Whom Should You Tell about Your ADHD?
Your ADHD diagnosis is your own private business. There is no law obligating you to tell people you have ADHD. However, it does behoove you to tell certain people you have ADHD.
If you are under 18, your parents will learn of your ADHD diagnosis at the same time as you. This is okay. They will be able to help you manage ADHD, and it will give them a better understanding of why you behave the way you do. This is understanding of your behavior is why you should tell other members of your family. Siblings, your parents (if you are over 18), and other family members who encounter the more frustrating side of your ADHD behavior can be more patient if they know about your diagnosis.
I am not saying you have to state you have ADHD on every first date, but certainly if you make things “official,” you should tell your significant other you have ADHD. They need to know that certain behaviors are not you being lazy or not caring. They need to know what struggles you are facing and how they can help. ADHD can wreak havoc on a relationship if you let it. Instead of fighting your own battle, fight as a team against ADHD for your relationship’s sake.
Personally, I have always try to mention it as soon as possible without forcing it. I would rather know early on if a girl cannot handle dating someone with ADHD. That way, I do not become too attached before realizing she cannot handle it.
At the college I attended, we could ask the academic services office for accommodations for a specific academic disability, and the teacher was required to provide it, regardless of whether or not the they knew which condition you had. This is a good step for protecting students’ privacy. However, with ADHD’s complexities, I would advise telling your teachers exactly what you are dealing with, so they can be more intentional about how they help you.
Okay, it is probably not a good idea to go around introducing yourself like this: “Hi! I’m So-and-so, and I have ADHD.” However, there is no shame in mentioning it if it comes up naturally in conversation. I think it helps others understand some of my quirks when I tell them about having ADHD. My friends know that I might do weird things or do things at weird or inappropriate times, and they are more understanding of these quirks than they would be if they didn’t know about my ADHD.