ADHDers hear a lot of criticism and nagative comments throughout their life. Usually starting as kids. It can be easy to internalize it and we can become our own worse critic and judge. We become very self-critical. It also becomes easy to feel less deserving or worthy than our neurotypical peers, who don’t seem to be struggling nearly as much, in our view. ADHD can also amplify our emotions and our self-doubt, and when it happens, it can be challenging to see the big picture.
None of this is good for our mental health. Whether it comes from others or ourselves, there is no benefit to this negativity, criticism, or self-doubt. It makes it harder and more challenging for us to manage our ADHD symptoms, for instance.
However, it is possible for those of us with ADHD to let go of the negative self-talk, the criticism, and self-doubt. There is something we can do to change this.
What we can do is this: be self-compassionate.
According to Dr Kristen Neff, self compassion is treating yourself with care and understanding rather than being harsh and judgmental. Treat yourself with kindness and in the same way you would treat a loved one.
This certainly can be a challenging thing to and it does take time. However, it can make a difference in our lives and in how we feel about ourselves. It helps our confidence, think more clearly, and can help us be more resilient when we’re struggling with some of our ADHD symptoms. Having a positive mindset and being self-compassionate is certainly better than the alternative.
Here are some things that we can do, in order to help us be more compassionate towards ourselves.
- Normalizing. Let’s face it, so many struggle with ADHD. We’re not alone. It’s normal to struggle. It’s not easy. Besides, we all make mistakes. EVERYONE!
- Focus on what you’ve accomplished. We are able to get things done. Maybe not always what we should be doing. But we are still more than capable of doing things. Why not try to find things you’ve accomplished and applaud yourself for it?
- Be realistic with yourself. Be realistic with how much you can get done.
- Treat yourself like you would your best friend, or child, or anyone close to you that you care about.
Being kind towards ourselves can make quite the difference. Sure, some days will be harder than others. But that’s a part of life.
At the end of the day, ADHD makes it so that our brain is wired differently. We aren’t morally flawed. Those of us with ADHD have a brain-based disorder which comes with a whole bunch of different neurological symptoms.
We may not be able to change how our brain is wired, or how some people have treated us, or what they’ve said. But we can change how we treat ourselves. Like everyone else on the planet, we are humans who are more than capable of getting done and who also happen to make mistakes.