Self-consciousness getting too much. - CHADD's Adult ADH...

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Self-consciousness getting too much.

Giggles0303 profile image

I'm not sure is 'self-consciousness' is the right word for it, you know that thing when you remember something embarrassing you did 5 years ago and you feel bad about it all over again? Well, I've been getting that more and more recently, I always remember a time that I said something impulsive or embarrassing and before I realise it, I'm swearing out loud at myself or feel the urge to punch myself, my heart rate picks up, and my mind is just flooded with a lot of self-hate. I know that this isn't healthy, I've been having similar reactions (to a lesser extent) when a fictional character does something embarrassing.

I'm in a bit of a stressful time at the moment - on the verge of my final year and am meant to be using my time to study and prepare for it. I haven't been, I've been procrastinating instead and now get super anxious whenever I think about it.

I've gone through periods of time where this kind of thing happened a lot, and it always seems to happen when I haven't really seen or interacted with any of my friends for a while.

I'm wondering if I might have anxiety as well as ADHD or whether this kind of thing is normal for ADHD and whether anyone has experienced this or knows how to deal with it.

20 Replies

It could be that you have anxiety too. It can also just be a normal part of transition and a reaction to stress. Could even be a bit of depression. The important thing is to find the support you need to talk through, do some reality testing, and continue to do good self care.

Thank you. What do you mean by reality testing?

Reality testing is a term often used in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. The idea is that sometimes our brains interpret things based on our anxiety and not based on facts. For example, we might think that something we did or said was offensive and that a person doesn't want to talk to us or views us as incompetent or weird. But that's based on our own assessment, not based on what they actually feel or think. We could ask them to get the real story, and then deal with that reality.

Reality testing is a way to challenge the automatic thoughts we have such as all or nothing thinking, fortune telling, catastrophizing, etc. and then to help us find evidence to counter those thoughts and then strategies to mitigate those thoughts as they happen in the future.

Hope that clarifies a bit. :) If not, feel free to reply or message me. :)

It does, than kyou very much this is super helpfull.

Maker61 profile image
Maker61 in reply to Giggles0303

I’d not heard that term before either. I’m filled with self-loathing every day over exactly what you describe. Depression and anxiety often partner ADHD, as it does with me. Def work with a counselor - the reality testing is a terrific idea, even if I didn’t know it had a name. My challenge is that when I’ve done that, and people confirm I’d misread a situation, I take in as them trying to be kind to me. Crazy cycle.

Jaly profile image
Jaly in reply to quietlylost

This is a great suggestion! My husband and I do this and call it "real or not real" when I'm in my rough patches. I'll start by saying "real or not real" so that he knows to pay attention because I need help, then I say whatever my shadow self is interpreting in the situation (whether it be that I've ruined a situation with an emotional outburst, or that I'm misinterpreting his silence after a hard conversation). This has really helped me see just how bad my self-talk is, and how much my mental illnesses lie to me.

in reply to Jaly

Jaly, I'm going to try this r/nr query. Thank you.

This sounds like magnification and/or overgeneralising but it's related to an experience that was emotionally significant to you.

Look up cognitive distortions related to ADHD.

Identifying and naming these aloud can be helpful in managing them.

I completely relate to the cringing when a fictional character does something too. That's probably empathy and then magnifying the internal response to what one is experiencing.

Giggles0303 profile image
Giggles0303 in reply to

Thank you so much. I had a half idea of what was going on, but having the proper terms for it to research and use is so helpful.

in reply to Giggles0303

My pleasure. If you haven't already, getting a CBT for ADHD book will help you with the terms. Russell Ramsay's book is insightful but quite the lengthy read for ADHDers, so if you find reading difficult, break it down.

Whilst I know the terms and many strategies, I still fall into maladaptive thinking and behaviour patterns but now I'm often able to pull myself out of them.

Giggles0303 profile image
Giggles0303 in reply to

I just had a look at the book, and it seems really helpfull. Thank you again for your help :)

Obsessing. Yes, I do that. Replaying over and over mistakes, what I should have done or shouldn't have done. Try different things to pull yourself out of that negative self-talk. Tell yourself you are not alone, lots of people beat themselves up over past actions. You are human. Cut yourself some slack. Seek out the people who like and love you - in person, on the phone, text, email, however you can connect. Tell them you are struggling and let them support you. Can you study with somebody? Study at a library, get yourself out of your usual routine. Stress makes all ADHD symptoms worse. Do something to feel better - like a walk, a nap, a hot shower. Study for thirty minutes or an hour and then reward yourself with a treat. We all have rough patches. Things get better, things get worse. Ask for help. You don't have to suffer alone.

A psychiatrist told me that rumination is common for people with ADHD. It's annoying, but I hope knowing it's normal for us ADHDers helps!

Thank you it really does.

in reply to QuirkyCookie

Thank you! I didn't know this! Reading through this thread has made my own memories and regrets possibly better able to handle. I was diagnosed two years ago and my psychologist moved on and I haven't found a replacement yet. I guess it's time. I'm driving myself crazy; sleepless many nights, rougher days, procrastination a way of life, and severe financial issues. This is so not the person I used to be. Thank you, and all the others who have written here. This has helped me start my day in a much better frame of mind.

Giggles0303 I’m late to this post but I can only echo what others have said but first I want to let you know you’re not alone. Whatever language we can assign to this I can tell you it happens to me too and usually when I’m under some form of stress (not enough sleep; working under stressful deadlines; in the midst of family or relationship drama...you can fill in the blank here).

I am learning to recognize it when I’m doing it and call myself back to the present moment. I still have those moments but I am learning different ways of simply letting go of that moment or behavior in the past (that I have no way of changing) and doing something else with the moments I’ve been gifted with in the present.

I agree with everyone who suggested various ways of being good to yourself. It may sound cliché but that part really is important and helps break the pattern.

Maybe think about whether you have OCD. ADHD and OCD very commonly coincide with each other.

I have a very hard time letting go of things I've done or said in the past and do beat myself up emotionally for it however I learned its ok to make mistakes and to forgive ourselves and learn self love. I'm working on it, but for me it's not easy. I just had a very embarrassing thing happen at a friend's house and I want to just disappear but if he's my friend, hopefully he doesn't judge me. Yet I take all the blame. It's hard but forgiveness is key.

Hea, I've been diagnosed 2 months ago and I have delt with adhd and I have read and was told that adhd is a disability in itself ,at the same time for some of us are also being treated for anxiety and depression which are mental issues. I myself am ,believe it or not 60 yrs old and scared to actually discuss my adhd w others as this is my 1st response to these messages

Hey thanks for sharing just wanted to say I relate to that so so so much it’s so horrible it takes up like all of my mental capacity replaying these events and feeling horribly anxious about it all sending a hug🤗

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