I've always been triggered by change. Thoughts?

Home Welcome to the ADDitude Forums For Adults Emotions & Shame I've always been triggered by change. Thoughts?

Viewing 10 reply threads
  • Author
    • #134478

      As a child I didn’t have any unusual meltdowns except when something changed. The times I can remember were: my plastic bed was given to Goodwill and replaced with a new nice bed. I ran away sobbing into the adjoining cornfield near my house and talked myself through my feelings of sadness and anger for over an hour. Another was when I couldn’t use my carseat anymore because I was too old and too big.

      As I got older I knew how to regulate my emotions better but big changes always trigger me for some reason. Ex: Graduating high school and leaving my theatre group behind.

      Now my best friend is moving out in a month and getting married and I can feel a meltdown coming on.

      How can I help this? why is it change that triggers me? Does this happen to anyone else? Why does my ADHD make me feel things so deeply.

    • #134568
      Penny Williams

      You feel things more deeply. Could be hypersensitivity or RSD:

      Are You Hypersensitive?

      How ADHD Ignites Rejection Sensitive Dysphoria

      ADDitude Community Moderator, Parenting ADHD Trainer & Author, Mom to teen w/ ADHD, LDs, and autism

    • #134611
      General Chow

      Everyone experiences those intense emotional reactions when stimulated by an upsetting event, including unwanted changes in a person’s life. It’s natural for all people to dwell on the emotional event, especially a significant one like when a parent or pet passes away. People with ADD are more likely to have these deficits when it comes to emotional regulation, which is the ability to modify an emotional state so as to promote adaptive, goal-oriented behaviors.

      The Anterior Cingulate Gyrus is the portion of the brain responsible for allowing us to move from thought to thought, co-operate, and see errors. It is basically a shift-gear that transitions our attentions away from emotional events. An overactive anterior cingulate gyrus may will cause a person to get thoughts stuck in their head, worry excessively, upset easily, and obsess over things. The cause of an over-active anterior cingulate gyrus is low serotonin levels in the brain.

      I’d don’t know your situation, but I’d imagine it’s tough watching other people get on with their lives. I’d advise you to look for other positive distractions in life.

    • #134706

      Change and transition can be hard for all people, but especially so if you have ADHD or are on the autism spectrum. We depend so much on stability to help us organize our minds and our lives. When things get disrupted or new stressors get added, it can throw us into chaos. It’s important to know this about ourselves so we can plan ahead for this. With these upcoming changes, are you planning to get additional support? Do you have a therapist? If not, it might be a good opportunity to get one. How have you negotiated changes in the past? What tools or strategies do you use to take care of yourself? Being kind to yourself and taking time to recharge will be especially important as you face these upcoming challenges.

      What you experience is normal. What you experience can be survived. And what you will experience is temporary. Life typically settles down again. I think you’ve gotten enough experience in the past to know that. Just surround yourself with as much support as you can when you know these hard changes are coming up. I’m sure you can be successful.

    • #139832

      I’ve always been the exact same way. Even now, big changes have plagued my life probably just as much as Rejection Sensitive Dysphoria has. I will be moving out with my boyfriend and his son sometime this year and only very slight things about that actually excite me. I’m comfortable when things are constant, consistent, the same. Adventure and excitement are always welcome in my life but not when it changes something for what my brain thinks is forever.

      If you’ve learned how to cope with this, do let me know. Thanks for making this post!

    • #141009

      I really relate to this. I have always had a difficult time with change and have always felt very deeply triggered by change. This has become a more prominent problem as I get older, especially as i’m now in my late 30’s. It has become a frequent issue for me at work. I find myself growing incredibly anxious and fearful whenever a new policy or staff change occurs; which in my field (retail) is almost a monthly occurrence.

      Aside from trying to talk to my family about it (which often only makes things worse as they just accuse me of being dramatic or looking for attention; or out right dismissing me) I can’t seem to find any solution.

    • #141492

      It’s pretty common to struggle with transitions of any kind. Highly sensitive people especially deal with this. You should check out the work of Sheryl Paul, on her website Conscious Transitions. Her blog and e-courses have helped me SO much – I can’t overstate how much her work has impacted my life. She talks a lot about how anxiety is always telling us something, and also the importance of dropping out of your headspace and into the body to process really difficult emotions. I really hope you can find a way to tend to your emotions – each one is sending us a message. I deal with difficulty with transitions too, so my heart goes out to you. Hope this helps <3

      • #141657

        I also relate to this. In my case, I know that this is linked to childhood emotional neglect, never having anyone else to trust and having to cope all on my own growing up. Before I got diagnosed with Adhd at the age of 48, I thought that I had Aspbergers 😝 because of my «extreme emotional reaction» to changes.

        I work today as a psychiatric health worker and we continually get different types of forms to fill out with our clients, nutritional asessmentsheet, fire controlsheets, evaluationsheet and so on. It drives me nuts to remember all the forms and I have constant high stresslevel because of this and other changes at work.

        So, I try to work with my self-care and shame of not feeling like I cope well with any changes…the nicer I am with my self, the more I relax. But I have also realised that this will be a part of me for the rest of my life, just like Adhd is.

        Thanks for the tip on Sheryl Paul, that looks interresting.

    • #141515

      I vividly remember as a kid having full meltdowns because of change in our home. I grew up in a small cape cod home. Of course my mom wanted to make the best out of the small space. I would leave for school and when I returned home the living room would be re arranged. I would start crying & remember this heavy feeling in my chest. My parents didn’t understand. As I grew up it became a joke, “remember when you would cry every time the furniture was changed?” Unfortunately it wasn’t a joke to me and to this day I am challenged with change.

    • #141526

      This post – these comments – are so reassuring. I was that kid too – except that I tightly controlled most reactions in public – but could go haywire with my family when something was changed.

      When it came to changes in the people in my life, I was in a family that didn’t express feelings very much, and couldn’t allow me to be sad, and what I learned was to shut down the grief.

      It was like I had learned two complementary dysfunctional coping mechanisms: losing it over supposedly little things; or repressing feelings over the things that mattered. With the repression, as an adult I would tell myself that I was being mature and calm, but others saw me as aloof. And it was just a brittle boundary. It led to terminating relationships because I would not stay in touch with those who “left” me. Now I can see that there was crazy logic in this – for a powerless kid.

      T Agian thanks for sharing. This is truly a place to learn about real life add consequences, and coping.

    • #141559

      I’m not 100% convinced I’m ADD, but without a doubt I’m a Highly Sensitive Person. Not only do large changes upset me, but small ones also. Recently my parents were coming to visit me and my son in the hospital (he’s inpatient right now) and they changed their arrival time by an hour, to stop and get breakfast with my other son. This one hour change had me reeling with anxiety. A few years ago, before I had insight into my own emotions I would likely have gotten upset with them. Although still upsetting to me, I was able to put it in perspective and not get angry with them. Had I not understood my own self this one tiny change could have ruined the entire day, instead it took me about 45 min of meditation to get back to my normal. Good Luck, but know you are not alone.

    • #141631

      Adding something I have observed – – in others and myself. It takes a lot of energy to keep some reactions under control, whether its trying super hard to focus, or to maintain some sort of “good” behavior – just to operate in ways that don’t come naturally.

      What some outsiders – or family members – see as inconsequential variations in routine – are disruptions which throw us because we have no more energy reserves left to draw upon. We were using everything we had to approximate what we thought was “normal.”

      Eg, like the “Red Queen” effect( Alice in Wonderland…) we were already running just as fast as we could just to stay in place, and then we tripped

Viewing 10 reply threads

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.