, you aced the part that is visible on paper in feedback. However, if this role you want requires follow-up things like documentation, communication with others, didn’t prioritize a task that I actually needed, or other things that present or sell the idea, then you didn’t do those things because of your shortcomings (ADHD for you) and then you blame your failure because of the shortcoming… That’s actually completely 100% fine.

But what are you going to do about it?

If your answer is:

I need someone else to do those shortcomings for me

Then I see a lack of ownership of your condition and problems

If your answer is:

I didn’t do those follow up tasks and I will put in reminders for myself to get the structured feedback so it doesn’t happen next time.

It’s 100% ok to have your shortcomings, but you need to own it and to make it not an issue for someone above you. A manager, director or someone you report to is not responsible to make sure that you can do your job.

Think of this like a wheelchair ramp and you’re in a wheelchair.

It’s up to your manager/director responsibility to make sure you can have access to the wheelchair ramp and there is one there.

It’s not up to your manager/director to push you up the wheelchair ramp

You putting the ownership of your issues/problems on your superior’s set of responsibilities means more work for them. So they will take someone that is less technically gifted to do the job because they own their shortcomings, they can sell the work, they can present the work and be responsible and if they make a mistake, they will own it, have a plan to make sure it doesn’t happen again and move forward.

ADHD is incredibly difficult to be accepting for others, especially in the workplace. We can get accommodations, we can get help through medication, we can make sure others can accept us.

It’s up to us to fix our own issues and problems. ADHD is not an excuse, it’s an explanation. We got to figure out our own tools and figure out other things that others don’t have to think about or they take for granted.

If I made any mistakes or assumed something wrong, please do let me know. I believe you that you are in that dark place, because of you having ADHD suppressed from work is something I think we all feel.

And I have been in your place, maybe not the same field, but I know that feeling that you knocked it out the park of the technical part, flawlessly delivery the scenario, and just stumbled on a part you had accommodations that helped you out, but because of someone else forgot to do that, you didn’t followthrough on the cleanup and didn’t own your shortcoming. Because of that, someone else got the role/job you had your eyes on and there isn’t anything to show you what you did was wrong.

We got you, work with us :smiley:


First of all, Chris, I would like to say this sucks and I’m sorry. It’s never fun to be really good at something only to lose because of something that is inherently difficult. Especially when you have shown how could you can be with your set accommodations in place.

I do to believe that I was discriminated against in the workplace for having ADHD. I was using accommodations I had set up for myself but because I did not behave the way my employer wanted me to we had a difficult time agreeing on what was best. I told my employer that it was difficult for me to listen to what people are communicating if I stare at them and that I do best if I’m focused on taking notes instead of watching ( most of the time). I personally believe that because I didn’t show conventional signs of respect my employer let me go.

That being said I do agree with scot that employers will do what makes their jobs easier or most “efficient”. I’ve also seen that being a smooth talker can get you pretty far in life. People aren’t against you, they are for themselves.