ADHD in Women

ADHD, Women, and the Danger of Emotional Withdrawal

ADHD and emotional withdrawal — pulling away from friends, strangers, and loved ones alike — often go hand-in-hand. Withdrawal is a coping mechanism many women with ADHD learn from a lifetime of rejection, disappointment, and bullying. Breaking this unhealthy habit is not easy — but your relationships may depend on it.

Little girl facing away from the camera and looking toward the water, symbolizing ADHD and emotional withdrawal in women
Photo by Gyorgy Bakos

My husband keeps talking, but I am not listening. I am turning away from him. He has said or done something completely innocent on his his end — commented about the need to do the laundry, said he was too tired for sex, teased me gently for a crush on some movie star — and I am finished. You see, my ADHD comes with a dose of rejection sensitivity, or rejection sensitive dysphoria (RS), which can lead me to (mis)interpret things as a referendum on my (now-perceived) general horribleness as a human being.

The stew of guilt and anger, shame and misery can be totally overpowering. So I turn away. I curl into myself, cut myself off emotionally. I know it’s not a healthy coping mechanism. But at times, it’s the only one I manage.

Emotional Withdrawal is A Learned Behavior

Girls with ADHD often learn emotional withdrawal at a young age: for women, ADD and emotional withdrawal often come hand-in-hand. 

We can be slow to pick up on the social cues other girls learn with ease. We’re daydreamy and spacey, rarely anchored firmly in the here and now (probably because the here and now means forgotten papers, missed deadlines, and people demanding why we didn’t do better). Our disorganization itself can make us a social pariah as other students seek to distance themselves from the “bad” kid. We often blurt out impulsively at inappropriate times, which can, as others have pointed out, attract the attention of a bully.

[Self-Test: Do You Have Rejection Sensitivity Dysphoria?]

So, as if social ostracism from the “mean girls” weren’t enough, girls with ADHD often find themselves being actively bullied — and back in the grand old 1980s and 1990s, no one did much about it other than tell us to suck it up. If it were a boy doing the bullying, some authority figures might have said, “Oh, he’s just doing it because he likes you.” (Setting the stage for us to conflate abuse with healthy relationships later in life).

Often, we were our only ally. Our teachers and parents might have dismissed our complaints as tattling, or brushed them off — like mine did — with something like, “If you learned to act like everyone else, this wouldn’t happen to you.” We learned to blame ourselves for our own ostracism; we weren’t worthy of membership in the social groups or the popularity other students enjoyed.

So we cut ourselves off. We learned not to care, because caring hurt too much. When the teasing started, when the bullying began (again), when spitballs flew, we retreated inward. It was the only coping mechanism we had.

We Carry the Emotional Baggage of ADHD Into Adulthood

Emotional withdrawal involves bottling up your emotions. It involves cutting out the people who could help us, because we’re so used to rejection that we’ve learned to anticipate it. Because we’ve learned to disconnect from others, we develop other unhealthy coping mechanisms.

According to statistics compiled by ADDitude, girls with ADHD are 3 times more likely than are girls without the condition to be treated for a mood disorder before they are properly diagnosed with attention deficit; a full third of us have comorbid anxiety disorders, and half of those — meaning one-sixth of women with ADHD — have contemplated suicide. We have a 5.6 times higher rate of bulimia, and a 2.7 times higher chance of developing other eating disorders. And while it’s more common for men with ADHD, some of us may turn to alcohol or drugs as a form of self-medication.

These are pretty dismal circumstances. And many of them stem from our need to “stuff” our emotions — or shut down how we feel in order to cope with the world around us. We’ve learned to anticipate constant attack, so we’ve developed unhealthy coping mechanisms — some of them blooming into full-blown psychiatric disorders — in order to function in a neurotypical world. We’re always afraid of placing a foot wrong, of missing a social cue, of forgetting an important deadline. And all the planners in the world can’t help us.

[Free Download: ADHD and Intense Emotions]

This Is Why Women with ADHD Withdraw

We pull away. We especially pull away, most dangerously, from those we love, because they are the most likely to cut us the deepest. Some studies have suggested that the rate of divorce in couples where one of more partners have ADHD is twice the rate of the general population. Part of this may be due to the effect of medications on sex lives, on inattentive behaviors, on “chore wars,” and on time-management failures. But as one woman says, “I’ve thought about leaving many times because I can’t take the criticism… He thinks he is helping me to be a better person” when he notes her ADD-related shortcomings, but she mostly ends up feeling “unloved.”

How Can We Address Emotional Withdrawal Positively?

  1. First, recognize that you withdraw from people and situations as a coping mechanism. This can be difficult to admit, since it’s the only way you’ve coped for so long. But recognition is the first step. Learn to say, when you turn away from your spouse or friends, “I am turning away and curling up in this situation. I am shutting down.” That takes a lot of serious work. It means you have to step outside your emotional responses and realize, first, the what of the thing thatś going on. If you simply succeed in saying to yourself, “I am emotionally withdrawing right now,” that’s a great first step in the right direction.
  2. Take the (admittedly scary) step of verbalizing what’s happening. It helps to memorize a script to go along with it. This can be something simple: “I have ADHD. I learned to withdraw as a coping mechanism. When you did x, it made me feel like I have to withdraw to protect myself.” This doesn’t mean that you do or don’t have to withdraw. It means that you are letting your partner (likely your spouse) know what’s happening. He or she won’t feel as if they are to blame, because you’ve grounded it in your own learned behavior, and you can hopefully work on some reassurance and help together.
  3. Next, sit down and make a list. Instead of withdrawing, what would you rather have happen? Maybe you’d rather have validation that your feelings matter. Maybe you’d rather have verbal assurance that you are loved just the way you are. Maybe you would like a hug. If you recoil from that, or if you’re not ready for it, maybe you’d like to have your hand held instead. Brainstorm a whole list of behaviors on the part of your partner that could help you feel more safe, and then share it with him or her. Don’t place blame; instead, offer constructive advice on how to help you with emotional disassociation.

Pursue Professional Help

Are you in therapy right now? You should be. We’ve seen that women who “stuff” their feelings, who suffer from painfully inappropriate emotional responses, can spiral into a whole host of negative outcomes.

A good cognitive behavioral therapist can help you come up with more coping mechanisms to help you deal with your feelings. You’ll learn to change your irrational thought patterns – in this case, the idea that offhand remarks or input from other people negate your self-worth – to more positive ones, and to cope when the negative thoughts arrive: to deal with them, not brood on them or stuff them.

There are many ways to find a good therapist. You can start with Psychology Today’s great tool to find therapists in your area, and then use ADDItude’s guidelines on what to look for in a good therapist or doctor, and whether you should see an ADHD coach or a therapist. Someone who offers CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy) or DBT (dialectical behavioral therapy, a kind of CBT), along with a specialty in ADHD, is preferable. These professionals can help you learn to stop your emotional withdrawal and learn healthier, less dangerous coping mechanisms that can enhance your relationships, rather than sabotaging them.

Emotional withdrawal can hurt your relationships, poison your marriage, and, through toxic coping mechanisms, sabotage your life. But you can release yourself from its grasp. Emotional withdrawal is a behavior many women with ADHD have learned through a long life of rejection, fear, and bullying; it can take time, therapy, and help to get through it. It’s important to have a strong support network in place (including, if possible, an understanding spouse), and a good therapist.

But most of all, you need a strong commitment to change. Without that, you’ll be stuck in your old rut of withdrawal: and that doesn’t help anyone, least of all yourself.

[Slideshow: 10 Therapists Who Do More Harm Than Good]

Updated on September 20, 2018

21 Related Links

  1. Hey, I’m all for supporting women in women-specific issues and the disadvantages they face, but I don’t think it’s fair you the described symptoms and struggles in this article are brought up only in the context of women. As a male, the experiences you’ve described are what I’ve faced throughout my entire childhood, including disapproval by teachers and my parents (who did not believe ADHD was a real disorder and refused to take me to treatment until I fell into full-on depression and drug abuse at 16 (they would actually deny the symptoms I described to my regular doctor which led him to believe I didn’t have ADHD and was just trying to get Adderall, which led to me blaming myself for my symptoms and becoming even more insecure). In reality, I’ve had the symptoms of ADHD for as long as I can remember. Now in my first year of university I still struggle very much with my mental health after having to go through all that in childhood, and cannot get past irrational self-hate, the RSD resulting from the smallest everyday things, and my major depression disorder when I’m off medication – to the point that I’d spend most of the day in bed. I’ve read many similar accounts by about as many men as women on the /r/adhd subreddit. I think if you brought up the very real issues you described as being possible for both men and women, the article would have turned out better, by helping a greater audience understand themselves, versus leaving some feeling unaccounted for.

    I’m not commenting out of anger or personal offense, I think at times all of us are capable of unintentionally leaving others out through too broad generalizations, and conveying ideas in ways in which we’re not aware of them potentially being hurtful/dismissive to some. My intention is in that I believe my point is important to mention, especially in discussing such serious issues with the potential of being very personal, like to many of the readers of this site, myself included, and indicatively you, the author. Whatever your thoughts may be, I appreciate the consideration.

      1. *THIS COMMENT IS REPEATED BELOW ON THE WRONG THREAD, SORRY!*

        I completely understand where Gro is coming from. However, I am a male who relates to many of the same scenarios depicted within this article, and was not offended by the Author’s decision to write the article for/about Women. In fact, I followed along as if it wasn’t even for JUST women, and kept saying “Hmph, sounds like me when I was younger.” This article inspired me so much that I actually *Bookmarked* it on my iPhone (just some humor there, sorry).

        I found this article while wandering online to search for ways to fix my relationship of 11 years. Still not married. I’m still using negative coping mechanisms (my girl loves to remind me that she is in a relationship with video games…please don’t lecture me lol).

        Anyways, I have been seeking and getting help for a while now, etc., So I’m okay. I just wanted to let you guys (and girls!) know that it is reassuring to hear why I am such a bad husband/boyfriend/lover, and that the reason I get confused when my partner accuses me of “not being there” for her, is bc I retreat emotionally when I am stressed from trying to keep up with all the responsibilities of being an “Adult”. I’m NOT a bad person.

    1. My husband has been very unsupportive, stubborn, hard headed, self absorbed, his way or the highway, Etc. He knew I had ADHD. He even would contradict himself though, and refused to allow me to get tested, diagnosed or treated for it for years. His,excuse was our insurance would not cover it and it was far too expensive.Yet he would ridicule me and bring it up all the time, I did not fight for it until I was 47. And then I found out that our insurance and my SSDI would cover it. I proved it to him. I was the one who fought for getting help, I received it.It is NOT just my ADHD or fear of rejection anymore. I am now standing up for myself. I am now rejecting the constant negativity from him, and others.Its not imagined. Yes, I used to withdrawal, and most of all of what was mentioned in this article, absolutely applied to me or described me. Until I got help. I did not seek out mental therapy this,time. I was referred to and diagnosed by a neurological psychologist. He helped me understand the physical reasons for ADHD. How the ADHD brain is wired differently from an atypical brain. Why it causes the symptoms, why it is not just unhealthy learned behavior, emotional disorders. Why medication is used. It is to help the brain function the way it should, by providing the brain with the stimulation, the chemical process that the brain is not doing on its own normally. The world is NOT set up for those of us who have ADHD or ADD. So we have to muddle through it the best we can. I was born in 1969. When I was growing up this was not even heard of. It was called being hyper, being a brat, having ants in your pants, too much sugar. Etc. Corporeal punishment, humiliation, ridicule, Etc. Was the way it was handled in my childhood. Mean kids. Mean adults. But I survived it all. Fought it all my life. I received treatment at age 48. I am not blaming anyone. Just stating the facts. I am an exception to the rule. I did my own research. I had to fire 3 primary physicians because they refused to listen to me…in fact one tried to tell me I was bipolar after talking to me for only the first 5 minutes of my first appointment, and he had my husband in the room too, as it was his first appointment and decided to exam us both. That set me up for failure. He and my husband basically ganged up on me and ignored me,yet,they both talked about me, in front of me, as if I was not capable of comprehending and did not know what I was talking about, feeling, experiencing, Etc. AND then they both refused to discuss it further. Neither the doctor, nor my husband were qualified to even make a such diagnosis. It was the most unprofessional, rude and unbelievably degrading and worst experience I EVER had. Then, the doctor refused to refer me to anyone qualified to test and determine what I already knew, I had. I went to his wonderful nurse practitioner and achieved a lot of support and treatment of my other issues and then, when she went to him on my behalf and he STILL refused to refer me to the correct professional, I IMMEDIATELY replaced him. Now, I have the most wonderful Doctor! And his staff is equally incredible. My husband and daughter also now go to him. I had to fight my husband, my family, and so many roadblocks for 16 years, to get the help I desperately needed and deserved. Our kids were officially diagnosed with ADHD by their extraordinary pediatrician who went above and beyond to make sure they truly had it, when they were in grade school. She even said off record I had it. I am now reprogramming my brain, by getting rid of old behaviors, thinking, Etc.I am honest with myself and others. I don’t whine and sit on my butt. I get up, do my homework and get it done.I love my husband, despite it all. I am proud of myself. Things are SO much better. Even my husband has done a 80% turn around.I know men and boys can also suffer just as bad, if not worse, as girls and women. My own son did.I got him treated, and my daughter too. Total transformation. Thank you for the opportunity to voice my experience. I do hope it helps others.

  2. “We’ve learned to anticipate constant attack, so we’ve developed unhealthy coping mechanisms — some of them blooming into full-blown psychiatric disorders — in order to function in a neurotypical world.“

    Some of them? I think that totally discounts the existence of what might be considered “just normal coping” in these circumstances. I think “shame on additudemag.com for publishing this.”

    1. I don’t understand why saying someone’s developed unhealthy coping mechanisms and *of those* unhealthy coping mechanisms some might even be considered disordered is automatically saying that they obviously have no healthy coping mechanisms. Your getting offended over nothing.

      1. Exactly. Through therapy I’ve learned to, for lack of a better term, “honor” my coping mechanisms, even the ones that cause dysfunction in my adult life. (Granted, I’m also a child sex abuse survivor, so some of mine are extreme, but many stem more from my ADD and the difficulties it caused me in socialization than the abuse.) When you look at the situation objectively — a powerless child, with the very limited resources a child has, surviving these circumstances while still preserving their core sense of self. How very creative, how *resourceful*, we were! We cobbled together a shelter with sticks and mud, and that shelter held, too well in fact, years and years past the time when we needed it. Amazing.
        We can absolutely honor the constructs we built to survive in harsh circumstances while still recognizing that they are no longer needed, that we have more resources now, and can build better tools.

  3. Mostly my husband is very supportive and wonderful. He does occasionally get upset with me, and I don’t blame him. But, he’s always there for me when I’m feeling down or rejected.

    I remember how difficult growing up was, and how often I was compared to my very nice, pretty, smart girlfriend. One time I actually had an adult say, “why can’t you be more like Julie?”. Boy, did that hurt. I’ve had people tell me “everyone things you’re spacey,” which is so darn helpful.

    I went to a large high school, and I hardly knew anyone. Of course, I have a some nice memories, but I went to one class reunion, and that was enough.

    Every so often someone decides to go after me on Facebook, which is always a surprise. I don’t feel I’ve said anything to deserve it, and when I try to defend myself, it just gets worse. Right now, I’m taking a break, and unfollowed a group where I got the most recent “lecture.” Having people decide they need to “correct” me really hurts my feelings. I’m not mean or pushy, just sharing my thoughts.

  4. I’m sorry, but it sounds like you were bullied as a child, and developed borderline personality disorder as an adult. Every single symptom you just ascribed to ADHD can be associated with BPD, and may not present in individuals with the former, but most definitely will manifest in people with the latter. It is, ofcourse, entirely possible to have both. They are often misdiagnosed, and sometimes co-morbid, but this article just perpetuates misinformation in a harmful way, and should not be a website devoted to the ADHD mind. It reads more like a journal entry written that might appeal to many white women of a certain age, at certain stages in their lives, in certain parts of the world, but isn’t really relatable to the rest of us at all. I won’t even get started on critiquing the poor writing style etc., but the content is just so troubling. If there are (m)any other posts like this on the website, I’m probably going to have to unsubscribe to it now.

    1. WOW! Judge much? Sharing one’s experience doesn’t mean it applies to “all”. Knowing some aspects of the disorder applied to me gave me pause to know *I’m not the only one* & cut myself slack! I’ve always appreciated how this site was a place of acceptance, caring and understanding. If you don’t share the same values, perhaps it isn’t the place for you. P.S. If you’re going to criticize someone’s grammar, you’d better be prepared to use spell check yourself.

    2. OMG… What was the purpose of this comment? I guess you had a really bad day when you wrote it… You are not a doctor, Nemo (yes, I am shure) so quit diagnosing people with borderline personality (or narsistic personality disorder, when that is tempting) 😉
      I am new here, this is actually my first comment, on anything…
      I hope it`s neighter usual or ok to bully people that are brave enough to share their personal experiences or to ask questions on sensitive topics.
      I guess my spelling is really wrong sometimes, but I also guess you understand wat I`m trying to say. And that`s what matters, isn`t it? I am Norwegian, so English is not my native language (I guess that goes for many other readers as well) But if anybody feel like spending time correcting me, you are welcome to 😀 But please… you need to give me the details on what`s wrong, and the correct spelling, if you want me to improve 😉

      If there are (m)any other posts like this on the website, I’m probably not going to unsubscribe, but I most certenly will think twice before I write something personal.

      1. Gro, your English is *amazing* — far better than a lot of the native English-speakers I live among. Really, your only spelling errors are just reflections of the weird rules our mongrel language has. There is a skit by the comedian Gallagher that plays off of the irrationality of our spelling and the frustration of learning it as a child, especially as a bright child, and I think he uses a few of the words you misspelled as examples of the “what the heck?” experience learning spelling was for a lot of us 😉
        This is one way in which the Internet has been a really useful tool for me in managing my symptoms. In real life, it is often impossible to disengage with people or moments that are uncomfortable or even downright painful. On the internet, though, it’s possible to step back, and look at it, ask, who is this person, who are they to me, what is their motivation, does this even matter to me, really? And then just . . . scroll down, close the window, click “unfollow” in your newsfeed. It’s been really empowering to me, and allowed me to start (and it’s just a start, believe me) doing this in real life, considering a situation and realizing, this does not actually matter, I’m not avoiding painful truths or veering around something that could be an opportunity for growth, I’m just choosing to walk away from an unpleasant encounter.
        I suggest taking this attitude with anyone on the internet who commits their time and energy to correcting strangers’ spelling errors. I have found that they rarely, if ever, have anything constructive to offer at all.

    3. Let me get this straight.

      You are suggesting that “white women of a certain age, at certain stages in their lives, in certain parts of the world” all might have BPD, Borderline Personality Disorder?

      Even professional analysts hesitate before diagnosing over the internet. But you know better than the professionals? And not just about psychology but ethnicity! Because stereotypes are the best way to understand atypical neuroses!?

  5. I have inattentive type ADHD & have always been told that I’m “hard to read”/don’t show my emotions well. The most recent occurrences that I can use as an example is the fact that when my boyfriend argues with me (which is practically always about his feeling like I don’t love him bc apparently I don’t show him enough attention/affection) I find myself just silent, which in turn causes him to be like “see..u don’t even care. You’re not even bothered by this” but in reality I’m silent BECAUSE I’m so upset that I can’t even deal with the situation & inside I’m all 2 hell! It could have something to do with the fact that I’ve always had trouble putting my thoughts/feelings into words as well. He also gets angry with me and complains about things that are due to my ADHD, like my lack of time consciousness which leads to me being late for practically everything & underestimating the time things will take me. So another example is if he goes with me to a Dr appt I’ll have to listen to him lecture me on the way saying things like “you’re so selfish..you obv aren’t thinking about anybody else’s time” and it never fails..He’s also gonna say at some point “see it doesn’t even bother you” ,which is the furthest from the case bc inside I’m a complete wreck worrying myself sick with all sorts of anxious thoughts and hating myself for (once again) stupidly being unable to just get out the door early enough to get somewhere on time, or at least early enough where I’m not having to speed on the Hwy and stress about ending up with a ticket. I don’t really have a huge prob with fearing rejection (that I’m aware of anyway) but I really can’t stand asking for something from anybody & would rather suffer without before asking someone for help. An example of this is..I went over a year without a vehicle & cldnt evn say the amount of times I sat here so hungry bc I couldn’t bring myself to call and ask someone for a ride to the grocery store until there literally was nothing to feed my then 2 yr old daughter & even then it was absolute torture picking up the phone 2 call n ask 4 a ride.
    I know this technically isn’t what this article was about but feel like since I basically shut down emotionally at those times when I find myself unable to speak etc that its similar. Is there anyone else reading this who can relate to any of the what I described? I’m curious if any of it could possibly be related to ADHD bc there’s been a few other things this site has shown me that were actually symptoms of this disorder that id never imagined having any correlation.

    1. Dear Fr33spirit, I think I have had similar experience but I may be totally off base. It is always difficult to “read” the nuances behind the written word due to not hearing tone of voice or reading body language, so forgive me if I offend.

      In reading your post the description of your boyfriend arguing about his feelings, how you don’t show him that you love him enough, that you are selfish and self-centered, that he comes with your to the doctor and uses the docs lack of knowledge to prove that he knows better than you all feels like he may have control issues. It reminds me of an emotionally and eventually physically abusive relationship I had many many years ago. I was “perfect” when it started, then I was almost perfect if I could just change one thing, then I was still great but you know if I just fixed this other thing. Slowly he whittled away, everything became about him, his needs and why I shouldn’t need anyone other than him because if I really loved him that should be enough, increasing control over me, destroying my self esteem, more isolation, more of me “proving” I loved him until I became numb and emotionally dead all the time. Finally after 2 years he hit me. Luckily, that woke me up, I refused an justification and I was done. He was gone in a week, locks and phone number changed within an hour of his leaving.

      Maybe I am projecting my past history onto you and I need to chill. But here is what I learned from my experience: It is impossible to prove you love someone. He/she either feels and trusts it or doesn’t. The phrase “If you loved me you would…” is a method of control and uses love to gain power. A person who does this usually comes from a chaotic, painful childhood and is struggling to control his/her world. The world can’t BE controlled, so he/she tries to control the partner. The times when my guy was the most emotionally abusive was when outside events were out of control. Like when the car broke down, or he didn’t get a promotion or it rained or …. you get the idea. The more successful he was at keeping my focus on him, the worse it got. I realized there was no way for me to fix his childhood or erase the pain he carried. Breaking me down was not going to build him up.

      If this is what is happening with you, get out fast. Home should be a place of security, a partner someone who is nurturing, love should be a support not a power grab. Don’t accept less, it is not worth it. If this is not your situation and I am wrong then YEAH and forgive me please. I mean well. In any event I wish you a peace and joy.

  6. Unbeknownst to me I have had ADd since childhood. I do fine in school until college where my best photographic memory just didn’t do it. I did finally graduate and worked as a nurse for 40 years. Much of it a psychiatric nurse. At work I was able I be empathetic, concerned, and even very good at my job. Then nursing changed to mostly documentation and I became frustrated, my intuitive ability to put myself in their shoes only hindered me when I tried to hurry and type while trying to assess them. I finally left with PTSD unable to not do what I knew was helpful and basically lie on the paperwork. My faith in the medical field has been destroyed. Psychiatric patients are now routinely left homeless or sent to jail. I feel my life has been useless. I can no longer attend church which was a good place to form relationships because upon retiring we moved from the west coast to the south where a ‘ll the local churches are very fundamentalist and focus on our unworthines, sin and God’s wrath. I used to have a good relationship with others personally and professionally but now I have withdrawn. It is difficult to even engage much with my spouse or children. Since retirement I cannot stay in any schedule become overwhelmed by news, politics and most any frustration. As soon as my adderal wears off in the evening any frustration makes me angry enough to scream and even cry. I have fought depression until having two children from two fathers both of whom were diagnosed with ADHD. I w a s started on meds for this which was successful enough to get me through their teen years. We even had multiple foster teens who, not having ADD seemed easy to deal with. They are after much effort both college graduates now. I however feel all of the struggles I worked through to succeed have been destroyed by the circumstances I am in now. Withdrawn, unable to attend church where hellfire and brimstone is the subject of the day. I cry throughout the services of speak up to say God is not like that. One child is gay. I won’t go into how that occurred but it makes the rejection at church that much worse. I tried therapy but I’m Medicare it is not paid for ( I am in a rural area and Medicare will not reimburse therapists unless the company they work for has 50+ employees) I feel like all the gains I have made have been lost and at 65 have no future and it is too late to try to start again.I do occupy my time with gardening and raising sheep but my emotions and energy levels are all over the map. I find myself avoiding people although my husband is very supportive. Any hints from other retired people who’s life of work has ended up being obsolete?

    1. KLF, that sounds really tough. Especially to not be able to access the support of a therapist, or a church where loving kindness is more important than bigoted doctrine.

      I’m wondering if in your area there are other kinds of spiritual communities where you might feel more at home, and where you might get the kind of emotional support that it sounds like you are longing for?

  7. Really helpful article, thank you.

    Regarding recommending CBT, I second that, it’s very effective for lots of people.

    But really the article ought to recommend Person-Centred counselling/therapy, as well.

    Both styles of therapy have been shown to be equally effective and beneficial. And they are not a one-size-fits-all approach. The kind of person who thrives in Person-Centred Therapy may find CBT useless, and vice versa.

    If you are going to recommend one, then to be most helpful to the widest spectrum of readers, you ought to recommend the other, too.

    Thanks again.

  8. This was a very good and informative article until the last paragraph. “But most of all, you need a strong commitment to change. Without that, you’ll be stuck in your old rut of withdrawal: and that doesn’t help anyone, least of all yourself.” This statement sounds very judgmental and almost shaming. End your articles with a positive supporting statement of encouragement please. Thank you.

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