So we spoke about addressing all aspects of the puzzle and now I want to speak about how they are entwined a bit more. The trifecta of anxiety/depression/ADHD is almost like a self-feeding food bowl for overweight cats. When we have ADHD, things are started and often unfinished, even the things we REALLY want to do. When we have ADHD we tend to start a LOT of things at once with the best intentions, believing we can finish it all. Well, that pile up of unfinished things creates anxiety. All of that anxiety makes it difficult to discern what needs to be tackled first (also an ADHD trait) so things continue to pile up. When we let them pile up to the point there is no way out, cue depression, feeling like a failure, overwhelm, more anxiety, and more not knowing what to address first—cue more feeling like a failure, overwhelm…etc. The point is I’ve learned that we often can’t label ourselves as one thing. Yesterday I shared that I knew I had depressed moments but never thought I was depressed but it was finally addressing that component as well that unlocked the next level of healing for me—and clarity.
Mel Robbins shared a snippet of her experience with ADHD is like in order to bring light to some symptoms we often overlook. “ADHD is anxiety about things getting done, to-do lists everywhere, leaving the faucet running/lights on, trouble coping with stress, frequent mood swings, low frustration tolerance, forgetting why I walked into a room.” I fell in love with this explanation because I can’t tell you how many times I thought something was devastatingly wrong with me—like I had a brain tumor or Alzheimer’s or dementia and was bound to die confused and frustrated and unfulfilled. Yeah, that’s anxiety rearing its head again as well. The reality is, it was the trifecta along with an over-active imagination and a hyper-sensitive fear complex paralyzing me from addressing the real issue: My brain was ALL OVER THE PLACE. I wasn’t dying, I had friggin’ ADHD and depression triggering a melt down of confusion. It is that easy to misinterpret certain behaviors and feelings. Trust your gut but know when to reach out to someone else to reel you in and tell you what’s actually going on—like a physician.
I truly want to encourage people to not give up hope. I want us to keep digging until we find the answers we need. I want us to be patient with ourselves to understand how complex we really are. I want us to be patient enough to understand that complexity makes us beautiful, not broken. There are so many amazing things a wild mind can do and there are so many things we can prove to ourselves by learning to work with that wild mind. Some people thrive in letting it go and following whatever it brings them. Some of us need a little help to bring it into focus so we can target what we actually want and move forward. I also want to encourage people to get really honest with themselves. I completely ignored the depression in my diagnosis because I thought other things were the cause. While that was partially true, there was also a clinical component that needed to be addressed to push the other areas into focus as well. There is NOTHING wrong with that. In fact, it’s freeing. Be open to the fact that there may be a different issue underlying the symptom and be willing to try. You never know what disguises our issues wear. Take that off and step into the light.