Mental Health Enlightened

Why Must I Be Misunderstood?

Why don’t they “get” us?

            Hats off to The Animals who wrote and sang that top ten hit, circa 1965, “Why Must I be Misunderstood?,” and to David Keirsey and Marilyn Bates, who co-authored a book on temperament and personality called, Please Understand Me. This frustration of feeling misunderstood, mislabeled, and under-appreciated is endemic for people with ADHD.

         No matter how hard we try, we don’t quite fit in to other people’s systems or schemes or ways of doing business.

         So we struggle either to fit in or to get out of the boxes that people put us in.

         It’s not contrariness or defiance that makes us have to do things differently: instead we view ourselves as the canary in the mineshaft, the prophet in one’s own land, attempting to sound the alarm that:   The king has no clothes…the system’s not working…your protocols are dangerous to my mental health!

         We don’t quite grasp why people don’t get us, since our own way of being is so transparent, without strategy, guile, and secrecy. It’s like that resentful 1980s rhetorical attack line: “What is it about the word ‘no’ you don’t understand?”

         What is it about me/us/him/her you don’t get?  Why we’re bored and frustrated? Why our moods swing hot and cold? Why we feel compelled to deal with that issue NOW, instead of postponing it to the  future?

         Why we act “like a bull in a China shop” and then expect, nay even demand, that people like us?

         Well take a look more carefully at that “China shop”. Who designed it, and for whom?

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