As an ADHD treatment coach in Minneapolis, MN I often get asked, “What are some of the clear adult symptoms of adhd?” There are some questions that you can ask yourself if you are concerned.
Are your emotions sabotaging your life?
Does it feel like you’re being picked on more than others?
How many times do your memories keep you from moving ahead?
Do you respond to frustration, stress and perceived criticism with anger or tears, and certainly denial and arguing?
Do you just FEEL everything more than others seem to?
In my last blog I spoke about the significant influence the command center (Executive Function) of your brain has over your day-to-day feelings of success. In addition to helping or hindering your ability to organize stuff, time, and activities, the Executive Functions also control your level of motivation, follow-through, memory and emotional control. Depending on the day and situation, the adult symptoms of adhd can include an emotional control piece that can take over your ability to manage the rest of the functions successfully. And with ADHD in the picture, all bets are off.
Interestingly, the various EFs (Executive Functions) impact each other. Notice that I mentioned memories. Previous “bad” experiences can strip your motivation and hold you back with feelings of frustration and dread. Which can lead to anger/tears and then, you’re off….another horrible day.
Conversely, forgotten (working memory issue) memories can lead to repeat performances of former unpleasant experiences. The outcome may be the same…more anger/tears, and again another horrible day.
And speaking of horrible days, could that be just a little exaggerated? Perhaps you got off track, or didn’t accomplish everything on your list. Or you had another disagreement with your kids (because they don’t see things your way, are disrespectful, don’t spend enough time with you). Annoying, yes, frustrating, yes. Horrible, no. Save “horrible” for IRA audits (heaven forbid), a car accident, lost job. Get the idea?
When you overstate a negative situation it tends to stretch and grow in your mind, becoming much more important and all consuming. Your emotional responses become more intense, you have a harder time unhooking from the emotion, and it tends to define the day and interfere with other necessary tasks.
Strategies guaranteed to work for managing your emotions:
Journal/Record your experiences.
Moving your negative thoughts/experiences out of your brain to paper, computer screen or recording device accomplishes three (3) things:
- By moving your thoughts to something concrete, you have helped your brain “let go” of the swirling, flooding and ruminating;
- You can review your thoughts in a concrete manner and see what’s what, without letting other ideas seep in;
- You also have a reference of thoughts/experiences that you can review if they should come up again.
Check in with someone you trust.
If you feel that you’re constantly being criticized, ignored, have no friends or people are mean to you, have a conversation with a trusted friend or family member. Someone whom you believe will be honest with you about what’s really going on. Sometimes with ADHD, distorted thinking can alter the facts making it difficult to respond appropriately.
An ADHD Coach can be a good source for working through these situations.
Excuse yourself from the situation.
If you find yourself embroiled in a no-win situation and really want to unhook, give yourself permission to exit stage right. Perhaps it’s a bathroom break, or you’ve got to make a quick call. Creating an acceptable reason to escape before you blow is a perfectly appropriate tool for avoiding further confrontation and runaway emotions. You are effectively managing the situation and therefore controlling your emotions.
One of the best ways to learn a new habit, information or skill-set is to teach it to someone else. Remember that they have to want this help from you and together you establish a plan for execution.