Reply To: Feeling resentful about his ADHD

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@tomhurting – It must be hard to find out so recently in the grand scheme of things, but I hope now knowing you are dealing with ADHD is helping in some way (whether emotionally or practically).

@Kendall – I can’t talk from an ADHD POV, but I used to suffer from chronic anxiety. What I can say from my own view is when looking after our own mental health, it helps to remember there will be ups and downs. All we can do is try to treat ourselves kindly even if others don’t. I used to seek support from others and to varying degrees they were either helpful or damaging. In the end I realized I needed to support myself. It can feel lonely and despairing at times, but also the benefit is we know exactly what we need from ourselves to feel better and we can supply it so long as we take the time to be kind and patient to ourselves.

Also I hear you on being hard on yourself and also perhaps that you might be worried that if you’re not hard on yourself and tell yourself you’ll be fine that you’re letting yourself off in some way (I might have interpreted incorrectly). But perhaps sometimes you need to tell yourself you’ll be fine otherwise it’s too emotionally overwhelming. I guess it’s about balancing self discipline but also recognizing when it might be a bit much to be so hard on yourself, especially if it’s at a time that people around you are angry. That would break any person if they were really hard on themselves at the same time as other people being difficult too.

Anxiety, depression and ADHD aren’t static. Neither are regular emotions like happiness and sadness. They’re always in constant flow. Maybe rather than thinking you’ve got a handle on ADHD and then slipped up and blaming yourself, remember that it is always changing and so you will have perhaps a string of days that are highs and other days that are trickier and that it’s normal to have ups and downs. I hope I don’t come across as simplifying the problem because I am aware I don’t have ADHD and it may be easy for me to make all these comments. I guess what I’m trying to say is everything changes and passes continuously, so don’t blame yourself for things that you can’t help. So long as you are working with them, managing symptoms as best as you can, you are doing enough even if others (unfortunately) may still be angry.

I spoke about my SO being openly grateful etc., but I guess it could apply to all types of relationships. I don’t know how you feel towards your family, but if you are grateful for them, maybe find ways to say that however and whenever you can (if you aren’t already). Maybe then when ADHD starts taking over they won’t be so angry. I know in my case the reality of anger is often more to do with me than the other person. It is like feeling my values have been rejected or not knowing what to do and then this unfortunately comes out as anger. But it’s easier to stop it in its tracks when I know very well that the other person doesn’t intend to upset me. I don’t know if it could help and you know your situation best, but it’s a thought. I appreciate it might be a difficult thing to do though if tensions have reached a high.

Also, here comes a big statement for me, seeing as I’m the frustrated one that started this post, but maybe all of us could also look at the benefits of ADHD. I focus so much on the bad bits of it, but admittedly it can be a good thing too. Things that are more obvious in my SO when he’s not on his meds that can be a good thing are that he’s more spontaneous, funny and really quick witted.