ADHD coming out of the closet

Hello everyone, so I’ve been diagnosed at the age of 29, and since then I’ve been taking my meds and doing therapy, the thing is I knew this was a sensitive subject for me and that people around me wouldn’t understand and would just worry a lot.

Especially, my parents, I knew that they just wouldn’t get it, they’re not bad people by any means they really love me and my family and tried their best to provide for us and to this day they still help me out when I’m in a pinch they just don’t understand therapy or psychological syndrome and they believe that you can just shake them off no need to go to a psychiatrist or a specialist to get help, I love them so much and that is why I didn’t tell them when I was diagnosed and started the treatment, I just didn’t want them to worry, I knew if they discovered this they would freak-out and get extremely worried, like extremely extremely they tend to do that a lot, actually I wonder if they have ADHD too ?! any way that is not our topic here, so today my mom calls me and asks are you going to a psychiatrist, I didn’t want to lie about it so I just told her the truth, it wouldn’t have worked even if I denied it my sister the only one who I confided in told her earlier that I had an appointment, my mom as expected just freaked out she just started crying and told me you don’t need this you’re great just the way you are, you don’t need these specialists it got worse when she found out about the meds, I mean I was screwed already so I just felt like what the heck I’ll tell her about everything in one go, well the situation was as I imagined it to go, my mother was really crying very hard which broke my heart, I never want to make my family sad or worry about me, she started begging me to stop taking my meds and to stop going to my ADHD doctor, I did promise her that I’m going to stop ( I was lying) she wasn’t really convinced, I tried talking to her about ADHD and that it is a real thing that could cause serious problems for me if I don’t do something about it, but unfortunately I was making things worse, and things like everyone goes through these symptoms it is normal , and you’re being paranoid, doctors will trick you into thinking you have something just to get money out of you, after a few minutes I just told her don’t worry I’m not going to see my doctor anymore and I’m going to stop taking my meds, I don’t think it worked though.

What should I do, I love and care about my parents I don’t want them to be devastated because of me, I know that this is not over and I can feel a storm on the horizon, I’m really depressed right now and I’m feeling like I took a giant leap backward and I need help and advice on how to best manage the situation.


Sorry to hear this. Hopefully your parents will come around. They may need some time. This may be difficult for them to accept, at least initially, so be gentle with them. If possible have them read about ADHD or show them a video where they describe all the ADHD symptom and ask them to related to you. Point out that you’re the same person, you just need some help – just the way a shortsighted or farsighted person would glasses to see better. Tell the you are an adult and have thought about this and doing what will indeed help you. They may or may not eventually believe you but I think eventually they will comes to terms with your ADHD.

You can also try to get some help from your sister, who might be more open minded.

Also note that while it does break your heart to see your mom crying, you are doing what you think is best for you. Doing what you want and not what she want doesn’t mean you love her any less.

And be kind to yourself! In a sense you are over the hardest past. Now you just have to hang in there! Hold fast. If needed, write down the point you want to make to them. Get some help from your doctor (if they are willing). But don’t let your parents guild you into not doing what you feel will help you.

Best of luck!


My husband doesn’t believe in any of this. In fact he treats most of medicine as hoodoo.

I get from this board the fellowship I need to do what’s best for me. I think you will find it here too :blush:


I am sorry to hear about your parents reaction to the news. Unfortunately, now that you lied to them things just got a whole lot more problematic. I believe that you will feel better, despite your parents rather extreme reactions, if you level with them and tell them the truth. And you might point out that while you lied, that came from good intentions to spare them unnecessary pain.

I would set the record straight and clearly state that this is your decision . . . that you think is best . . . to be happier and better able to live your daily life productively and with less frustration. Give some concrete examples. Don’t try to convince them. Keep discussion focused and avoid going on and on. In fact at the beginning I would set expectations for the discussion, that it is you wanting to share information, that you want to give them time they need to “think on it” . . . And then, as I suggest, after a few minutes . . . EXIT . . . get away from the house . . . and realize that you just accomplished an extremely important task to benefit you. That is your right. Your parents do not have to agree with your decision nor accept your decision . . . And at this point in time you have no plans to change it . . That you will see how things go and after some time, hopefully benefit from your decision . . . hoping that they too will see changes in you that have been beneficial.

I wish you the very best and be thinking about you! Please keep in touch and let us know how things are going. And remember, this will take time, perhaps a long time.



I spent a lot of time researching and learning about ADHD just before and during the time I was being evaluated. One day, my wife saw the windows open on my computer and told me point-blank, “You don’t have ADHD!”

It was almost a year after my diagnosis and beginning my treatment, when it was clear to see that I was improving, that she finally acknowledged my ADHD… And she alluded to the fact that I was improving.

  • It hasn’t come up more than once since we got divorced, and even then it was just a matter-of-fact acknowledgement again.

My parents, my grown kids, the few friends I’ve been around in the last year, and my one coworker who knew me before my diagnosis all have commented on how I’ve improved. However, I wonder who would have noticed and said something if I wasn’t open about my diagnosis and treatment…


Hugs. That’s rough. I hope your Mum comes round.


I apologize in advance if my words seem a little harsh. But you might want to let my thought sink in.

If you ask me, what should I do, I would suggest the following:
Write on a paper in a sentence what you believe what is good for you. e.g.
“Mom, I have to do what I believe is good for me and I believe this (taking the medication/ going to the doctor/…) is the right way.”

And if she is sad, upset, worries you keep on repeating the first part of the sentence (put it on the mirror, or in your wallet…)

“Mom, I have to do what I believe is good for me.”

You can do different inserts:
“Mom… I love you … I have to do what I believe is good for me.”
“Mom… I don’t want to make you sad…I have to do what I believe is good for me.”
“Mom if you are so scared or worried about it, you should talk with somebody about it… I have to do what I believe is good for me.”

Don’t go in any explaining or excusing yourself. The most you can adjust ist … right now I think this is the way, that might change, but I have to try.
“I love you, can I help you to cope with your worries.”
The rest - I am sorry Sami - is not YOUR problem. It is your parents. Their worries, there maybe feeling it is dangerous, their…

Say “thank you” when they say they believe you’rε wonderful, but stick to a very little explanation.
Maybe you can add: “I am wonderful BUT I am not feeling well. I have to do what I believe is good for me”
Don’t do any more discussion.

This might sound or feel difficult, impolite, not caring about your parents, but I believe it could really be a strategy.

Come up with a sentence of your own.



I agree . . . That way of responding. It has been referred to as being a “broken record” . . . being an “oldie” myself . . . I remember records . . . played on a “turntable” with a “groovy” (couldn’t resist) needle picking up the recorded sound . . . from the record played on a “phonograph” . . . and at times the needle would get stuck in a groove and skip back and forth, repeating (over and over) the same 2 or 3 seconds of the recording!

In this situation (along with sincere expression of your support and caring for your parents) just repeat, if necessary the same message . . . i.e. your decision and your plan to follow up with actions . . . to get the help you need. As already suggested . . . do not get drawn into a debate, discussion, or become defensive! And if no progress after a few minutes . . . and I mean a FEW . . . gracefully exit and let things settle.

Best of luck to you and your parents . . . who love you . . . and, I think ultimately will come to understand what you need . . . and if not happy about it . . . at least come to better terms with it all!



A broken 33 RPM record would take about 10% less time than 2 seconds to repeat. 45 and 78 RPM records would take much less time! I still have and use my old record player once in a while! Though I can’t say I agree with “broken record” strategy. You want to improve communication with your parent, open their minds as it were. Parents think they are preventing their son from making a mistake and they may use every trick under the sun for that. But the son has to help them move past that by making them see he is not making a mistake. Really no different than telling your parents you are gay, or marrying outside your community or religion or country, or going through a gender change, oe changing your religion, or your political affiliation, or not following your parents in their own profession or whatever. It is part of growing up, being your own person, doing whatever you need to, to achieve your potential or be happier. That doesn’t mean you love your parents any less.


If loving parents still have a impact on how you feel and you want to get clear for yourself, I do not have the feeling, that the “son has to help” especially if they don’t really listen to you.
I really believe first of all the son has to help himself.

I agree. But we all know that in case of ADHD we sometimes need a little longer to be that clear emotionally and sometimes the growing up process needs to be able to come clear with yourself first. As you said

It is not your responsibility that your parents understand. You can love your parents the same and you can believe they want your best, but if you feel different and they

you have to make sure to take care of yourself first. You are not responsible of your parents understanding, or differently sometimes a little distancing helps to put them on the journey to think in a different direction. That is also part of growing up in my humble mind.


It is not a question of “responsibility” as much as a possible way to salvage the relationship with your parents (or whomever). Some parents are never going to understand and that is that but many more will eventually come around and if both sides can work through the differences instead of breaking off the relationship, it is better all around. That is what I was trying to say, not to put on any kind of new pressure or expectation on a Brain. You certainly should take care of yourself first in any case.


@khagen -I am very fine with “a possible way”. And I hope you did not feel offended by my tone. My advice to @Sami was based on him telling that his mom got so upset that he had to promise he would not see the ADHD doc again and that he would stop taking meds.

@Sami I really hope you find your own way and you find this conversation kind of helpful.

So I assume we are clearer now. Thanks @khagen


i just skimmed this post. talk about this in therapy. good place to start figuring boundaries, communication, etc.

good luck.

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I really love you guys !! thank you so much for your advice and support, it is just that therapy sessions are too far between that I made it a habit to come to get my daily support shot here.

I think everything you guys said sounds reasonable, I think that my parents are still clinging to their old role of parenting and they’re not aware that their role has changed now when we grew up, I started this discussion with them, I showed them some videos about ADHD and how to handle it, it is still early to say what worked and what not but at least we started this journey and I hope when they know more and start to come to terms that I do really have ADHD and what that means they’ll start playing a more supportive roll in my life than just old fashioned parenting, and that is the kind of relationship I aspire to have with them, I mean I really need all the support that I can get even if I don’t admit it to anyone around me, to them I like to pose as the rock or a one-man island nothing can shake me, but if I’m honest it is all internalized and the anxiety, fear, and self-doubt are all there inside hiding behind my facade.

Thank you all so much you’re the best Brainzzzz ever!


I want to ask about your marriage but I think that is too personal, one of the things that scare the heck out of me is the idea of getting married, I mean the thought is really nice having a partner who shares everything with you the good the bad, someone who’ll be there to support you when everyone turns their backs on you. but the idea that I “have” to spend time with someone for the rest of my life and not just when I feel like it is really hard, right now I feel comfortable with my social life routine, I only call or interact with my friends and family when I feel like it which works but once things start getting mandatory I tend to escape and my fortress of solitude (my room).

how was it for you, please share whatever you’re completely comfortable with, feel free to ignore me too.

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I really liked therapy! it was the first time I talked to someone who is not trying to convince me that I don’t have ADHD, which felt amazing!

the problem is the appointments are so far in between that I don’t get to see them as much as I want to. I have a 1-hour session every 2 months by the way.


That sounds really reasonable actually don’t apologize you’re advice is perfect, I’ll try to take it into action as much as I can. ( I’m not known of doing assignments on time :sweat_smile:)


Everybody has their own expectations of marriage. While my own marriage lasted 20 years, I don’t have all the answers. Nobody does. That’s because every person is unique, and so every marriage is unique.

Also, people change, and so do their marriages. I used to think that my marriage was secure. My wife was my best friend for most of our marriage. (She had female friends that she called her best friends. When I married her, I chose to put her first in my life.)

My wife then had an affair, and I tried to save our marriage. I responded the way I do to any problem…I looked for answers, I searched for solutions, I immersed myself into research. I probably condensed a decade’s worth of learning into less than a year. I now know what are regarded as some of the best practices for a good marriage. (I wish I’d known all this before. There’s still no guarantee that I could have prevented my wife from turning to another man, but there’s a lot more I could have done to strengthen our relationship.)

But, let me tell you plainly that there are two basic ways that we experience love. (Note, according to the social sciences, there are many different kinds of love, but I’m just going to touch on the relationship love between spouses.)

  • So, the kind of love that we all think of first is emotional love, the kind that draws you to the one you love. But as emotions go, your feelings will change, increasing and decreasing, sometimes gradually, sometimes sharply. Emotions are hard to control.
  • Then, there’s the choice to love. This is the love that makes relationships truly last. This is the love that helps a couple bond, to be supportive of one another, to stand up for one another. Some people think of this in terms of a social contract. (But contacts can be broken. I think of this more in terms of a covenant, which is permanent. My own belief about marriage is that it is supposed to be a life-bond. Then again, I’m a idealist, a dreamer, a romantic at heart. Although I can never be as romantic in the real world as I picture in my heart.)

For a simple analogy, think of the feeling side of love as a thermometer…it takes a measurement of the feeling of love at any given moment. The choice side to love is like a thermostat, it’s how you set the expectation of yourself.
A thermometer and thermostat work together for the status of the temperature in a room. The choice to love and the feeling of love work together similarly to help you maintain the quality of loving your partner. If you realize that the love you feel seems to be too low, it’s important feedback. That means there’s work to be done.

To answer your concern about giving up your social life routine is a bit surprising… because it’s two answers. (These are not mutually exclusive.)

  • First, to have a healthy marriage relationship, you have to be willing to change your routines. If you’re used to hanging out with your friends until late hours a few times a week, it would probably be best to reduce how often or how late you do so. Marriage relationships require a lot of time and positive attention.
  • However, it is important for your social health as a person to maintain friendships outside your marriage, to have peer relationships which help fulfill part of your need for companionship. That’s because it is not fair to expect that your spouse will be able to meet all of you social needs, nor is it fair to expect that you will meet all of your spouse’s needs.
    Spouses ought to put each other first, naturally. However, each of us has a need for connection to other friends and family. We are all parts of a greater community. Families are important building blocks of community and society, but so are friendships.

How can you be attractive (or to be more attractive) to a potential romantic partner? Be yourself…be your best self. We each have different facets to who we are. Think of it in these classic terms, you are made up of: BODY, MIND, HEART, and SOUL.

  • Physical attraction is important, of course, but keep in mind that you won’t stay young forever. You can, however, take good care of yourself and present yourself well. Try to be fit and healthy, as much as is in your control. Stay active, eat a beneficial diet, practice good self care, dress appropriately for your social circles.
  • Your mind is a wonderful thing. Keep growing in understanding. Stay curious. Have a broad understanding of a lot of things, and a deep understanding of your favorite interests.
  • Know your heart. Be open to your emotions, because they will help you understand yourself. Be open with your emotions, because it will help your significant other to understand you. Be open to your loved one’s emotions, because it will help you to understand them. Talk about your feelings and theirs honestly.
  • Be in touch with your values and beliefs; these help you to know your own soul. What is important to you, what drives you in your decision making and in the direction you steer your life… In the long run, this part of you will be what can really attract your loved one to you. Shared beliefs and values make for some of the strongest partnerships. If there are beliefs and values that are so important to you that you would give up your life (I mean this figuratively) for that purpose, and if your spouse has the same core beliefs and values, then the two of you would bond even tighter. This can make a couple virtually inseparable. (This is what my parents and my dad’s parents have modeled, and it’s both beautiful and awe-inspiring.)

Never stop working on yourself to be a better version of yourself Physically, Intellectually, Emotionally, and Spiritually. (That terminology makes a fun acronym: P.I.E.S.)

Here’s advice I’ve received:

Marriage and relationship researcher Dr. John Gottman was asked what one piece of advice would he give to all couples. He said, “Stay curious” (He expounded on this by saying to: Stay curious about your spouse, what they’re thinking, their likes and dislikes, what they want to do and try, their hobbies and interests, what they feel about you and ask sorts of things, about what would make them feel more liked, loved and respected by you.

Other research by Dr. Gottman and the Gottman Institute revealed that people only feel like they want to leave a relationship when they don’t feel LIKED, LOVED or RESPECTED. Feeling that they are lacking in any one is enough reason for them to look outside the marriage to meet the need.

Dr. Joe Beam, a sexologist and founder of the organization Marriage Helper, International, says that, “people don’t leave what they have unless they believe what they’re going to is better.”

  • So, a good marriage shouldn’t be about catering to one’s spouse, but about continuing to work on the relationship, to keep it warm, welcoming, affirming…to make sure that your spouse feels like you accept them for who they really are.

For the record, I do love my (ex)wife unconditionally. As much as I was hurt by her cheating, as much as I didn’t want to divorce, I didn’t let any words, actions or circumstances determine whether I should love her, or how much. It’s that decision to love that I mentioned earlier. I made my decision, and I’m not backing off from it. Just like how in my heart, I’m still committed to her (until death…until one of us passes away).

  • We started as friends, and despite all that’s happened, by some miracle we’re still friends.

i’m so glad you’ve found a therapist you like! therapy is great.

Thank you so much for taking the time to write these beautiful and inspiring words. I loved each and every part of it. the idea of marriage feels daunting because I too believe that (at least when making the decision) marriage should be a permanent thing. I don’t go into a relationship thinking that this is not going to last because if I thought so then I wouldn’t go into that relationship in the first place.

thank you so much for sharing, I really appreciate that you shared your experience, knowledge, and opinion.