When you have ADHD/ADD, shame is something that often comes with the territory to say the least. It is something that I have often felt, and it would seem that the sense of shame is very common for those of us with ADHD/ADD. It would seem that I am not the only ADHDer/ADDer who feels shame often.
We often feel shame when we feel that we’ve done something wrong, despite the fact that we haven’t really done anything wrong at all. And this usually happens often. At least, in my case, it does seem to be the case, and it wouldn’t surprise me if I wasn’t the only one.
Although I was diagnosed early in life, or at least earlier than others, I do still struggle with a sense of shame. I have often felt shame about things that I know are out of my control. I have felt ashamed if I process information more slowly, or if I become really emotional pretty quickly, or not being able to organize my thoughts coherently. These are just some things I feel ashamed about. But trust me, there is a long list. We’d probably be here for a while, so that’s why I’m only giving you a few examples. And I’m pretty sure I’m not the only ADHDer/ADDer who has felt shame over these kinds of things.
And there are probably other things as well that we may feel shame about, such as missing a deadline, or being late for a meeting or an appointment.
Life with ADHD/ADD is hard, and we do feel shame about these sorts of things. We do feel shame about so many things that aren’t really within our control. We may not be able to control some of these things, but we’ll still feel ashamed. I think the main is that it’s because we feel that we should be able to control how we handle our emotions, or think coherently. At least, that’s how I feel. I feel that I should be able to do all of this.
Let’s face it, though, as much as we may feel shame and would like to change, we can’t. It’s just the way that our brain is wired. Yes, there are some things that we should be able to do, but that’s not the way we are. Our brains are wired differently. We are different. So, instead of feeling shame, we should try and accept it. Focus on the positive traits of our ADHD/ADD brains instead of feeling ashamed of the things we can’t do. Sure, there are things that we can’t do, and may feel ashamed and that we’re not good enough, but there are other things that we can do and are good at. Sometimes, we just need to take time and focus on those, instead of feeling ashamed of all the things that we struggle with due to our ADHD/ADD brain.
Maybe something else we need is to have someone to help us, when we do feel ashamed. Whether it’s a friend, or someone else with ADHD/ADD, or therapist, it can be nice to know that we have someone there to listen and/or who can understand what we’re going through. Sometimes, it’s just nice to have someone there to listen.
There are things that we can do to stop the shame from taking over. These are just some suggestions.
I know that it’s easier said than done. I have felt ashamed so many times. I’ve been there, done that. But we shouldn’t let that shame take over. We should try and make a change. Recognize when we are feeling shame/ashamed, and try to change that thought into something positive. After all, we do have something to offer and we are worth it, even though it may not always feel like it.
Let’s remember that we are good enough.
Here are some other articles to read that can help when shame seems to be taking over.
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