Would you recognize an anxiety attack if you had one?
Anxiety is one of the more common things that can come along with ADHD. Attention Deficit Disorder doesn’t like to come alone; it brings others along like anxiety, depression, learning disabilities, and even asthma.
An anxiety attack can be mild or severe. It makes you feel nervous and on edge; you feel as though something bad is about to happen but you don’t know what. It feels like there is an hysterical women inside your head screaming at you to get out, get away – something bad is coming. You worry over anything or nothing at all.
Your palms may get sweaty, you may begin hyperventilating. Your pulse may start pounding, your heart racing.
Above all, no matter how groundless your fears, you seem incapable of stopping it.
If your symptoms are severe or frequent, if they are interfering with your life, you need to see a doctor who may prescribe anti-anxiety medication. Note that ADHD medication can sometimes make anxiety worse and may block the effectiveness of the anxiety medication.
If, however, your attacks are mild or infrequent, here are some things you may want to try to help:
Start controlled breathing. Slow steady breaths, in and out, for a count of 3. Then hold your breath for 3 counts, exhale for 3, then repeat. Focus on your breathing, making it steady and even. After a minute or so, your attack should have lessened.
Try a change of scenery. Go for a walk or out into the garden. If that’s not possible, try visualizing a favorite place in your mind. You can even find scenic meditative videos online.
Develop a meditation practice. Guided meditation is especially effective for ADDers, and yes, you can do it if you practice enough. Meditation is good for you on a number of levels and worth the effort. Start by aiming for a minute and then work from there. Also consider a mantra – just a simple positive phrase like “all is well” – that you can concentrate on during your attack. If you have the meditation practice and the mantra as part of your routine, it can be very effective in reducing and eliminating anxiety attacks.