Most people can only imagine the struggles of having a disability. For someone living with a body that impedes full function, their circumstances can take a toll on them physically and psychologically. From the perspective of an able-bodied individual, being in their shoes might be disheartening. However, their disorders do not have to define them. And Paris Brown’s life with ADHD is nothing less than anyone’s.
Having any disorder does not make anyone become less worthy. Paris Brown emphasized that people who have ADHD are more than their disorder, and they can still be successful if they want to. ADHD or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder induces abnormal behavior in individuals who suffer from it. Due to this, they are often discriminated against in the workplace, in the community, even in their own homes. Discrimination towards people who have ADHD stems from the stigma around mental health disorders. Fortunately, mandates and other programs protect people with the condition and inform the public about how real mental health disorders are. Through less hostile spaces made possible by such laws, people like Paris can live like others, work without discrimination, and navigate life normally.
Paris Brown was diagnosed with ADHD when he was still in middle school. The Detroit-born mental health advocate has prescribed Ritalin and religiously followed his morning and afternoon routine. Additionally, his doctor recommended his parents enroll him in special education. All was going well for him until his mother stopped his Ritalin medication in Grade 9.
Although it seemed sudden for Paris Brown, his mother knew best. Stopping the medication he received in the 1990s was for the better. And he is still thankful to his mother for what she did. He graduated from Northern High School in Detroit, Michigan. Although he only had a GPA of 2.9 in special education, Paris Brown continued his studies and pursued graphic design in community college. His college life allowed him to spread his wings and find direction in his life. From having a C in high school to earning an A in his college lessons, Paris added that it was just the beginning of better days. “My mind finally found something interesting,” he said.
After studying for a year in college and learning how to use Powerpoint, Word, and Excel when it was still in a CD, Paris Brown eventually worked in City Year Detroit, a non-profit organization of AmeriCorp, for a year. “I did complete my 1,200 community service hours that are like 50 hours every week and graduated from the program,” he said.
Currently, Paris Brown is seeking to meet with the Board of Directors operating behind the Bank of America. He said that the bank could improve and further the careers of people with mental health disorders. Additionally, he shared that the people who advocate for mental health should join his call to counsel with the Bank of America since it holds the key to bettering the lives of people they are fighting for.
Learn more about him and share his message by visiting his website.