Reply To: ADHD and Social Anxiety

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Heavenly Hal

I spent a lifetime believing I had Social Anxiety Disorder. This summer I stumbled upon the book Driven to Distraction, about adult adhd, and was blown away, feeling as if I was co writer, ha. After listening to the Audiobook i pursued a therapist and was diagnosed ADHD/anxiety subtype in August.

I’ve been taking stimulant medication since mid August. The most surprising outcome of the medication has been the reduction of anxiety, both general and social. My therapist explained that the anxious thoughts and feelings were directly tied to heightened distraction/inattention as a result of ADHD. So when I was distracted from the conversation, meeting, movie, or whatever, my thoughts would turn inward in a critical way. My focus was on the thoughts of those around me, the impressions I was or wasn’t making, pretty much living in a fictional world where I spent my time trying to guess the thoughts of others. This has been greatly reduced through stimulant medication and awareness.

So congratulations. I hope you feel a sense of relief and perhaps some optimism about your future. Your therapist sounds like a winner to me. Half the burden of ADHD is not understanding the impact it has on your life, it’s not just forgetting what you read. So the knowledge plus some stimulants might really help calm your mind. Also, exercise like a maniac if you can.