02-06-06, 07:03 AM
I have just recently been diagnosed with ADD and ever since then, I have had a self-esteem lull. I used to brush off my memory lapses and poor attention to detail and stuff and try harder not to stuff up. But now I just feel like i'm brain damaged or something. I dunno, I've read that sometimes people feel relieved that there is an explanation and angry that it wasn't identified earlier but I just now feel like I have brain damage and it is pervasive and permanent and there is no hope. So I was wondering what you guys say to yourself to help yourselves feel better.
02-06-06, 09:56 AM
So I was wondering what you guys say to yourself to help yourselves feel better.
I would defiantly stop the brain damage talk, it doesn't seem to be helping at all. I know this seems obvious but some times people miss those things even non-ADDers.
What you have a part that could be refered to "malfunctioning" but brain damage equated with retardation well that is simply NOT ADD!!! People with ADD are as intelligent as "non-ADDers".
Think I will begin with the basics....
#1) proper treatment with medications (should that be an option for you personally)
a-finding the proper medication and the right dose and best timing can be a trail and error process that may take time (perhaps your mind off the negative thoughts)
#2) learn how your ADD effects you.
a-what are the two most bothersome symptoms?
b-simple strategies to work with
#3) Learn what ADD is from books and boards like this. Some areas have support groups that meet regularly.
#4) Make a choice to see one positive quality about you for every negative one.
a- Many times negative thinking can be a habit. Plus we seem to be more aware of our negative traits while totally ignoring any positive qualities!!! Breaking the habit of negative thinking doesn't mean burying one's head in the sand or denying difficulties, it merely means seeing you as you are.. a person with both strengths and limitations
b-Remember every one has areas where they experience difficulties and other areas that are their strengths; part of the human existence.
If these are not obtainable counseling may be in order. Some time having ADD or simply being human can wreck havoc in a personís life and drain all hope. If this is the case professional help may be in order.
Okay this should be a decent start.. hope it helps.
02-06-06, 11:34 AM
I experienced something similar and I found talking to a counselor experienced in ADHD was very helpful. I would also assume an ADD support group would be a good thing.
Read and learn all you can about ADHD. Hallowell and Ratey's books are very good -- they're both Harvard Professors and MD's with ADHD. You might try their latest book Delivered from Distraction -- good tips about what to do when your mind goes into a downward cycles in the self esteem department.
Some of this is also just part of the normal grieving process. The book You Mean I'm Not Lazy Stupid or Crazy? by Kelly and Ramnudo has a good explanation of the grieving steps and feelings newly diagnosed ADDers go through. A little bit from their book:
"Our diagnosis is supposed to free, not imprison us. But that's often what happens at some point in our grief process. As adults, we resent having to relive the identity crisis of adolescence. We may not have been doing great before but at least we thought we knew who we were. At this point depression often sets in . For some ADD adults it returns periodically threatening to undermine progress." (pp. 118-119)
"I had often lived under a cloud of helplessness and hopelessness. The discovery of my ADD, however, brought my negative feelings crashing down around me. I had previously been able to p[ull myself out of my black fogs by reasoning that things really weren't that bad. My diagnosis brought this reasoning to a crashig halt. Things really were that bad! I would never be okay." (p. 120)
"If you keep working on the grief prodess, you will come to a new and better place in your life. The stages you will go through are often difficult and painful but they're essential." (p. 121)
"Coming to terms with my ADD meant spending far less time and energy hiding my deficits. I concentrated on understanding them without being consumed by them. I was finally free to take charge of my life and realistically assess it." (p. 122)
"Life still hs its ups and downs but I feel that I'm living it more fully now than I ever could have before this journey. Instead of hiding my weaknesses or working at things that are wrong for me, I can now celebrate my gifts." (p. 123)
I hope this gives you a bit of the sense that this is a normal (although not fun) part of the process and you can work your way through it -- keep reaching out for support. It's real important!
02-08-06, 03:47 PM
Thanks heaps for those responses, they were really helpful.
I have not been officially diagnosed, but after reading about ADD a lot from books, the internet and this forum I am fairly sure I have ADD (inattentive only type).
I personally would absolutely love to be diagnosed. I would feel less inadequate, knowing that I really do have a reason (an 'official' reason/a true medical reason) for my problems. I could also receive help more readily than I had before. I can prove that I am not just lazy!
Don't worry, geckogirl. You are lucky, you are privileged! And remember...you are just as special as everyone else. :) :D :) :p :)