View Full Version : Adult ADD and Self-esteem
Last week when I had my first meeting with my counselor, she was asking me about self-esteem issue. She asked whether I feel worthy or not. I told her that it changes very frequently. Sometimes I feel confident, sometimes I feel stupid, lazy and mean. (She was suspecting that I had bipolar disroder, but my previous doctor said it was not). Now that I think about it. I think I have low self esteem when I failed to do something people ask me to. And when they look at me like, "I can't trust her", it just made me felt so down, even now that I know it was just the ADD in action. Now I really am afraid to promise anyone anything and I'm scared when people give me too big responsibility 'cos I'm afraid I'm gonna ruin it all and they would be upset with me. At the end of the day, I feel like I'm of no good to anyone. Although I never doubt about my ability, the ADD just get in the way and mess everything up. I forgot appointments, I promised someone I would help them, then I forgot. I didn't follow procedures...
My question is whether anyone experience the same thing and how should I deal with this. Don't say that I should try to not take it in because i can't. I was just diagnosed recently and still havn't taken any ADD medicine, so I also wonder if the drug gonna help with this situation? I read a lot of you guys message on the forum and feels like even with experienced people, you still have the recurrence of ADD. Please also tell me if it still mess things up as it used to...
10-21-04, 10:12 PM
My counselor said something very important to me when I was speaking to him the other day...I was seeing him about anxiety problems, we don't address the ADHD thing because I deal with that on my own. I mentioned how I tend to get down on myself, but I should, because I always make careless, stupid errors doing things I am supposed to be good at. He made an important point: Things are only stupid if you have a choice to do otherwise. I have ADHD. Because I have ADHD, I am going to be inattentive. I am going to make mistakes. Therefore, those mistakes, though perceived as "careless" and "stupid" are just things I can't do anything about. I can't hold myself accountable for something I can't control...
That was me kind of rambling about self esteem issues. I had a huge self esteem hit when after I was diagnosed and medicated I still had ADHD moments. It's important to realize that all the treatment in the world can't change who we are. We will always be people with ADHD. So no matter how much progress we make, we can't expect ourselves to be perfectly normal. Heck, even NORMAL people have ADHD moments!
10-21-04, 10:43 PM
Although I never doubt about my ability, the ADD just get in the way and mess everything up. I forgot appointments, I promised someone I would help them, then I forgot. I didn't follow procedures...
This is something I don't understand about ADD...I feel the same way...I feel like I have enough confidence in my abilities that I can do anything....but I just don't do it. I hate the not doing things. It's so paralyzing. And then that's where the self esteem comes into play...because I don't get what I know I can do done...and I feel worthless.
We will always be people with ADHD
This is so depressing to me because right now I HATE ADD
10-22-04, 08:39 AM
We're totally with you here, Duckie and Struggling. It is so frustrating being limited when you know in yourself you shouldn't be. You know inside that you are capable of being more, doing more.
As I look back I can get very sad at the things I missed out on because I couldn't get over mental hurdles, mental hurdles there was help for. I had undiagnosed bipolar II, ADD and anxiety attacks since childhood and all were unnoticed. It was miserable. Not only did I know inside myself that what I was feeling didn't need to be there, that I was talented, intelligent and not living up to my potential but I was reminded often by others of the same thing...and the older I got the more they gave up on me.
Finally, at 32, married with 3 kids, my husband had me get help because I could not take care of my family. There were too many bad days even though I knew I was happy. Medication has helped tremendously. Lamictal for the bipolar has turned my roller coaster emotions into normal mood swings so that I can feel more steady, and any dips I can recover from so much more quickly. Night before last was my first realization that "this" is what it was like to feel "normal" (almost ;) )
Keep reading about ADD. Right now all you can see is it's limitations. ADDers are also very intuitive, creative people. I am just starting medication (which if I can adjust to the side effects is starting to help me keep motivated, though I am still very forgetful) and I'm in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. Together I'm hoping I can deal with the worst of the symptoms and cope with the rest. I've been coping this long, not very successfully but I'm still here, so I can persevere for the rest of it.
This was long winded, sorry. I know I prefer the shorter posts. Keep reading, I hope you will feel encouraged by all the ones who have gone before and those who are right where you are. We won't be "cured" but hopefully we can make the best of our "focus-deficit". After all, that's not all we are; any more than a blind person is just someone who sees the world in darkness, or a person with a deformed hand is the summation of his/her challenges...there is so much more to their soul. Our challenges usually make us stronger, better people in the long haul.
(oh and next time I'm *itchin' and complaining about my ADD moments, remind me that I said this.)
Of course you will still have ADD moments when on meds. At least for me, though, that's all it is... moments. Most of the time, I feel great and have things under control, but sometimes I still have a brain fart. :P
Know what I do? Nothing! Since my diagnosis, it's gotten a lot easier to forgive myself for these kinds of things. I'm finding myself doing things i never would or could have done before (not because of lack of ability -- because of ADD/lack of motivation/energy).
I wouldn't even speculate what it will be like after you get on meds until you actually take them. I think you'll find life a lot more bearable, at least. :) I need my meds, because I'd basically already adopted all the coping strategies you'll see in the ADD books independently, and it wasn't enough. The meds are what I needed to get on with my life instead of spending all my time compensating for ADD.
I'm really looking forward to potential medication. I'm currently just starting my psychiatric evaluations, so we'll see how it goes; I know I need help, and AD/HD is far too accurate a picture of me to think it's not what I've got. If it ain't, it's something similar.
But I desperately want the medication. Because I'm an Honours student. I'm pulling As and Bs. And that's with untreated ADHD. I can write a 20 page honours-level paper in the 3 days before it's due, because my ADHD will distract me until it's too late to do anything BUT work, and then I hyperfocus through it. And get good marks. So I'm really looking forward to the kinds of marks I can get devoting 3 weeks of half-power focus to the same paper.
Sounds like me all the way through HS and college.
i've always been distracted in the classroom since i ever went to school, except for if the class was really interesting. ADD was not a problem to me because despite the fact that i hardly recalled what i heard in class and i studied very close to the exam, i came out with high grades. But i have a feeling that as i get older, studying has become more of a drag to me. i still didn't listen in class and now i hated studying by myself because the material is getting harder. i'm in my senior year now when i should spend the most of my time and my mind on studying, but i just simply couldn't get myself to do it. Sometimes just tired of willing myself to do what i get easily bored with. i mean i like the subjects but the chapters just came dry and overwhelming to me.
:) i'm really in the mood for complaining today. Anyone with the same problems;)
10-29-04, 12:56 AM
it sucked dropping out of school. i felt like such a loser.
my best friend, a determined, brilliant, and brillianty harsh and brutal said
"i just wish they'd make a school where you watch documentaries all day so you can get a degree"
she wasn't trying to be a jerk..she was actually frustrated watching me flounder with things she knew i could DO...and she didn't understand adhd at alll..
i would cry. i would talk to her and tell her how i just don't understand why i cannot DO school! why ? why? how can i understand everything in front of me but it doesn't turn out to be anything that helps?
it was like being a ghost on campus. i'm here. but i'm really not. b/c even though you see me and you think i have all my shiite together b/c i can discuss in class and my proffs love my commentary and i can do great on exams..
i oversleep, i didn't do my homework, couldn't find a parking space b/c i never figured out that whole parallel parking thing, can't go to class somedays b/c i can't face my failure..its like elementary school all over again. i remember feeling so dreadful and guilty b/c i never NEVER did homework. i did well. but i just didn't fulfill my potential.
i was so ridiculously inconsistent. i'm sure all my teachers thought i was stoned or a schizo.
10-29-04, 02:23 PM
f wcomboadhd, did you drop out of JC or 4 year college? I understand how you feel. I got BOOTED out of college(I did get a AA degree, amazing!)for not maintaining a 2.0 gpa. It REALLY sucked becasue that was the beginning of all my difficulties in life after school...I am currently back at a college trying to get my degree...I know I need it, and its hard. Will see what happens. In the younger years(I am mid 30s) all I would do is cheat in class, I HATED studying, bascially I just wanted to meet female's, go to parties, and eat pizza..:) I actually thought I could cheat my way to a 4 year degree, well it didn't work out, and now I'm paying for it....SUCKS! When you have both LD and ADD its not fun. My problem is when I don't like something, its REALLY hard for me to get motivated to do it!
10-29-04, 02:50 PM
ok cameron, you and are going to be real good buddies!! LOL..i'm 29...
i feel that being older in school is an advantage in many ways. firstly. we want it. secondly. we know how important it is. thirdly there is another level to education that comes with life experience. its called appreciation.
everyone i knew when i attempted my college flop said community college, do your core classes , its better that way blah blah.
felt like highschool and i was just in a very did not know i had adhd place.
i am now in school.
i have some posts in the college forum here. and it pretty much spells out my condition...
and it is HARD.
yeah the unmotivated thing? comp II. i still have to pass comp II.
i took it twice and dropped out b/c of my grade degrading as a result of my deadline issues.
here i go again.
i swear i 'll break open a bottle of champagne after this class.
Dropping out twice? Bah, that is what the extremely focused people do. I dropped out of English 102 and College Algebra at least 4-5 times each. When I finally stayed in I got an A in English and a B in College Algebra. The work was not hard at all. For me if I clicked with the instructor I would do great in class. If not, forget about it. I would not do homework, skip class, not study, etc etc. I did finally graduate and if I can do it, anyone can!! My GPA was horrible and I dropped or just took an F in about twice as many classes as I actually tried in. Interestingly enough, my best semester in college was when I was a senior. I took 18 hours and I was working about 50-60 hours a week managing a restaurant. Something about being busy all the time just kept me going for some reason.