Trying to explain my ADHD to my mom


My Mom is from a different culture than the one we live in (She’s from the Philippines and we live in the US) and she doesn’t like talking about mental illness and in the Philipines Mental Illness isn’t usually taken seriously unless it’s something that gets you into a hospital. (my cousin who lives there when I told her I had depression and anxiety said it doesn’t make sense because I’m not “crazy” and only “crazy” people have mental illness). So… anything that’s difficult to me because of any of the number of issues I have is just something I should be able to do and should just work through easily. But you guys know sometimes that’s not how that works and it’s not like I haven’t been trying to get better. I’ve been going to a therapist for almost two years (Though the first year and a half was just for depression and anxiety until we found out i had ADHD and OCD) and my mom keeps asking me when I’ll be done, even though there’s not going to be an end at least not for a long time.

Any time I want to talk to her about my ADHD or my other illnesses to help make my life easier she either wants to change topic because she doesn’t want to hear it or she doesn’t understand how simple tasks can be difficult and just says to pray or power through it (Which surprise doesn’t work). Like I tried to ask her to make doing a chore easier. I suggested make a game out of it or we could set a reward together or whatever would make it easier and she just pretended to have fun for a second before resuming the exact same way she was going about it in the first place regardless of what i said and I ended up getting really upset because I felt like she wasn’t trying to understand and, she thought that I was upset because the reward wasn’t what I had said in my example (I wanted to look for a bujo and she didn’t want to spend the money). But really I was upset that it seemed like she hadn’t listened to a word I said, and I started to cry and get overly upset. She thought I was trying to use it as an excuse but really I just want her not to assume that my brain is the same as hers because I can’t keep taking the “Here’s how it is for me why isn’t it the same for you” talk anymore. I feel like it’s a comparison and it hurts me a lot. It’s so incredibly alienating and upsetting to me being told how to do things in a way that I know doesn’t work for me.

I’m not sure what to do, I’ve tried having her watch some of the videos but she doesn’t want to watch them. She dislikes the idea of my brain not functioning the same, even if I try to explain it scientifically and appeal to her scientific nature. I don’t want to force her but I want her to understand that sometimes the things I’m asked to do are too difficult to do them on her schedule or that the tasks she gives me are too daunting and I can’t handle how she gives them (Like she tells me a dozen things she wants me to do at the same time I’m trying to focus on one thing and I lose all motivation in doing anything). How can I help her understand me so that we don’t keep butting heads like this because… Honestly between the two of us we know what it’s like to be alone in a place that we don’t understand. She’s culturally alone sometimes and I’m neurologically alone (at least in my house and in the surrounding area, watching the how to ADHD videos was really one of the first times I felt not alone with my brain). I love my mom a lot and I want to trust her and I want to go to her when things are tough but if this culture barrier is between us then I don’t know what to do. I would like any advise thank you very much in advance


Eum my parents started to take me seriously when i had depression and started not to eat and talk and get really anxious and angry so they took me to a psychiatrist and had anti depressants … I think they still don’t really know what ADHD is but I don’t really care if my mom gives me a task i try to do it if I don’t she gets mad and then i apologize … i stopped caring I accept that I need to live with it and adapt the best i can


That is so moving i almost crying, i have experienced a similar sort of thing and to be honest i don’t know how to get someone to understand unless they want to no matter what you do or say or how much you want them to for your own mental health, before i was diagnosed or looked into it at all i thought of adhd as something for real naughty kids or american parents that wanted to drug there kids which i think is what media tells you and most people. What i learnt over the last 4-5 years was to not need other people to care and be able to deal with it myself and move forward, but to be honest i still feel like if my family picked up a book or watched a video off there own back it would be so amazing that they care that much and mean so much, so if anyone has any ideas about how to? because i def could not figure out how to get people to care like family members? i feel your struggle and i hope someone has some ideas about this.


All. Of. this. Plus, although my mother DOES, in theory, accept that my brain works differently, she doesn’t want to hear about the practical ways in which that difference in functionality impedes my ability to complete things. She also seems to think that if I’m taking meds and practicing my other behavior management tasks, then I shouldn’t have any more ADHD incidents. She doesn’t get that the meds and all the work I do only reduce the number of mistakes, not eliminate them.

We fight all the time because of this fundamental misunderstanding of my ADHD/behavior.