#14. This post is a part of a series where people answer my anonymous survey question on the ADHD Catch 22. If you have ADHD but haven’t gone public with it, what would it take to you go public with ADHD?
There are risks and rewards for going public with ADHD AND for staying hidden in the ADHD closet. See this post for context on the series.
“For me to go public with my ADHD would mean that the military would have to stop discriminating against people with ADHD, as would the FAA, Federal Aviation Authority.
People can and have lost their jobs in both industries because of being a person with diagnosed ADHD who have come forward of common decency and honesty, because the rules forbid people with ADHD to serve in the military or fly as a pilot in our skies, or both.
As both an accomplished reconnaissance infantry soldier and later in my career, a military attack helicopter pilot, I had no trouble with my ADHD while at work.
My ADHD manifests itself solely in my personal life.
Like many ADHD people I can do extremely complex tasks very well, but struggle to do such things as pay the credit card bill on time and organize my life so that I won’t lose my car keys. Also, like many ADHD people, I struggle to find time to socialize with friends and family as I’m constantly working on a project, studying or trying to learn something new on a random Google search. I hate sitting around doing “nothing” and like to be on the go.
This disappoints people and upsets me when I realize I have neglected people who care about me.
However, none of the above issues affect me at the workplace, as I have a structured system of rules, regulations and checklists to follow.
I consistently score top-of-the-class during stress management and crew resource management training, which are arguably the two training areas of my career field where impulsiveness could kill my friends and/or myself, by either making the wrong decision or not coping with the stress.
This acute awareness of how serious my job is is what actually keeps my symptoms at bay (in my opinion). I know my job can take or save lives and I know that every second counts.
Therefore, I focus much better than most non-ADHD people, on getting flight planning done and getting out there to do my job.
I’ve never been late to or on a job, never mistook enemy for friendly through an impulsive decision and have never, ever done the wrong thing during an emergency drill, even gaining praise for being calm and calculated at a time of high stress.
I’ve been flying for over 5 years now and have never caused a friendly casualty, never decided to fly like an idiot for the fun of it and never acted impulsive while airborne, always maintaining a healthy fear of that behavior and actively making sure I take a second to triage a situation and think over a decision for consequences.
The above has been written to prove that people are in fact suitable for jobs that others think they are not suitable for and to show that ADHD people can in fact do well in a workplace.
I’ll always have to work hard on my personal life, my at least the Government does not place a marriage restriction on us.”