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ADHD Adults

ADHD as an excuse for a failed life

Is it OK to use ADHD as an excuse for all or most of your life failures ???


An excuse no. An explanation yes. Like alcoholism or even diabetes having ADD may not be your fault, but once you are aware it is your responsibility to deal with it

Posted by donttread on Nov 21, 2013 at 5:34pm

Having ADHD may send you down a path that has more challenges. There is no denying that. However the only excuse for a failed life is giving up.

Posted by SquarePeg on Nov 21, 2013 at 6:11pm

Perhaps these failures are stepping stones on the journey. Perhaps this characterization is needlessly harsh.

If the only measure of success is getting to the other side of the river then everything else is a failure. But each stepping stone has value. Depends on how you look at it.

Posted by John Tucker, PhD, ACG. ADHD Coach on Nov 21, 2013 at 6:23pm

I have a cousin that is bipolar and uses it as her excuse for everyday life.  Hey Jane Pauly and others are Bipolar and can function in life why can’t she?  I don’t believe using ADHD as an excuse is positive.  I have arthritis I’m in pain most days but I never use it as an excuse. Sure it hurts when I walk but I learn to take over the counter meds or do other things to help with the pain. 
Our lives is so important, not only to us but to the people around us.  we get once chance at it.  Making excuses doesn’t get u anywhere.  Remember that u are important and to overcome things in life you will fail, but you will pick yourself up and do what needs to be done.  U are an important person.

Posted by happynewyorker on Nov 21, 2013 at 10:03pm

great comments but I donot know what to say totally confused and messed up everything in my life mostly because of bad decisions,No social contacts,Giving Up too easily and inability to control bad situations
its been two years I’m jobless and things are getting worst every day

And now a days everything I touch it turns into dust, few minutes before creating above discussion I burnt a 500$ UPS at my home which I purchased few months ago, It was my mistake while reconnecting the batteries I donot know what the hell was I thinking and totally forgot to check the Positives and Negatives .......

Posted by Burraak on Nov 22, 2013 at 1:14am

I have to be honest with you: I bristle at the word “excuse”.  Most people use it in a negative sense, to convey the idea that you are using disability/disabilities to get out of having to do things, or taking responsibility for your life.  I do realize there are people who do that very thing.  But being accused of it really gets my hackles up.  I’ve had people insinuate that I seemed to have “seizures” whenever there was too much work to do, implying I faked them.  No, when the stress level became super-high, my seizure threshold was lowered.

My favorite example of this attitude came when I had first returned to work after a prolonged absence for Leukemia.  I barely survived, and returned to work bald and walking with a cane.  I was tired and weak, and simply not capable of doing everything I had in the past.  I’d only been back to work a couple weeks when I heard that a woman in my office had said “When is he going to stop milking this and pull his weight?”  Seriously!?!?  Everyone has at least one disability: for some its their personality or lack of compassion!

More recently, my favorite are people who dismiss the entire diagnosis of ADHD as an “excuse”
and a justification, declaring (with their vast medical knowledge) that its “not a real illness”.  Idiots.

In my experience, most of the people who accuse you of “blaming things on your disability” are people who have never suffered a day of ill health in their life.

I spent my entire life blaming everything that went wrong on one thing: me.  With the result that I so torpedoed my own self-esteem that I undermined my own chances of success.  Its a self-fulfilling prophecy.
If you believe you can’t do anything right, you won’t.
I’ve learned in the last few years that some of the challenges I’ve encountered are from ADD.  It doesn’t mean I have a license to give up, or an “excuse”.  It just means I have a better understanding of what I need to overcome, and can stop beating myself up.

Posted by Blood-Phoenix on Nov 22, 2013 at 4:48am

I also have a lot of those “I cant beleive I just did that!” moments.  I blame it on being impatient, impulsive, distracted, poor planning, too tired, too focused, too excited, too hungry, too thirsty, too hot, too cold, too dry, too wet, too early, too late, on and on.  but never on my ADD.

Posted by spage_hasADD on Nov 22, 2013 at 9:27am

A failed life? I don’t think so. Just because you have ADHD, doesn’t mean that your life cannot be full of successes. If you consider yourself as “having failed” you can consider yourself as “having succeeded.” ADD/ADHD can empower you to succeed at many things or it can be used as an excuse for not overcoming a serious hurdle. Quite honestly, I don’t know anyone who has succeeded at anything without at least failing at something just once. If you are thinking that you have “failed at life,” you can think that you have succeeded at life. Yes, you may need to make a U-turn. But, at some point in everyone’s life, we need to choose a different path. So, no—ADHD isn’t an excuse for a failed life. Acknowledging that you have ADHD (or any disability) and working diligently to find success and happiness is the first step.

Posted by RobertB on Nov 22, 2013 at 9:09pm

Sure. Why not? It’s as good of an excuse as any. Doesn’t change anything, but if it makes you feel better for a little bit before you dive back into the daily ADHD fight then feel free.

Posted by ADDedValue62 on Nov 23, 2013 at 1:42am

Life is full of ups/downs. I think instead of conforming to the neurotypical norms, you need to march to the beat of your own drum. Your worst enemy is boredom. Be creative. You can control these things; you are not alone nor are you a victim. Those with disabilities should not use it as an excuse.

Posted by traysay on Nov 23, 2013 at 8:55am

I see more of an issue with the statement, “I’m a failure.” Those kinds of thoughts frighten me more than the idea of “ADD/ADHD is my excuse for how I am.” If ADD/ADHD has made it difficult for you, it explains a hardship due to a disability. If life isn’t going your way for ANY reason, find a therapist or hypno counselor in your area who can help you start making the changes you want to make in your life. There are always ways to change and be better. If you are unhappy with how life has been going, there are plenty of people (including me) who can help you make that U-turn. Excuse or not, you have the power to change and there are people out there who will help you.

Posted by RobertB on Nov 23, 2013 at 11:59am

I am 42 and I spent my K-12 years feeling like a complete failure and the teachers and other kids would reinforce this on a daily basis. Having an anxiety disorder did not help when it came to social skills. The worst part of it was being complexly aware and feeling I could not do anything to correct it. Ultimately, I dropped out of high school in tenth grade and then tested for my GED and passed the first time around. Several years and jobs later I figured out what I was good at and began my life. I am now happily married and while I may not have a college degree, I work for one as their IT Security Administrator. wink

Posted by loknar28 on Nov 26, 2013 at 10:31am

Congratulations! Sounds like you found happiness and peace with what you are doing now. There are plenty of opportunities to earn a college degree, even online. The important thing is that you feel good about yourself and have invested in a wonderful marriage and a meaningful job. If you find yourself thinking about going back to school or improving your education, there are ways to go back to school and complete your degree. For example, you could do one course each semester or take a few different courses through an online program. Most importantly, do not judge yourself by the amount of formal education you receive or earn. I know plenty of people with PhDs who know absolutely nothing! If you would like to improve your concentration or focus, I would be happy to speak with you privately. I am in the New Jersey/New York area. But, it does sound like you are doing just fine so don’t look back, look forward—no regrets!  Robert

Posted by RobertB on Nov 26, 2013 at 11:42am

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