Whether you have been formally diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) or not, most adults with ADHD have coping skills to manage their attention issues. However, there often comes a boiling point. A moment when ADHD symptoms are struggling to convert into ADHD superpowers. A moment when the situation is just too overwhelming and challenges with time management, productivity, and forgetfulness are more apparent. Often, this moment––or tipping point––is brought on by a sudden change.
An ADHD tipping point is simply when your executive functions (the part of the brain impacted by ADHD) are outnumbered by your situation and your ADHD appears “worse.” This is also because the ADHD brain thrives on habit and consistency. Newness can spark obstacles for many ADHDers. Knowing the types of situations that trigger ADHD tipping points and what they look like can help you find new ways of coping.
Common ADHD Tipping Points From a Therapist in Columbus Ohio
A new apartment or house, a new state or neighborhood…this major change comes with a host of ADHD woes. Executive functions literally support our brain’s ability to plan, organize, and remember the details. The act of moving is chock-full of those types of needs: setting up the cable, figuring out the boxes, etc. And then once you’re there, adjusting to a new location can also add many additional changes for the ADHD brain, such as new directions to remember, new friendships to make, etc.
Another aspect of moving is asking for help. Many adults with ADHD struggle with assertiveness when it comes to asking for help. This can have to do with self-esteem or anxiety. However, moving often requires us to call upon friends and relatives, sometimes coworkers, to help in some way, shape, or form.
You got a new job or promotion; that’s awesome! Now the hard part. Learning new names, new job responsibilities, and routines. This can be a challenge for anyone, but more so when you have attention issues.
Another piece of this is confidence: ADHD and imposter syndrome often go hand-in-hand. Often ADHDers feel as though they’ve “lucked” into new roles. Many times, this is because the very qualities they see as deficits (feeling scattered or off track) can actually be seen as superpowers to the outside world. Many employers value the person in the room with the creative ideas and the energy to take them off the ground.
The biggest obstacle to a to-do list (or lack of one) is needing to adjust to someone else’s. Many married ADHD adults find themselves a little out of sorts when realizing someone else is expecting them to take out the trash or go to the grocery store. There is added pressure to synergize, and the extra stress combined with the loss of their own routine can make ADHD appear more problematic.
Nothing throws off a routine like kids. They have their own needs and are much more assertive about asking for help. Diapers, bottles, and unexpected colds all have unique challenges that are new and require planning and problem-solving. Before you and your family find a new grove, the initial loss of structure can contribute to a tipping point. The good news is: most ADHDers make amazing parents! Flexibility, energy, and creativity all fit well with parenting kids. But taking steps to build regular routines can prevent worsening tipping points.
How to Manage ADHD Tipping Points
Structure and Routine
Take steps to build structure and routine in your life. Schedule yourself whenever possible as a way of planning ahead.
Break Things Down
ADHD latches on to overwhelm like it’s its job. Combat stress by breaking things down into actionable steps that are small. For example, “call the cable company on Thursday,” or “schedule a meeting on Monday with coworkers to get to know them better.”
Do NOT Blame Yourself
Don’t listen to the latest news on the negative self-talk channel. You’re not overwhelmed because you’re not “trying hard enough” or some other negative story. Moving, promotions, life changes…these are all hard, and adjusting to newness just takes time.
Monitor for Depression and Anxiety
Anxiety and depression are both common during life transitions. Did you know that most folks with ADHD have another mental health diagnosis, such as anxiety or depression? Be mindful of the signs of depression and ADHD and of anxiety and ADHD. If you start to recognize them, it might be time for ADHD treatment.
Not being diagnosed with ADHD and learning more about it is causing a lot of realizations? You’re not alone. Often ADHD tipping points are only realizations that an underlying executive-functioning issue was already present.
Begin Adult ADHD Treatment and ADHD Testing in Columbus, Ohio
You don’t have to live your life feeling overwhelmed and scattered. Our 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 reach out and schedule a free 15-minute phone consultation.
- Meet with one of our caring therapists
- Stop feeling scattered. Focus your busy mind.
Other ADHD Services Offered at Focused Mind ADHD Counseling
Adult ADHD treatment is not the only service we offer at our Columbus, OH-based counseling practice. At Focused Mind ADHD Counseling, we offer a variety of mental health services including ADHD testing. We know that as an adult with ADHD, 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!