In today’s society, there is a huge stigma on mental illness. People with mental
illness are constantly judged due to their mental illnesses. When I first was diagnosed with ADHD, I felt as if I was holding a deep dark secret from society, particularly due to the stigma associated with mental illness. I did not want anybody to know that I suffered from ADHD. I was embarrassed and ashamed at myself. However, after awhile, I finally developed the realization that this was no way to live a happy lifestyle. This article will explore how I overcame the label associated with ADHD.
I Am Lauren: No One Can Change This
When I begin to doubt myself, I remember what my therapist has reinforced to me on countless occasions. He always tells me to focus on who I am as a person and not my illness. He has continuously reassured me that I am Lauren, and no one can change that. It took awhile for me to believe him. However, it eventually sunk in. I now believe it. I try to focus on my strengths in life as opposed to my weaknesses. I have accomplished a lot in my life, including being enrolled in graduate school and interning at a top New York Hospital. I try to focus on these accomplishments. I know that I am an unique, special person and having ADHD can not change this.
My Illness Does Not Control Me: I Control It
When I was first diagnosed with ADHD, I felt sorry for myself. I was looking for attention. I wanted people to cater to my needs. I did not believe in myself. I let my illness control me. However, this all changed one day. I became tired of my negative attitude and developed the realization that my diagnosis of ADHD does not control me. Instead, I have control over my diagnosis. I changed my whole attitude and started to walk around with a smile on my face as opposed to a frown. I knew I was in control of my life and nothing felt better.
If you are suffering from ADHD, do not be embarrassed. Like I have mentioned, you are your own unique person and no one can change that. Always remember your illness does not control you, you control it. Don’t fall into the trap of the label. Realize that you have the power to change your life, and change it.
Happy young woman photo available from Shutterstock