A few weeks ago I wrote an article about how, when you are experiencing stress in your life, your ‘normal functioning’ is reduced. The most dramatic personal experience I had of this was when I got divorced and my short term memory disappeared. If you missed that article you can read it here.
This topic touched a nerve because I was inundated with emails from my readers telling me how much that topic resonated with them. Thanks I always love hearing from you!!
A common theme among those emails
1) How validating it is to know that is a connection between ADHD and Stress
2) It doesn’t take ‘much’ stress to effect you.
It’s point number 2 that I am talk about now.
Do Adults with ADHD experience stress more than non ADHD adults?
Do Adults with ADHD experience stress more than non ADHD adults? Yes, I believe they do. Living with ADHD is stressful in itself. Plus managing your ADHD symptoms in order that you can function well in the world takes a lot of effort. Then, if a life stressor, big or small, is thrown in the mix, since you are already pulling out the stops to handle regular life, the new stressor is going to knock you off course. Here are 15 examples of life stresses, in no particular order:1. Death of someone you love 2.Divorce or breakup 3. Losing job 4. Time in jail 5. Work 6. Children 7. Injury or illness 8. Money worries 9. Communiting
10. Studying for exams 11. Moving homes 12. Extended Family and in laws 13. Marriage 14. Pregnancy/Infertility issues 15. Retirement
Another reason why ADHD adults experience stress more than there non ADHD peers is because they are typically highly sensitive people. Some people with ADHD wear their hearts on their sleeves and others have developed a hard outer shell, yet underneath they are very sensitive. There are many wonderful traits to being sensitive, but there are downsides too. For example, if there is a thunderstorm the highly sensitive will jump at the loud thunder and their nerves will feel shaky for hours later. If they get into an argument with someone they will be able to stand up for themselves at the time, but feel emotional drained and take days to recover. This isn’t a bad thing, but it does help to explain and find yourself saying ‘it doesn’t take much to throw me off course’.
When you feel stressed your ADHD symptoms get worse here is what to do:
1) Don’t judge yourself. It doesn’t matter how much little or much stress you can tolerate. Practice talking kindly to yourself. Being judgmental with yourself makes you feel even worse and takes longer for you to recover.
2) Don’t compare yourself with anyone else. Comparing yourself to others is another guaranteed way to make you feel bad about yourself. Besides you might get knocked off course more easily than your neighbour, but you will have strengths they don’t have.
3) There are some actions you can take to help your stress AND your ADHD learn what they are. hereADHD and Stress
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