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Coping with ADHD Burnout

Updated: May 3


Woman experiencing burnout

If you have ADHD, you know what it’s like to feel like you’re doing a million things at once. At first, it might seem exciting, like you’re actually able to simultaneously achieve an infinite number of things. But there comes a point where you hit a wall. The tasks begin to pile up, unfinished. The simplest chores feel impossible. And a sense of shame pervades everything. What you’re feeling has a term: ADHD burnout.


If you’re suffering from burnout and feel that it may be caused by ADHD, get answers today. Schedule an online consultation with a medical professional through Klarity.


Overview of ADHD


Adult attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a mental health disorder that includes a combination of persistent problems, such as difficulty paying attention, hyperactivity, and impulsive behavior. Untreated adult ADHD can lead to unstable relationships, poor work or school performance, low self-esteem, and other problems.


What Does ADHD Burnout Feel Like?


Burnout is a feeling of physical, emotional, or mental exhaustion. Burnout additionally involves negative feelings or anxious thoughts about the quality of our performance in areas such as work or school. It can be caused by dealing with untreated ADHD symptoms.

ADHD Burnout Symptoms

Fatigue is one of the most common symptoms associated with ADHD - and yet it is often overlooked. In addition to fatigue, you may feel troubles with emotional regulation, anxiety and sensory issues, a feeling of low-self worth, poor impulse control, or an acute sensitivity to rejection. With it all comes a deep sense of total and absolute exhaustion.


Are People with ADHD More Susceptible to Burnout?


Adults with ADHD are much more likely to suffer burnout compared to adults without it. There is a tendency to overcompensate, which stems from a lifelong sense of shortcomings and leads to taking on more than humanly possible to achieve. Lacking a sense of personal limits, an adult with ADHD will accumulate more and more tasks, and this, coupled with a feeling of guilt about resting, leads inevitably into the dead-end wall of burnout.


Why Does ADHD Burnout Occur?


The low sense of self-worth begins in childhood when a student with ADHD finds him- or herself having to work twice as hard to keep up with their peers, but still find themselves being reprimanded for not “trying” hard enough. Once they become adults and find a job their tendency is to take on more and more work and to say yes to more and more activities because now they finally feel accepted, and by doing more they can sustain that feeling. Coupled with a sense of selfishness when it comes to taking time for themselves, the adult with ADHD keeps going until all of their energy is depleted and burnout sets in.



The ADHD Burnout Cycle


Burnout tends to lead to resignation, quitting, giving up, and often actual physical exhaustion. Then the cycle begins again, at first with a flurry of with hyperfixation coupled with routine procrastination, self-medicating with caffeine or tobacco, then guilt and neglect, paralysis, and ultimately giving up whatever the project was, only to begin again once the next hyperfixation on an activity or job arises.


How Do You Get Rid of ADHD Burnout?


When dealing with ADHD burnout, it’s important to focus on your needs and to listen to your body and mind if you become overly hard on yourself. If you’re finding it hard to sleep, try to look into healthy ways to change your sleep schedule for the better. Take the time needed to acknowledge your symptoms by practicing skills such as self-awareness and acceptance. It’s also important to know you’re not alone when it comes to coping with ADHD burnout, and that if you need help, that help is there.


Ask for Help with ADHD


If you believe you have the symptoms of ADHD, it’s never too late to ask for help. The first thing it’s important to remember is you are not alone and that resources are available to not only help you manage ADHD but all of the attendant issues that arise as a consequence, such as burnout.


Klarity offers solutions for fast and easy online ADHD diagnosis and treatment


If you believe you have the symptoms of ADHD, take our free 2-minute Self Evaluation and then, if indicated, schedule an online consultation with an experienced medical professional. At Klarity, getting a proper diagnosis is the first step in your journey. With more than a decade of experience in treating adult ADHD, the skilled team of licensed professionals on Klarity is committed to providing simplified and personalized care for our ADHD clients. Contact Klarity to schedule a call with an ADHD specialist today.