ADHD and Emotional Toll

Whether the individual is diagnosed as a child or adult, ADHD can still take an emotional toll. And not always a good one. 

Due to our brain works, how we behave, and such, it can be quite easy to understand and see why we may feel these things.

Although everyone can feel these emotions, ADHDers will feel these emotions primarily due to our own experience and our ADHD brain. They will be felt for different reasons. 

Here are feelings that we deal with and most of it in relation to our experience as individuals with ADHD.


The feeling of shame is an emotion that kids and adults with ADHD experience time and time again. Although it is not an emotion that is exclusive to ADHD, kids and adults with this disorder will feel shame for different reasons than many neurotypicals. 

As ADHDers, it can be so easy to feel as though we’re flawed. We struggle with being on time, forgetting appointments/activities/etc, disorganized, failing to meet others’ expectations, and so many other things. 

As a result, we feel ashamed. Of who we are. Of our ADHD brain. Feeling like we’re not good enough. Like we’re failures. 

Negative Self-Beliefs

Due to our struggles with ADHD, negative self-beliefs tend to take over. It can be so easy to have negative self-beliefs and low self-esteem, when we feel flawed, different, not good enough.

It can be so easy to feel have these thoughts, when we receive so many more criticisms as kids than neurotypical ones. When we’re constantly forgetting appointment/meetings/parties. As I mentioned in last week’s post, kids with ADHD get 20000 more negative comments by age 12, than our neurotypical counterparts. A huge difference! 

It can really challenging to let go of these thoughts and beliefs. Especially when hearing so many negative comments starting at an early age. 

Time to Override

As much as it is easy to feel shame and have negative self-beliefs, there are things we can to change that and to feel better about ourselves.

A good place to start is acknowledging how you’re feeling. Know that just because you feel and think these things doesn’t mean that it’s the truth or a fact. Your brain is wired differently. That’s it. 

Talking to therapist can help find ways to help change your mindset and help work through these feelings and thoughts. 

Learning as much as you can about ADHD can definitely be so beneficial. Read books, listen to podcasts, through support groups. The more you learn, the better prepared you are to manage shame when it comes. You find ways to manage your brain.

Learn to accept yourself the way you are. Just because we do things differently, in ways that may not always be considered ‘good’, it doesn’t mean we’re bad people. We just do things differently.

Find your strengths and the positive in yourself. Yes, it can be easy to focus on the bad, the things we do wrong or struggle with. But there are things we do well. We all have some strengths. Find yours. 

Final Thoughts

Over time, our experience and how our brain is wired can and often does impact how we feel about ourselves. And not always in a positive way. 

Although it’s not always easy having ADHD, it’s not always a bad thing. There is some good in us. We do have strengths. Our brain is just wired differently. We need to do things differently. 

Be kind to yourself. 

Author :


  • I learn something new every time I read your blog. Keep writing. Keep educating.

    • Thank you so much for reading! I’m glad that you enjoy it. I will definitely continue.

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