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February 10, 2023

Why I’ve Become More Open About Having ADHD

By Emma G.
, 15
, from Ardsley, NY

As a teenager, it can be tough to talk about mental health issues like Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) with your friends. ADHD can make it difficult to focus and pay attention, leading to frustration and a lack of confidence in yourself. On top of that, ADHD is still not well understood by many people, and there is often a stigma surrounding mental health conditions.

I have ADHD, and I want to share why it might be hard to talk about it with friends:

  1. Fear of judgment: When you have ADHD, you may be worried that your friends will see you as different or judge you for having a mental health condition.
  2. Feeling embarrassed: If you struggle with it in school, you might feel like you’re the only one dealing with this, and that others won’t understand or think you’re stupid.
  3. Not wanting to call attention to yourself: I know for me, I really didn’t want to seem different from anyone else. I had accommodations like extra time on tests, and I knew that everyone felt resentful because they didn’t believe I had ADHD.

Eventually I realized that not talking about my ADHD was more challenging than it would be to just be open about it. Talking about it can help you understand and accept your condition, and can also help you get the support you need from friends. I have often found myself in situations where I get insecure that I’m too excited or hyper, but I have learned to accept that’s my personality and my true friends will accept and love me for who I am.

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