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Anxiety and ADHD

Feeling like I am taken over by ADD and anxiety!

I’m a 28 yr old young professional and was diagnosed with ADD about 6-7 years ago (maybe, I cant really remember but I know i was in college). Anyways, I have recently experienced some of the worst anxiety. I can feel the nervous energy and need to break away but most often the situation doesn’t warrant that. (Ex: at work, driving, waiting painstakingly long in a line at the store…you get the idea!) When I’m out and about and rushing from one thing to the next, I’m anxious about getting home and preoccupied with things to do there. When I’m home, I think about the next errand I need to run. I get irritable and a shorter temper tends to flare up. I try to take deep breaths and calm myself down but I find it sometimes makes the situation worse. I have tried making a list to get ideas out on paper sometimes helps or it generates new thoughts and that just snowballs the issue. I take meds for my ADD but have not discussed anything for anxiety. I just saw my PCP yesterday and forgot to mention it to her (among other things!) I was hoping that by reaching out to this community I might gain some insight and maybe a suggestion or two on what I should do until I can get an appointment with my dr again. If you read the whole post, thanks for taking time to read my ramblings! Thanks in advance for any feedback!

Replies

Hello colleague ADD, I have been diagnosed with ADD and GAD (generalized anxiety disorder), and the way I dealt with it, is taking Rhodiola rosea, it’s a root of a plant that grows at high altitude mountains, the brand name is Rosavin from http://www.ameriden.com, it calms without slowing you down, also gives you more energy and improve general good mood. Also weekly therapy; meetings with my fellows ADDs at the local ADD Asociation, and going to the gym. good luck!

Posted by Zatara on Dec 06, 2013 at 7:02am

Thanks for your suggestions Zatara! I was going to the gym but got bored with it (story of my life!) and I just haven’t found the right outlet yet.

Posted by cag32lvt on Dec 06, 2013 at 9:33am

When I start feeling the anxiety ramp up, anything that can get me back to the here and now helps.  A glass of ice water (mostly ice) usually helps, as does just reminding myself of where I am and what I’m doing now.

I find to-do lists intimidating, but sometimes they’re necessary to keep me from worrying about forgetting something.  I make it as brief as I can though, and I don’t let the list rule my life.  Sometimes I’ve put my to-do list on blank business cards…  That way I’d only see one thing at a time, and if I couldn’t make up my mind about what to do next, I could shuffle them wink

Joined this forum because I’m seeing early warning signs of my old pattern of avoidance/anxiety/depression, and want to nip it in the bud.

Posted by ATorrens on Jan 11, 2014 at 12:16am

Hi, friend

ADHD churns up anxiety by weakening our ability to schedule tasks and then fulfill them efficiently. We can reduce our stress by penciling out a sound, flexible plan to make each day as easy as possible. I start by listing all the errands that absolutely must be done today. (I keep a master list of optional chores that I can add to my day plan only if things go so well that I can do so without rushing. With all these tips, I’m choosing calmness over maximum achievement.)

Then I realistically estimate how long each task will take, factoring in extra time for predictable — and unpredictable — delays, and maybe a little more for my indecisiveness and tendency to engage in side projects before I catch myself.

Next, I schedule my errands so that one supports or flows into another with minimum consequences should a snag arise. For instance, if today I need to go to work, pick up non-emergency medication at the supermarket pharmacy, drop off a serving bowl at a friend’s house, and replenish my supply of fresh fruits and veggies, I’ll schedule the supermarket stop for the drive home from work rather than the drive in; that way, I won’t inadvertently force myself to race the clock when traffic is challenging — and I won’t wind up having to store perishables at work (something I’ve done more than once because I hadn’t thought things through).

Of course, if I’m going to drop by a friend’s house before work, I need to ensure that I leave the stopover in plenty of time to get to work without rushing. (All my friends know about my ADHD, so in a situation like that I’ll ask for help to stay on task.)

There’s lots of good information on time management on the ADDitude site. Another day I’ll address ways to respond mindfully to bursts of anxiety and frustration in tight circumstances. In the meantime, you might call your PCP and mention your interest in anti-anxiety medication; she’ll understand that you didn’t think of everything vital on your last visit.

I wish you a calmer life, friend. It really is possible. Thousands of us prove that every day.

Posted by Jameson O'Neal on Jan 19, 2014 at 5:15am

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The opinions expressed on ADDConnect are solely those of the user, who may or may not have medical training. These opinions do not represent the opinions of ADDConnect or ADDitude magazine. For more information, see our terms and conditions.