So when he opened up about the realities of living with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD, people payed attention, and pretty soon everyone was talking until the topic was trending nationally on Twitter.
The entire thread can be read as a Twitter Moment here but here are some excerpts:
Ali described some common misunderstandings about the disorder.
1. I want to talk about ADHD. I was diagnosed with ADD when I was 13-years-old. To say it's misunderstood (both by people who have ADHD and people who don't have it) is an understatement. What people need to understand about those of us who have ADHD is we are not homogeneous— Yashar Ali ? (@yashar) February 26, 2019
6. Whenever someone brings up ADHD. It makes it seem like it's is just an issue of distraction. Wrong! For example, I read 2-3 books a week! I don't know many people with ADHD can do that. But for me taking clothes out of the dryer & folding them, that's like climbing Mt. Everest— Yashar Ali ? (@yashar) February 26, 2019
And how it makes supposedly simple tasks complicated.
8. For example, people will often say that people with ADHD tend to procrastinate. That is a total misunderstanding of what ADHD is about. Procrastination has a connotation of intentionally putting something off for various reasons. We don't want to be this way.— Yashar Ali ? (@yashar) February 26, 2019
9. For people with ADHD the issue is often the difficulty starting things. It is enormously challenging for us in certain categories. The simplest things can be exhausting and feel impossible to begin/finish. It's stuff that doesn't make sense to people without ADHD.— Yashar Ali ? (@yashar) February 26, 2019
10. Which is often why we hide these things that we find challenging because they can be embarrassing. I once had someone with ADHD, who made a good living, tell me that for years they would pay bills when things got shut off. It was a cycle they found nearly impossible— Yashar Ali ? (@yashar) February 26, 2019
11. To get out of, it destroyed their credit, and it was only when they got married and their wife took over that they fixed their bill paying issue. People with ADHD hide a lot of shame in this and we hold it in because people don't understand our diagnosis.— Yashar Ali ? (@yashar) February 26, 2019
Ali also discussed how ADHD can affect relationships.
7. Those of us with ADHD don't need your sympathy, we need your empathy. We need you to understand that we are capable of so much but just need you to understand what our limits and challenges are. We don't want you to see our limits/challenges as excuses...they're explanations— Yashar Ali ? (@yashar) February 26, 2019
Today’s internet is a fast and vicious place dominated by scathing personal attacks and political combat, some of it justified some of it mere digital bloodsport. So people appreciated Ali’s candor and vulnerability in discussing a serious issue that affects a great number of people.
Thank you so so much for this.— Melissa Jacobs (@thefootballgirl) February 26, 2019
When you survive with ADHD and the anxiety that comes with it, you sometimes forget the impact it has. This is a great reminder and a great education if you don’t have that battle. Thank you, Yashar. https://t.co/yBQsHFSKmH— Jeff Dauler (@JeffDauler) February 26, 2019
Grateful to Yashar for this. I think many adults with ADHD (like me) feel strange addressing it sometimes. Partly because we get what I once got in a convo with a then 20-something TV producer. I brought up having it & she rolled her eyes & said "EVERYONE has ADHD." https://t.co/8i8MsahPUc— STEVE HUFF (@SteveHuff) February 26, 2019
Awesome thread @yashar. I also have ADHD and wasn’t diagnosed until I was 20. I still get nervous about people judging me for it or questioning why I don’t fit whatever expectations they’ve created about what it should look like. Really appreciate you writing this.— feminist next door (@emrazz) February 26, 2019
I read this little comment thread and had this thought too! My people!— catherineoclock (@catherineoclock) February 26, 2019
I wish more people understood the tunnel vision portion of ADD. I am incapable of intense, prolonged focus; I am also not always able to choose what I will focus on. It makes the struggles even tougher.
Thank you, @yashar, helping us all better understand ADHD. In order to fully appreciate one another and our differences we must all be willing to both share and listen.— Valerie Jarrett (@ValerieJarrett) February 26, 2019
I’m 16. I just got diagnosed with ADHD today. Years of questions were answered, and yet I don’t know how to feel. This thread helps me. Thank you. So. Much.— corgi (@corgi_cookies) February 26, 2019
Here is the full, so worthwhile thread on #ADHD. Yashar, you've done a real mitzvah here. In the shadow of your openness and honesty, lives will be transformed. ⚡️ “Living With ADHD ” by @yasharhttps://t.co/ZV1BfhnRD3— Jackie Danicki (@veryjackie) February 26, 2019
Thanks for putting this out there. Not just ADD but all mental health needs to be spoken about and stripped of the hush-hush stigma surrounding it.— Jeremy Hanks (@therealjhanksta) February 26, 2019
Many readers shared their own struggles with ADHD.
Thank you for sharing your experiences with ADHD. As someone who was diagnosed with ADHD as a child dealing with it has often been difficult. It hasn't stopped me from living a fulfilling life, but often people don't understand the uphill struggle living with ADHD can be.— TEMISANADOKI???? (@temisanadoki) February 26, 2019
Worst part to me is the racing mind that don’t shut off then frustrates you. A Person is telling you a story and you bring up something else. It makes the anxiety unbearable sometimes. Red box and having people behind me because I didn’t think I was fast enough would cripple me.— Ben Stanton (@BenStanton77) February 26, 2019
I’m 62 and haven’t been diagnosed, though I know this is my problem. Starting projects and staying on task require Herculean effort.— Cynthia [Redacted] (@Ab_Synthia2) February 26, 2019
I’m still looking for a doc who doesn’t blow me off.
This sounds just like my teenage son... I’m still trying very hard to understand what it’s like for him. And bigger tasks, like schoolwork, that require strong executive functioning must be even more daunting. I would love to hear from AD(H)D adults any book recommendations.— miss speech (@miss_speech) February 26, 2019
It's a hard thing for people to understand because many don't believe it is real, but it is...and based in genetics....and yet, every person with ADHD is unique... and many have additional disorders like OCD, depression, dyslexia and other things which make life more complicated— Jeanne Rhodes-Moen (@jeannius) February 26, 2019
Yashar thank you for this thread. I have ADHD and was diagnosed as an adult after years, years, years of misery, depression, and anxiety. This thread gives me another way to share some of my life experience with my friends and family. I hope others find it as healing as I do. TY!— Lady Grey (@sarahlynnnw) February 26, 2019
I have never been diagnosed, but god, this thread spoke so hard to me.— Tony Hightower may have (@ThatTonyH) February 26, 2019
I had no idea there was treatment for this. I thought I was just flighty. I'm 51. This has been my whole life.— Tony Hightower may have (@ThatTonyH) February 26, 2019
Same! Being diagnosed ins my 40s was a relief as it meant I wasn’t a lazy flake— SadieCake (@SadieCake) February 26, 2019
And shared tips for managing the disorder.
Thanks, Yashar! So awesome.— Adam Best (@adamcbest) February 26, 2019
Since we’re here, Twitter is a great platform but it’s a distraction theme park. 10 min becomes an hour easy.
Anybody have thoughts on how to navigate with ADHD? Using a timer helps. Or setting aside scheduled time (last 5 min of an hour for example)
Sooo much this. I'm quite open about my ADD but most people still don't get it.— Alisha Grauso (@AlishaGrauso) February 26, 2019
They don't understand that hyperfocus isn't the same thing as being able to focus. That I hate myself when I interrupt and I am constantly trying not to. That I'm not ignoring their messages, they truly just...blipped out of existence in my brain.— Alisha Grauso (@AlishaGrauso) February 26, 2019
And those tiny things that are easily accomplished tasks for other people? They literally (actually literally) cause dread in us because the chemicals in the reward centers of our brain are off, so things we don't find fulfilling or interesting are mentally excruciating.— Alisha Grauso (@AlishaGrauso) February 26, 2019
Thank you for posting this— Eric Steltzer (@ESteltzer) February 26, 2019
Good stuff man. Also under appreciated aspects of ADHD:— Ovaltine Jenkins (@JewniorGong) February 26, 2019
-sensitivity to criticism/rejection.. tough for anyone; traumatizing for ADHD
-lack of impulse control.. Engaging in same behavior/habits you know are likely bad for you, because changing is basically insurmountable
The sensitivity issue is called RSD. Rejection Sensitive Dysphoria. There’s some recent clinical support for Intuniv and Kapvay helping a good bit with it in many people.— toonegativepaperstraw (@negativestraw) February 26, 2019
great thread. really appreciate it.— Imani Gandy (@AngryBlackLady) February 26, 2019
I’m all about baskets myself. And I couldn’t pay bills on time until auto pay became a thing. I haven’t balanced a checkbook in 20 years—I had to come to grips with the fact that’s it’s just something I can’t/won’t do.
So much love & respect for you, man.— Luke Easterling (@LukeEasterling) February 26, 2019
It almost felt like a meeting of ADHD Anonymous, AKA Twitter.
Does it seem like maybe there are a disproportionate number of people with ADHD (incl me) congregating on Twitter... ? Probably not coincidence...It’s my zone.— ames (@amesrobb) February 26, 2019
I love the quick way you look at a tweet and then move on to the next. Snippets instead of long articles that require sustained attention.— lori ? (@invoglio) February 26, 2019
Again you can read the entire thread HERE.
Photo Credit: UBC Learning Commons