Sometimes, I wake up one morning, and it takes all my energy to walk into the bathroom and brush my teeth. Dark thoughts consume me — suddenly, I decide that I hate myself, don’t want to live, and nothing I do has any meaning.
This, combined with my impulsive nature, makes me do things I regret. For example, I recently deleted my Instagram account. Not because I wanted to, but because I let the negative thoughts in my head make me believe that I was a waste of space and time.
This isn’t the only regretful thing I’ve done when I’m at this low state. Last year, I left school. The year before that, I deleted a blog I spent four paychecks on. And the year before that, I deliberately failed an easy course.
What most people don’t talk about is how ADHD is never a stand-alone issue. Most of us deal with ADHD, along with anxiety and depression.
This post is a run-down on how ADHD relates to both of these mental illnesses and how I deal with dark episodes.
ADHD & Anxiety
When I’m not consistent with my work, I start to become a nervous wreck. For example, when I forget to pay the bills, fill up my timesheets, or miss the appointments I waited months for, I start to feel awful about myself.
There are friends that I forget to hang out with, siblings I forget to pick up, and employers I forget to talk to. These issues start to pile up until I became anxious around others. Paranoid, even. I wonder how long it would take for them to lose patience with me. Or, I wonder how long it would take for them to think I don’t care.
The anxiety becomes so overwhelming that either run away or shut down.
ADHD & Depression
Depression and anxiety go hand-in-hand. So, if you have anxiety, the chances of you developing depression are high. For me, depression shows up when I least expect it.
I wake up one morning in horror, with extreme thoughts of self-hate and emptiness. It’s at this moment that I realize that depression creeped into my life, and something has to change.
What to do? Get out of your mind.
I just wanted to put it out there that sometimes, ADHD can force you into a dark, dark place. The lack of consistency, extreme impulsiveness, and other mental illnesses that come with this disorder often make us feel like we’re in a battle with our own minds.
What I do that helps when I’m having an episode is to get out of my head. Distracting myself with hobbies is the best way to lower my chances of doing something I’ll regret.
For example, I’m writing this blog post to distract me from the negative thoughts I’m currently having.
Remember — You’re Not Alone
What comforts me the most when I’m dealing with ADHD is knowing that there are so many people who deal with the same issues. So many of us struggle in silence, but I want you to know that you’re not alone.
This disorder doesn’t make you less than others or make you less reliable. It’s something that’s a part of you, but it doesn’t define you.
Don’t let the stigma of mental illnesses make you feel like you can’t be vocal about your struggles. The people around us love to minimize our struggles with having ADHD because we look and behave so normal. Just because we look normal, doesn’t mean we’re not struggling.
If you have any questions or concerns, please reach out to me through this blog. I’d love to talk to you about what’s going on in your life.
Until then, love and light.