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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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  • 1 month later...
On 11/9/2021 at 10:03 PM, unknown diagnosis said:

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

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

Yeah, having someone close to you cut you down like that can be really, really rough, as I am all-too-aware.

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  • 1 month later...

I am very secretive about my disorders including ADHD. I’ve lost friends over my talking about my issues, in years past, so I no longer do that. Is that a good thing?  Maybe not but it’s not so easy to make new friends as I get older and I prefer to keep the ones I have. Maybe I should be better at dealing with the discussions when they go sideways but I’m not. It’s difficult to know how to deal with stigma, misunderstandings and negative reactions so I avoid them. I’m not recommending anyone else do that of course. You handled better than I think I could have. I hope your friend gets some understanding as she goes on. 

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This never fails to piss us off, so we can view it as an illustration of the P.I.S.S. principle - People Ignorantly Saying Shit.

It is not exclusive to mental health issues, but rather is a constant in human interaction. Regardless of what difficulty, strait, condition or misfortune a person may find him- or herself in, some idiot will have something insensitive to say about it. People who are pregnant, divorcing, laid off, dealing with the death of a loved one (including pets), having parenting issues - everybody's got to mouth off about it. Most of them are well-intentioned (which, if the aphorism is true, means they're going to hell) but that doesn't excuse the fact that they're better off shutting their yapper.

There's absolutely nothing wrong, in my view, with saying, "Okay, let me stop you there, because this is a sort of teachable moment" and proceed to explain why the person is in error. It isn't necessary to let people continue to blather bullshit, especially if it offends you. Unless people are made aware that their speech is unacceptable, they will continue speaking it. If the person refuses to listen, or insists on continuing at that point, I recommend letting your feet do your talking and walk away in the middle of their next sentence. I have done so before. I will do so again.

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my aunt has adhd and so does her daughter.  It's a real disorder that impacts you cognitively.  My aunt is kind of socially awkward and has a habit of making snap judgements.  It affects her socially, it affects her relationships and her career choices.  That can be debilitating and exhausting.

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On 11/8/2021 at 4:39 PM, unknown diagnosis said:

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.

I hope it’s ok that I reply too. I don’t have ADHD. I have schizoaffective and anxiety. But I want to let you know that I hear you and that ADHD is a real illness just as serious as any other illness is. I’ve seen personally how it can affect people I’ve known.

I’m sorry you struggle so much and I’m sorry people in your life hurt you by invalidating your illness and experience. That’s very wrong of them. I don’t know why people are like that. You can vent away here though. We get it.

I mostly don’t tell people I meet or talk about my schizoaffective disorder (unless it oozes out, out of my control) because I know they will think I’m super crazy and not want to have me be a friend. Or they will not believe I have it because I seem calm with the Zyprexa I take. It’s a big burden for me.

Anyway, I hear you. I just wanted you to know that.

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  • 7 months later...

ADHD is just as serious as other mental disorders, the emotional dysregulation part is huge and it kills people.


It's true that the *shame* that society puts on us from being disorganized and forgetful is worse than actually being disorganized and forgetful, but even if you could take that shame away being this disorganized and forgetful would still be a disability. But I could handle that, it's the emotional dysregulation bit that really makes this a disorder as far as I'm concerned (as fun as unregulated short-lived euphoria is!)

 There will always be people who have it worse, but it's not a competition. We are here on this earth to support each other, not to compete for support. the more support we give the more support is out there in the world and i know it will come back to us (Though often indirect, like with "pay it forward")

I think so many people think that if someone is in pain it will somehow help them to tell them things aren't that bad, I was reading "the death of ivan illyich" and he talks about how one of the worst things was everyone refusing to admit he was dying, and no one sympathizing with him because it would mean they had to acknowledge he was in pain and he was dying. I mean ok we aren't dying maybe I am being dramatic, but so many people think that is the thing to do if someone is suffering, to tell them everything is normal and fine, whereas what we want is for someone to understand and validate and be there with us

Edited by Antecedent
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