Failing with ADHD — ADHD Tip O the Day 940.1

“I am a failure.”

What a terrible thing to say about yourself.

I often read posts from mothers who say they’re failing, that they must be a bad mother. Often that means they can’t get their child to do what they want them to do. Sometimes their approach is wrong, or their goals are wrong, or what they are trying to do is impossible.

We all fail sometimes, don’t we?  We are not God, not even Angels, nor

But failing at something does not mean we’re A Failure.  It means we’re human. With ADHD, we will fail more often than vanillas do.  Our ADHD interferes with all our efforts, we have trouble setting reasonable goals and expectations, we want to do everything, and we often have perfectionism(which is a recipe for both procrastination and failure.)

We need strategies to cope with our failures.

1. Reassess the goal. Is it reasonable? Is it worth the trouble?
2.Identify the specific thing that’s  blocking your success.  Then use a strategy.
3. For parents:

1. Take care of yourself first – 1. Get breaks, get help, etc.  2. Educate yourself thoroughly on the problem     3. Reassess:  Is your goal realistic? Can it be made smaller? 4. Pick your targets  carefully (battles?).  Can you win?  Is it worth it?

Puryear’s  First Principle of Human Behavior:

“When what we’re doing isn’t working, we’ll do more of it.”

Book O the Day:  The Spirituality of Imperfection

Old Quote O the Day:
“They said it couldn’t be done,
but with a smile, I went right to it.
I tackled that thing that ‘couldn’t be done’
and found that I couldn’t do it.”


Oppositional Defiant Disorder and ADHD— – (I think I had a touch of this.) (ODD)

Adult Onset ADHD? — (I don’t think so.)

More on Rejection Sensitivity Dysphoria

ADHD and Frustration go together don’t they?

Other Notes O the Day:

40 % of children with ADHD are said to also have ODD- this looks too high to me?

ODD is extremely hard to parent or to treat.

8% of US children have ADHD.  50% of them “outgrow” it in adolescence.

Thus 4% of US adults have ADHD.

And I’m not good at it.


How are your New Years Resolutions Going?








#ADHD, @addstrategies, @adhdstrategies, @dougmkpdp


About doug with ADHD

I am a psychiatric physician. I learned I have ADHD at age 64, and then wrote two ADHD books for adults, focusing on strategies for making your life better. I just published my first novel, Alma Means Soul. Your Life Can Be Better; strategies for adults with ADD/ADHD available at, or (for e books) Living Daily With Adult ADD or ADHD: 365 Tips O the Day ( e-book). This is one tip at a time, one page at a time, at your own pace. It's meant to last a year. As a child, I was a bully. Then there was a transformation. Now I am committed to helping people instead abusing them. The Bully was published in January, 2016. It's in print or e book, on Amazon.
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3 Responses to Failing with ADHD — ADHD Tip O the Day 940.1

  1. Pingback: New Year’s Resolutions — ADHD Tip O the Day 993 | ADDadultstrategies

  2. newnoz says:

    Have you run across “Advice from a Failure” which is a essay she turned into a book.

    Click to access Advice-From-A-Failure.pdf

    I’m not sure how it ties in but this is one of my failures today:

    On ODD ( which is an odd condition, for sure) Rejection Sensitive Dysphoria seems like it would be in the same family.. sort of like ODD on steroids. I know i’m being silly when i plant mys feet and say no. It feels like there is someone i know and am who is attempting to destroy my relationships. I cant get this person to behave. Sometimes i can cajole it or distract it. Sometimes i leave the room with this part of me muttering and trying to get the last word in. ( WHY?) More than anything I imagine that if i could find out what is pushing that me I could stop.
    So far I am a failure unless you define failure as not trying. I can be very trying ( pun intended) I can imagine my my last words being “Would you stop that? ”
    Fortunately, i am not feeling as heavy as this post might seem. Another day to do battle with the dragons has started.


    • new- good luck with the dragons. i think you meant you are not a failure unless- i hope so. one strategy i use, which helps me slow down in reactions is to try to understand where the other person is coming from. that shifts my attention. also i try the 3 deep breaths tool before i respond. these help sometimes.
      thank you for contributing to the site
      best wishes


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