How We Carry the Emotional Baggage of ADHD into Adulthood

A person looks in a window while seeing their younger self. Focused Mind ADHD Counseling can offer support with overcoming adult ADHD. Learn more about ADHD in Adults Ohio by searching "ADHD therapist for adults near me" today.

Whether you knew you had Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in childhood or not, one thing is likely true: somewhere, somehow, you didn’t get the support you needed. Now, as adults, things may have changed.

If you didn’t know you had ADHD, it’s often the case that reality (you know, the true reality where you have a neurological condition and you’re not intentionally losing or forgetting stuff) got flipped. You might have heard things like, “you’re not living up to your potential.” Or, “you do good when you want to.” Or even, “you’re just being lazy.”

If you did know you had ADHD, you may have been faced with ADHD deniers, or a parent or teacher, who just didn’t know how to help (or couldn’t).

The mismatch between what a kid needs and what a kid gets can have a profoundly negative impact on a person’s self esteem, emotions, confidence, and ability to trust themselves. But how deep does this chasm really go? Well…pretty darn deep. And these less-often discussed topics around how childhood ADHD impacts adults with ADHD on a deeper level might surprise you.

Ways Childhood ADHD Can Impact Adult ADHD

Negative Core BeliefsAn adult stands looking in the mirror at their reflection as a child. Focused Mind ADHD Counseling can offer support via CBT for adult ADHD in Columbus, OH. Learn more by searching ADHD therapist for adults near me.

Kids can’t make sense of the world around them as efficiently as adults. Kids go to the lowest common denominator: themselves. They often internalize the criticism being sent their way, much more than adults. If a kid is told they’re “lazy” or made to feel as though they “lack discipline,” they hear the message. Loud and clear. And as an adult, this “programming” from childhood sticks. Even worse, it’s hardwired. Ready to be activated when faced with challenges in the present. So an ADHD adult might not just think they’re inadequate, they might believe they are inadequate. In mental health, we call the internalized messages from the past a “core belief.” And many times, negative core beliefs can ultimately hold people back from meeting their goals and dreams.

People Pleasing and Overworking

A graphic of a worried man looking at his phone. Focused Mind ADHD Counseling can offer support for ADHD in adults Ohio. Search "ADHD therapist for adults near me" to learn more from a therapist in Columbus Ohio.It’s fairly common that adults with ADHD feel that they need to make up for something. Maybe it’s missing a deadline, or being late to work, or any other error. However, this can lead to overworking and overcommitting. Saying yes over and over again in order to prove your worth. But when you put this pattern together on the coattails of a childhood littered with homework avoidance and procrastination, the behavior can be pretty ingrained. The problem is, the accumulation of “yeses” creates a negative feedback loop, as tasks become much harder to accomplish, leading to more criticism and less praise.

Struggles with Self-Compassion

Throughout childhood, those internalized negative messages can seriously impact self-esteem. So as an adult, there’s a drought of confidence. The self-critic has become so strong that compliments fall on deaf ears. Accomplishments are “just luck.” And the ADHD adult believes their future is going to come crashing down on their accomplishments and leave them in peril.

Rejection Sensitivity

Most adults with ADHD report an intense sensitivity to rejection or fear of criticism called Rejection Sensitive Dysphoria. Another impact of being a sensitive child in a world filled with critics is being hyper-aware of criticism as an adult. In fact, so many adults with ADHD struggle with sensitivity from rejection, it might as well be in the criteria of ADHD symptoms. However, the result can be a chronic fear of failure and avoidance of risk, which A graphic of a woman with low energy with an empty battery. Focused Mind ADHD Counseling can offer support via CBT for adult ADHD in Columbus, OH. Learn more about ADHD in adults Ohio and the services we offer.stops a person’s ability to get the rewards of self-confidence.

Toxic Shame

Shame is the “I’m not good enough emotion.” Toxic shame emerges when it dominates a person’s life. Struggling to feel good enough at every turn, toxic shame can be one of the most profoundly disruptive ADHD symptoms.

How ADHD Treatment Helps

ADHD treatment often includes untangling the impact of the past on the present. This means being able to set healthy boundaries so that you can better manage time and have that come from a place of confidence. Or, to change the programming in your own mind in order to live in a place of self-acceptance and fearlessness. And, to dream big and overcome the overwhelm of all of those first steps along the way. Take the first step.

Begin Adult ADHD Testing and ADHD Treatment in Columbus, Ohio

You don’t have to live your life feeling overwhelmed and scattered. Our counseling practice in Columbus, Ohio has caring therapists who specialize in ADHD Treatment. To start your counseling journey, follow these simple steps:

  1. Fill out the contact form to reach out and schedule a free 15-minute phone
  2. Meet with one of our caring therapists
  3. Stop feeling bogged down by the past. Find your way in the present.

Other ADHD Services Offered at Focused Mind ADHD Counseling

Adult ADHD treatment is not the only service we offer at our Columbus, OH-based counseling practice. At Focused Mind ADHD Counseling, we offer a variety of mental health services including ADHD testing. We know that as an adult with ADHD, you may also benefit from anxiety treatment for ADHD, counseling for men with ADHD, or depression counseling for ADHD. You can also view our blog for more resources and helpful info!