A recent survey by Indeed indicated that over 52% of survey respondents are experiencing burnout in 2021.
Folks with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) are particularly vulnerable during an upward trend in burnout, because they are familiar with the exhaustion of juggling a hundred spinning plates in the air.
At some point, the plates start to fall. And even if they don’t, you still go through life worried that the systems you have created for yourself will begin to crumble. Deadlines are missed. Lots of apologies are given. And at some point, all of this worry and guilt piles up, becoming a distraction itself.
All this juggling and feeling like you’re treading water takes its toll. You wake up and feel…over it. You’re tired. You wonder if you’re even on the right path or if your life needs an entirely new direction. Even if on the outside things look fine, you still can’t stop thinking, “how did it all get out of hand so quickly?”
Burnout can be defined as…
- The result and consequence of unmanageable stress piling up over a period of time.
Burnout looks like…
- Disengaging from things you love. Even if others don’t notice, you are starting to feel disconnected from life.
- Being edgy. Feeling a little more touchy than usual, like if someone interrupts you, you’re going to have a freak out…and not in an empowering way. More in a “I need to run outside and throw my computer against the wall if I get DM’d one more time about that project that should have been completed three weeks ago but no one can seem to get on the same page at my mess of a job” kind of edgy.
- Self-esteem issues. All of a sudden, you’re feeling less confident. You’re feeling less empowered to speak your mind. And you have a lot of negative self-talk.
- Lower productivity. Always feeling like you’re treading water? Making up time at the end of the day and feeling guilty? Sometimes burnout can compound time-management issues and lead to never feeling like you’re getting anything done.
- Exhaustion. Burnout is literally depleted energy. The physical feeling of being tired and spent.
- Anger. Where there is anger, there is usually chronic stress in the background. Because anger is often a justice-based emotion, meaning it’s tied to feelings of something not being fair. For example, a pile up of work tied with the lack of personal/self-care or fun can feel pretty, well, unjust.
- Anxiety. Folks who are prone to anxiety are also prone to burnout. However, when the two are combined it can feel like a tug of war in your mind. The part that is worried about getting things done and the part that is angry that you are struggling.
Some unique burnout issues for adults with ADHD…
- Rejection Sensitive Dysphoria. ADHD and Rejection Sensitive Dysphoria (RSD) are a common pairing. In fact, RSD is a shared experience of most adults with ADHD. RSD is a term used to describe the hypersensitivity to rejection or criticism that occurs regularly (usually daily). It often involves not going after the things you want in life. RSD could reasonably be tied to burnout, as the fear of rejection can be tiring. Then add a job that is genuinely stressful and unsupportive, and you’ve got a recipe for exhaustion.
- Imposter syndrome. Imposter syndrome is an inability to accept your accomplishments, typically due to feeling like a fraud. It is common for adults with ADHD to experience imposter syndrome as they often struggle with feeling not good enough. This likely comes from years of being criticized for not focusing in class, affecting many adults who are actually successful. For some reason, it’s hard to shake the kid who was late with their homework.
- Toxic shame. Shame is often tied to compensatory behaviors to make up for something. Overworking. People-pleasing. Struggling with boundaries. Without a strong sense of self-worth, burnout is often likely to ensue.
- Poor work life balance. Often shame, imposter syndrome, RSD, and anxiety are tied to struggling to set boundaries at work.
- Overcommitting. Saying yes to everything means having to say sorry to everyone.
- Square peg round hole. Sometimes you’re just in a bad situation. Maybe your job lacks creativity, maybe it’s not supportive, or it’s chaotic. But sometimes, folks are just plain trying to fit a square peg in a round hole.
Ways for adults with ADHD to fight burnout…
- Boundaries, boundaries, and more boundaries. There could be a list of a hundred ways to combat burnout, and this would be at the top of the list over and over again. However, setting (and maintaining) boundaries can feel easier said than done. Setting boundaries is a skill that can be learned. And learning to say no in small ways can help build up to setting bigger boundaries over time.
- Joy. What is your downtime like? Catching up on work? Or spending time with the family?
Saying you’re going to learn to ride a mountain bike and feeling bad that you haven’t purchased one yet? Or actually getting on that mountain bike and screaming joyfully into the wind? (Ok, you don’t need to literally scream into the wind, you can keep your enthusiasm inside.) But seriously, get out there and grab some joy…like, yesterday.
- Therapy. Sometimes burnout can be a sign of underlying root causes. For example, undiagnosed ADHD, unaddressed anxiety, or even a history of trauma. Therapy helps solve the real problem. So, you can build the life you want rather than the one you feel was built for someone else.
Begin Adult ADHD Treatment or ADHD Testing in Columbus, OH
At Focused Mind ADHD Counseling, we offer adult ADHD Testing, ADHD treatment, anxiety treatment for ADHD, depression counseling for ADHD, and treatment for men with ADHD. ADHD treatment helps many start getting things done. You can find the answers you’re looking for. An ADHD specialist from our Columbus, OH-based therapy practice would love to help you. To start ADHD testing, follow these simple steps:
- Fill out the contact form to schedule a free 15-minute
- Meet with an adult ADHD specialist.
- Stop feeling disconnected and stressed. Start feeling like yourself again.
Other Services Offered With Focused Mind ADHD Counseling
ADHD testing and ADHD treatment in Columbus, OH isn’t the only service offered at our Columbus, OH-based counseling practice. Since ADHD impacts people in different ways, we offer a variety of services. We provide ADHD testing, adult ADHD treatment, counseling for men with ADHD, depression counseling for ADHD, and anxiety treatment for ADHD. Feel free to learn more by scheduling a consultation or visiting our blog!