ADHD and Shame

Shame and ADHD often go hand in hand. Many ADDers feel ashamed of themselves and their behavior. Both of what they did or didn’t do. They feel they aren’t good enough and don’t match society’s  ‘norms’. They feel bad that their marriage failed, or they dropped out of high school, or they haven’t kept a job longer than 6 months.

When you feel shame about who you are, you can’t live a happy full life and reach your potential. Your inner critic keeps you living a smaller life than you are capable of. Plus when you feel shame you can’t allow people to get close to you because you don’t feel you are worthy.

Dr. Brené Brown  research professor at the University of Houston and  New York Time Bestselling author has spent over a decade studying shame,vulnerability, courage and worthiness

In this video Brene Brown, talks about shame.

She makes a brilliant distinction between shame and guilt.

Shame is ‘I am bad’ and guilt is ‘I did something bad’

It’s much easier to say ‘I am sorry I did something bad’ than’ I am sorry I am bad’

Many ADHD adults believe they are ‘bad’ or ‘flawed’, which was hard for me to write, because the reality couldn’t be further from the truth. Yet, there is often a big discrepancy between ADDer’s perspective of themselves and reality.

Brene also states that shame highly correlate with addiction, violence, depression and eating disorders. These are also things that ADDers suffer with more than the average person.

Shame is a topic that people don’t like to talk about. However, like everything, when it is addressed head on it isn’t as bad as you thought. Plus, when you understand what exactly it is and how it effects you, you can take steps to reduce it. Watch this video, it’s funny and intelligent and lifts the lid on Shame.

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  1. I was introduced to Brene’s talks and writing just a couple months ago and I love what she’s doing with her researching and what she’s teaching us.

    I was diagnosed a year ago and I’ve been on Ritalin for about three months now. One of the greatest benefits I get from the medication is that I’m much more care-free about what others think about me. I wasn’t expecting that at all though and I didn’t read others sharing about that effect. I’m much more open and less fearful in my relationships, and I’m much more creative because I don’t care quite so much what others think about what I write and create. Without the medication my mind was often focused on other’s perceptions of me and my work.

  2. Michel colville says:

    The video wasn’t there, unfortunately. Did anyone else have the same problem?


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