With ADHD, managing even the smallest tasks can be difficult.When you’re feeling overwhelmed, here are some strategies to focus on getting the job done.
If you’ve been diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), you may find yourself creating a ton of to-do lists, but having difficulty completing any of them.
Or, you might put off an important work project until the last minute, only to feel bad the next day because you didn’t take the time to perfect your presentation.
According to a 2017 study, this creates a cycle of stress, shame and regret that can lead to anxiety and depression in people with ADHD.
According to the 5th edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, people with ADHD may experience the following symptoms:
Casey Dixon, an educator and coach for ADHD professionals, explains that life with ADHD can sometimes feel like a symphony with no conductor, score, or organization, with all players trying to take center stage at the same time.
All of your thoughts can be equally loud and distracting, making it difficult to focus on one or two at any one time.
“People with ADHD are easily distracted,” said Dr. Shauna Pollard, a licensed psychotherapist who has worked with clients in private practice in Maryland, Georgia and the District of Columbia for more than 20 years.
People can have a hard time achieving their goals.”You may have a tendency to procrastinate or control boredom by doing interesting things instead of important things,” Pollard adds.
Here are six tasks that can quickly become overwhelming for people with ADHD, according to experts.
If you have ADHD, you can have trouble staying organized at home and in the office, says Pollard, who works mostly with high-achieving professionals with depression and ADHD.
When you have ADHD, managing your time effectively and keeping up with schedules and appointments can be challenging, Pollard said.
Forgetting to have a meeting or scrambling to get somewhere on time can also bring on negative emotions.Pollard adds that you may get negative feedback about your forgetful behavior from people in your life and see it as personal.
Working on deadlines often requires self-organizing or budgeting your time, energy, and energy.Dr. J. Russell Ramsay explained that these are issues that people with ADHD can struggle with.
Ramsay is an associate professor of clinical psychology and director of the Adult ADHD Treatment and Research Program at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.
Things get more challenging when you have to manage other life matters, such as home and family, Ramsay added.
It can also be challenging for people with ADHD to stick to healthy habits, such as taking regular medication or exercising regularly, Ramsay said.Managing chronic diseases such as diabetes is especially difficult.
“Adults with ADHD are more likely to delay taking necessary actions that will benefit them in the long term if consequences are not imminent,” Ramsay said.”Prioritizing smaller early gains over larger late gains is a common conundrum.”
If you have ADHD, you may find yourself rereading over and over again because you get lost in thoughts or distractions, explains Dr. Sabrina Romanoff, a licensed clinical psychologist in a private practice in New York City.
When you’re not managing ADHD, you can usually focus fully on an activity without distractions.
Romanoff describes this type of concentration as a state of flow that often eludes people with ADHD.”This is when you’re engrossed in the activity and don’t have to actively filter out intrusive stimuli,” she explains.
Everyone may struggle to achieve their goals from time to time.However, if you have ADHD, when you focus on one goal and organize your time and energy around it, you may face a lot of downsides.This can work for smaller tasks, like organizing your desk, or larger tasks, like writing a book.
“Over time, despite your best efforts, in the real world, the consequences of being cluttered, late and distracted can lead to feelings of guilt, shame and disappointment,” Pollard said.
Dealing with the feeling of being overwhelmed on a busy to-do list can be doubly stressful.However, when you have ADHD, there are ways to cope with feeling overwhelmed.
ADHD symptoms can be managed with the right treatment plan.Some people may find that they don’t feel overwhelmed when their ADHD is being managed effectively.
If you’ve been diagnosed with ADHD, consider working with your doctor or therapist to find the best treatment plan.
“Medications are very helpful in treating ADHD symptoms,” Pollard said.ADHD medications can only be prescribed by a doctor.It is important to follow any prescription drug guidelines recommended by your doctor.
Like all mental health conditions, it can take time and effort to find what works best for your ADHD symptoms.
When you’re feeling overwhelmed with ADHD, Pollard recommends taking an honest look at your strengths and the areas you’re working on.
A 2019 study of effective time management skills in college students with ADHD confirmed Pollard’s advice.Students with higher self-ratings, meaning they stopped to take a closer look at the challenges they faced, reported some reduction in stress related to their ADHD challenges.
Reframing negative or unhelpful thoughts around difficulty concentrating and meeting deadlines may also help.
Students who participated in the aforementioned 2019 study reported that talking about their ADHD challenges reduced stress and anxiety related to how friends, family, and teachers perceive habitual behavior.
What’s often missing when you have ADHD, Romanoff explained, is the ability to focus or direct your attention to a single task without interruption.
Romanoff says you can start by eliminating distractions in the workplace and practicing basic exercises that will help you stay in the moment.
“When you find your mind racing, make a list of five things you can see, five things you can touch, five things you can hear, and so on.”
“Your senses help you get out of the mess that’s going on in your mind,” Romanoff explained.
Try to make the task more exciting or feel-good, she suggests.”You can work in a more exciting place, try to focus on your work in less time, spray your favorite scent or light a candle to create a more positive connection.”
Simple tasks can easily overwhelm people with ADHD.But there are ways to deal with feeling overwhelmed so you can be more productive.
Some strategies recommended by experts to help you find more focus and manage daily tasks with less stress include:
Consider getting the help you need and trying strategies that might work for you.If you don’t know where to start, check out Psych Central’s guide to finding mental health support.
With help, you can calm the symphony of thoughts in your head and more easily focus your awareness on the things you care about and want to achieve.
If you have ADHD, you can easily feel overwhelmed.Learning some coping skills and making them a routine can help.
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Post time: May-21-2022