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ADHD Adults

Racing thoughts

From the time that my eyes open, till they close at night, my mind is always racing with thoughts.  Mostly negative.  Does anyone know if the Meds will help with this.  I can’t stop the negative thoughts.  They keep me from concentrating on things that I need to be thinking about.  I want to think positive.  I want to believe in myself.  I am always mentally exhausted from a mind that never stops.  I offen wonder what it would be like to have total silence for a little while, just to mentally relax.  I have the ringing in my ears too, that drives me crazy.  Am I the only one with these problems?


Adderal seemed to make the negative thoughts worse. I was put on Zoloft by my Dr. and that helped me a great deal! The ringing in the ears drives me nuts too!!! But sadly I have no idea how to stop it. The most important thing to remember is that you are NOT alone! <3

Posted by cooking_artist on May 24, 2011 at 10:07am

I would talk to your doctor about that.  I have had times where I feel as if my mind is racing.  Do you take deep breaths to help yourself relax?

Posted by Lass on May 24, 2011 at 10:11am

I have only recently been diagnosed and am on meds.  I had, and still occasionally have the same thoughts, but now the negative thoughts are followed by thoughts of optimism and reality.
I am on Dexadrine, but you may find better results with others as it can differ person to person.
What I find is that the meds help cut out the racing negative thoughts and allow you to better focus on the present.
This is of course my story and meds may or may not work for you.

Posted by focus on May 24, 2011 at 10:28am

I have the racing thoughts and the constant anxiety about everything.  I am currently on Adderall and say it hasn’t stopped the negative Nancy in my head, but it does slow my brain’s runaway train.  However, the best thing is to move.  I am mean to physically move, exercise, dance, swim, really anything at all.  It sounds unrelated, but it is not!  If I had a thousand dollars I would bet you if you took time to really move and work up a sweat the runaway negative train would slow down enough for you to take control and change the track to a more positive one.  No drug works like exercise!  As for the ringing…. I personally suggest trying a sound maker that has the ability to make beta sounds. It doesn’t always work, but it can. Be strangely calming, so the high pitched nuisance can be filter red out.

Posted by Pamela O on May 24, 2011 at 11:31am

The helpful theme running through all the advice above is to find what works for you. In the coaching profession we call that dwelling on the negative, “rumination”. It can be tough to eliminate but you can minimize it by creating a vision of exactly who you want to be. When you recognize the negative thoughts consciously change them to what kind of actions you want to take to reinvent yourself. Be sure to take a balanced approach, get your entire family educated about ADHD, experiment until your medications are just right, get a coach to help you with organizational matters and pump up that self-esteem and your activity level, and make sure something else is not bothering you (depression) or get a therapist to help you work on it. Bob Hathcock
PS Transcendental meditation has shown some excellent results with calming the mind.

Posted by on May 24, 2011 at 7:51pm

The unfortunate thing is it can be trial-n-error to find the right stuff.  But don’t give up!  I think it does help to know what has helped others, so you can know what to talk to your doctor about trying.

Vyvanse has been a lifesaver for me!
I’ve called my ADD - emotional or internal ADD - the hyperactivity in ADHD is in my brain, its not external.  Vyvanse cleared out the unnecessary thoughts and allows me to focus on work.  But if I do not have something to focus on, like being at work, then it can cause me to get edgy - so it isn’t perfect.  I also take effexor.

Posted by ashwambro on May 24, 2011 at 8:52pm

I have had these racing thoughts for years too and my doctor refers to it as “listening to the radio” at night since it’s just one constant thought after another. In high school I learned a great stress relief technique that is a relaxation method that requires your thoughts to stay focused and your muscles relax. Sometimes it works…sometimes it doesn’t. I find I literally have to fight my own brain to stay focused on that. Some nights, I just get up and do something else instead of laying in bed. I find if I get up and read or get on the computer and surf ebay or something, it eventually makes me tired enough that I fall asleep almost immediately when I lay down. I figure either way I’m away so I might as well just get up and do something relaxing. Also, melatonin or another natural sleep aid has worked in the past but they take a little while to kick in. I don’t want to take any additional medication for it though, it’s just a characteristic of ADHD and one I have to learn to live with. Good luck!

Posted by ellamae1975 on May 24, 2011 at 8:58pm

I am on zoloft and Ritalin. In Australia dex and Ritalin are the main meds for ADHD and the other ones are expensive. I find the Ritalin is great to get things done but it makes me edgy and cranky if I don’t take zoloft. I wish my body would keep up with my mind. It’s like my mind is running and the world is spinning and my body can’t catch up. I hate the disorganized part of me where I can’t tidy things and keep them organized. Always feels like it will take too long. I am happy with my meds and most of the time the negative thoughts are gone but not without the two.

Posted by Ninnie69 on May 24, 2011 at 10:16pm

The only thing that I found to stop the run away thoughts was getting to the bottom of why they were happening.  I went through a Leadership Training program and that made me stop and let my thoughts run and pay attention to what I was thinking and then decide whether they were realistic or not.  Once I realized what I was thinking was totally unrealistic the thoughts stopped, for about 6 months.  That was a very quiet time in my head but caused a lot of anxiety for me because what do people do when their brains aren’t running a mile a minute.  Now when my thoughts start racing I stop and figure out whats going on and if they are legitament if they are I do something about them and if not, which most of the time they aren’t, the thoughts stop.  But you have to be willing to follow the train of thoughts to understand why they are there.  Medication did help me. They made the anxiety even worse.  That is why I had to do it this way.  All I can say is if you go through this process having a quite mind is a wonderful thing!

Posted by StaceyB on May 24, 2011 at 11:50pm

I’m not sure if the “racing thoughts” are an ADHD symptom or not. I do know that Adderall helps with my attention and ability to think more clearly, but I need Celexa or Lexapro to stop the constant onslaught of negativity that my brain conjures up.

I think that the constant need to be “on top of things” that were so difficult for many of us when we were younger creates an anxiety level (or feeds our anxiety) over the simplest of things.

Stopping to think about the reasons for your thoughts may help. Procrastination will cause this for me on a level that seems insurmountable at times. I can minimize the majority of negative/anxiety provoking thoughts by simply doing something about whatever I have been putting off. Half of what is left is honestly not usually that important.

This is NOT to say that I don’t fall into the habit now and again. Hormones wreak havoc on my ability to approach things calmly. That is usually when I find it best to talk things out with someone who is supportive and understanding. Perspective is a wonderful thing.

Posted by aee1977 on May 25, 2011 at 12:28am

There are couple of ways to try that don’t include drugs.

1. Develop an attitude of gratitude.  Look for things that are right in your life.  Journal or say them out loud.  (with practice you can refocus on the positive).

2. EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique), this is free, and is based on accupressure points.  Again this is verbal, free and quick.  It is worth checking out and testing.  If you don’t have to pay the drug companies (check with your Dr. before stopping any meds), their fees and you get results that is far better than taking drugs.

Posted by coachwithheart on May 26, 2011 at 3:02am

I have had good luck with Adderall. In fact, it has helped to alleviate my negative thinking. But, that alone, without any other work on my part, didn’t do it.

I’ve had good results studying, and applying, the teachings of Abraham-Hicks (law of attraction). They suggest a lot of techniques to guide your thoughts in a more positive direction.

Medication isn’t a bad thing. If you find one that helps you out, by all means, take it. On the other hand, medication alone isn’t going to alleviate all of it.

Posted by pat7089 on Jun 02, 2011 at 3:55am

I have always had racing thoughts until I was diagnosed with ADD and continued to try different meds until my psychiatrist found the meds that worked.  Adderall, made me even more manic, so eventually, I ended up on WELLBUTRIN (which changed my life) with a small amount of ritalin daily, I take 300 mg of Wellbutrin around noon with lunch, and I take 10 mgs of ritalin in   the morning.  I still can have racing thoughts but only when I drink coffee or get hungry.  I find if I take good care of myself which includes, sleep, eating right, and small amounts of caffeine, and taking my meds, the racing thoughts go away.  ADD is racing thoughts, so it’s the combination of medication that makes my mind slow down.  Also, pray in the morning, take it easy on yourself for who you are.  Even though i take meds I am still disorganized and have a hard time with daily structure.  That is who I am and I work on this everyday.  Also, I had to stop drinking alcohol and am now in AA.  Alcohol was what i used to self-medicate and that DOES NOT work!!  smile  i was diagnosed at 48 years old!! (which was difficult) but at least now I know what the issue is and I have begun to accept myself for who I am and stop trying to be the person that I think I SHOULD BE.  Also, the meds help with the depression and negative thinking.  GOOD LUCK!!

Posted by freetobe on May 06, 2013 at 5:03pm

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