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Adult ADHD Help Please!
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An_226044 posted:
My employer has symptoms of Adult ADHD. He is very difficult to work for. He doesn't know he has this condition. I have an adult child with ADHD. I know the symptoms. How do I talk to my employer about him possibly seeking help? I need to know how to approach the subject to him. This man runs a business. He has been making poor decisions that is costing the company. I've had vendors talking about his behavior. He is embarrassing himself along with the company. Please advice!
Thanks!
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2teensdad responded:
That"019s a tough problem if your company is too small to have a Human Resources Department to work through. If clients are expressing concern then I think it"019s fair game to broach the substance of their complaints with your boss. That could be one way to open the door. If you proceed in a helpful, compassionate tone you might be able to introduce the topic"014but don"019t count on it. If nothing else, you should be able to suggest strategies (perhaps based on your own knowledge of ADHD with your son) on how he can improve his performance. Good luck!
 
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GinaPera responded:
I would approach this extremely cautiously -- if you value your job. (Then again, if he's running the company into the ground, you might not have a job for long.)

The phenomenon of "denial" with ADHD is a profound one. Denial is not just defensive, or psychological -- someone not wanting to admit they have a brain disorder. It can also be based in the physiology of ADHD; that is, not noticing cause and effect (or their role in creating the effect), poor working memory, etc. Due to symptoms of distractibility, inattention and impulsivity, whatever innate empathy the person might have can be compromised. This can lead to a very self-centered perspective. In other words, "everyone else has the problem, not me."

All this means that your boss might not be so receptive to your opinion and might, in fact, thereafter see you as the enemy.

You don't mention how large the company is. If possible, I would try to reach him anonymously. Leave a pamphlet about ADHD on his desk (you can print some at the National Resource Center on ADHD...http://www.help4adhd.org).

Or you could leave on his desk a book on ADHD that you've screened and found to be relevant to his behavior. I'd advise NOT choosing one of those books that touts ADHD as a gift. That's all he might need to seal his denial that he is the center of his own problems and poor decision-making.

On the other hand, if you have a good relationship and he seems like he might be receptive to an explanation for his distress, then you could talk about ADHD in the third person. Maybe over a casual lunch, you could mention a fictional friend who was just diagnosed and how treatment is really helping him make better decisions, be less stressed, etc.

Good luck!
Gina Pera, author
Is It You, Me, or Adult A.D.D.?
http://www.ADHDRollerCoaster.org
 
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An_226045 replied to GinaPera's response:
Thanks, Gina. I checked out the website you suggested. It was helpful.
I thought about typing a letter to him and attaching the info I printed from the website. I just need to know how to word it to where he will understand it. The problem is, I don't know if he will read it. I have sent him emails that were kinda lengthy and he would call and ask what it said because it was too much for him to read.
He is 50 years old. The business was handed down to him. The company has approx 45 employees between 2 restaurants and I'm the only person in the corporate office along with him. I can barely get my office work done when he's in the office because he is constantly telling me to do this and that. He will tell me to do 3 things and then ask me if I've done the first thing yet. It is a real struggle when he is in the office.
Oh and he's a clean freak too. I have everything in it's place on my desk. Where I know what and where things are. He will come in when I'm not there and place things where HE wants them. Very frustrating. I have worked for/with this man for 4 years now.
 
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GinaPera replied to An_226045's response:
Yes, avoid the lengthy! Make it short and sweet -- a list of Adult ADHD symptoms. Along with treatment options.

It is almost impossible to over-emphasize how disconnected people like this can be from their behariors. They've been like this all their lives. If they've tried to change, they've not had much luck. By age 50, he might have concluded that this is hte way he is, and that's the end of that. He might never think that 1.) he has a diagnosable brain condition and 2) the brain condition is highly treatable. Especially if he had the family businesses handed to him, he might never have had to face his failures in the "real world."

Can you anonyously notify others in the family? Perhaps co-owners in the business? I'm assuming there isn't anyone else, because if they know him well, they'd be watching him.

I keep stressing the anonymity because, unless you have a good relationship with him, as I mentioned, your suggesting that he has ADHD could badly backfire on you. I've seen situations where the "miracle" assistant gets fired after such a suggestion. It just depends on his level of awareness/denial.

My book contains three chapters on understanding and dealing with denial. While it is written primarily for adults with ADHD and their partners, it is also a useful guide for anyone affected by another person's Adult ADHD symptoms.

It's important that you know what you're dealing with. Even though your son has ADHD (as you said), it is a syndrome, which means symptoms manifest very differently among individuals. Plus, there are other personality characteristics that come into play.

If he depends on you and trusts you, then you might have some leverage in establishing ground rules and structure (e.g. do not touch my desk!) If he's arrogant, impulsive, and narcissistic, however, he might just decide you've grown too "difficult" and will set out to replace you.

good luck!
Gina
 
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susiemargaret responded:
hello, 4081 --

in addition to the responses here, you might want to repost your Q on the "ADD and ADHD exchange," http://exchanges.webmd.com/add-and-adhd-exchange .

-- susie margaret


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