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Teen Angers His Parents After Secretly Seeking Out An ADHD Diagnosis Against Their Orders

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Mental health care is important and unfortunately stigma is still present in our society.

Seeking treatment is a big decision. However treatment and support can improve daily life for many.

A Redditor who goes by aitaadhddiag turned to the “Am I the A**hole” (AITA) subReddit for feedback after seeking their own diagnosis.

He asked:

“AITA for going behind my mum’s back to get a diagnosis?”

The Original Poster (OP) explained his family situation:

“So background to this: I [17 Male] have a twin sister [17 Female]. Our parents have always kind of had us compete with each other and are especially sticklers for academics. My sister has always done much better than me on that front.”

”To be honest, I’ve always found school very frustrating. It’s not like I’m thick or anything, I know loads of stuff and often know the answers in class, I’ve just always struggled with focusing and putting my thoughts together coherently in a way teachers like.”

”I also have a horrible memory, so exams are a nightmare; I can study and study and study something for hours sometimes and still not remember it when it comes to the test. And that’s when I can study – sometimes I honestly really really want to but I just can’t. Like I’ll sit there, staring at my workbook for ages and there’s just some block where I can’t do it.”

”My parents just kind of ignore all this and tell me to study harder like my sister. I try some of her study methods, and some of them help, but mostly they don’t work for me. I always kinda thought I was just doomed to be sh*t at education.”

“The situation: I started dating a boy about a year ago whose big sister is a psychologist. A few months ago, he and I were talking about school while she was in the room and she kinda said ‘sorry to butt in, but have you ever been tested for ADHD?’ I said I hadn’t, because I didn’t think I had it.”

”The image I had of ADHD was always the rambunctious kid who played class clown, which is very much not me. She explained that wasn’t always the case and a lot of the things I was describing sounded like ADHD symptoms.”

”I relayed this to my parents and they both (especially my mum) got upset and said that I’m just looking for a way to not take accountability and that ADHD didn’t exist in their day.”

“I got upset, but talked to my BFs sister again, and she pointed me in the right direction to go and talk to people about it without my parents overseeing. Obviously with the Rona, it was difficult but I managed to get the necessary appointments and finally had it comfirmed that I have ADHD. Now my parents are mad.”

”They keep on about how I’m just trying to remove responsibility and how they don’t recognise the diagnosis as valid. They’ve also said they don’t want me talking to my boyfriend any more, saying his family are a bad influence.”

”We’re both upset about it. Was it a bad idea for me to go get the diagnosis when they told me not to?”

Redditors were asked we’re asked to judge OP’s actions by declaring:

  • NTA – Not The A**hole
  • YTA – You’re The A**hole
  • NAH – No A**holes Here
  • ESH – Everyone Sucks Here

Redditors reached a consensus declaring the OP was NTA.

NTA. As you were describing your problems I knew exactly what diagnosis you got. Both me and my husband have ADHD and it’s not an excuse to not be responsible or whatever ableist sh*t they’re trying to say.” ~UnderstandingBusy829

There are a lot of people who don’t believe ADD/ADHD is a thing, and sadly, many of them are parents to people who have ADD/ADHD. These are the same people who will unhelpfully tell their kid to ‘just focus’, and if the kid had depression would tell the kid to ‘just cheer up’.”

“ADD/ADHD is also co-morbid with other issues like anxiety and depression. Being told that you are lazy and just not concentrating has long-term effects that can’t be cured instantaneously if you wait until you are a legal adult to deal with the issues.”

“My parents weren’t this sort, but because I got good grades despite having ADHD (and being a quiet girl when only boys who couldn’t stay in their seats got diagnosed), I wasn’t treated until I finally realized I had ADHD at the ripe age of 50+ and it affected my work.”

“IF OP knows their parents well enough to know that they are the sort of people to react the way they did, and OP can go to the doctor without parental permission, OP is very NTA in this case.”~Lucia37

Just gotta say that your BF’s sister sounds like a real champ, and I am so glad that you’ve gotten help. I was in my 20s by the time I was diagnosed with ADHD, and it took a significant toll on my relationships. Jump in now on any and all advice and help you can get! NTA, and I wish you the best in your journey!”~Terpsichorean_Wombat

“When I was a kid (80s) I think a lot of us who probably should have been diagnosed as ADHD but weren’t problems in some way just slipped through the cracks being told how we were so SMART, we’d do so well if we just APPLIED OURSELVES. I’m so glad that OP’s boyfriend’s sister said something and that OP can get, not only the assistance but the validation 100% NTA.”~simsarah

Mental health disorders are as important to address as physical ones. Education and support  are important to help combat stigma. We wish OP well.

Written by Heidi Dockery

Heidi Dockery is a Maine artist & nature enthusiast with an affinity for libraries. She studies Criminal Justice with a special focus on psychology & sociology at the University of Maine. When not studying, painting, or re-reading the works of Terry Pratchett, she volunteers & enjoys various activities most would label nerdy.