asking for help when you have adhd

Asking for Help when you have ADHD

One of the issues many of my clients with adhd struggle with is asking for help when they need it.  There may be many reasons for this, although most often it has to do with learning this wasn’t okay in childhood. You may have been shamed for asking for help, forgetting direction, and feeling overwhelmed when others around you were not, in school or at home.

Now, you may have a  fear of being vulnerable, being rejected, or looking needy.

Sometimes this can be an issue in only one area of your life, for example in romantic relationships, or friendships, or the workplace, or sometimes it can be pervasive and exist across all domains.

The consequences of not asking for help can range from painful emotional ones such loneliness and emotional isolation to more severe ones such as consequences in the workplace. Not asking for help can lead to stress.

In the workplace and in our personal lives, we cannot survive alone and independent of others. We are interdependent. We need one another. It’s understandable that you might feel afraid to ask for help from others, especially if you experienced great shame when you did it as a child.   Unfortunately the world we live in now, fosters competitiveness and separation. Yet even in these places, a part of us naturally wants to be in connection with others.

Approaching leaders in these environments in the correct ways, and asking for the help you need correctly, is not only good for you but a positive career move.

DO you think asking for help might be an issue for you? It’s normal if you were shamed as a child. This is such a common experience for women with adhd.  That part of yourself that felt this as a child is likely trying to protect you. Once you become aware of this as an issue you can start working on it.

Most of the ideas you have that hold you back from asking for help aren’t true


Psychological studies studies show that we drastically underestimate the likelihood that others will help us. Most people want to help. It makes them feel good about them self. How do you feel when someone asks you specifically for your advice or help because you have special knowledge or are trusted?

Sometimes my clients also think people also should know they need help and should offer. Studies also show people are more likely to offer you help if you specifically ask for what you want and what you need help with. People often have no idea what you need or what you are struggling with unless you tell them. The more specific you are the more likely you are to get what you want.

I think it’s important to ask yourself what the cost of this behavior is ( not asking for help), and take stock of it. You can change any behavior you are aware of, and if you no longer like the consequences, you can change it. Allowing someone to help you can have positive consequences in many dimensions of your life, and can be healing and therapeutic for you , as it has been for many of my clients.

Medical information obtained from this website is not intended as a substitute for professional care. If you have or suspect you have a problem, you should consult a healthcare provider.

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