That Shaky, Jittery, Something Bad is Going to Happen Feeling
Do you know that feeling?
If anxiety comes along with your ADHD, you most likely do.
And it takes absolutely nothing to trigger it.
I have spent more mornings than I can count feverishly watching for the mail lady to come.
Or compulsively checking the driveway, to make sure no one was coming to our home. Cause if they did, they’d ring the doorbell, and for some reason, that terrified me.
Silly, isn’t it?
Maybe. Unless you have anxiety.
Is Anxiety Hereditary?
I have anxiety; my mom did, and so did my youngest daughter, Caitlin.
As it happens, we all have/had ADHD, which is, of course, hereditary.
ADHD, as with many other things, never occurs alone. It always has other things that come with it. Anxiety is one of them.
I often wondered how much “worrying” I had learned from my mom, and Caitlin had learned from her and from me.
Is anxiety something you can pass along? Is it a learned behavior?
Well according to many sources, it’s likely a combination of both, although much of it can be traced back to a family history. (I consulted anxiety.org as the final determinator.)
I can remember being anxious as a child, and Caitlin was far worse at a very young age. I often feel guilty about that, but we all do the best we can, right?
What Can We Do About Anxiety?
Well, the one thing that will do no good at all is trying to tell yourself (or someone) else that what they are worried about or fear is just silly and nothing to worry about.
If you happen to have a young child who is overly anxious, as I did, I think some reassurance is in order, but even then I think you need to provide some tools to help them when they need it.
Here are some ideas. They might work for you, too.
- Keep a journal of all of your worries and scary feelings. Just write them down without judgement. After a while, it may help to look back and see that most of them were baseless. For a young child, you might want to have them draw a picture.
- Just as in meditation, recognize your anxious thoughts and try to just let them be. When you meditiate, you naturally have other thoughts come into your head. You recognize them, and then go back to meditating. This is sort of the same idea. Recognize that you have anxious thoughts, and then go back to what you were doing. I know. It sounds impossible to do, but it’s worth a try.
- Learn to meditate. Yes you can. Try guided meditation; it tells you what to do and gives you something to listen to, and it works. Children are very receptive at meditating and have proven to be able to pick up on it quite easily.
- Add some positive afirmations to your day. Something to look at, read, repeat, whatever. Positive helps.
- Practice feeliing uncomfortable. I know. So many of our anxious thoughts aren’t the kind that make that sort of thing easy. But I tell you what – you can call it whatever higher power you identify with – but there was a time when my doorbell was ringing constantly. It got to the point where it was ridiculous. Most of them were neighbors – some I didn’t even know – but I’m not afraid of the doorbell anymore.
- Consider therapy if it’s that bad, and even if it is a child. It can help.
For adults, and possibly adolescents, medication is probably the best answer, although the suggestions above could be used in conjunction with medication.
Know That You’re Not Alone
There are far more women than you might think who suffer from anxiety.
And suffer is exactly the right word.
No one knows how awful anxiety can be except someone else who has it.
Don’t be afraid to talk about it with others, especially a trusted friend.
And though we may not know one another, you’ve got someone to listen right here.