How to deal with friends who don't understand your ADHD?

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This topic contains 10 replies, has 11 voices, and was last updated by  astrid.voura 5 months, 1 week ago.

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  • #69588

    Ellebxx
    Participant

    I’m a female in my mid 20s with ADHD which I have had professionally diagnosed and have medicated etc. My main issue is my friend and roommate who is in her 40s whome I know from work is (and I’m sorry to have to use this harsh tone) nothing more than ignorant about my condition to the point that it’s really upsetting me. She comes out with very uneducated comments about it as well as continuiously advising me to stop taking my medication now as ‘But sure you’re feeling fine now’ which I find really irresponsible. She thinks my ADHD will “just go away” at some point…. I won’t go into petty detail about the multipal incidents and comments I’ve had thrown at me but it got so bad last week that I had to call my father crying over a comment she passed about my disorganisation and in the end I had to drive to his house for the night because I was so upset. I honestly feel she is simply uneducated on mental health and views my condition as something that is not a real medical condition. I have a few side effects of my meds including problems with sleeping and loss of appetite which I have explained to her several times to no avail, she still says and does things to insult the issues I struggle with. I suffer from pretty bad anxiety with my ADHD and if I ever feel my anxiety getting bad I usually try to come home, sit down quietly and try to relax in case I get an anxiety attack which I have had in the past and I can tell you they were very bad! The last day I did this and instead of being sympathetic she gave out to me for being “in bad form” and huffed and puffed and then tells my other friends I was “Like a dog” the night in question and then I of course feel like a horrible person for having a near anxiety attack. It was an absolutely horrible feeling to have someone make you feel bad about having a near anxiety attack because you weren’t in good form for them. She doesn’t understand how the things she takes the fun out of me for are genuine symptoms of my ADHD that I can’t help and her always making fun of them may not be a big deal to her but it hurts me quite deeply because I try my best to prevent it. I’m used to other people making me feel like Im no good but not my supposed own friends. I find most days now I end up feeling so bad about myself because she’s always giving out about me losing things or forgetting small things and she just treats me like I’m a lazy idiot which I certainly am not. I really feel she is of a generation who just doesn’t understand these things.

    My question is for any other suffers is how do you deal with people in your life who simply don’t understand what your going though? Has this ever happened you where people don’t understand what it’s like for you? What do you do?

    • This topic was modified 6 months, 3 weeks ago by  Ellebxx.
    • This topic was modified 6 months, 3 weeks ago by  Ellebxx.
    • This topic was modified 6 months, 3 weeks ago by  Ellebxx.
    • This topic was modified 6 months, 3 weeks ago by  Ellebxx.
  • #69593

    ase
    Participant

    I’m so sorry, but she isn’t a friend. It’s one thing to believe adhd isn’t a real thing and another to insult you and talk horribly to you and about you to other people. I’m in my early 40’s and am horrified by her behavior. Is there anyway you can make plans to move out and/or find another roommate? She sounds too toxic to be around. I’m so sorry.

  • #69608

    ADHDmomma
    Keymaster

    I agree that a different living situation would likely be better for you. This added stress and anxiety is only harming you. She may believe she is helping you, but not hearing what you’re saying and respecting it is detrimental, even if her intentions are pure.

    Here are some insights on dealing with ADHD non-believers:

    Enlightening an ADHD Non-Believer

    Penny
    ADDitude Community Moderator, Author & Mentor on Parenting ADHD, Mom to teen w/ ADHD, LDs, and autism

  • #69614

    liasamturn
    Participant

    Hey,

    I hate that you’re having to deal with this and that I don’t have any great answer for you…. I can only tell you that you’re not alone…and her spiteful ignorance isn’t your fault.

    In my experience I think it’s just best to distance yourself from these kinds of people. That’s not to say sever all ties – some of my family are horrid when it comes to my adhd but I’m obviously very attached to them…. I just know now that I can’t count on them for support or let them affect my emotions too much. I’m mid 20s, too, and since being diagnosed have subconciously made closer friendships with people who accept me for who I am/have similar quirks. These people are probably already in your life, so my (rubbish?) advice would be to find them and lesson your emotional leanings on the people who aren’t capable of empathy…there’s no point trying to change your roommate beyond a certain point – if she’s not willing to try and understand, you’re talking to a brick wall and putting yourself through great upset in the process!

  • #69658

    Ntjhu
    Participant

    You sound like you know exactly what you’re talking about, being only twenty you have a good understanding about our incredibly awesome way of life. When we are ok with our ADHD others will sense that and know they can’t itimidate us or embarrass us about it. The best way to teach her about you is to own exactly who you are, in a kind way never apologize for being who you are or what you deal with, and when I deal with my crazy I own that too. I’m not embarrassed about my anxiety attack’s or the fact I cannot go into a grocery store! I own it! When you own these things you take their power away to hurt you, and hopefully help them see your power to overcome any shame you have about having ADHD. So hold your head up my fellow ADHD er!! We are awesome people, beautiful, strong, talented, with a little twist in thinking that’s just ok ❤️

  • #69672

    ankit12121
    Blocked

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  • #69691

    DrBrannon
    Participant

    One of my favorite responses that I actually print out for my patients is “Yes, my doctor says uninformed people are allowed to have their own opinions too!” But honestly this doesn’t sound like someone who doesn’t understand your struggles. This sounds like someone who is trying to control you by making you feel bad about yourself. I highly recommend the book Emotional Abuse Breakthrough Scripts by Barri Davenport. Most of the scripts are a few short sentences that help you re-establish your boundaries and address someone else’s controlling behavior. You can also do a search for “rights in relationships”. You should find a list of 15 rights everyone has in a relationship. I hope this helps.

  • #69706

    Pump2Duncan
    Participant

    I have chronic migraines. In the past I’ve found it really hard to explain to people, previous roommates in particular, my condition. The invisibility of it makes it hard for them to comprehend. And I understand it’s difficult for people to understand, BUT a good friend makes an effort to understand and will show empathy and compassion even when they don’t fully understand it. Your roommate lacks both. She seems toxic.

    It’s hard to let even toxic people go if they have been in your life for a long time, but it’s important to set up healthy boundaries so that their negative influences don’t impact your self esteem. You should be there to uplift your friend, just as your friend should be there to uplift you.

  • #69774

    Greene.jennifer
    Participant

    That’s intense. For me, I came to a realization that I was going to be a mix of the five people whom I spent the most time with and slowly started weeding people out of my life; the ones who didn’t absolutely add value to my life. This was a conscious and not emotion driven decision.

    I am so sorry that you have had to go through this with someone whom is supposed to be your friend.

    To address your question, I let people in my life know that I respect that they have an opinion about the issue though I gently challenge them to get more information. If they continue to be ignorant I get curious – what’s their actual beef with my psychologist’s diagnosis? Where are they coming from? People adore talking about themselves.

    Just maybe, it is a way to salvage your relationship or other relationships.

    If your taking the high road continuously doesn’t work, then perhaps you have grown in different directions. Painful, though a reality of the world that I have no doubt you could grow with. Thinking of and rooting for you!

  • #69845

    StillPlaysMC
    Participant

    I know how you feel. I haven’t met a person like this, but I’ve always wanted to so I could enlighten them.
    Your friend, however, doesn’t seem like a friend. It may definitely be hard, but you might have to get a new roommate. But try asking her about it, first.
    Why does she think like this? Does she have any evidence? Has she ever shown evidence? What proof does she have of her claims? Tell her how ignorant her claims are and let her know that your diagnosis was professional. Tell her how rude she’s being to you by insulting things you can’t help without bothering to fact-check them. Tell her all about ADHD to no relent. Let her know how it makes you feel, too. And how it feels to have ADHD on top of it. ADHD is very hard to live with, after all. Maybe that’ll make her sympathetic enough to stop. Maybe she’ll take it as guilt tripping. For this to work, you must know exactly what to say.
    I wish you the best of luck.
    -An unqualified thirteen year old boy

  • #73565

    astrid.voura
    Participant

    That B!tch!

    Oh man, at 29years of age, I am here to let you know that it’s not your job to educate this person. Your job is to take care and nurture yourself. If teaching others nurtures you, so be it, but if not? get that roommate away from you. Fret not, you will find people who will want to nurture and respect you as replacements for those who do not. No shame in dumping friends and no shame in not having any friends either. But you sound v nice and sensitive and will have no trouble attracting new friends/roomates.

    Take care, <3!

    Hope this relationship conflict gets resolved smoothy

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