Lack of ADD/ADHD in YA/Adult Fiction


I know in a previous post, I said I wanted to try and have one discussion post once a week.  Well, this week there will be two discussion posts.  This one is more personal, though.

Recently, I have been searching for YA/Adult fiction books where the MC has ADD/ADHD. I am fully aware of the Percy Jackson books, but those books are more middle grade.  ADD/ADHD are chronic disorders, they never go away.  I was diagnosed when I was eight years old, and yes I was prescribed Adderall.  I would take it first  thing in the morning before school.  I was on it for a year and a half.  For that year and a half, I had a difficult time. sleeping at night.  I eventually got taken off Adderall and had to find other ways to focus especially on homework. Some homework was more difficult for me to do than others, like anything to do with math, as it is one of my weaknesses.  I also hated anything to do with math, it didn’t interest me at all.  I found it boring. When I got to middle school I found that listening to music with headphones really helped me stay focused on what I was doing Music helped me block everything else out.

It would just be really nice to see more YA/Adult fiction books with characters that have the same disorder that I do and how they manage it.  I think ADD/ADHD deserve the same attention and representation that other disorders get in YA.  ADD/ADHD is more common than people realize.  Finding YA/Adult novels with characters that have these disorders, and these disorders are the main topic has been extremely difficult.  I’ve searched, I’ve searched lists on Goodreads, and there are more non-fiction books than fiction books.  There are so many books that lack all kinds of representation, and I’ve seen that if you want something written in a book, write the book yourself.  Not everyone has the ability to be able to write a book.

21 thoughts on “Lack of ADD/ADHD in YA/Adult Fiction

  1. Pingback: #AMemorableBook – Inside My Minds

  2. I also have ADD which has caused major issues all my life, but I wasn’t actually diagnosed until this year (age 27). I’ve always wanted to write a YA book and now that I’m medicated there’s probably more chance of it happening… well, I can sit and concentrate longer but my brainstorming abilities are definitely reduced, so if you guys have any ideas you wanna throw me they’d be most welcome !

  3. I know I already told you this on Twitter, but this is such a great post, Ashley! I feel like ADD/ADHD is something that definitely gets over looked in general. I don’t think people realise how hard it can be. Like I said, I have such a hard time focusing because of my anxiety and it definitely makes life really hard!! I really wish more books would talk about it because I feel like a lot of people misunderstand it and think it’s people just being “hyper” or whatever and it’s so much more. I’m really glad you decided to post this 😀

  4. Great post Ashley! You’re right, I don’t believe I’ve ever read a book with characters suffering from ADD in it. I’m an Aspie myself and there are lots of books that cover that subject, but 9 out of 10 times, while taking things completely out of proportion, so that that sucks as well.

  5. I’ve found that MG books tend to deal with more diverse issues like this than YA does, and I’m not entirely sure why. Maybe it feels safer and less political? I think there’s a real fear that an author will try to represent something like ADHD and not do it in a way that fans believe is accurate or fair, so some authors just feel safer steering away from topics like this if they haven’t personally experienced them in their own lives somehow.

  6. Thank you so much for writing this post. I’ve been diagnosed with adhd myself and it really sucks how underrepresented it is in literature. If I do find a book with a main character who has adhd/add within my searches, I’ll definitely let you know 💕

  7. This is so true. I like reading about different types of subjects because I become so interested and I have to know more about the subject once I finish reading. There is a book called “A List of Cages” that comes out next year and the main character has ADHD. Like what you said, I would also love to see more diverse books about ADHD / ADD.

  8. You are right. The only books that come to mind are the Percy Jackson series. Representation in books is lacking in so many ways. I’ve not seen many (or any) people pointing out the lack of main characters with ADD/ADHD, so it’s great that you brought it up. If I ever encounter a book that features a character that has either of those, I’ll let you know! Thanks for sharing this!

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