When I revamped my blog about a month ago, I added a “Contact Me” form. I wanted to give my readers the opportunity to ask questions, make comments, and offer suggestions. And I just received my first question:
“My son is 20 and has ADHD. I would love to find him a blog like this for young men. Do you know of any?”
I must confess, I was taken aback. I barely expected my blog to have enough readership for anyone to write to me, let alone for the first question I received to be about young men with ADHD, not young women. So I did what I always do when I’m at a loss: I started googling. And yet, nowhere in the results of my search for “ADHD” “young men” did there seem to be any links to blogs or any kind of website for men of my age group with my neurological impairment.
But you know what? I think that’s OK.
When I started this blog, I was sure of my target audience: young women with ADHD. In part, this was because I’m a young ADHD woman myself, and I simply felt best equipped to write about and to others like me. However, there was another reason behind my choice as well. You see, I’ve studied the female ADHD experience since I was about 15, and never, in the 13 years since — that is, until two weeks ago — encountered any writing directly concerning my demographic, young women. There’s a book titled Understanding Girls with AD/HD, and one titled Understanding Women with AD/HD, but trust me, nobody has penned “Understanding Young Women with AD/HD” — not yet, anyway.
I don’t mean to imply a surplus of writing on the female ADHD experience in childhood and full-fledged adulthood. Nowadays, however, little girls and bona fide women are at least part of the conversation. But where was the writing on living on your own for the first time? On supporting yourself? On finding your life partner?
Meanwhile, when the story broke about the skyrocketing number of young women being prescribed ADHD medication, I felt disappointed, but not surprised, to find that almost all journalistic coverage was written from the perspective of how reproductive-aged women taking ADHD medication may affect the safety of their pregnancies — even for those who are sexually active but not actively trying to get pregnant. It just figured that the very first time young ADHD women were the subject of mainstream reportage, they were discussed in relation to someone else, i.e., their unborn (and, often, purely hypothetical) children. I felt that young women with ADHD deserved to have a space dedicated expressly for them — their thoughts, their experiences.
And they certainly weren’t getting that in quote-unquote general writing on ADHD. Why? Because it has all been framed with men in mind. As a result, the male experience is pervasive in mainstream ADHD scholarship and self-help guides. In short, there are no blogs specifically for young men with ADHD because all general ADHD blogs are for young men.
But young ADHD women needed a space of their own — not for older women or little girls, not merely about pregnancy, and not applicable to men.Young ADHD women needed a space of their own — not for older women or little girls, not merely about pregnancy, and not applicable to men. Click To Tweet
And that’s where I came in.