Adult ADHD anxiety: A debilitating, vicious pattern
Adult ADHD anxiety can result in terrible decision-making. I know it well.
First-off – not all ADHD’ers have bad anxiety, but a large dihydrocodeine percentage do. As with every post I ever write, I tell people to take what works for them and toss the rest.
Just last night I experienced a typical Adult ADHD mood swing due to an anxiety attack. In the past, I’ve self-sabotaged during such attacks, deciding to delete my entire blog on two separate occasions. Holy cow did I ever regret it later! All the work I had done was suddenly gone straight down the toilet, and I crashed in self-anger and despair as a result.
At times I would even daydream about committing suicide to finally break the vicious pattern that has destroyed my life. At least I had control over some part of my life.
Over the last couple years it has become clear to me that I need to get through these anxiety/panic attacks that hold me back from success. They feel viciously real in the moment, like I’m doomed to repeat and fail indefinitely, but I’m learning that this is a LIE. A damn lie like a demon, scaring me into self-sabotage.
Working through ADHD anxiety attacks
As I go through this in my own life, I’m only too happy to share my experience for the sake of others going through this stuff. God knows we all need support from others at times.
Here are some key lessons I’ve learned over the last couple years of dealing with Adult ADHD anxiety and the resulting panic and/or despair that can result:
Though these attacks can turn into frustration/panic/depression very fast, the key is to immediately remind yourself that you’ve been here before, and these damn attacks always pass!
Remember that talking it out with someone you can trust is absolutely huge! I opened up to my wife about it last night, and though I felt terrible at the time, full of shame for putting her through this stuff, she wants to help me work through it! I have to allow her that, and I felt SO much better after! Who knew?!
If medication can help, and you honestly feel like you aren’t in full control on these moments, then be open to speaking to your doctor. Be honest about how bad it gets. That is the only way to get the best help – through pure honesty.
Just as important as meds, therapy can teach you coping skills and new ways to work through anxiety attacks! It takes work and not allowing your desire to “wallow” in the panic/despair to continue, but wow is it worth it. I say that from my own battles with anxiety.
Finally: Detach! Walk away from the intrusive, racing thoughts by distracting yourself, going for a workout, getting outside, whatever you need to do! Sometimes it just comes down to saying “ENOUGH!” and having faith that it will pass. It always does.
As we learn, go through these shifts in moods and anxiety, we can choose to learn from each experience. I promise to share my journey toward greater personal success and joy as weeks, months and years pass. This is, in itself, a form of therapy for me. Helping others by sharing my story is a true blessing. You aren’t alone!