How to deal with ignorants/scepticals?

What do i do when i am forced to talk to ppl about ADHD (and other mental conditions) and they simply do not acknowledge them?
Today i had a talk with some of my oldest and best friends about my recently found motivation to work on my ADHD, and one of them, and i didnt expect that from her at all, was like:“I don’t believe in diagnosises of any kind. Not ADHD, not Depression, not anything. We all got some of those at least a little bit.”
And no matter what i argued, nothing worked. Even science was put aside by saing “everything could be easily made up to support the pharma industry.”

I felt deeply hurt, and ignored, by one of my best friends (or so i thought). It felt like she simply said, there is no problem but myself…
And now i dunno what to do, and how to deal with this…

Any advice? :_(


That’s difficult. From your description she’s got a lot of confirmation bias (and pointing that out often doesn’t help).

She can use the “big pharma conspiracy” argument to reject any scientific data you present to her, so I would suggest a different angle, something along the lines of “Everyone may experience this a little bit, but I experience it a lot and it is causing me problems. If you are my good friend you will support me in my efforts to help myself”. It’s a philosophical argument for her, but it’s real life for you, and it would be good for her to have to face that element of her stance. Hopefully she can better accept that her friend needs support


They don’t need to believe in a diagnosis and trying to change that isn’t a battle you need to fight if you don’t want to. (In my experience it is an exhausting fight if you do decide to pick it) But also they aren’t the one dealing with the issues or impairments nor are they your medical professional (I hope). So all they need to do is to is support a friend who is looking to make their life better.

I would ask them if they’d help you if you sprained your ankle and had a hard time walking, or if you had a real bad break up and needed emotional support, or if you were having an allergic reaction; would they get you medicine? If they wouldn’t then this may be a good time to re-evaluate how you choose who your close friends.


I would agree with this. Unfortunately we can’t educate or change everybody. The important thing is to be true to yourself and stand up for yourself. Being armed with some responses to common ADHD myths can be helpful. For me, I’ve taken the approach of curiosity. “Where does that opinion come from? What information have you reviewed that got you there?” A lot of times people make assumptions based on their biases or values that aren’t going to be easily changed. Sometimes they’ll think about it and you might be able to push them a bit, but acceptance isn’t easy for everyone.

Like BackwardsThinker said, I’d save your energy and effort. Don’t exhaust yourself or expose yourself to that negativity any longer than you have to. Instead, surround yourself with people who do understand and support you. And, hopefully the people who don’t understand but who support you will be willing to hear what you have to say and learn how they can help you more.

Thank you for fighting the fight for understanding and education!

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I learned this: don’t acknowledge ignorance. Ignore it.

If I would try I would just say: yeah everyone might have symptoms. But that’s the point. Some people have a lot of symptoms. Therefore things like ADHD, autism, depression etc exist. They will help people to understand better how to deal with the symptoms. It might not need a name. It just makes it easier for those who have it to understand what is different about them and to learn to how to deal with that.

I would’ve said that. If she’s still ignorant, just ignore. Then just say: whatever. If you don’t believe it, it’s fine. But you can still support me.

If she doesn’t support you I’d indeed question if it really is a good friend you’re talking to.

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Thank you all for the advice. This topic still bothers me so it took me a while to reply.
And i think i dont really have more than a “thank you” to reply eiter.
We haven’t seen each other yet, since we talked last, and i am uncertain if i even want to see her atm…

Anyways… it feels great to have this community. It really helps to have a place to go when you are feeling alone.