Prescribing Awareness

We often seek comfort in denial. But by downplaying or ignoring health issues, we can inflict further harm on ourselves and others.

Jurri Pozzi/Stocksy

Most of us live with a medical ailment or two—and, quite often, our reactions to them undermine self-care. It’s easy to rationalize why not to attend fully to whatever we’re experiencing when we feel angry or overwhelmed or tempted to ignore it altogether.

For example, consider attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder. ADHD is a medical disorder. Its genetic inheritance is similarly strong to that of height, its rate similar around the world (in spite of how it is often presented), and it includes brain differences that have been documented in multiple studies.

As with any health condition, handling ADHD well means coming to terms with its full range of effects. ADHD affects a person’s life management, not only their attention. It can impact school performance, emotions, relationships, jobs, driving—anything requiring “management.”

As if all of that weren’t hard enough, external judgment runs high with ADHD. Children get labeled as lazy, unmotivated, or even bad because of their “disruptive” behavior. Parents get used to hearing that they should somehow get a handle on their kids. And adults with ADHD scramble endlessly to stay organized, prosper, and navigate relationships—often to the frustration of those around them, who don’t understand what they’re coping…