The aftermath of getting a diagnosis


When I grew up I had a very mentally ill and unstable mom and a multi disabled dad. I had to move quite a distance from my hometown to be able to transition from the scars from being without diagnosis and with the aftermath of growing up. It feels today like I’ve recovered from growing up in a cult (all mental abusive behavior of my mom and the closed unit we were is of the same sort of cocktail one who has left a cult).

Yes I’ve come very far. I’m certain that ADHD and Asperger’s is tainted with some PTSD and I’m having Body Focused Repetitive Behaviors.

Now when my dad is dead and my mom is acting like I am made out of thin air. She doesn’t know that she is ill and anyone who argue is shunned.

I’m still struggling with being able to set boundaries and knowing whenever it is ok to feel all the bad feelings. And I freeze whenever I end up in a conflict. Now on to the question. How does one know when anger, sadness and frustration (amongst other feelings) is ok, on what level to show it and how? As an adult living in Sweden I know nothing about what is right and wrong in this matter and how to not freeze, I need to remember what was said and how, now I don’t.

The aftermath of getting a diagnosis is without a doubt getting to know the answer to this matter.

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I’d say it is essential to be in touch with your feelings. But how you express your feelings can affect people around you as well as you. That does not mean you should suppress expressing your feelings. Suppressing feelings means your irritation or unhappiness will build up over time until you can’t take it any more and then you will explode. But now the focus will be on your anger or how you expressed yourself as opposed what you are really trying to say.

I’ll tell you what worked for me when I needed to deal with this sorely. I used a technique called Non-Violent Communication or compassionate communication. I practiced it with a bunch of similar minded people and a mentor for about 18 months or so as it was not easy for me. It involves connecting your feelings with what triggers them, and then with your underlying needs. Once you can identify your needs you can find ways to communicate them so that the other person hears you. Separately, you too can get better at analyzing what may be going on with the other person when they are angry or say hurtful things and their needs. Finally it also teaches you to be non-judgmental toward others as well as, and this is very important, yourself.

I no longer practice this regularly so I don’t always remember to use it but it is something I draw upon when really needed. [This is a common pattern for me. I usually get intensely into something of interest and then usually move on after learning what matters to me. May be ADHD related?]

I believe there is a group in Sweden that may be a starting point for you.

If not this, there is probably something else that may work for you.

I think most ADHD people get a double whammy. a) the basic different brain of ours and b) subsequent negative feelings/learned behavior/even trauma as the world tries to fit the crazily shaped us into its square peg. Knowing that you have ADHD removes the mystery and give you some tools but you still have to work on undoing b).

In any case, never give up!

The best of luck to you!

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Hei, fellow Scandinavian! :slight_smile:

I’m sorry to hear that you had such a hard time growing up, and makes perfect sense that you’d have PTSD after such an experience. I don’t know if people ever really get over it, but more just learn to deal with it, and quieten it down in some way. If I find a way, I’ll be sure to let you know, hehe…

But as to your emotional issues, I once, when I was 13, decided not to have emotions ever again, just ignore them completely. Of course that failed miserably a few years later, and I’m still working on mastering and controlling the emotions I do have. Meditation helped for a while, but only got me so far. But it might be a starting point for you too, if you try it. Lots of people misunderstand it as ‘emptying your mind’, when in reality that’s the ‘master level’ stuff. For beginners like us, it’s sitting down and calming your mind, accepting the thoughts that float through it, but letting them pass OUT of your mind again as soon as you realize they’re there. That’s the secret, and what helps deal with a lot of emotions. You almost detach yourself temporarily, examining them and then letting them go. Once I did this for a while, it helped me understand and read my own emotions better, and I could better respond to them.

Still have RSD (Rejection Sensitive Dysphoria), and I’d look it up on the forum, there are some good posts and comments explaining it, and that could be strongly influencing you too. It’s part of the emotional dysphoria that’s regularly seen with ADHD. Not sure if medication helps much with that, at least the one I take doesn’t do much for it that I have noticed, but could I even notice…?

You have a community here that cares about one another, and is very understanding, so hopefully we can be of help to one another, and you too. :slight_smile:
Welcome to the Brain tribe, hope you like it here!

(P.S. Danish, grew up in Norway :wink: )