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ADHD and Shame

Those who are coping with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) sometimes find themselves entangled in a subtle feeling known as shame. Having experience coaching adults and teenagers with ADHD, I have seen firsthand the powerful impact that shame can have on people's readiness to ask for help and find comfort. Even with their extraordinary skills and attributes, a large number of my clients are caught in the stifling grip of guilt. Their progress is hampered and their potential is limited by this heavy load.

But what seems to be the cause of this pervasive sense of shame, and why does ADHD seem to exacerbate its effects? Attention-Deficiency/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) goes beyond sporadic forgetfulness or short-term distractions. It is a complex interaction of neurobiological components that show up as significant problems with executive function. With ADHD, there can be constant and overwhelming daily difficulties with time management, organization, impulse control, and focus. But these obstacles are usually misinterpreted or ignored by others, which causes a deeply ingrained sense of inferiority and self-doubt to be internalized.

 ADHD disappointments can come from a number of places, including social misconceptions, academic expectations, and interpersonal assessments. People with ADHD could feel always at odds with society norms and expectations in a culture that values productivity and efficiency highly. Those with endless potential, intelligence, and inventiveness could be unfairly called lazy, unmotivated, or even stupid. These outside impressions feed a negative cycle of shame that lowers self-esteem and jeopardizes general health when combined with internalized self-criticism.

The fact that mental health is generally disapproved of by society further complicates the picture. Many people with ADHD are afraid of being stigmatized, misinterpreted, or judged, thus they are reluctant to tell anyone about their illness or get help. Reluctance to get help not only maintains feelings of shame and isolation but also poses major barriers to getting the vital services and support networks that people sorely need.


Understanding how deeply shame and ADHD interact, Heal and Thrive Psychotherapy & Coaching works to give people a supportive and safe space to face and get beyond these internalized obstacles. We help our clients reclaim their personal stories, accept themselves for their strengths, and navigate life with fortitude and self-compassion by using individualized coaching, empirically supported methods, and unwavering support.

One of our clients related their personal experience of overcoming shame, emphasizing the enormous influence that compassion and validation can have on life. The people expressed gratitude to have found a coach who not only understood their struggles but also recognized and praised their unique skills and contributions.


We cordially welcome anyone who are tired of carrying the weight of shame and are driven to start a path toward empowerment and self-acceptance to take part in this project at Heal and Thrive Psychotherapy & Coaching Collectively, we will bravely, honestly, and compassionately navigate the complex terrain of ADHD. Since one's ability to overcome obstacles with poise and tenacity determines their value rather than the obstacles they face.



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