Hurt by Mom's Reation to my Adult Diagnosis

I’m hurt. I am close with my mom. I feel like I can depend on her for anything. Until this. About 6 months I stumbled on information about ADHD and it was like a light bulb went off! I was floored! I’m 40 years old, and my whole life I have felt like I could never be like everyone else. I was a train wreck. A smart, sweet, lovable trainwreck. Finally understanding that I wasn’t lazy, wasn’t ditsy, I wasn’t not trying hard enough… my brain just worked different. I cried with relief. I watched and read everything I could find. I got a referral from my family Dr to a psychiatrist and yesterday… I was officially diagnosed and prescribed my first medication.

About two months ago I brought up the subject with my family. They, mostly my mom and oldest sister, dismissed it. Like… they dont believe it’s real? Or they dont believe I could have it? Or that if I have it, I’m “fine” and should just live my life. I quickly changed the subject and haven’t discussed it again.

Until today.

I couldnt do it over the phone. I didnt want to hear it in my Mom’s voice… so I sent out a message on messenger (a very common means of communication in my family) and even added a very good YouTube video talking about adhd and adult women.

On messenger you can see that she, and two of my sisters, had read it. Only my one sister, who’s son has adhd, responded at all. She was very happy for me.

It’s been over an hour… and my mom hasn’t said anything. I am hurt.

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Hi BrittanyhasADHD. I was just checking my not notifications, came across yours. An applause your figuring out yourself. Now that’s a great feeling in itself is it not. Give it sometime to sink in for others. There are lots of brains on this site that are listening and do understand.

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Thank you. I’m trying to tell myself it’s ok… they’ll come around. Just breath…

:smirk: and come talk to some fellow brains.

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There you go. What else has been going on with your brain?

I took my first ADHD med today. :blush: I was actually a little scared to take it this morning… not sure what to expect, I guess. But… to my surprise… I feel a little more “together” today. Not a big, in your face change,… but a calmness… a focus? Lol… is that what I’m feeling?


I would be hurt, too. The way you describe their comments reminds me a lot about the common myths about ADHD. I think they will come around, but it’s unfortunate to have their doubts in the mix when you’ve got plenty of other things on your plate. Maybe your sister with an ADHD child can help educate them.

My family have also had some difficulties thinking through the possibility of me having ADHD. They’ve had this view of who I am for so long (I’m in my 30s) and ADHD changes that picture a little bit in a lot of different ways. I can see that they sometimes struggle to process that part of it.

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I think you’re on to something. I’ve always been known as the impulsive, quirky, accident prone one. It’s part of how they see me. Now knowing those are my symptoms.

i’m so sorry to hear that :/. It sucks that there is so much disinformation out there and people chose to stick to that over what there own child is telling them. What i don’t understand about those reactions is i mean…why would anyone make something like that up?? Like even if you believed there are evil forces at work to push pharmaceuticals or what ever why then would somone choose to believe this about themselves…like you’d think there was some sort of amazing reward for being ASD the way people talk about it… Like er… yay you get to be medicated??

I feel like those ideas come from all sorts of places but they are defiantly pervasive. Even after all these years my dad still fights me on the diagnosis…and actually many of my friends say annoying shit like “you don’t seem very ASD” etc.

It really helped me talking to other ASD people who have had exactly the same experiences and realising how ridiculously common place that is. Like friends of mine who are very clearly ASD (and way more obviously so than me) having those exactly same conversations with people and realising that the issue really is that people don’t know enough about it and there is a whole shit heap of assumptions and misinformation based on all sorts of outdated ideas and prejudices.

Of course one of the most annoying and pervasive is the idea that ADHD is somehow laziness diagnosed as an illness. Often times this feels like it stems from an old religious work ethic issue that seems to live on in modern society also. The idea that one can overcome there limitations through hard work is another and that if a person is limited it is somehow predominantly because of there lack of responsibility and that one should not look to there environment (or in this case there brain) for answers.

I hope your Mom will come around with time. It’s sad to think that somone who loves you could live in denial of what is such a huge part of who we are… and worse still make you feel somehow ashamed and guilty to be that way.

There are unfortunately some people who maybe are not capable of seeing this… and if that is the case of course it could be good to think about protecting yourself in the situation as well…no matter how painfull that may be… i always have to remind myself that no matter how much i love somone or want them to like me (or want to be with them or around them etc) there are just some things like that which i know in my heart i can’t do… even if at first it hurts me more.

Given that you have ADHD, it’s VERY likely that one of your parents has it too. In my family it is quite obvious that my father has it (and his father did).

If you can see the possibility of ADHD in your mom, then perhaps she can too. Perhaps accepting that you have ADHD means accepting that she may have it also.

Just a thought.

I have said this in a couple of other posts before but i think its worth repeating in your thread. Some parents will feel responsibility and guilt when there kids get a diagnosis or even suspect they have any sort of problem. And being a later in life diagnosis those feelings would probably carry additional weight because she might feel that any struggles you faced might be her fault for not picking up on it. (Trust me as a parent it can be hard because you only want the best for your kids and sometimes its hard to see some of these issues because they are just part of who they are.

I felt all these things when my boy was diagnosed. It got way easier for me because it led to my diagnosis and education on ADHD.

To add another layer to this like stilladhd said above if she has ADHD (The reserach says that there is a 50percent chance one of your parents will have it also) processing and dealing with all of this could be quite difficult.

From what you have said it sounds like your relationship is good. Keep in mind she is a whole generation behind you in acceptance of things and people who are different.

In no way am i picking a side here i am just giving a perspective of a parent to an ADHD kid who in the beginning of it all didn’t do a great job of dealing with it all.

I suppose finding information that explains the condition that would reassure her that it just cant be her fault or anything she did that caused ADHD. Might be a bit of a soft landing for her. Once you have this sorted then bring out the info on the heredity links. That might get her to go a little deeper.

I hope it settles down for you.



After a few days she messaged me saying that she’s trying to learn and that she supports me no matter what. Then, this past weekend, her and I had a good talk. I really wanted her to know that it’s no ones fault I was never diagnosed. That’s just how it was for girls, especially the inattentive type. She said she’s still learning more, but she was starting to understand more.

So… it was a happy ending after all. I can only hope this happens for more Brains.


Glad to hear it Brittany.

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