The "I dont belive in ADHD Talk"


Guys, i need to get this out of my system.
I was at my brothers yesterday, and told him i was thinking about starting therapy for adhd again.
I have been in therapy before and he was living with us at that time.
Still he says that i do not have ADHD, he doesent belive it even exsists and that it is the “a la mode”-Diagnosis that phsychiatrists use if they dont know what to tell you.

I can normaly igniore such nonsense, since its a fucking medical condition the question of believing or not is totally irrelevant anyway, but when it comes from my brother, yeah now im pissed…


Yeah, that can really bug you when you are not taking seriously. I have no clue how to help you, but it is good that you are able to share it.
Hugs from here :kissing_heart:


Yeah, you’d think the ones closest to you would at least try to see it from your perspective and support what you think is right for you even if they disagree. At the very least they could acknowledge that you have probably spent more time informing yourself about ADHD and if it exists than he did.

I didn’t get that one yet but I got the “oh phooey, everybody has ADHD” speech from a close one.

Do people with other disorders gett that, too, or is there something about ADHD that really rattles one’s inner denialist? I hear that depressions get pooh-pooed a lot but at least most people agree they exist…


Is it possible that he also has ADHD, recognizes the similarities with you, and can’t accept that he might have a mental disorder?


Nope, my brother does not have ADHD. He doesent show any symptoms. I think he is just being a dick


You don’t really have to convince anyone. Ignorance is a destructive thing, especially if its in the family, You will not get the emotional support from him. But that also means you don’t have to rely on him in any way. its your life, if you want therapy, get it.

I don’t want to sound unemphatic, so here is why i think what i just said:

I had my diagnosis a year ago, and I’m 36. My only family member who knows is my mother, because i know how everyone else thinks about it. So yeah, i know its hard if you want support and they question the basic of your problems. And that’s why i say you should not care. If he thinks that, let it be. All my life i felt like the will power is a myth, and i don’t have any of it. While others seems to use it well enough to live an acceptable life. And they never understood my point, because for them it is as natural as your constantly wondering mind is natural for you.

And yes, sometimes people close to us can accept us as lazy and unorganized. But thinking that we might be mentally ill, similar to depression, autism or thinks like that? Maybe not everyone can deal with that. But don’t let it in your way.


I have also gotten the “everybody is a little adhd” from one of my coworkers (another teacher of all people). I agree it is frustrating.


I’ve gotten the same thing. I responded, “I don’t think that’s how it works…”


That’s crazy frustrating, indeed!

I got basically the same thing from one of my parents (even the one who clearly shows similar symptoms and patterns).

Make sure you surround yourself with people who love you and care about you. It doesn’t mean they agree with you, but caring is listening, learning and respecting (which is sad to write knowing that my brain – and many of yours, I am sure – has a hard time doing those things consistently, paying attention, curbing impulses, etc!).


Apparently that’s exactly what my cousin said to my brother when my brother told him that I’m ADHD. I just found that out yesterday. I’m sure it could be argued that we’re all a little psychopathic also.


I’d say they are jealous of our superior brains but right now, I’d love to be “normal”


That’s why when I have The Talk with people (not too often yet but it came up), I try to liken it to dyslexia or being left-handed rather than whatever they think a mental illness is. In the sense that we can do anything a non-brain can but not necessarily the same way, or only with a lot of extra work.


That sounds like a good approach, i will try it next time


I’m having this same struggle with my mother at the moment. She believes the whole “Everyone has ADHD” falsehood and refuses to let me explain to her the realities of being a Brain, despite both my dad and me having ADHD. She seems to think of ADHD as only the stereotypes that are associated with it and denies evidence that proves otherwise.

The best advice I can think to offer is to let your brother think this way, if there’s no other option. If you’ve had this conversation time and time again, it is evident that his stance on ADHD isn’t going much of anywhere. Don’t let your brother stop you from pursuing therapy just because he doesn’t agree with it. As others have said before me, surround yourself with those that are willing to listen.


I’d also like these doubters to explain the MRI scan differences between an ADHD brain and neurotypical. Just searching Google for “adhd mri differences” has lots of materials.


In my opinion, that just gets me an answer like.
That doesent mean that you have it.

There is no point in trying to convince Fact- and Sience- Resistant people.
It will just make you mad, it does make me mad for sure.


I agree, Daniel Amen has a video on youtube where he explains the differences in the brain scans of neurotypical and ADHD brains. Its is highly informative and sheds a balanced, scientific light on the subject. A recent article on additude magazine website called “Face it, ADHD brains are wired differently” also explains the recent findings in neuroscience explaining the well researched differences in our brains. You cannot argue with 3 decades of research.


I don’t think I want to be “normal.” I kind of like the way my brain works for all its quirks. (that rhymed! lol) But, I think it would be nice to just see what it is like to be “normal”/neurotypical so I at least know how it feels and what other people experience. I have trouble thinking outside of my own head and the reason people don’t seem to understand us is because they have a hard time thinking outside of their experiences, too.


I think that sometimes my family just don’t want to think that there is anything wrong with me.

also it can be hard for people to understand the intensity of the symptoms, like when I try and explain how I am always loseing things and they reply, “oh that’s normal, everybody does that, I lost my keys 2 weeks ago” lol, it’s so frustrating, even though I know theyre trying to be helpful.


Hi! I’ll just join the choir here: yup I completely understand the anger and frustration. When it comes to family, it’s not so easy to let things like that slide and put it down to sheer ignorance and the person not really knowing you.

It’s your brother, presumably he has a significant amount of experience about you, how you are and how you behave. And for him to suggest it’s basically all in your head and you’re just buying into these excuses to feel better about yourself is just really and truly hurtful.

Also, at least for me, the screwed up side of these situations is, every time these thoughtless comments are made, doesn’t it just make you go through the doubting yourself all over again just a little bit? I was diagnosed as an adult, when I was 37, so I had a whole bunch of life that I spent thinking I’m lazy and blah blah, the usual rigmarole. And getting the diagnosis was a relief and also it gave me permission to start liking myself. All this is stuff that we all here in this forum know. But then someone comes and says yeah, you know, that’s a fake reality, fashionable diagnosis, kids being made into zombies because we can’t handle them being kids, grown ups just being lazy and here’s their excuse…

Here’s the thing. Your brother may continue to refuse to understand that when it comes to what it feels like to be YOU and live inside YOUR head, it really is YOU who knows better than him. And as disappointing as that is, and even if he says things in a very assertive way, he is just plain wrong here. And sometimes people who we think are really good people, and who important to us, end up saying the most thoughtless things.

A good friend of mine is a kinder garden teacher, and one time we were having a conversation about my ADHD was the last time I’m talking about that stuff with her. Because what she said was it’s not that she doesn’t believe the condition exists, she knows very well that it exists, but (after twenty years of knowing me and being one of my closest friends all that time) she doesn’t quite see why I need to say I have it. And she even said (because of course she didn’t mean anything bad by any of this) that she didn’t mean to “diss” my experience or anything, BUT…

Dot dot dot.


So… I guess this stuff will happen, on and off. It’s a good thing we have this forum!!