I’ve learned a lot about ADHD over the last several years. I have some good coping strategies in place. If it were just the ADHD I had to deal with, I wouldn’t have a problem.
The thing is, it’s not just the ADHD. It’s the ADHD, plus everything else. Just the ADHD I can handle. But the ADHD plus all the other stuff going in life is a bit much, don’t you think?
When you have a mental health condition, it’s never the mental health condition by itself you’re dealing with. It’s the mental health condition in conjunction with everything else that life is sending your way.
Coping with ADHD? That’s doable. Coping with ADHD and simultaneously trying to finish a big project for work or school? That’s more complicated.
If it was only about coping with the ADHD, that’d be one thing. But it’s always about more than that. It’s about coping with the ADHD and the various demands of work, relationships, life all swirling together.
That’s why there’s not a clear line between coping strategies for ADHD and coping strategies for general mental health. Prioritizing sleep is a general coping strategy for life in general, but it also helps you cope with ADHD symptoms because dealing with ADHD symptoms is easier when you aren’t piling the effects of sleep deprivation on top.
It works in the other direction, too. Any ADHD coping strategy will decrease the amount of stress in your life. Managing your ADHD symptoms makes it easier to deal with all the other stuff too. Having a job that’s a good fit for you is helpful for life in general, but it’s also helpful for ADHD specifically because people with ADHD need jobs that accommodate their symptoms.
Mental health is a big topic because it’s intertwined with every facet of your life. By definition, ADHD has effects on multiple areas of everyday life.
People with mental health conditions aren’t unique in facing challenges in life, obviously. But having a mental health condition means you face all the other typical challenges of life and you do so while having a mental health condition.
Image: Flickr/Roman Leinwather