• James Eves

What do I call someone with ADHD?



This question does crop up. And I wasn’t sure what to say when I first heard this asked.


Is it someone who is ADHD?


Or is it someone who has ADHD?


The simple answer is that it could be one or the other!


I have heard people use these interchangeably, and I find that I say both depending on the context, situation, or day of the week.


But to go a bit further...


Having ADHD suggests that it is something I can no longer have. A bit like sunburn - with some treatment, and time, eventually I won’t have sunburn anymore.


As I understand it, ADHD describes how someone’s brain is wired and sees the world. That isn’t something that will go away. It can be managed with coping strategies and medication but it is still there.


Saying “I am ADHD” also feels a bit weird.


I could say I am a Batman. Or I am human.


There are times that Batman is actually Bruce Wayne and vice versa...


But I remain a human 100% of the time!


And I am me all the time, and ADHD is part of that.


But it isn’t something I am always aware of or telling the whole world about it (other than in posts across social media!)


I’m not helping am I?


The simplest thing is to ask someone if you are uncertain. No one will take offence and, like for me, you might find it has never been considered by them! A great conversation starter!


My favourite term though, I first heard from Nicola Jayne Little from Celebrate Difference.


She talks about ADHD-ers.


“I am an ADHD-er” or “they are an ADHD-er.”


Sounds much cooler and rolls off the tongue quite nicely.


So, that has my vote.




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