As an adult with ADHD, you may feel “out-of-place” in social situations, due to a tendency to interrupt others or to lose track during conversations. You also may have great difficulty processing and remembering information necessary for completing daily tasks or interacting with friends and colleagues. You often behave inappropriately, due to your brain’s racing thoughts and tendency of poor impulse control. You experience the world in a way which others don’t easily understand, and this inner world cannot be easily communicated to others. Adult ADHD survivors tend to seek help after becoming overwhelmed with academic, work, and/or parenting responsibilities or due to repeated problems within their friendships and romantic relationships. While much has been learned during the past 20 years about medications for adult ADHD, the negative social and emotional effects of adult ADHD have been largely overlooked.
One common occurrence in Adult ADHD is speaking train of thoughts while simultaneously being surrounded by people you feel are who are not engaged or not listening. Other possible embarrassing symptoms of Adult ADHD are a poor attention span, forgetfulness, impulsivity, and difficulty completing daily tasks and staying focused on conversations. Adult ADHD may be diagnosed during your young adulthood or middle adulthood years, you may have been diagnosed during childhood or adolescence, or you may have just suffered in silence during much of your life! You may also meet the diagnostic criteria for Social Anxiety Disorder or Generalized Anxiety Disorder, as a result of your pervasive sense of social awkwardness. You may frequently be perceived by others as baffled, obstructed in your thought processes, confused, and agitated. You are likely to use self-deprecation or to allow yourself to be the target of others’ jokes, in attempts to cover up your intense feelings of insecurity and shame.
You may experience difficulty with organizational skills which often lead to barriers with finishing work, academic responsibilities, or household tasks. You may even appear incompetent due to your frequent asking for instructions to be repeated or deadlines to be extended. Underdeveloped time management skills may cause you to be late for important events, such as a college class, a work meeting or work in general, or a family activity. Living with Adult ADHD is manageable, but it requires acknowledgement and extreme self-discipline, such as making and frequently checking daily lists, learning cognitive-behavioral strategies, and continually reminding yourself (which is NOT an easy task) to stay in the moment with your thoughts. Accomplishing work and career goals can be met with much frustration, because you tend to experience overstimulation from so many “free-floating” ideas. Although you may have creative and inspiring ideas, they are often short-lived and may be eclipsed by new thoughts constantly.
Blurting or Zoning Out
You may feel that you appear to others to lack social skills, because you tend to randomly “blurt out” your thoughts at inappropriate times or unrelated to the current discussion. You may also appear rude to others, as a result of often expressing your thoughts freely. Alternately, you may zone out during conversations, which can cause others to feel ignored or devalued. You may also miss important details or may miss events when you agree to something which you don’t remember later. For these reasons, it is extremely important to be honest with your friends, family members, romantic partners, and colleagues about having Adult ADHD.
You may continually misplace items and forget appointments, which gives the appearance of being irresponsible and incompetent. You may become easily stressed and overwhelmed by even simple tasks, and you may face each day with restlessness and fear about keeping your life under control. If you are a parent, you may have persistent guilt and embarrassment about not being able to stay focused on what your children are saying to you, and you may forget about important activities with them. You also may be particularly prone to jumping back and forth among several tasks at once, which can be productive but can then take a turn toward chaos.
Adult ADHD can wreak havoc on your relationships with friends, family members, and romantic partners. Your emotional expression and poor impulse control can lead to frequent conflicts. Furthermore, being unable to listen for sustained periods of time to your children, parents, friends, or romantic partners can create a persona of dissociation and insensitivity. Your extreme difficulty with both clarifying and moderating your emotions may cause your partner to feel as if he or she needs to walk on eggshells, in order to avoid your emotional expression. Meanwhile, you may harbor feelings of being unloved and unwanted if your romantic partner, friends, and family members are constantly correcting or pointing out any mistakes. Due to your poor impulse control, you may blurt out thoughts and express emotions, which can cause hurt feelings or negative reactions in others. This impulsivity can also lead to irresponsible and even self-destructive behaviors, such as infidelity, substance use, and reckless spending habits. You may also have trouble discussing issues in a calm and productive manner.
Work or Academic Difficulties
You may feel “not intelligent” or “not meant for college,” due to your daily struggle with time management, memorization, and thought organization required within an academic or professional environment. You may fear failing classes and may even take a semester off or drop out. In the workplace, your colleagues may perceive you as unreliable in completing necessary projects and doing effective presentations. Moreover, communicating in the workplace may provoke much anxiety, due to frequent forgetfulness of deadlines and instructions. You may also get ideas mixed up when speaking to your colleagues or supervisor. When you are interested in an activity, you may hyperfocus and accomplish significant work or academic goals. However, this hyperfocus often comes at a cost, because you may forget about or procrastinate the completion of other tasks. All of these work or academic experiences can cause intense feelings of shame.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Adult ADHD
Managing Adult ADHD is exactly like learning a new sport or playing a new musical instrument. You will have good performances, and you will have setbacks. This is part of the process. You will feel in control and will then be haunted by the ADHD mental “fugue.” Whether or not you choose a medication regimen, it is very important to learn cognitive and behavioral strategies to use on a daily, or minute-to-minute, basis. You must also stay motivated toward continuously honing your ADHD management skills and working on poor impulse control, so that you can transform your years of insecurity and shame into an empowered and proud aspect of your personality.
Medication Management and Counseling
New Age Psychiatry offers licensed and certified psychiatric services through virtual telehealth appointments within the state of Florida. We understand the complexities that come with mental health disorders and symptoms, and we will work hard to help you manage your condition.
New Age Psychiatry is a modern mental health service in Florida that approaches addiction and other mental health issues with compassion and forward-thinking techniques. New Age Psychiatry offers certified psychiatric services through telehealth appointments in Florida. Some of the highlights of the New Age Psychiatry approach include:
- Online Screening – We will begin with certified online screening to provide an overview of psychiatric care. We also offer a personalized, specific diagnosis through our psychiatric Telehealth services.
- Diagnosis, Recovery, & Treatment – Our full range of comprehensive psychiatric telehealth services can aid in treating a multitude of psychiatric illnesses and assist in the recovery process in alcoholism.
- Telehealth Services – Our psychiatric telehealth services are available throughout the state of Florida and can assist you in psychiatric care through counseling and medication management