I have ADHD, and if I’m completely honest, sometimes I use it as an excuse.
If my focus is off and I’ve had an unproductive day or missed a deadline, I’ll blame it on ADHD.
If I’ve forgotten to pay the electricity bill or I haven’t returned a permission form for one of my kids’ excursions, I might laugh and say, “whoops, ADHD again!”
However, I’ve never needed to use my diagnosis as an excuse for abusing people online or taking photos of them bending over at work without their consent.
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Liberal MP Andrew Laming has used a recent diagnosis of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) to explain his history of erratic and inappropriate behaviour, which includes online harassment of (female) constituents and taking a photograph of a woman’s bottom as she bent over.
The thing is, ADHD can certainly have an element of impulsive behaviour, and this is an area I personally scored highly in during the process of my diagnosis.
For me, this impulsiveness can include over-sharing personal information in casual conversation with relative strangers, resulting in my own embarrassment but not harming others, and a bit of impulsive shopping, resulting in a scary level of credit card debt.
Since diagnosis, like Mr Laming, I’ve started taking a medication which has made an immense difference to my ability to focus and get my work done.