Nearly everyone with ADHD answers an emphatic yes to the question: “Have you always been more sensitive than others to rejection, teasing, criticism, or your own perception that you have failed or fallen short?” This is the definition of a condition called rejection-sensitive dysphoria. When I ask ADHDers to elaborate on it, they say: “I’m always tense. I can never relax. I can’t just sit there and watch a TV program with the rest of the family. I can’t turn my brain and body off to go to sleep at night. Because I’m sensitive to my perception that other people disapprove of me, I am fearful in personal interactions.” They are describing the inner experience of being hyperactive or hyper-aroused. Remember that most kids after age 14 don’t show much overt hyperactivity, but it’s still present internally, if you ask them about it.
The emotional response to the perception of failure is catastrophic for those with the condition. The term “dysphoria” means “difficult to bear,” and most people with ADHD report that they “can hardly stand it.” They are not wimps; disapproval hurts them much more than it hurts neurotypical people.
If emotional pain is internalized, a person may experience depression and loss of self-esteem in the short term. If emotions are externalized, pain can be expressed as rage at the person or situation that wounded them.
In the long term, there are two personality outcomes. The person with ADHD becomes a people pleaser, always making sure that friends, acquaintances, and family approve of him. After years of constant vigilance, the ADHD person becomes a chameleon who has lost track of what she wants for her own life. Others find that the pain of failure is so bad that they refuse to try anything unless they are assured of a quick, easy, and complete success. Taking a chance is too big an emotional risk. Their lives remain stunted and limited.
For many years, rejection-sensitive dysphoria has been the hallmark of what has been called atypical depression. The reason that it was not called “typical” depression is that it is not depression at all but the ADHD nervous system’s instantaneous response to the trigger of rejection.
HR is Listening: Critique This Job Announcement
Readers and Job Hunters, I need your help!
My awesome city has put me on a committee that’s working on improving the way we recruit new employees. One of the many things we’re doing is turning an editorial eye on our job announcements. Would you like to help?
Take a look at the announcement below, for a library assistant. Comment on this post to let us know what works, what doesn’t work, and…
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next time someone demands your digits and you want to get out of the situation, you can give them this number: (669) 221-6251.
when the person calls or texts, an automatically-generated quotation from feminist writer bell hooks will respond for you.
protect your privacy while dropping some feminist knowledge when your unwanted “suitor” calls or texts.
* * * * * *
because we’re raised to know it’s safer to give a fake phone number than to directly reject an aggressive guy.
because we’re raised to know that evasion or rejection can be met with violence.
because women are still threatened and punished for rejecting advances.
because (669) UGH-ASIF, WTF-DUDE, and MAJR-SHADE were taken.
because why give any old fake number, when you can have bell hooks screen your calls?
so next time, just give out this number: (669) 221-6251
tech to protect.
Many stories and events related to people with disabilities never make it into the history books or shared public memories. Familiar concepts and events such as citizenship, work, and wars become more complicated, challenge our assumptions about what counts as history, and transform our connection with each other when viewed from the historical perspective of people with disabilities, America’s largest minority.
Knowing these histories deepens understanding of the American experience and reveals how complicated history really is. In addition, when history comes through artifacts, distinct themes emerge—for example, the significance of place, relationships, and technology—that are less apparent when only books and words are used.
Disability and History
the exhibit is really really really amazing. One quote:
There are several familiar, traditional ways of understanding difference. Sometimes difference leads to stigma; other times difference is valued. People may avoid the label of disability at all costs or embrace it. People who are different in similar ways may not equally identify themselves as having a disability. The same person who typically functions well in one situation may not in another. The lines drawn around disability through words, laws, and customs are largely arbitrary and situational.
People have heated opinions about whether such things as addiction, epilepsy, obesity, hemophilia, attention deficit disorder, dyslexia, intersex, and cancer constitute disabilities. Singling out people who are different often depends on their wealth, race, power, talent, and even location. Baseball great Mickey Mantle broke a bone and used a wheelchair. First lady Betty Ford was addicted to painkillers. Boxing legend Muhammad Ali has Parkinson’s disease. Actor James Earl Jones stuttered. President Franklin D. Roosevelt had polio (learn more about polio). Scientific genius Albert Einstein had dyslexia. Tennis champion Arthur Ashe had AIDS. It’s complicated.
Emily Lloyd tweeted
Hashtag I’d like to see: #ittakesalibrary. Especially in place of #savelibraries.
— Emily Lloyd (@PoesyGalore) June 6, 2013
YES THIS PLEASE! It is past time to change the tone of the conversation around the future of libraries. Nina McHale wrote
I hope that in five years, the person next to one of us on a flight won’t say, “Do we need libraries, since everything is online?” They’ll get, instinctively, the inherent value of not just libraries, but LIBRARIANS to society.
Let’s not wait five years. Let’s start working to make that happen today. One of the things we can do is change the tone around the discussion of the future of libraries. How you frame your discussion matters and if librarians keep talking about how libraries need to be saved is it any wonder that our patrons and society believe we’re dying? We are basically telling them we are! So stop! Stop right now!
Instead we need to start framing the conversation like the powerful partners we are! Let’s make this hashtag happen! It is much more positive and affirmative than the save libraries rhetoric. I talked about this when I wrote Libraries are Powerful Partners last year.
There’s a great library sounds field recording project going on this weekend (2014-06-06) with a group over at Soundcloud.1
Basically, record a solid minute of the sounds of your library—and recording using your phone is quite fine. If you want to get more creative, make a minute-long composition/song/whatever out of it as well.
Here’s the info: http://disquiet.com/2014/06/05/disquiet0127-libraryshhh/
You have to write the book that wants to be written. And if the book will be too difficult for grown-ups, then you write it for children.
Information literacy resources only a click away
Hey #infolit librarians — I bet you’ll like this: a database of lesson plans, handouts, and resources for information literacy instruction. You can search for items by learning outcome, by type, or by resource. All of the materials are licensed under creative commons.
H/t to my colleague Nicole Branch.
Wait: super duper rad.