1/2 Is it an adhd thing that others peoples opinions can just completely ruin my day? Like I have a mock exam tomorrow and I've been revising so well, using half hour alarms, slowly covering everything, getting to bed early, being positive. And one of my friends said something about how I don't really need my adhd meds they just help, like smoking cigarettes would make her less stressed but you don't see her smoking do you. That was 2pm. It's nearly 2am and haven't picked myself back up again.
2/2 Now I’ve missed great big chunks of revision because I spent too long crying, and feeling so bad that I just slept. And it was just a side comment but it literally ruined me and now I’m so frustrated because I was doing so well and now I just don’t have anything left. It happens with negative comments from my mum too, just any sort of bad thing and then I just cycle in bad thoughts and i just can’t. And then when I can, I can’t because I’ve used up all my motivation/ attention.
Rumination (thinking about negative stuff over and over) is pretty common with ADHD. However, if this kind of thing is affecting you this deeply you may have something more going on, like depression or even simply being very sensitive.
What helps the most with this kind of thinking is learning to change the thought pattern. It’s not easy (not by a long shot), but if you can change the negative thought pattern you will be able to break out of the cycle sooner.
I’ll take a simple example since I’m not sure what kinds of thoughts were running through your mind in this particular situation.
So, for example, last week I made spaghetti for dinner and forgot to turn off the burner under the sauce. Wound up burning all the leftover sauce. :P It didn’t bother me (just made me go “oops, that was not what I meant to do”), but if I’d been in the wrong headspace I could have easily fallen apart and wound up thinking things like “I’m a horrible cook” or “I can’t do anything right.”
To change that thought pattern, I would have to take the sentence and reword it so that it’s more true. “I’m a horrible cook” might become “I’m usually a good cook, but tonight I forgot an important step. At least it was just the leftovers that got ruined!” and “I can’t do anything right” might become “I can do lots of things right, but sometimes I make mistakes or forget stuff. So does everyone else. I’ll do better next time I make spaghetti.” (And I did; we just had it and I remembered to double-check that I’d turned off the stove completely before going downstairs.)
It takes a lot of practice, and when I first started learning to do this I thought it was the stupidest thing ever. But as time went on, I saw that it was making a difference, and in fact I’ve found that changing those thoughts makes it possible for me to keep doing whatever I need to do even if I’m crying. The changed thoughts give me the strength to keep going, in some weird way, even if I can’t stop the meltdown.