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#90841
LJC
Participant

Yes, I’m dealing with this exact issue too. I’ve been seeing a counselor for anxiety and he recently diagnosed me as ADD. He told me the other day that he has worked for many years with many different clients with anxiety, but the very hardest to treat are those with ADD. He said it’s because our minds can move 90 miles an hour and go between many different things at once, and so your mind can be vividly imagining 100 different things going wrong, and it’s hard to bring your focus back to the reality here and now. Think about an ADD student in a classroom and the teacher is giving a lesson. he might be able to pay attention to her for a bit but soon his mind is going off into all sorts of other places. That’s sort of what it’s like trying to keep your mind in the here and now. You try to live in the present but soon your mind is off imagining a million different scenarios where things could go wrong. And you start getting anxious about all the things you’re imagining even though they aren’t real; they’re in your imagination.
I have found it very helpful to keep bringing my attention back to the here and now, to where I am and what I’m doing and what is happening in the present. When I start to get anxious I ask myself what am I thinking about… and inevitably I’m thinking about some doomsday scenario and I didn’t even realize it. Then I try to bring myself back to the present reality. My counselor has me say “I’m right here, right now.” Whatever that scary image was that I was imagining, that’s not real, this is real. I look at my surroundings and take a breath and tell myself, “I’m right here.” I dismiss whatever I was imagining by saying “that isn’t real.” This has helped me to recognize little by little that the things I’m imagining aren’t real and that I can live at peace in the present.
I think people with ADD/ADHD can struggle with anxiety because we’re incredibly good at creating an imaginary hell and then living there in our heads instead of living in the reality around us.
I’m still new at working through all of this but this has been my experience so far. I’d love other people’s thoughts or resources if anyone has some.