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Still struggling with things…..

Still struggling with things…..2010-03-20T02:58:13+00:00

The Forums Forums Emotional Journey I'm Sad Still struggling with things…..

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  • #88300

    Post count: 14413

    I was diagnosed with ADHD when I was 14 and then again In high school cause my resource teacher though they misdiagnosed me earlier. Unfortunately I couldn’t deal with the problems right away since I developed another problem abusing alcohol. I’m now 30 and have been sober for 3 years and now I’m back in college for going for Practical Nursing. My confidence has grown but my self esteem is still creating problems in school. I’m a shy introverted person so I don’t say much in class at all. I’m always getting worked up during exams and I find it hard to relax. I’m barely passing the classes. I’m taking strattera but I can still barely keep my attention in class and I’am finding this stuff interesting which is the weird part. I abused ritalin in high school so I really don’t know what else to try. At this point I really don’t know what else to do to bump my marks up, I study lots but yet I can’t find any methods to help me remember the best. I’m still single and relationships have always been a struggle so I’m concerned about future relationships. My self esteem took a big a hit growing up due to things that happened at school and at home. Had a hard time getting along with my mom and brothers. I’am happy to say that I have a good relationship with them today. Can anyone tell me how they dealt with their self esteem issues?


    Big A
    Post count: 1

    I would assume working on your self esteem is going to be different from others experiences. Have you gone to counseling? I find it helps me greatly. I’m 40 years old and was diagnosed about 8 months ago. Just starting my own journey.


    Post count: 165

    I’m no expert but what I see is you are overwhelming yourself: you start on self esteem, then wander into study/attention issues, the close with relationship problems.

    If you start by focusing on you, and forget the rest, then break things into chunks. Your meds may/may not be wrong. You might need to try another kind such as Adderall or similar. This might alleviate the focus in class issues. Which takes me to the next part…

    You know you’re not stupid, you’re interested, and cannot study or recall well. The meds might help but the point is that you need to get focused, pass the exams, and get a way to make a decent living. Once done, that’s a major step toward 1) focus/attention/retention, and 2) self esteem – you’ve accomplished a lot. You might consider a private chat with the course counselors or teacher in nursing to advise of your ADD, and ask if there’s any help available for course takers. Temper that with whether you think the instructor(s) will be receptive or not. If not, don’t do it. lastly, try repetition or writing things out until it sinks in. Painful, time-consuming, but it works for me.

    Lastly on relationships. (I struggle there too), but an old sales trick that makes me more comfortable is to ask “what is the worst than can happen”? i.e. if you stick your hand up in class, and ask a question (while mortified it’s a dumb one), what’s the worst that can happen? Maybe some dufus might laugh at you, but you will get an answer from the teacher, and learn that it’s OK to ask. Remember, you paid for this, demand your money’s worth!

    Good luck, Jim


    Post count: 28

    Do they have an office at your school for students with disabilities? Often they have some decent support available for people with ADHD and it would be confidential etc.

    Good luck!


    Post count: 14413


    I’ve also gone back to school. Just like you I struggle with focusing and absorbing everything being said in class. I just recently did the mid term exam and I know I bombed it. I allowed myself to get overwhelmed. Flash backs of when I was young and failing came back and my self esteem went out the door. No lie. I came home sobbing and completely down on myself.

    It is hard getting back on track. Sometimes the support is there. But I’m also realizing I won’t always have the support I need. So I try to remind myself that my self esteem is needed in order for me to get through it.

    I am extremely hard on myself and its a working progress but I’m trying to allow myself to make the mistakes without out beating my self esteem more then I already have done through my years of growing up. I also try to not make the same mistakes over and over.

    I know in my school I had to fill out a form and get a letter from my doctor saying I was ADHD. I only disclosed my situation with my professors if I felt comfortable. But they also provided me with tools that might help me excel better. Example: have a note taker come to my classes in take notes so I can concentrate more on what is being said, then worrying about what I need to write so I will remember later. As well for exams they will set up a place where I write the test separately from others and its more quiet. Plus they may give me extra time to complete the exam if I need it.

    Maybe if you find out what’s available to you in your school, this might help. Most schools now have a lot of workshops or the tools to help students that need the extra help.

    Good Luck.


    Rick Green – Founder of TotallyADD
    Post count: 473

    For me, the self esteem improved when I started having successes in areas where I had been struggling. I also had to really work on my beliefs that I was damaged. It was sad in a way to see how I had shut down in many areas of life. In fact, Career was about all I had going. Not great when you have two kids and wife. I still have the kids.

    One suggestion that will give you tremendous freedom, but it feels really, really risky, is to laugh at yourself bigger and louder than anyone else does. Like if someone says, perhaps a nasty tone, “You forgot your books again? You are such a loser!” you reply, “Well, I don’t know about loser, but I can’t believe how much I forget! You wouldn’t believe it! I may be the most forgetful person on earth! Like, one time… “

    Another regular practice you can do that builds self esteem is help someone else. Just by commenting on other people’s Forums or sharing your story, or experiences, you contribute to others.

    But the easiest way to build self esteem is to give it away. How? By complimenting and thanking people in your life, on this website, or anywhere. Find something to acknowledge them for. Try, tomorrow morning, finding one nice thing to say about every person you meet. “You have great hair, Nancy.” “I love how neat your desk is.” “Boy, you really care about customers.” “It’s so great how much you love hockey.” Whatever. Just give it away. But make it real. If someone’s always serious and frowning at work, saying, “Hey Ray, you are always the high point of my morning” isn’t going to work. But perhaps, “Ray, I have to tell you, I don’t think anyone here cares as much about this or worries as much as you do. You are totally dedicated.”

    The more you practice finding things to compliment in others, the more you’ll discover how much you actually kind of like them. And vice versa.

    I’m telling you, no other practice I’ve tried works as well for getting me out of the dumps as complimenting someone else. And not expecting them to compliment me back. Just giving it away.


    Post count: 14413

    Lost 115lbs. in 15 months, it’s working out nicely. solved many other esteem troubles I had developed because it was a HUGE positive. Got to keep the positives going or you get an attack of the ADHD breakdowns. I am an overtalker, trying to ram my personality down other’s throats. Driving has gotten less confrontational and happy. Found that thriving on positive stuff, actions, or anything positive gets me on track. Had a series of negatives today and broke down for no reason after I was saying how well I was. ironic huh?!?


    Post count: 14413

    wow, Billy – my mom teaches in a Practical Nursing program and I know just how demanding it is! your bravery and willingness to “get back on the horse” show tremendous personal strength. that is something to feel good about all on its own, but I know it’s not that simple.

    the four main self-esteem building practices that I find most helpful have already been mentioned:

    1. find someone to talk to in a safe and confidential context who is able to offer objective insight. (Big A)

    my family of origin is deeply dysfunctional. when I was young I could feel that something was wrong. I would press my parents for answers, but they always lied to “protect” me. this lead me to the “logical” conclusion that since I was sure something didn’t feel right, but I trusted my parents when I was told otherwise, clearly the “wrong” thing that made me feel so bad had to be ME! it wasn’t until I started working with my therapist that I was able to gain an understanding of what actually *had* been going on in my home growing up, which then allowed me to realize, process, and recover from my constant feeling that if something is wrong/lacking/unhealthy, it must be me.

    2. talk to disability services at your school. (allovertheplace)

    I was undiagnosed until I was 27/28 (I’m 30) and it wasn’t until the last month that I took the leap to speak with someone at my school about my diagnosis. I have been completely amazed by the support and grace I’ve been offered. where I felt stranded and alone before, I now feel reassured that the people around me care far more than I imagined they would.

    3. make time for exercise. (mike in seattle)

    even though it is suuuper difficult to fit it in sometimes, or get motivated or whatever, exercise really is a fail-safe way to improve one’s mood. until several years ago I had absolutely no experience or knowledge in resistance training/weights so I hired a trainer at my gym to help. so often I would walk into the gym feeling like a pile of wet dog $h!+ and after 50 minutes of getting my butt whooped, I felt relaxed and energized. also, my dad always says that “exercise is a bath for your brain.”

    4. find ways to make service, kindness, and gratitude part of daily life. (Rick)

    for this, I tend to like any kind of reading that helps keep my sense of empathy in my immediate consciousness so I can act on it as much as possible. one of the best parts about building empathy is that it allows for a gentler understanding of other people – and ourselves! plus, folks are much more likely to meet us with grace and kindness when they can feel it from us too.

    in any case, Billy, there is no reason you should have to go through this alone. I have seen in my own life that every meaningful or significant growth/progress I have achieved is because I reached out for support from reliable and trustworthy sources, many of whom have been trained in meeting the needs I brought to them.

    sometimes it takes time to find support that is both concerned /and/ able to help facilitate change (example: my mom /cares/ about my self esteem, but she was too entrenched in the family system to actually help me, because it destabilized her position in that system) but, there are many many resources available, and eventually you will find the ones that most benefit you.

    you’re gonna be okay, but you should tell someone who can help that it doesn’t feel that way right now.

    (although, these forums are certainly an excellent start!)

    aaaaand, I just looked at the original post date of this thread.


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