20 Apr The Second Diagnosis: ADHD
Anxiety & ADHD
There are so many misconceptions about ADHD that most people are oblivious towards. In some cases, like me, it’s not unusual for someone to have an anxiety disorder and ADHD. Many of the trials that come with ADHD make people anxious. Many people with ADHD also have difficulty handling their emotions or practicing coping skills.
A day in the life of elementary school Daria… I would sprint to the bus stop every morning, after desperately trying to focus on the task at hand: getting ready for school. I struggled with getting to school/the bus on time every day, and would often realize that I forgot my lunch, assignment, project, binder, didn’t get my planner signed, left the door unlocked, etc. I would try to focus in class, but always ended up zoning out and prayed that the teacher didn’t call on me. I would sit down to study for tests and somehow still be in the same place hours later, stressing myself out so I couldn’t focus, and didn’t even know where to begin. I could hyper-focus on a craft that kept me occupied for hours but failed to pay attention in biology. Once again, this makes ADHD appear as a drive issue, but that’s not the case. It’s a problem of inattentiveness.
When I’m hyper-focused, I can focus on a task for hours at a time and forget to eat. I often hyper-focus on tasks that I find very interesting, such as working on my businesses/creative ventures. I have trouble shifting my attention away from enjoyable tasks.
I was always excessively organized with my OCD but had many issues with time management and short-term working memory, which allows you to process new information without forgetting what you’re doing. For example, I still misplace and “magically” lose things daily. I can’t remember something from 5 minutes ago or from yesterday but can recall things from years ago. I can’t retrieve things from my memory when I need them. Another instance, if I don’t write something down, I will forget it instantly. It was virtually impossible for me to follow a schedule or routine. All of these factors led to habitual stress and whirlwind emotions in my daily life.
As a child with anxiety and ADHD, I would sit silently, attempting to be unnoticed. I would withdraw from people and often retreated to my bedroom at home. I struggled with social interaction because I was inattentive to social cues. I would take longer than usual to complete my work because I would repeatedly zone out and felt obliged to complete “perfect” work. I would click my pen X amount of times as an attempt to keep myself occupied and not zone out. And if I didn’t click it X amount of times, I would become anxious. I would get stuck on an assignment and be too anxious to ask a question. I would complete homework assignments and then forget them at home, on many occasions.
ADHD can also affect how people cope with their emotions, people with ADHD may become overwhelmed with emotion, i.e. anxiety. Thus, they are unable to think clearly about how to handle the situation.
ADHD and anxiety create a lot of trials on their own, but even more when paired together. Those trials can lead to depression. Some research has also shown that the way a person’s brain with ADHD is wired places them at a high risk towards depression.
The Second Diagnosis: ADHD
The Third Diagnosis: OCD