Since I was diagnosed with ADHD about 27 years ago there has been a lot of movement in terms of our society’s ideas about mental health. Almost all of it has been in a positive direction. I feel that we still have a long way to go but that we are identifying and treating more people who need help now than every before.
- Circa 1988: Only one other kid I knew had ADHD and not for being called down to the nurse every day for my meds, I probably wouldn’t have told anyone.
- Circa 1995: I was just another kid with ADHD and I was taken with a grain of salt. But, I had more or less come to terms with it and was open about my issues and struggles.
- Circa 1998: Still considered a “childhood disorder” and there were little to no “services” or understanding at UMass.
- Circa 2003: I felt like this was around the time that ADHD was really becoming recognized in main stream society. If you mentioned it, everyone knew what it was, even if they didn’t understand it or “believe in it.”
- Circa 2009: By now I felt that the stigma related to ADHD was largely removed… at least where I live. But with this acceptance came dismissal of severity and importance. I’ve gone from “What’s that?” to “I think everyone has some of that,” in a matter of a few years.