5 Reasons ADHD Can Stress You Out

Posted on June 18, 2013 by

If you or someone you love has ADHD you have probably already seen how stressful life with ADHD can be.  Why is it so stressful?  The classic symptoms of ADHD include poor concentration, poor organization, impulsivity, and hyperactivity. These often lead to feelings of stress because of the obstacles these may put in the way of success.  My clients with ADHD often describe feeling stressed out and overwhelmed just trying to live their lives.

Reason 1:  Poor Concentration

The hallmark of ADHD is trouble concentrating.  This often results in:

  • Missing important information
  • Misunderstanding instructions
  • Being Forgetful
  • Not paying attention to the important things
  • Making careless mistakes
  • Losing things
  • Poor time management
  • Trouble getting things done on time
  • Daydreaming
  • Not following through on instructions and tasks
  • Procrastination and avoiding tasks that require concentration
  • Needing extra help to learn skills others learn from observing

Reason 2:  Poor organization

Kids and adults with ADHD struggle with organization which often leads to:

  • Losing things
  • Trouble organizing stuff and time
  • Feelings of loss of control and helplessness
  • Procrastination
  • Difficulty setting work priorities
  • Trouble getting work done on time

Reason 3:  Impulsivity

Poor impulse control and hyperactivity are part of the impulsive-hyperactive type of ADHD.  People with this type of ADHD struggle with:

  • Forgetting to consider consequences before acting or speaking
  • Being unaware of how they impact others
  • Sitting still
  • Interrupting and often not realizing they are annoying others
  • Trouble waiting turn
  • Lack of self-awareness
  • Impulsive decisions

Reason 4:  Often missing common social cues

ADHD can interfere socially and with relationships in various ways such as:

  • Trouble being totally present with others
  • Trouble paying attention during conversations
  • Forgetting to do what they promised to do – poor follow through
  • Not connecting well emotionally

Reason 5: Emotions

Many people with ADHD also suffer from the following:

  • Depression (often due to ADHD related challenges to success in life)
  • Anxiety – usually due to fear of not doing well or getting things done on time
  • Fear of failure
  • Procrastination
  • Negative self-esteem

Phew!  It’s stressful just thinking about all these sources of stress that happen during the course of every day with ADHD.

How to Lower Stress Levels

1)  Seek ADHD treatment that’s right for you

Find the best treatment for you or your loved one. Untreated ADHD may lead to many negative consequences including depression, anxiety, and substance abuse. Traditional treatment includes medications and for some this works great.  But many with ADHD can’t tolerate the side effects of the medications or steer clear of them for other reasons.  Explore other options such as psychotherapy, coaching, Neurofeedback, diet, and exercise.  You might even engage the services of a professional organizer.  For more guidance on choosing the best treatment read my book ADHD Treatment Options.

2) Learn stress management skills

You can learn skills to deal more effectively or minimize stress. Here are some areas to consider:

3) Use systems to help you stay organized

  • Establish systems to help you stay organized
  • Use the calendar and alarm on your smart phone to organize your time
  • Hire a professional organizer to help you set up systems
  • Focus on your strengths and delegate the rest

Living with ADHD doesn’t have to be stressful.  Getting an accurate diagnosis, the right treatment, and practicing stress management techniques can help you thrive.

Debra Burdick, LCSW, BCN, also known as ‘The Brain Lady’, is an international expert on ADHD and Mindfulness. She is an award-winning, #1 best-selling author of: Mindfulness Skills Workbook, Mindfulness Skills for Kids and Teens, ADHD: Non-Medication Treatments and Skills for Children and Teens and Mindfulness for Teens with ADHD. She is an international speaker and retired psychotherapist and neurotherapist, who has been helping all ages thrive for over 30 years.

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Categories: ADHD, Business/Workplace, Mindfulness, Neurofeedback, Stress