Brain shutdown : Does anyone else... - CHADD's Adult ADH...

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Brain shutdown

Spacehead profile image

Does anyone else experience this?

I get so overwhelmed and hyped up that I have to go off by myself, to a quiet place to recharge, breathe and let my brain space out to whatever it wants to.

14 Replies

Yes I have. I’ve been real stressed with this math class and everything it’s been hard. Today I’m going to take it easy and give myself a break.

Math was and is still my weak point.

Annegables - I wish I could help you with your math. (I love math. Now. I haven't always. But now it's so logical to me. It's like solving a puzzle.) What about your math class are you stressed about? I only ask, because I'm wondering if you think it's too hard for you ... That you're not smart enough. And if so - if that's what you're thinking - I would say that I bet that isn't true. I would bet that you're smart enough, but that somewhere along the line someone or some bad experience made you believe math is hard and/or you're not smart enough to be good at math. Or maybe you're stressed now because the teacher you have now isn't doing his or her job adequately - maybe they aren't good at teaching math. (Then again, maybe I'm completely off track and it's something else entirely.). In any case, don't let it stress you out too much. Don't look at the big picture. Break it down into smaller pieces any way you can, and tackle it that way. Bottom line ... I believe you're smart enough to be good at math.

I’m just struggling with factoring and stuff. I pushed through it and got the hang of it, but it’s a challenge.

These sorts of feeling seem fairly common for ADHDers, based on the results of surveys by ADHD coach Bonnie Mincu (source: & ) :

Thrive with ADD: RESULTS from the SURVEY “Getting Started Blues”

Yes! This is part of the concept of the "window of tolerance", above which is hyper-arousal (i.e. hyper activity) and below which is hypo-arousal (what you've described, hypo activity).

This window of tolerance is related to emotional regulation which of course is something we ADHDers struggle with.

Check out the link below for more info.

Since having familiarized myself with this concept I see and identify my states easily. I occasionally get hyper (I'm Inattentive dominant), but far more often I become hypo, especially when I'm overwhelmed. I shut down, am not engaged in my usual activities, and spend lots of time watching tv and eating (... bad coping mechanism). At both the short-term time scale (e.g. an evening or a few days in a particularly stressful time) and the long-term time scale (my depression).

Acknowledging these responses is step number 1.

Working to replace poor coping mechanisms is step number 2!

It sounds like you have a good coping mechanism - allowing yourself space and quiet until you re-enter the window of tolerance.

Spacehead profile image
Spacehead in reply to BatWoman87

Thank you! That really helps. I am also mostly inattentive with some hyperactivity.

Yes indeed. If there are no people around who can accept us exactly the way we currently are, we it’s easier to just go away from people all together. Almost nobody will let us “act out“ what we feel without pushing us away, so going away is the safest thing to do with most people. But it only takes one person, and we each need at least one person, who will let us feel what we feel and express those feelings without any rejection. Whether or not it is our ADHD that we express, we need to have some other human being that we can be our messy, disorganized, angry, lustful, wild, unrestrained self with who doesn’t go away and also doesn’t fight back. They just let us be who we are. Someone who doesn’t ”fight or flight”. If we don’t know someone who is strong enough to do that, then we can pay someone to do it by going to a counselor where at least we can practice being real with someone.

Going away and being alone is an essential skill to have, some don’t have it. But like everything else, it can become such a safe place and feel so good, that we can become addicted to it, and then we start damaging our selves.

Leonine1 profile image
Leonine1 in reply to Alan0127

Thank you.

Good advice. Thank you!

This used to happen me more frequently when I was in college, After studying for about an hour or so i go out to look for a quiet place, somewhat green.. It is somewhat less now . I think it depends how much thoughts and things we are dealing with. Those days were so hectec so much to do, with restricted deadlines. I started loosening up myself and started thinking of long term goals. Then I plan short term actions needed for those. This made my life somewhat easier, but still in process to find a process i can fall in love.

Spacehead profile image
Spacehead in reply to Rahul4111

Yes. Some wooded area or a park is the best! Mine has gotten worse since college but some of it is working full time and just plain being an adult. Having a kid really got me spinning in circles.

I actually had to get away from everything at work twice today. I am thankful that I usually have the ability to have or find a quiet space that I can let my brain focus on something completely different for a while. Sometimes a good nap will do this for me!

Something else that I have just discovered is an app I use that generates white or soothing noise (such as rain or chimes) which sometimes helps alleviate some of the additional "noise" in my head. The app I use is Starkey Relax if you are interested. It's actually made for tinnitus but I discovered it helps me calm the mental noise sometimes as well.

Spacehead profile image
Spacehead in reply to cavitation

Yes, napping. I just learned how to nap for the first time in my life a years ago and it is the best

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