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Self esteem 2013-10-10T09:54:57+00:00

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  • #122389
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    paisia
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    Don’t any of you out there have problems with self esteem ? If I feel insulted,
    I immediately crash and my self esteem crumbles to dust. It’s hard not to take everything as critisism. (can’t spell at this moment), any good tips ?

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    #122393
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    kc5jck
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    Self esteem problems among the ADHD population are as common as fleas on a dog.  You’re not alone on this one.

    Criticizing someone for an ADHD related problem is as cruel and insensitive as criticizing a paraplegic for being in a wheelchair.  Try not to take the criticism too personally.

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    #122396
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    paisia
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    Thaks kc,

    do you know if shame comes into it ? Is that part of the ADHD deal as well ?

     

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    #122399
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    kc5jck
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    Absolutely.

    Russell Barkley said something like “These people know what to do, they just can’t do what they know.”  When a person with ADHD is put on the correct medication at the right dosage they are able as if by magic to get up on time, clean the house, keep appointments, read assignments, meet deadlines without “a marathon hyperfocussed dash to the finish”, etc.  These tasks are not rocket science.  It’s not something they have to be taught, they know how to do it, they just need the meds to “wake up” their brain.

    Clueless undiagnosed people with ADHD think, and are told, that they are lazy, crazy, stupid, don’t try, and unable to manage the most basic of skills.  If lucky, it only leads to low self esteem and shame.  They are ashamed that even though they know what to do, they can’t do it.  Many suffer depression and a variety of other disorders, some as a result of their ADHD.

    The good news is that now you know what is wrong.  There is all kinds of help and support available to get back on track.  You can, with some effort, get turned around.  It’s not easy, it takes some time, but it can be done.  Along the way, you may find your self esteem and lose the shame.

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    #122401
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    blackdog
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    Hi @paisia 🙂

    It’s funny that you started this thread today because I just started group therapy for self esteem last night.

    It is definitely a huge problem for people with ADHD. The constant failures and set backs, and the criticism and cruelty of others, that often go hand in hand with having ADHD make it hard to believe in yourself.

    Unfortunately the therapist who was facilitating the group last night was kind of boring and talked too much so I tuned out. But I can post some of the things we talk about over the next few weeks here. Maybe there will be something that will help you and others.

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    #122407
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    sdwa
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    I wonder if there’s anyone with ADHD who doesn’t struggle with low self-esteem?

    What works best for me is building skills, which happens when I’m obsessed with an activity. In hyper-focus, I feel powerful.

    Low self-esteem is an ingrained aspect of my personality that I don’t think I will ever shake. Knowing the issues common to ADHDers helps. I don’t blame myself as much. I recognize what my strengths and limitations are more easily. But I still feel like hell most of the time. Another thing I can’t fix. (And please, don’t anyone tell me to try medication – been there, done that, got the t-shirt, and no it doesn’t).

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    #122416
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    paisia
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    Hi KC,

    So glad your present photo looks so much more friendly than the last one.

    I am still a closet ADDer.I have had psychotherapy, the woman at the time didn’t encourage me to look into ADHD, I suppose because I was dealing with abuse from my youth, also it was in Dutch which made tit more difficult to convey obvious English nuances. I was on Ritalin for a while, but as I also had undiagnosed hypothyroidism, it cancelled out the ritalin and left me crashing after an hour and a nervous wreck.  I’ve got to see about getting my thyroid in order before I start on other meds again.

    I would like to try coaching or therapy of some sort again, but I don’t have the will power to go thru all that again. Hmm I think I just have to see this thyroid thing out and see if it works.

     

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    #122417
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    paisia
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    Hi Blackdog, I would be interested to hear what you have learnt, so please post.

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    #122418
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    paisia
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    SDWA, do you mean low self esteem is here to stay ? Does it never free it’s grip, will it follow me to the grave ? Does that mean I might never be able to rest on my laurels ? Is it something I will always have to deal with, does it cloud my vision, is it my constant companion ?

    I know the answer I’m sorry to say.

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    #122422
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    wanderquest
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    @paisia Knowing what it stems from could help with the self esteem. It won’t eradicate it, but I’ve certainly felt a lot better after I figured out what was wrong. Although I haven’t read the book yet, the phrase “You Mean I’m not Lazy, Crazy, or Stupid?” really strikes a chord with me. I beat myself up a lot less than I used to.

    I actually had a discussion about that very thing last night with my husband. Since diagnosis, I’ve really had a tremendously better outlook on life.

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    #122424
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    blackdog
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    @sdwa – Okay, I won’t tell you to try medication. But I will tell you that you are an awesome human being and you need to love yourself and have more confidence in your abilities. 🙂

    @wanderquest– I had the same reaction to “You Mean I’m Not Lazy, Crazy, or Stupid?” I pulled it off the shelf at the library, read the title, and instantly burst into laughter. I had no idea that I might have ADD at the time. I was doing research for something else. And I didn’t read much of the book, but what I did read was partly what made me start to think I might have ADD.

    It really is such a relief to know that there is a reason for being the way you are. It makes it much easier to forgive yourself.

    @paisia – I will be happy to post some of the info I gather on self esteem as soon as I can. I was planning to yesterday but I wasn’t feeling very well and I just couldn’t think clearly enough to do it.

    You definitely need to get your thyroid taken care of before anything else. Not only will it make any ADHD symptoms 100 times worse, it will affect your overall health and potentially become very serious if not treated. (Thyroid disease runs in the family.)

    Will your low self esteem always be part of you? Absolutely. The trick is learning to manage it, like any other ADHD trait.

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    #122425
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    miguelangel
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    I belive that we all should think on ourselves as a different shape of human being, we cannot judge ourselves or let others to judge us with the criteria used to normal people.
    I can do things that most people cannot, among others this one:  Into tough situations, the kind of , that normal people runs away ( I am thinking about something like a business bankruptcy ), however I can control and manage that situations, I had to confess that even I have fun, I feel great. Risk and stress have to me the same paradoxical effect than amphetamines: Makes me feel calm and perfect, I am done for a different way of life and work I have different qualities that are also helpfull to my community, but to me, it is extremely difficult to do things easy to others like to be on time, fulfill a schedule or  be able to finish properly what I started.
    Some weeks ago I wrote to the mother of my daughter Belquís, how I understand ADHD:

    “I believe that treatment is not necessary, except in extreme cases at that age, I do not think it is convenient until you get older and your body begins to lose its ability to compensate your low dopamine levels. The fundamental problem on children with ADHD  is that they get bored in a normal educational model, they are unable to keep attention, they  need more interactive models , with more challenges. Aside from school there are centers that seek to educate preventing damages in the future because of their impulsiveness and their tendency to create chaotic environments.


    I do not think that ADHD is a disorder, it is just a different way of being human , the ADHD are hunters and warriors rather than peasants , their lack of attention is due to a continuous checking on  their environments , their impulsiveness is needed to take quick decisions and low dopamine levels makes them perfect and calm facing danger, the adrenaline does not make them shake neither generates panic, so danger situations have the same paradoxical effect that is seen in hyperactive children when given an amphetamine : they calm down


    We have to understand that an ADHD will not be motivated in an environment of farmers, they need environments that can generate interest: changes, challenges. Look at our daughter, changing school does not makes her any problem, new people and a new world, she likes it!

    This world is essentially a world of  farmers (it is not pejorative) and we will have to introduce some changes in her world to better suits her, later on we will have to be careful with the sources of dopamine to avoid these sources to hook or to damage her: videogames, risk taking, alcohol, chocolate, drugs, sex …

    I do not know why, perhaps by the continuing criticisms in which we are typically submitted during our childhood, perhaps because the lack of empathy we have with normal people distorts our perception of ourselves (I always thought that I had the empathy of a squid but is not true, I have great empathy and understanding for people with ADHD) but we all, ADHD people, we have a distorted and undervalued picture of ourselves.

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    #122439
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    dithl
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    Hmmm. I think I have come a long way on this one. But I can’t remember how. Let’s see if typing will release the memories.

    I have always been labelled as “shy”. It was actually a very lovely moment to realize that my shyness was actually an ADD issue — processing conversations (especially in groups) too slowly to be able to keep up. Or to be able to remember enough about a given topic (especially TV / movies) to have much to say. Or coming up with something to say, but garbling it on the way out or not modulating my voice volume enough and being told I was too quiet (An aha! moment — learning that ADD causes problems with regulating your own voice volume – in EITHER direction. Loud is not the only way of being ADD!) Being paralyzed by small talk (I’m still not a pro, but small talk used to frustrate me so much. I didn’t understand its utility, and I didn’t know how to do it.) These are all effects of ADD. But without diagnosis, they all contributed to me feeling inadequate and isolated.

    Well before diagnosis, I would “make” myself do things that were very difficult. Especially forcing myself to go out to do shopping / errands. Though I remember being very hard on myself (the things we say to ourselves are often things we would never dream of saying to someone else), it helped. Kind of getting to the point of saying, “Yes, I’ll probably mess up and trip over my words, but I am going to g out, and I am going to say something about the weather if there is someone in the elevator”. Ugh, poor thing, it WAS hard.

    I have accepted it more now. At one point, I finally decided it was OK not to be perfect. If you are able to find a way to be gentle with yourself, and forgive yourself for being imperfect, it helps. I do still get frustrated if I feel that I’m being socially awkward, and I’m probably still hard on myself, but it’s not the sum total of me. And it does help to know that it’s part of the ADD.

    Getting out of the car today, I was trying to haul too many things from the passenger seat too quickly, and I fumbled and dropped a frozen turkey on the driveway. At the same moment, someone laughed in the park across the street. And yes, I looked up to see if they were laughing at me (they weren’t). So I guess it does still hang around…but it’s….less. Less shame, less focus on my mistakes.

    Though on a day when I feel that I am just one on-going comedy of errors, it can be easier to take offense at any perceived criticism. And things are going well in my life at the moment…were my

    …uh-oh, I think there is small animal in my furnace ducts 🙁 I thought it was the cat in the basement, but she just mewed from behind me. I think I have to stop musing for the night. Hope it helped at least a little.

    Heeeere, rat-rat-ratty!!

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    #122442
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    blackdog
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    @miguelangel – I have heard that theory about people with ADHD a couple of times. One of my best friends goes to a coach who says almost the exact same thing. The interesting thing is that in many ways people with ADHD are opposite to other people. And those skills can be very, very usful, if others recognize it. And if we ourselves recognize it.

    I don’t think there is really one answer, one solution, for everyone with ADHD. I think it has to be taken on an individual basis. Some respond well to medication and some don’t. Some are not meant to be farmers, but then again some might thrive in that setting. It all depends on the individual, their personality and what intersets them.

    @dithl – Your comments really strike a chord with me. So much like my own process.

    I have always been seen as very shy and introverted. But I really am not. I am the life of the party- in my own mind. But the same thing happens to me in social situations. I can’t keep up, or I can’t remember enough details, or I just don’t have anything to say on the subject. And I really don’t get small talk. Most of the things people talk about just bore me. I don’t see the point of stating the obvious or going on and on about the mundane.

    And I have done the exact same thing with going out and forcing myself to talk to people. Usually ends up being very awkward and weird. One time in the winter I was waiting for the bus and I decided to try chatting a bit with the other girl who was waiting. It went okay at first, taking about the weather and how much the bus service sucks. But then she just started to go on and on and I had nothing more to say. I ended up just stnading there mechanically nodding and saying “oh, yeah” over and over and desperately wishing that the bus would get there. By the time the bus arrived she had noticed that my eyes were glazing over and thankfully did not sit with me to continue the conversation.

    Dropping the frozen turkey and then thinking the people in the park are laughing at you is something I would do too. Pro hoc ergo propter hoc – after this,  therefore because of this. It’s a logical fallacy common to all, but when you have low self esteem, it seems like everything is being caused by your actions.

    And I don’t see the humour in those kinds of things when they do happen. Like when I was working in the coffee shop and I pulled the big cutting board out in the deli section to clean unerneath it. I dropped it, it made an enormous crash, and all the customers applauded and cheered. And I practically ran into the back to hide, my face turning red. I have always wished that instead of hiding I had taken a bow. Really, I had nothing to be embarrassed about. But my flight instinct instantly took over when I heard the laughter.

    One of my favourite quotes is the one from Eleanor Roosevelt which I am sure we have all heard before:
    “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”


    When it comes to self esteem, it really is all in your head. You have to accept that it’s not okay to be perfect. And don’t let others make you feel inferior. Because they aren’t perfect either. No one is.
    And with that I really need to get going and do what I am supposed to be doing today. But I will post more on self esteem, as promised, sometime in the near future. Perhaps after the holiday.

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    #122443
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    dithl
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    I guess the point I was trying to get to, before being interrupted by a creature in the ductworks (still there, we just opened up the furnace and basement doors in the hopes that it will find its way out…don’t want to fricasee a small furry when we start up the furnace) was…

    With time, proper diagnosis, and the ability to forgive yourself, it can get better. For me, what was once akin to a debilitating injury is now more like an annoying blister.

    That is probably the first time I have used the word “blister” to reassure someone.

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