I recently discovered Quora.com; a question and answer site where you can ask an expert anything. I’m pleased to announce that I am the top “Most Viewed Writer” for Attention Deficit Disorder and Adult ADHD (two separate categories). It’s been an enlightening experience and I wanted to share it with you.
Here are two of answers:
Q: Is it common for adhd adults to have anxious personalities and to be perfectionists?
A: ADHDers can be anxious perfectionists.
First, let’s talk about anxiety. With ADHD, your hyperactive mind is always in action. It’s hard to control your thoughts and the direction they go in. Add in a creative imagination and you have a perfect combo for full-blown anxiety.
People with ADHD are over-thinkers. They spend most of their day ruminating over what happens, what didn’t happen, or might happen. They worry a lot because their imaginative minds envision scenarios suitable for a Stephen King novel.
Anxiety is ever-present when you have ADHD.
Now, let’s talk about perfectionism. Most people think of perfectionists as closely related to OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder). The perfectionism of ADHD is more about black-and-white thinking than about making sure every box of cereal is lined up in alphabetical order in the cupboard. With ADHD, they might like their cereal boxes in order, but their dirty clothes are piled high in a corner of the bedroom and their desk has stacks of unopened mail.
ADHDers can get stuck in all-or-nothing thinking. Although they are creative thinkers (some of the most amazing artists, musicians, and designers have ADHD), they have trouble making decisions and don’t know when to stop. Many projects are never finished because they weren’t “good enough.” They can’t shift from an initial idea into taking an action. They also need linear order (example: there’s only one right way to do the job).
Perfectionism prevents progess.
ADHD never goes away. Symptoms may seem to be in remission (when life is easier), or exacerbated (when life pushes you to your limits).
Major life changes such as moving homes or changing jobs, grief, conflict in relationships, work stress, and family situations can definitely make your ADHD feel out-of-control.
The management of symptoms during life cycles causes the highs and lows.
These “flare-ups” might cause you to re-evaluate how you manage your ADHD. If you feel that your life is unmanageable during stressful times, medication might be helpful. When you feel more in control of your symptoms, you might be able to manage without medication.
Balancing life is harder with ADHD. Emotions are intense and hard to regulate which can interfere with productivity, concentration, and functioning. Ruminating can cause anxiety and depression.
Regulating your ADHD is a daily challenge.
Co-existing peacefully with your ADHD is related to how you manage your ADHD. People with ADHD have to take special care of themselves physically, emotionally, and mentally. You have to devote time (all day, every day) to maintain a healthy lifestyle with exercise, relaxation, meditation, fun, proper nutrition and sleep.
Learning to manage your emotions and thought process will keep your ADHD on an even keel; a level balanced scale, with fewer highs and lows.
Unless you have ADHD or love someone who does, you have no idea how hard life can be. Each day is a struggle, filled with conflict, challenges, and intense emotions. ADHD is frustrating and complex. People who have it act like they don’t care about consequences, getting things done or facing reality; but they often care too much and get overwhelmed trying to make things happen. Their loved ones feel helpless and perplexed, not knowing what to do or say. How do you cope with your ADHD loved ones?
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