ADHD and Shame: The Least Discussed ADHD Symptom

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If the people around you don’t understand that your brain works differently, it’s easy to develop negative beliefs about yourself. Forgetting homework as a kid turns into forgetting to-do list items as an adult. Unfortunately, rather than turning ADHD into a superpower, self-doubt, and feelings of shame around forgetting can become strong and impact self-esteem.

Feelings are critical to survival and serve a purpose. However, when the feeling of shame (the “I’m flawed” emotion) is excessive, it can likely do more harm than good.

Shame can keep you reviewing your day late at night, wrestling with thoughts of what you did wrong that day. Shame can also be the reason that many unique thinkers with ADHD feel the need to overcompensate and overthink to make up for past mistakes.

The Impact of Undiagnosed ADHD 

If you have ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder), especially undiagnosed ADHD, then you’ve likely felt “othered” at some point in your life. You might have received criticism for being late or for forgetting your homework. Or maybe you weren’t criticized by others nearly as much as you were by yourself, causing you to become highly organized to cope with the insecurity of forgetfulness or time-management struggles. Either way, at a young age, it’s likely that feeling “not good enough” was baked in pretty deep. And what happens as a kid gets baked in even deeper.

Children are not capable of abstract thinking. They go to the first common denominator: themselves. So even if ADHD was diagnosed, it was likely hard to wrap your head around the idea that, “oh wait, ADHD can be a superpower? You mean cognitive differences aren’t actually a bad thing?” Yeah, no. Time management, forgetfulness, losing your train of thought. They don’t exist in a vacuum. They exist in a complicated world that often feels like it was built for someone else.

How is Shame an Adult ADHD Symptom?

ADHD and OverworkingA man sits at the kitchen counter as they appear bored as they watch their laptop. This could represent the stress of ADHD symptoms in Ohio. Focused Mind ADHD Counseling can help you harness your ADHD superpowers. Learn more by searching "ADHD and workaholism" to learn more!

ADHD and workaholism are real. It’s not uncommon to take on more to fill the void of feeling inadequate. Doing better to feel better. However, better never comes. Only momentary bursts of excitement that lead to taking on more responsibilities and tasks. Before you know it, your to-do list is bigger than anyone else’s.

ADHD and Imposter Syndrome

ADHD and imposter syndrome is real. Imposter syndrome is when our actions do not match our feelings about ourselves. And it’s hard, if not almost impossible, for many ADHDers to enjoy their success. Feeling a healthy amount of accomplishment feels foreign. You might remember doing something creative as a kid that made you feel good. However, it wasn’t long before you were shamed into doing things more “reasonable” or “productive” with your time. Now, as an adult, it would feel almost selfish or self-centered to give yourself a compliment.

A boardroom claps as a woman smiles at the team. This could represent overcoming shame from ADHD. Contact Focused Mind ADHD Counseling for support with ADHD and workaholism. A therapist in Columbus, OH can support you in overcoming anxiety symptoms today!ADHD and Self-Doubt 

Shame makes it hard to let the most interesting parts of yourself out of the box. The irony is, ADHD likely makes you a highly creative and engaging person. But how much of that do people really know? Rather than let it out, shame makes it so that you’re always running around, doubting yourself, and putting a lid on many things that make you interesting and unique.

Start Increasing Confidence 

Managing shame and ending self-doubt takes work. Here’s what you’ll ultimately need:

● The ability to turn ADHD into a superpower.
● To find your people. The ones who see you for you.
● To work through your past to find your future.
● Assertiveness and the ability to set healthy boundaries.

Finding ways to start valuing yourself can happen more quickly than it feels. Surrounding yourself with people who get you, learning to say no, and finding outlets to deal with emotions like creative projects, mindfulness, or therapy. In the end, there is no effort too small if it improves confidence.

Begin Adult ADHD Treatment in Columbus, OH

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At Focused Mind ADHD Counseling, we offer adult ADHD testing and ADHD treatment. ADHD treatment can help you re-author your story and detoxify your life of whatever is holding your back. You can find the answers you’re looking for. An ADHD specialist from our Columbus, OH-based therapy practice would love to help you. To start ADHD testing, follow these simple steps:

1. Fill out the contact form to schedule a free 15-minute consultation.

2. Meet with an adult ADHD specialist.

3. Stop feeling inadequate. Start being you.

Other Services Offered With Focused Mind ADHD Counseling

ADHD testing and treatment in Columbus, OH isn’t the only service offered at our Columbus, OH-based counseling practice. Since ADHD impacts people in different ways, we offer a variety of services. We provide ADHD testing, adult ADHD treatment, counseling for men with ADHD, depression counseling for ADHD, and anxiety treatment for ADHD. Feel free to learn more by scheduling a consultation or visiting our blog!