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Why Women with ADHD Feel Disempowered — And What We Can Do About It

Life as a woman with ADHD can be… messy, to say the least. That messiness may lead to criticism and judgment — both real and imagined — from the people around us, often sparking deep feelings of shame and fear. Here are 5 ways to overcome those negative emotions — and rediscover the power you’ve lost along the way.

4 Comments: Why Women with ADHD Feel Disempowered — And What We Can Do About It

  1. I am guilty of a llittle of that behavior. I count myself lucky that as a teenager, I read an article in a magazine for teenage girls, titled something like “How to Stop Being Your Own Worst Enemy.” Anyway, in the article it discussed how we often engage in negative self talk when we make mistakes, such as “how could I be so stupid,” “that was a really dumb mistake,” and “I am such a failure.” Then it said that if our best friend had made the same mistake, would we say the same things to them, especially if they seemed upset? If the answer is no, then why are you treating yourself worse than you do your best friend? Shouldn’t you be your own best friend? It reminded us that everyone makes mistakes, and when we do, we should speak to ourselves as gently as we would a friend.

    This article has helped me a lot over the years. Do I practice it perfectly. No. Do I slip up from time to time? Yes, sometimes more than once in a row. But I find that remaining myself of that advice tends to help. I still sometimes feel guilty about my mistakes. I do sometime assume something is my fault, even when it isn’t. But, for the most part, I have accepted myself for who I am, and love myself for it. Since I wasn’t diagnosed with ADD until my mid 30’s, I think tthat article saved me a lot of heartache.

  2. Great article. I’m so guilty of some of this behavior. I assume it’s me so apologize and many times it’s not me. Our self esteem takes such a beating by the time we reach adulthood. I’m working hard at not immediately apologizing and not accepting people trying to blame me for stuff. Recently, at work, I was accused of making a very offensive comment to a coworker and for the life of me I pray I would never make such a comment. The coworker said I made in 6 months earlier, which is nonsense. Why bring it up now? Of course my boss immediately believed her and told me her husband, who has ADHD, makes comments all the time he swears he didn’t make. So right there my boss is projecting. I fought it, went to HR as this could end my career, and my HR rep said she took issue with the coworker waiting so long to bring it up. The coworker ended up looking like a fool and now is super nice to me. Damage has been done but I stood up for myself. Victory.

    1. Well done for sticking up for yourself.

      I had something very similar happen to me recently but not such a great outcome. I am waiting on an adhd diagnosis so as yet I can’t really say much at work regarding it.

      I made a comment to a co-worker that was taken the wrong way, but instead of people realising that I never meant it that way, several of them must have been talking behind my back, and making it worse.

      As well as me being criticised for a load of other things I hadn’t done I ended up having to be signed off sick by the doctor with stress and anxiety.

      Sometimes I really dislike other people, they judge unfairly and can be so cruel. Just because I’m not like them.

  3. I’ve lived the majority of my life trying to be accepted and respected by my own flesh and blood..also known as mi familia. Well my unconditional love has decided to take the road less traveled..and I’m liking it. This was the accepted part of me that was able to feel unconditional love for me.. myself ..and I..the same woman who today understands that respect must be earned. Ya think??

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