Why can’t I learn from my mistakes?

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An ocean wave crashing in the shape of a heart.
Photo by Hernan Pauccara on Pexels.com

Heart breaks don’t always have to be romantic

My heart breaks every time I come across a patient that is getting better but doesn’t believe it. I found that this is especially true of those with ADHD. One patient may say “Why can’t I learn from my mistakes?” while another says “I don’t think you are understanding what I’m here for”. How can I be consistently good and caring and follow my sacred oath when we live in a world that has truth but also many, many lies?

Everyday, I have to deal with patients that are at different stages of health, both physically and mentally. I sometimes forget conversations that I’ve had with one person because I was thinking about another person. I have learned to ask, “Did I recommend any book to you?” or “Have we discussed (fill in the blank)?”. I found this to be very effective in managing my ADHD while providing better care for patients everyday.

So what is the lesson to be learned?

My ADHD is a gift and a curse. I learned how to hone in on the emotional state of a person because I found that I can be fooled by spoken words. A patient once told me “I’m doing great”, but when I asked further, they were having thoughts of running their car into a tree.

ADHD can make you more emotionally sensitive. ADHD can also serve as a tool to improve other people’s lives. My advice is don’t ever be afraid of saying you don’t know something. Many people with ADHD have had to fight their entire lives to be heard so admitting a weakness like that may not come easy. Yes, you can learn from your mistakes with the proper guidance.

About me

I was diagnosed with ADHD after medical school and I don’t think it’s a disease. There are many doctors out there who can’t recognize the signs of this disorder in adults, but anyone who has had an experience like mine knows that my opinion is worth something!

4 Comments

  1. Gina on December 31, 2020 at 9:48 am

    I definitely can relate an thanks Dr, for understanding an expressing that we are not alone in this.

    • Devang Patel on December 31, 2020 at 12:25 pm

      It’s been a long time and there are so many others like you. Never be ashamed of who you are. You never know when you might be an inspiration to someone.

  2. Brooklyn on February 1, 2021 at 8:38 pm

    Dr. Patel,

    I had no idea you were diagnosed with ADHD as well and that actually makes me feel better. I have been criticized for my short comings relentlessly by family and friends for many years. Its taken a great toll on my esteem and ability to socialize in public. What I’m getting at is, I feel more comfortable and not that worried about what I may or may not say. Now that I know esteemed professionals like yourself deal with similar traits like mine its somewhat relieving. This website has been very helpful and I love the concept “Hunter and Farmer”. I’m definitely a hunter and I’m gradually learning not to be ashamed of that. Thanks again Dr. Patel.

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