The ADHD question for the day: Is there a causal relationship between ADHD and poor self-esteem?
by Bill Mehlman
So, folks, it's quiz time again. Unfortunately, I don't have one of those widgets that you see on the sports blogs, which enable you to vote on critical issues ("Who was the greater athlete: Michael Jordan, Wayne Gretsky, The Great Lebowski, Tonya Harding, Willie Mosconi or Secretariat?") and see what your fellow Nobel laureates think, so you'll have to post comments. Or else.
The question for the day: Is there a causal relationship between ADHD and poor self-esteem?
Or, to put it on a more personal level, "Have you ever known—or been—a person afflicted with ADHD who has a good self-image?
My vote is, "No, are you kidding?"
The subterranean, amorphous, malignant information that we—We—carry around with us, the knowledge that we're almost certainly "different" from "them," certainly doesn't do much for our self-confidence. I think we can stipulate that some kind of link exists between the two conditions. What we need to figure out is whether the ADHD is the proximate cause of the feeble self-image, or if the lack of self-esteem contributes to the inability to function.
Intuitively, I'd have to believe that the ADHD is more of a hard-wired situation. Whatever environmental factors may enter into its etiology, my personal experience is that the problem is largely congenital. You got dealt a bad hand, Jack, and you just have to deal with it.
The lack of self-esteem seems, equally intuitively, to be something more readily attributable to external factors. It would be a remarkable child who, lacking parental support and affection, grows to be a self-confident, focused adult.
Somewhere, hand and hand with these two issues, of course, runs our old friend Depression. But for the purposes of accurate polling, we'll leave him on the bench for this discussion.
So, gentle readers, care to offer any thoughts on this chicken/egg quandry?
And, speaking of poultry, Happy Thanksgiving to all.