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ADHD at Work

I'm a fraud

I’m a human resources professional and I am in charge of 400 people. I like my job and I like the people but some days I feel like I’m a fraud. I’m good at what I do and I seem like I’m “normal” at work but I’m a mess when I get home. I don’t do any household work and if my husband didn’t do it I would probobly be living in a dumpster. I have no grasp on money or what things cost. My poor husband takes care of everything and he never complains or gets upset with me. I feel very guilty and I want to change, I try, make a little progress, and then fall back in the same problem. I work very long hours because I don’t want to go home. I think the saddest part is I’m not worried about my relationship or my home life. I’m worried that I’m going to start to fall apart at work. Does anyone have this problem? How do you cope? I do take meds and see a therapist but it’s not working.


You’re not alone with these problems.  There are days I wonder why I was chosen for my work duties as a project manager when it’s the worst job title for someone with ADD. Most days I’m good at my work but then there are those that everything is chaos and I don’t know what to do next. No sense of urgency or priority.  I’ve been able to hide those off days.  Home life is same as yours.  My wife takes care of everything,  House keeping, groceries, bills, etc…  She has not been happy about this either for some time.  Demanding me to step up and help. When I do laundry, I always seem to forget something or folded something wrong…  I am a good cook, however and prepare most of the meals.  I don’t feel like a fraud, but wish I had a better control of my tasks at work and home.

Posted by spage_hasADD on Feb 18, 2014 at 12:15pm

I am the type that likes appreciation from teachers.  When I worked in an office environment, it translated into being a very strong leader, but too much management and I couldn’t care.  If I were you.I.wouldn’t worry so much.  So long as you.know how you learn, and have your passion aligned with doing your best, you will.rewire your own brain circuitry.  Just go easy on yourself. smile  Be your own best, most understanding, kind.and compassionate friend.

Posted by marleyboy on Feb 19, 2014 at 9:08pm

Well now. I’m a 48 year old woman business co owner. I do the marketing for our successful and now ten year old company
I work with my husband (other owner ) and have two kids, one still at home,  and one in college.
We have .... approximately 40 human beings, with families, who we employee and I feel responsible for marketing our company “effectively enough” to keep all employed.
And I have to go home and cook and clean and help our daughter who is amazing and fights with her dyslexia and plays high school tennis and works HARD to do well and also volunteer so she can get scholarship for college..

Oh yes, and I need to exercise!  AND we lead a small group at church.

Yup, I get you.

My husband is mellow and awesome, and doesn’t complain. He also doesn’t help very much.and he shuts down after work. Literally.  Shuts down.


And I still feel guilty. Guilty that my room has clothes on the chair, and that my garage is not totally organized.
Guilty that i have not set up appointments for my daughter to do college tours yet! Ahhh! Guilty that my dumb dogs who I love don’t get more walks!

I don’t know, I have never done a community board like this before. But I appreciate what you shared. And I appreciate that you took on the responsibility of leading 400 people!!

I really just convinced myself that people like you and me honest to God, need outside help.
A PROFESSIONAL mature person who gets ADHD and also gets the need to succeed and doesn’t tell us “oh you will be fine, just don’t be so hard on yourself” (no offense meant to the last responder. You sound really really kind, it’s just that you don’t understand: we don’t know HOW to be our own best friend ) or “you just need to do less”, ain’t gonna happen!  Although I WILL blow stuff off!
I honestly think we need simple feedback and guidance to talk through our schedules and to talk through or overwhelmed worries. And to discuss possible solutions and resources. And then to go back and talk to later and be angry out loud when we feel like or really know that we blew it.

Also: to talk through what to really expect of others!

That’s something I really think I need outside objective help with.

Ok. Thanks for listening oh strangers out there!

Posted by Lheide on Mar 08, 2014 at 10:34pm

I agree with you, Lheide
“Simple feedback ...” and “outside objective help…” is just the thing.

Posted by John Tucker, PhD, ACG. ADHD Coach on Mar 09, 2014 at 2:04am

I think it does help to say don’t be too hard on yourself, although it isn’t a magic wand. We need frequent reminders of this. You are working hard at what you are good at, your husband is happy to do what he does at home. Guilt and anxiety are draining and can make our symptoms worse. I am having this problem at the moment. Are you working too hard? Perhaps you need to cut down your hours a little, and allow yourself that as you deserve it.

Posted by Janeybee on Mar 19, 2014 at 5:01pm

I also feel like a fraud as I feel all messed up inside and dysfunctional at home, but have this professional persona for work that takes massive energy to maintain. If I try to maintain this for too long I get ill. I have recently been unable to work. I guess we need to have realistic goals. We are working twice as hard to function normally, so we should give ourselves a pat on the back. If I was working full time in such a demanding job I wouldn’t feel like doing any housework. A lot of professional people have home cleaners. Have you considered that? I have met professors who are very disorganised and yet brilliantly intelligent at their speciality. When I feel bad about myself I tell myself I am an ‘absent-minded professor”

Posted by Janeybee on Mar 19, 2014 at 5:09pm

Hello everybody who has contributed to this thread.

I coach executives and global team leaders to step up performance, achieve business success and lead more fulfilling lives. I’m UK based but work over Skype and/or similar platforms.

Due to my own experience of ADHD (mainly in my sons but also in myself) I want to make a difference with ADHDers and to help us all see differences as ‘diffabilities’ from which to draw strength, not just as a disability

If you run a senior and/or global team I’d like be in touch with you to get more of a feel for need. Would you be interested in answering a few questions about how your ADHD impacts your ability to lead? I may even be able to offer some pro-bono support.

Looking forward to hearing from you.

All the best


Posted by Clare McNamara on May 05, 2014 at 3:13am

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