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Anyone tired of having to defend/explain to people that ADHD causes just as much hurt and suffering as other disorders?

I just don't know what to do anymore. I was talking to a friend online and told her I have ADHD. Her response was "oh that's it?" Even though she was joking she started talking about how she believes its not a real disorder because it isn't actually maladaptive. She was telling me about how she views it as more of a personality rather than an illness and its just the society we live in that makes it necessary for medication.

I kinda liked this girl and I know she didn't have bad intentions, but I haven't felt my heart sink that fast in so long when talking to someone. I don't necessarily disagree with everything she said (some stuff I haven't listed here) but other stuff messed with me.

She said she thinks meds kill my personality. Am I just some little ADHD monkey here to entertain people? I know what I'm like on them, I know I'm more fun off my meds, but I don't want to have to defend my choices. I already feel like I hurt and disappoint the ones I care about, and I know I sound robotic when I'm talking to her but why can't I just be accepted?

She said ADHD isn't as serious as other mental disorders. Why would anyone say that to someone? What are you trying to prove to me? What am I supposed to do with that bit of info huh? Of course I'm glad I don't have something like schizophrenia and that my depression is (mostly) gone, but cmon.

She said ADHD symptoms are things everyone experiences. Yeah i know everyone gets distracted and so what? Is telling me that supposed to make me feel at ease? Does that mean that I don't deserve any help just because everyone deals with a bit of my issues?

I have never had to hold back to hard to not lash out at someone before. I wanted to tell her she hurt me but I didn't want to hurt her in the process as shes a good friend. Instead I sent her papers on ADHD so she could better understand since she is a psychology major in university, but she won't read them because it would "feel like homework to her." I'm so tired of this shit, its why I don't tell anyone except for very close friends about what I've been through.

Sorry for the rant, I just don't know who else to tell. I want to lash out at her just like I do to people whenever they hurt me, so instead I decided to lash out here.

Edited by unknown diagnosis
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I don't have ADHD, so hopefully you will forgive me for posting...but - everyone may have similar-type symptoms on some level, though not to the degree of ADHD.  So - everyone gets sad, so that's like saying depression isn't a big deal.  So wrongheaded and ignorant.  That would be incredibly upsetting.  

I have a very good friend who is going to go through the assessment for adult ADHD.  She's really struggling.  It's not like ADHD is nothing or isn't as bad as other disorders.  There's no hierarchy.  

I have psychosis, which you might think is worse, but I'm more functional than my brother who has MDD.  So go figure.  

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3 hours ago, jarn said:

I don't have ADHD, so hopefully you will forgive me for posting...but - everyone may have similar-type symptoms on some level, though not to the degree of ADHD.  So - everyone gets sad, so that's like saying depression isn't a big deal.  So wrongheaded and ignorant.  That would be incredibly upsetting.  

I have a very good friend who is going to go through the assessment for adult ADHD.  She's really struggling.  It's not like ADHD is nothing or isn't as bad as other disorders.  There's no hierarchy.  

I have psychosis, which you might think is worse, but I'm more functional than my brother who has MDD.  So go figure.  

Even though you don't have ADHD I appreciate your reply! I hope things get better for your friend, getting an assessment for any mental health issue is extremely stressful.

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That would piss me off. While I have yet to be diagnosed, I think there is a pretty good chance that I have ADHD (I certainly had the tell-tale childhood symptoms, and have plenty of adult symptoms).* I always thought that my hyperfocus, impulse issues, distractibility, and whatnot were symptoms of my bipolar, but I’ve noticed that I still get them even when I’m in remission (and also, while depressed rather than manic/mixed, too). I can get stuck on something to the exclusion of all else for weeks or even months on end. I’ll sometimes ignore everyone and everything for long periods. Not pay bills, not pick up my mail, not check my my phone messages or emails, not file my taxes, and so on. 

And then, at other times, I flit from one thing to the next. I’ll have a very hard time keeping at anything consistently for any period of time. Then I’ll have another period of hyperfocus. After that, I’ll move on from one thing to the next for a while again, never sticking with anything for long (or sometimes, it’s a succession of hyperfocus periods). In a sense, it’s a bit like bipolar (alternating states). And while I’m normally not quick to anger, I sometimes have uncontrollable outbursts of anger or rage, sometimes so severe that I can burn a relationship to the ground with truly remarkable swiftness. Those are some of my symptoms, in any case. 

Anyway, whether I have ADHD or not, I know how such issues can be very problematic. To have someone dismiss such an affliction as no big deal is unfortunate. I’ve lost a number of friends because I have blown them off (or worse), let my finances implode, caused myself health problems, or quit jobs because I was bored, or else preoccupied with something else, among other things. 

I suppose people treat ADHD differently from something like bipolar, because the things one might do while full-on manic can be so completely cuckoo that it’s just so plain for everyone to see that you’re off the rails (pressured speech, shagging anything that moves, and/or turning into a incomprehensible pile of rubbish surely don’t help). Also, rather than merely quitting a job because of distraction or hyperfocus, I might be convinced that I can make a killing by cornering the Panama hat trade between Ecuador and Kenya, empty my bank account, and simply walk out of my old life and into my new one. All without telling a soul. If you think that is crazy, you’d be right, but then I’ve done even worse in the past. But that doesn’t mean that BP is worse than ADHD, just different. Curiously, perhaps, they seem to share quite a lot in common when it comes to symptoms. Then again, so do a great many MIs.

* I suppose I haven’t bothered getting diagnosed yet, since I have taken stims to combat bipolar depression, and they don’t seem to have done anything for my ADHD symptoms. That’s the same reason why I waited so long to bother getting my OCD diagnosis (ADs no worky).

Edited by Goofball
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Thank you for your reply! Alot of the ADHD symptoms you talk about sound like what I experience, and I hope you are able to find answers in your mental health journey soon

On 11/8/2021 at 10:17 PM, Goofball said:

I suppose people treat ADHD differently from something like bipolar, because the things one might do while full-on manic can be so completely cuckoo that it’s just so plain for everyone to see that you’re off the rails (pressured speech, shagging anything that moves, and/or turning into a incomprehensible pile of rubbish surely don’t help).

I agree with this. I think for alot of people since they can't see what goes on with the disorder, they don't believe it to be too serious.

I talked to her about what my ADHD symptoms are and how it actually affects me and told her that I don't appreciate how lightly she took the whole situation, and she apologized. I've learned to not let these things affect me anymore but when someone you care about talks to you the way she did, it feels so much worse. Oh well, better to find out now than later

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