Recently diagnosed and feeling stigmatized

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    • #40061
      Penny Williams

      This discussion was originally started by user Mcknightk5 in ADDitude’s now-retired community. The ADDitude editors have included it here to encourage more discussion.


      Hello everyone,

      My name is Kayla, I am 24 years old and I work as a Psychiatric Nurse.

      I was just diagnosed with ADHD — mostly inattentive.

      I was overjoyed to finally have answers to the reasons I am the way I am. I always felt like something was missing but I was unable to place what it was.

      Excited about my new found knowledge I told my parents. My dad is trying to convince me that I do not have ADHD and I know my mom views it as a weakness (even though she sees me as an extremely strong and capable woman). I feel as though they want me to hide this diagnosis which really hurts because they have always been so supportive throughout my life. I feel quite alone now and like I am unable to share this exciting missing piece with them.

      Since I work in mental health I am aware of the stigma attached to it; but, experiencing it first handedly by my own parents is very hard.

      Do any of you have this issue ?

      Thanks so much !

    • #41169
      Kevin Ju

      This reply was originally posted by user John Tucker, PhD, ACG. ADHD Coach in ADDitude’s now-retired community.

      They do not think any less of you they are simply afraid that disclosing the diagnoses will cause problems.

      Having ADHD can be a huge advantage in your work. You can think rapidly, feel deeply and empathetically.

      I suspect it would not be an issue in your work, but, just to honour their caution, you can ask around at work about the views of ADHD. If there is a need for caution you can take caution. If not you can brazen it out at work. These days ADHD is very commonplace. If and when you disclose you’ll discover 7 others who have the diagnoses.

    • #41290
      Kevin Ju

      This reply was originally posted by user Mitzi McPike in ADDitude’s now-retired community.


      I want to congratulate you on your diagnosis. I understand feeling overjoyed to finally have a better understanding of why you are the way you are. I also understand feeling very alone and unsupported by family.

      When I was diagnosed, no one in my family supported me. I was shunned by some, ignored and made to feel invisible by others. My brother and one sister was downright hostile. I was definitely hurt. But with medication and other treatment, I felt better and I found support through friends and this site.

      One thing I definitely learned is just how much ADHD is misunderstood and some people actually believe it doesn’t exist or is something people can just control or get over it.

      Also once I truly understood ADHD and the extensive symptomology at both ends of the spectrum i.e. Inattentive to Hyperactive/Impulsivity, I started looking more closely at my own family. ADHD runs in both sides of my family. All my siblings, aunts, uncles, cousins, etc., are affected by this to some degree.

      Sadly some people think if they admit they have this condition they are weak. It simply isn’t true. An imbalanced brain has a huge range of symptoms and everyone is affected differently.

      My wish for you is that you stand proud and empower yourself by learning all you can about ADHD and find the right tools to live your life AND find your own support team. You need cheerleaders!

      Here is your first one 😊

      Take Care,


    • #41292
      Kevin Ju

      This reply was originally posted by user adhdmomma in ADDitude’s now-retired community.

      What’s most important is your own acceptance of the diagnosis and taking steps to improve areas of weakness. You cannot please everyone, and, as long as they accept you for who you are, it really doesn’t matter if they accept the label.

      An important article on accepting the diagnosis and moving forward:

      Moderator, Author on Parenting ADHD, Mom to teen boy with ADHD, LDs, and autism

    • #41295
      Kevin Ju

      This reply was originally posted by user Chanelelisef in ADDitude’s now-retired community.

      Hi Kayla, I’m so glad I found your comment… I actually made an account just to respond! I’m Chanel, 24, and working as an Acute Medical RN in Canada.

      I was originally diagnosed with ADHD (inattentive) early 2015. The diagnosis explained a lot and I was relieved at first- like many. I started taking medication to help me get through my days in an attempt to fix 22 years of issues in one day- it worked well but the side effects from many medications didnt seem worth it to me. I’m currently taking dexedrine spansules which really help me feel motivated and alert while at work, but came with terrible nausea and extreme weightloss. I sometimes wonder if there is another way to treat all of this, you know? I then began to feel maybe all of this just wasnt for me… that I didnt actually have ADD, or that I was just lazy, unmotivated and that I had somehow been misdiagnosed… that it was just all thanks to personal character flaws… “my own fault due to lack of strength and willpower”, not a biological and genetic condition.

      Very recently (Today actually!) , I actually stumbled upon an article by Dr. Hallowell regarding the difference between ADHD and ADD because I was feeling rather frustrated and stigmatized as well- from peers at work of all placed! I immediately began laughing at the descriptions he wrote about because I honestly couldnt believe my eyes…. someone was writing out my life- piece by piece. every little quirk or trait that I was ashamed of growing up…. it all added up to this lovely thing we call ADD. So I read every article on his site and bought his book “driven to distraction” this morning. its phenomenal so far- I’ve sent it to every member of my family, as well as my boyfriend who happens to have a new ADD diagnosis as well.

      I would highly recommend giving it a read and maybe passing it on to your family. even reading a few quotes to my friends today had them going…. “wow I cant believe those are symptoms of ADD” or “I just thought it was for little boys who cause trouble in grade school… I had no idea!”

      I hope you find some comfort in your diagnosis. I’m personally so excited and thrilled to have found this community and all of these resources. I’m really ready to step into a new year and take my life into my own hands for once- a fresh start!

      Congrats on getting some answers, Kayla! Feel free to drop me a msg any time. sounds like we lead very similar lives!


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