I am not a manager, but I looking for help on how to discuss this with my manager. A month ago I got the diagnosis that I had moderate to severe ADHD as an adult (32). While coming to grips with this, I got to thinking on how I should approach my manager about this situation. I know I have been terminated in the past due to my focus and my inability to provide good work. So as managers, how would you people appreciate me bringing this up. Furthermore, how should I approach working together to help dealing with this. I hope to start on medication in the next week, so I was thinking perhaps discussing that with him. I also plan on proposing the idea that he keep an eye on my work going forward to see if there is a change, either positive or negative. This should allow me another avenue to ensure the medication I am taking is working or not. Beyond that, what has worked for other managers or ADHD individuals in this sitaution. Thanks!

SuzanneB's picture

Based on your title for this question, I get this sense that you are expecting this to go poorly.  This isn't a confrontation - it's a conversation. Here are my tips:

1. be honest. 
"boss, I want to let you know about something going on with me that may impact my work. I was recently diagnosed with moderate to severe ADHD."

2. tell him how you believe it will impact your work.
"i am beginning a new treatment plan of medication and expect to have an adjustment period. I am not yet clear how this will impact my focus during the work day but my hope is that it's only for the better."

3. ask for what you need.
"because this will be an adjustment I'm asking for two things from you. First, I'd appreciate feedback on my work performance - both the improvements and the declines. This will help me make adjustments to both my work strategies and possibly, my medications. Second, I'm asking for a bit of understanding during this time. I'll keep you apprised of changes to my treatment that may impact my work and I am hopeful that you'll be understanding.

4. offer to answer questions
"what questions can I answer for you about this?"


Good luck!  Hope you get the right treatment regimine in place. 

Smacquarrie's picture

I second the previous statement.
My son was diagnosed ADHD and I suffer from it myself although I have never formally been diagnosed.
Communication is key here for both you and your manager.
Once the issue is understood, countermeasures are easily put in place to assist you with addressing any performance issues that may come up.
I wish you the best of luck in this.

Mitchell Dorcas's picture

Perhaps confronting was the incorrect word. I am sure he will be understanding, but I just had some reservations on how to approach the topic.

Thanks a bunch guys. Your input was much appreciated!

delete_account_per_reacher_145083_dtiller's picture
Training Badge

Dear Mitchell - I am wondering whether you need to bring this up at the moment. I suggest waiting and seeing how the medication helps you. If your manager asks you about work deficiencies and it is directly related to your medication you could mention that you are being treated for a medical condition and perhaps the medication is not functioning as expected and you will discuss with your doctor. Managers do not need to know any more unless there is a need for a duty to accommodate but since you are about to try something knew, why not see how it works before expecting a negative outcome.

Good luck!!

mrreliable's picture

I lean toward dtiller's position on this. Saying, "Monitor my performance" seems like it could result in heightened scrutiny, and perhaps every imperfection would accumulate evidence that your ADHD is negatively affecting your performance.

I had an employee who told me he had recently been diagnosed ADHD and was taking medication. He got through college with an advanced degree before he was diagnosed. He said as soon as he took the medication, "It was like someone turned on a light switch." Everyone's different, but the medication can result in a huge improvement. Good luck!