ADHD and Overthinking: Why You Struggle with Making Decisions

A woman holds the bridge of her nose with a stressed expression. This could represent the struggles of ADHD and overthinking. Learn how an adult ADHD therapist in Ohio can offer support with addressing ADHD imposter syndrome by searching for an ADHD therapist for adults near me.

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) combined with overthinking can sound like an endless cycle of: “What am I going to do?” or “How will others respond?” mixed with “How does this impact my goals,” plus a dash of “What is everyone else going to think?” Getting stuck in endless thought loops is draining. Keep in mind, this is usually over trivial choices. The problem is, ADHD and overthinking can make many ADHD adults feel trapped, reviewing inconsequential decisions over and over and over…and over before taking any action. Sometimes even missing their chance.

Overthinking is not in the diagnostic criteria for ADHD. But, it’s experienced by many ADHD adults. And the more complex life gets (promotions, houses, kids, etc.) with the need to make quick decisions occurring constantly, the worse the overthinking can become. But how did ADHD and overthinking meet? The answers might surprise you.

Why ADHD and Overthinking are Related

Executive Dysfunction

ADHD is a disorder of executive functioning. Executive functions exist within the frontal lobe of the brain. They A woman sits with a concerned expression while holding her head. Learn how ADHD and overthinking can offer support by contacting an adult ADHD therapist in Ohio. Search for an ADHD therapist for adults near me to learn more. are brain-based tasks that essentially manage daily life. The skills involved in executive functioning are working memory (remembering what you’re doing in the moment or long enough to complete a task), planning, sustainment of effort toward goals, self-regulation, and filtering out distractions. This means many ADHD adults live with a lot of noise in their minds. It can be naturally hard to filter out what is important and what is not, making it difficult to prioritize or clearly understand the steps needed before a task is complete. As a result, a person has to work harder to sort out data in their minds, causing them to fixate on small choices and lose sight of the bigger picture.

ADHD and Emotional Cycles

A lifetime of making unintended errors can take its toll on a person emotionally. While small choices might not seem like a big deal to the non-ADHD adult, the stakes are much higher for the ADHD adult. Every small choice can feel enormous and the probability of failure can seem highly likely. However, this is often not the case, as both the laws of probability and the facts don’t always line up with the fears or potential embarrassment anticipated by an ADHD adult. As a result, overthinking is often paired with emotional cycles of thinking or worrying too long, delaying action, and feeling guilt and shame.


A woman gestures while talking to her laptop screen. This could represent the need to be perfect an adult ADHD therapist in Ohio can address. Learn tips to overcome ADHD and overthinking by searching for “adhd thought loops” or ADHD therapist for adults near me.Many ADHD adults find alternative ways of coping with ADHD instead of seeking ADHD treatment, especially if they are undiagnosed and haven’t completed ADHD testing. One of those ways of copying could be perfectionism. This can often result from trying to make every choice the best or most efficient choice. If I take on everything, I can’t miss anything. However, perfectionism isn’t always helpful and can be hurtful if a person struggles with letting go of the small stuff.

Consequences of Overthinking

Because overthinking can lead to inaction, the consequences can result in depression, anxiety, and generally feeling stuck. Once an ADHD adult has another condition, both can become harder to manage, as ADHD and emotional regulation go hand-in-hand. Many ADHD adults struggle to regulate their emotions even without depression and anxiety. Learning to stop cycles of overthinking (paired with guilt and shame) can help stop the emergence of a co-occurring diagnosis.

Breaking Free from OverthinkingA group of coworkers discusses a project while looking at a laptop. This could represent the struggles of ADHD and overthinking at work. Learn how an adult therapist in Ohio can offer support by searching for an ADHD therapist for adults near me today.

Overthinking often just needs a break. Many ADHD adults find it helpful to “talk decisions out” with someone they trust or do something physical to get out of their head. For many ADHD adults, meditation is proven to help them slow things down in their minds. However, ADHD and overthinking can often be a sign of deeper underlying issues with self-esteem, assertiveness, and anxiety. The best way to address those issues is to seek ADHD treatment with an ADHD specialist. Getting started in ADHD treatment might also provide a more individualized approach to getting out of your head and into your life.

Begin Adult ADHD Treatment in Columbus, Ohio To Address ADHD and Overthinking 

You don’t have to live your life paralyzed by indecision. ADHD-focused counseling can help you feel more present. Our Columbus, OH counseling practice in Columbus, Ohio has caring therapists who specialize in ADHD Treatment. To start your counseling journey, follow these simple steps:

  • Fill out the contact form to schedule a free 15-minute phone
  • Meet with one of our caring therapists.
  • Stop feeling frozen. Start moving forward.

Other ADHD Services Offered at Focused Mind ADHD Counseling

Adult ADHD treatment is not the only service we offer at our Columbus, OH counseling practice. At Focused Mind ADHD Counseling, we offer a variety of mental health services including ADHD testing. As an adult with ADHD, we know you may also benefit from anxiety treatment for ADHD, counseling for men with ADHD, or depression counseling for ADHD. You can also view our blog for more resources and helpful info!