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  #1  
Old 12-30-12, 05:48 AM
bexxxxx bexxxxx is offline
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shame in seeking treatment?

Hi,
I am pretty sure that I have ADHD. My son also has ADHD and dysgraphia. I have never sought a diagnosis for myself though, because I am embarrassed, and afraid that the doctor will think that I am making it up, or drug-seeking. Yet, I am in college myself right now, and struggling so much with lack of focus and this feeling of incredible overwhelm that I am in danger of flunking out. I am in tears tonight trying to read this textbook, yet I am not unintelligent. I also find it extremely hard to provide much needed routine for my ADHD son, when I cannot even provide it for myself. Has anyone else felt this shame in seeking a diagnosis/treatment?
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Old 12-31-12, 12:29 AM
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Re: shame in seeking treatment?

There would be no shame if you needed insulin would there?
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Old 12-31-12, 04:29 AM
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Re: shame in seeking treatment?

Quote:
Originally Posted by sarahsweets View Post
There would be no shame if you needed insulin would there?
If you had needed it all along but somehow managed to live without - yes, for some people it would be shameful.

I was raised believing in the human body as being mostly capable of healing and regulating itself (not with stuff like cancer, but when it comes to common colds or chickenpox certainly).
My hypothyroid symptoms feel like I can compare them to a chronic cold, not to cancer.

So even after four years of taking thyroid hormones and knowing they improve my condition, I still have spells when I think I somehow must be able to do without the hormone supplements, I just didn't try hard enough. Because that was what kept me going the decade or more before I got that treatment, the belief that I just have to try harder, to do it the *right way*.

It all makes sense to me, really.


Realizing that this feeling is irrational ... doesn't immediately change the impact it has on me.
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Old 01-03-13, 11:19 AM
dogluver358 dogluver358 is offline
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Re: shame in seeking treatment?

There's nothing shameful in seeking help for yourself. Ask around and try and find a doctor that specializes in ADHD, or if your son is seeing a doctor, can you see your son's doctor? If not ask that doctor who you can see. You don't have to suffer. Just tell the doctor you do see that your son has it and you see a lot of the same symptoms in yourself. It runs in families sometimes and might help the doctor work with you.
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Old 01-03-13, 01:56 PM
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Re: shame in seeking treatment?

Sadly, yes, there is a lot of stigma around mental illness. It's one of the key things that prevents people from seeking the help they need.

For years I said things to myself like:
  • "My problems aren't really that bad. Like, surely I'm not as badly off as people who are really depressed."
  • "There's no way I could have ADHD. I graduated from university and everything." (despite struggling through, almost failing out, and having to withdraw and change schools)
  • "This 'not being able to focus at work' thing -- I don't know what could be behind it. I guess I just need to drink more coffee and try harder."
...and this kind of thing delayed my assessment and eventual diagnoses by many years. A less-polarized, less stigmatized approach to mental health and seeing a psychiatrist for an evaluation might have resulted in me being picked up and treated a lot earlier.

When I finally went to my GP to get a referral, he gave me the side-eye and told me that many people weren't sure that adult ADHD actually existed. When I broached the topic of ADHD with my partner, they said that ADHD is a bulls**t diagnosis that they give you when they aren't sure what the hell is wrong with you. (My partner is much more supportive now, thanks to a lot of effort and learning on their part.)

I say this to you not to scare you off, but to give you a heads-up. Yes, there is a ton of stigma out there, and I hope you will run into less of it than I did. But you need to push through it to get the assessment and help that you need and deserve.

Now when I get up in the morning, I feel like I'm waking up 18 hours of potential instead of facing down another 18 hours of misery. Someone can say something negative or critical to me without it making me feel like an utter failure and completely ruining my entire day. I actually feel motivated and energetic enough to tackle chores around the house instead of wasting time on the internet, if I so choose. I couldn't have got to this point without making up my mind to get an ADHD assessment and riding that train wherever it may lead, naysayers be damned.

As an aside, ADHD has a strong genetic/hereditary component, so if your son's been diagnosed, IMHO that alone is enough reason to screen everyone else in the family.

Good luck
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Old 01-03-13, 02:03 PM
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Re: shame in seeking treatment?

Bex, others might try to make you feel ashamed but there is no shame in seeking treatment. On the contrary. It means that you are trying to sort your problems out and being pro-active about getting the help that you need. It's not your fault if you suffer from a neurological disorder. Support should be freely and easily available but unfortunately, it's not.

I believed for years that I needed to get out of depression on my own. When I finally started taking anti depressants, I felt guilty and weak. Now, almost a year later, the anti depressants have changed my life. I see now that without medication (or any treatment) I could have never made the change on my own. I just didn't have the tools (i.e. the neurotransmitters) to do it.

Getting treatment means getting the tools that you need to help yourself.
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Old 01-03-13, 03:02 PM
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Re: shame in seeking treatment?

There are lots of valid reasons to feel shame about seeking treatment.

But there are far more and far better reasons, to feel good about doing so.

While it isn't really a symptom of ADHD, one of the classic problems that many of us have is that we have learned to be ashamed of ourselves and everything we do, because we have been taught over and over again that we are "doing it wrong", "lazy", "slow", "incompetent", etc etc, and many of us keep repeating those things to ourselves even when we're alone.

If you have ADHD, good treatment and good strategy can improve your life. That is the single most important reason.
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Old 01-03-13, 08:24 PM
adelynsmommy adelynsmommy is offline
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Re: shame in seeking treatment?

I didn't feel ashamed at first...now, after the reaction from my much respected psych I feel really embarassed. I feel like she doesn't believe me, and that that discredits the validity of the diagnosis.

Not trying to discourage you, I think we have the right to be proactive with our mental health. I plan to keep fighting despite the embarassment. Goodluck to you!
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Old 01-03-13, 08:29 PM
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Re: shame in seeking treatment?

Yes, I've felt shame for seeking treatment. I think this happens, because I can't talk about my disorder.
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Old 01-04-13, 10:23 AM
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Re: shame in seeking treatment?

I did a forward ninja roll into therapy. Everyone saw me though, so i just decided to stop worrying about shame altogether.
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