Belenen (belenen) wrote,
Belenen
belenen

what ADHD overload is like for me: tangled brain, unable to speak, hyper sensitized, clumsy, inept

icon: "ADD-PI (two electromicroscope photos of crystallized acetylcholine, overlaid & warped in several ways)"

I realized the other day that people who are not on the A-spectrum (Autism, Aspergers, ADHD) probably have no idea what it is like to experience brain overload, so I want to try to explain. When I am dealing with ADHD overload, all these things are true:

[trying to think is painfully difficult and focusing is worse]
Trying to think at all is like trying to think with a massive headache; it takes a deliberate effort and it feels like a strain that almost hurts. Trying to focus my thoughts feels like when I haven't eaten for many hours and delicious food smells keep wafting by-- every single time, my attention is pulled away. But it's happening with every little sound or movement.


[everything is too loud]
Also, all senses are heightened and not in a good way. Things I normally wouldn't even notice become so loud and annoying they make me want to scream -- the sound of paper sliding as someone turns the page of a book feels like someone scraping dull blades across my skin. I get deeply upset by an uncomfortable chair, hot room, or any smell. All I want is for the stimuli to STOP.


[uttering words is a struggle and sometimes impossible]
Trying to speak, trying to utter words feels like trying to jump when I have been walking for so long that my legs feel shaky and it takes a constant effort of will to make each step. Opening my mouth and coordinating my tongue with my thoughts feels like lifting my arms after I just carried something too heavy for way too long. It just feels like so much work that I can't do it. I can think a string of words but pushing them out is nearly impossible. Sometimes when I do manage words they come out garbled and they always are short, labored phrases.


[and I cannot do anything right]
Trying to to do things feels like when I haven't slept for so long that all my muscles ache and I am moving slow and dropping things. I'm clumsy and constantly fucking up and every time it happens I want to cry and scream. And it just keeps happening no matter how careful I am or how much I am used to doing it perfectly.


So when I say I am having an ADHD overload day, it doesn't only mean that I am extra scatterbrained and forgetful -- that's actually the least bad of the symptoms. It is like having a bad cold, but cognitive (thinking) rather than respiratory (breathing). I love my ADHD brain with all its daily quirks -- except when I am in overload.
Tags: add-pi, care and feeding of belenens, pain, stress overwhelm, the essential belenen collection
Subscribe

  • Post a new comment

    Error

    default userpic

    Your reply will be screened

    Your IP address will be recorded 

    When you submit the form an invisible reCAPTCHA check will be performed.
    You must follow the Privacy Policy and Google Terms of use.
  • 3 comments