Scared Your Good ADHD Habits Won’t Last?

After I have been working with a client for a little while and they have started to experience success, a strange phenomenon occurs. They enjoy the success at first, “I can’t believe I am finally doing this!” They are thrilled. I am thrilled!

Then fear and doubt creeps in, and they feel scared in case they can’t  keep the new habits and behavior. [Read more…]

Anxiety and ADHD

Statics show that 50 percent of  ADHD adults also have an anxiety disorder,  for example Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD), Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) Panic Disorder, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Social phobia or specific phobias, such as fear of flying or fear of spiders etc.

Not all anxiousness is bad. It can be a sign to get out of danger, that action is needed or it can help you to prepare for a big event.  However, if you experience constant anxiety that feels overpowering and you fear everyday situations it a hindrance, not a help.
When you have ADHD and anxiety it intensifies low self-esteem, increases stress and problems with cognition, such as memory.

My favourite book about anxieties is ‘from panic to power’ by Lucinda Bassett.  Lucinda has a positive outlook on anxiety. For example, she states that if you have increased anxiousness, you will also have above average intelligence, are highly creative, have a great imagination, detail-oriented and analytic. These characteristics give you the potential to achieve wonderful things. Yet, when you are suffering with anxieties you can scare yourself, imagine worse case scenarios, etc. and make yourself sick with anxiousness. Remember, no matter how severe your anxieties are they are treatable.

Anxiety and ADHD is a big topic, and over the next few weeks, I am going to be talking more about it.  However, there are things you can do right now to start helping your anxiety:

1)     Get diagnosed! A diagnosis is always a great starting point, as you then know exactly what you are dealing with.

2)     Exercise every day. I talk about exercising a lot in terms of helping your ADHD. If you have anxiety as well, there is double the reason to get your body moving. Cardio exercise helps disperse your anxieties.

3)     Reduce your caffeine and alcohol intake. Both exacerbate anxious feelings.

4)     Take deep breaths. Breath in through your nose as deeply as possible. Feel your chest expand as your lungs fill with air. Then very slowly breathe out. Do this 10 times and notice how much calmer you feel.

5)     Get a copy of ‘From Panic to Power’ by Lucinda Bassett

6)     Know there is hope. No matter how anxious you are now, there is light at the end of the tunnel.

ADHD Hyperactive Impulsive Type

Predominantly Hyperactive-Impulsive ADHD displays itself differently in an ADHD adult than in a child. The characteristics are more internal and less obvious to the casual observer.

Here are 18  characteristics you could be experiencing if you have Hyperactive-Impulsive ADHD

Hyperactivity

1) Always in motion. Even when sitting, you are fidgeting with your hands busy or your feet are tapping.
2) Have a restless/aggravated feeling inside (sometimes to the point of pain) when a social situation requires ‘stillness’ e.g. long conversations, lectures, dinner
3) Multi task (do many things at once) +++ but not necessarily effectively
4) Feel bored a lot of the time.
5) Talk lots!…more than anyone else you know
6) Your mind is always racing and you have millions of thoughts
7) Crave excitement
icon coolADHD Hyperactive Impulsive Type Take risks in order to relieve boredom and feel alive
9) Drive MUCH faster than the speed limit, particularly on highways.

Impulsivity

10) Experience a low level of self control
11) Feel impatient when dealing with ‘slow’ people.
12) Answer a person before they have finished speaking.
13) Have a reputation for being rude, or not interested in other people
14) Says things without thinking and can offend people.
15) Difficultly understanding other’s personal boundaries (physical or emotional)
16) Unlikely to finish an entire book
17) Act spontaneously. This can put yourself and others in physical danger
18) Prone to addictions

If this is you, don’t be alarmed. There are things you can do to manage these characteristics.

Exercise Pick a  form of hard cardio exercise (that is fun for you) and do it every day. This is an incredible way to reduce hyperactivity. It helps calm your busy mind, burn of excess energy and help you feel grounded and calm

Eat the good stuff. Avoid sugar and ‘white’ products (e.g. white bread and pasta). Also avoid getting too hungry. Sugar, ‘white’ products and getting too hungry all produce huge highs and lows in the blood sugar and exacerbate ADHD. Check the guidelines for an ADHD diet.

Sleep. Getting enough sleep is vital . When getting by on too little sleep you experience things that mirror your ADHD like anxiety, difficulty concentrating, hyperactivity, and increased distractibility

Meditation. Meditation helps quieten your busy mind, makes you feel calmer, less stressed and helps concentration. Practicing it for just 5 minutes each day makes a big difference.

Communication. If you notice that you said something you didn’t mean to, simply say “sorry that wasn’t exactly what I meant say” If you realized you interrupted someone simply say ” Sorry I didn’t mean to interrupt” by acknowledging it you will feel better and so will the person you are with. Instant damage control means there are no hard feelings.

Excitement. Create an exciting life for yourself. Fill your life with fun and engaging people. Engage in activities that are stimulating and exciting for you. Then not only will you feel less bored, you are also less likely to put yourself in danger or use recreational drugs or unhealthy amounts of alcohol.

When you employ these techniques (and any others that you have found work for you personally) you will notice a big difference in how you function in the world and feel about yourself.