Am I.... Useless?

Recently I’ve been feeling really down about myself… my mom says she experienced spacing out and seriously bad grades but she somehow got through. This got me thinking… am I just… useless… or a extremely lazy person who can’t do anything right? My mom tells me she understands and has been there before * I beleive she might’ve had undiagnosed adhd but I’m not completely sure * … so does that just mean that I’m not trying?


Please don’t think you are useless. It seems like you might have thoughts leading to depression. Or maybe you are already depressed. This can affect your energy levels. So you might feel like doing anything at all, neglecting your tasks and neglecting yourself. It might be a good idea to seek help with a doctor/psychiatrist. It is really no shame. But it might also be ADHD. They can diagnose this as well.
It is also important to talk to people you trust how you feel.
Maybe try to trace back your thoughts. What makes you feel that you are useless?
Try to forgive yourself. Nobody is perfect in all things. Accept your limits. Don’t give up. Try to improve step by step. Celebrate every achievement. Even if it is small.
Accept that you are not at the peak of your capabilities. Compare it to having a cold. Would you be able to give 100 percent if you lay in bed with fever?
The same could be if you have low mood or depression.
Try also to make a list. Try to write 5 positive things of yourself and 5 negative. Then try to see if you could not express some of the negative things as positive. You space out a lot. Maybe you can make up stories in your head very well. Have you tried writig them down? You might have a talent for that etc.
I hope I could help you a bit. You matter…maybe you haven’t realized it yet. But believe me, nobody is useless, everyone counts!

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This is an answer (and a book . . . :sunglasses:)

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Albert Einstein wrote, “Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”

Think, but think honestly. What makes you proud of yourself? There must be something. You can focus on that.

Maybe it’s not like everyone else because we’re not, we’re not better but we’re not worse either.

think of a person you love very much and think about what you would say to them. what would you say? write here, maybe it will help some of us too. but then, with love, after thinking and writing, say this to yourself

It’s what I’ve been doing for myself and it works well


What is a barrier your regularly encounter, and how do you go about dealing with it?

Stress mostly because of school. And I just avoid it really I don’t exactly deal with it I just kind of leave it.

Right, so that’s something you need to work on fixing, and failing to do so is arguably lazy. However, stress is a mental health thing, which means it’s 1) not something you’ve chosen, 2) not something you can ignore and carry on, and 3) is something you need help and skills to overcome.

The sum if it is that not dealing with the stress is a failure, but it is not a moral failure, and it is one which stems from you being set up to fail from the start – if you don’t have the tools, you can’t do the work.

A psychologist would be able to give you suggestions and help tailored to your situation and needs, but even things like Jessica’s video on the ‘wall of awful’ (and the second part) would be a good place to start. A school councilor may be able to help interface with the school to find ways to reduce stressors, though it depends on where you are and the quality of the councilor/school.

It’s easy to see negative things about yourself (like not getting things done), but it’s important to accurately identify what’s behind it (…because you’re so stressed out) and work towards resolving the fundamental issue (…so you’re going to seek help for reducing and coping with the stress).

And always remember that the key is to do what you can, when you can -however great or small- and to be kind to yourself when it is less than you want. One of the fastest ways to kill productivity is to stress about being stressed :stuck_out_tongue:.

Agreed . . . :sunglasses:

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You are not useless You have strengths and talents.

I believe you have to find your strengths and develop your talents to become successful.

I got through “college “ , university in the U.K, before hearing about neurodiversity.

Holding down a job with my neurodiversity has been challenging.

Good luck !


Do you have inattentive ADD? I don’t even know how would I describe my student and life experience, I feel like I have absolutely no control over what I am doing and have always spent a large proportion of time just braindead and unable to respond. I know that I have to follow routines but it takes so much energy that I give it up, and it is not even possible because I don’t know how to predict when I am going to spend a whole day just walking in my room from one corner to the other, unable to do anything and I don’t know when can I afford to allow myself a break because firstly I cannot tell whether between this state where I am not really able to do anything and between being lazy and using this as an excuse. I am unable to keep on top of all my responsibilities and trying to do that while neglecting my needs or/and with negative self-talk has repeatedly got me to the point where I no longer care about things. While it externally like it takes me more time to do things, it internally feels like I am not even able to do anything, even getting out of my bed. It often feels like I am just ready to die, this is just where learned helplessness can lead. . .

But on the positive side of it, as I have different cognitive and emotional states, this means that I can at times perceive things differently (well, sometimes this can be ridiculous and humiliating), so as long as I do not judge and feel judged for these states this leads to a whole range of different experiences. The boundaries and belief structure that most people seem to have so deeply grounded just dissolute, so my understanding of the world is more open and creative. The fact that my prefrontal cortex seems to struggle to lead the way can be devastating, but also when I spend enough time and effort on something, the other, subconscious parts of the brain do their job and spit all sorts of fascinating and creative connections which other people seem to struggle with. And it is possible that if I learn to use what I have effectively and find the right environment, I can make use of this. It is a sad truth that productivity seems to be the ultimate value in this society, but if you look around, the most productive people are often neither happiest nor most useful to the society - they run through their life not knowing where and why are they running and are afraid to stop and think about it, and this can create a lot of mess. . .

The essential thing is to accept and love yourself and things the way they are before you try to change them. I have once been on holiday in a poor part of Rumunia, from a small hill I’ve seen two fields: There was a tractor running back and forth on the bigger field, and a whole village of peasants on the other, smaller field. It took the peasants much more time for much smaller rewards to cultivate the field, and possibly they were barely able to survive from the food they produced, also they had to rest much more often than the tractor driver had to, and they had no food to offer to the external world so while the rich farmer was well regarded for the crops he’s been selling, they were just those poor peasants looked from above for their whole lives. Were the peasants useless or lazy for they had to rest more and were less productive? Is there any room for moral judgment? …and you know what, I bet the peasants were full of life and singing all day while the rich farmer was grumpy and sad!

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I do have Inattentive ADHD. While I rarely felt completely braindead, there have been many times in my life when I felt somewhat that way.

For me, ADHD medication has been a tremendous help. I’m able to make much better use of my mental faculties.

I used to feel a persistent fogginess in areas of my brain, the upper front, and the lower back (more to the sides than directly in the back). On any given day, the foggy feeling could be heavier or lighter, but it never went away. When heavier, I felt the most “brain dead”, unable to make decisions,

Adderall made the front feel better, but not the back. I still had trouble making decisions, even though I was able to direct my attention better and be able to pull myself back from a distraction. Atomoxetine (Strattera), a non-stimulant, cleared the fogginess from my whole brain, and all my symptoms improved even more than I did with Adderall, and I became much more able to make decisions (meaning, not feeling “brain dead”).

That’s just my experience. Others respond much better to stimulant meds. (I haven’t tried anything related to Ritalin.)

Regarding “laziness”, my definition is “being capable to do things as expected, and choosing not to do them”. I don’t think of people who have ADHD as lazy. In fact, I know that many people with ADHD are decidedly NOT lazy, but rather work very hard to try to overcome their deficits. Working harder to achieve the same results as a neurotypical person who doesn’t have to expend the same effort certainly isn’t laziness, it’s persistence!


That’s interesting, how can you tell at which part of the brain you are feeling foggy? Or are you referring to the localisation of the affected functions? I would personally describe ADHD more like different stages of drunkenness or tiredness.

I have tried all 3. . . starting with Atomoxetine, the only one that is being prescribed in the Czech Republic, I have been taking it for a couple of months and I didn’t notice anything, but perhaps the dose was too low. I am now studying in the UK, where I have tried first lisdexamfetamine, which made me feel first irritable, then I have focused for 2 hours and then it has worn off. I am now taking 5 mg of Ritalin twice a day. I have started on 10 and then even 10 - 15 mg, but the increased dose made me feel rather worse and I was perhaps alert but so anxious that I couldn’t start anything which was paired with depression and I have experienced an increased heart rate in addition.

Many people with ADHD feel like being lazy because they more often avoid doing things that they are capable of doing, but although they are capable of doing them both doing these things and overcoming laziness is more difficult for someone with worse executive functioning, because that’s exactly what executive functions are for. It generally takes much more persistence to stay on track and to even be motivated to stay on track for people with ADHD.

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I felt a literal fogginess. It was worse when compounded by persistent, severe anxiety, but I realized that the fogginess had been there as long as I could remember, except the few times I had adrenaline surges strong enough to clear it for a little bit (from just a few minutes to maybe 40 minutes at the most, caused by extreme excitement or the fight-or-flight response).

Now, I only feel similarly when I’m very tired to the point of dropping right to sleep. (I’ve only been drunk enough about 3 times in my life to compare. That’s because I don’t like to drink enough to get drunk. I only like to loosen up a bit, not enough to lose control of what I’m saying or how loud I’m talking.)


Well said my friend . . . so true.

As I have told his story quite a few times here . . . It took my son 3 colleges, over the course of 7 years, to get his college degree. His tendency was to over-study, because he did not believe that he was “smart enough” to pass his courses . . . And he would frequently tell my wife (and me) that his brain was “tired” . . . “burned-out” . . . Only on his third try did he see things through, to receive his BS degree in Computer Engineering. He has for years worked very successfully as an Electrical Engineer!

What made the difference for him? Discovering what “excited” him . . . what he was “passionate” about . . . what he wanted “to do in life”! And I think we all know how important it is (more for us :brain::brain::brain: than neuro-typicals) to wake up our brains . . . and then “hyper-focus” . . . to persist (almost too much) to reach certain milestones in life!


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I can totally relate to that, I have been for a majority of my life so far unaware and unable to make sense of what is happening. I knew that I often do not process or instantly forget what someone else is saying to me or what I am saying myself, that I am often unable to speak properly, to follow the conversations of others and that I was somewhat absent-minded, but it wasn’t until recently that I have gained some insight into what is happening and the scope of my unawareness of the world and it wasn’t until even more recently that I have accepted that my brain is the primary cause of my maladaptive coping strategies rather than attributing it all to the failure of my moral agency. It was only when I became conscious of what is happening that the suppressed “foggy” feelings have started to clear up and manifest in physiological anxiety and other unpleasant feelings - and these in turn make it hard not to regress back to the state of numbness and unawareness.

It is great to hear that your symptoms have improved! And it brings about more hope for me as well. I don’t drink too much either.

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