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ADHD Burnout: Why Are You Always Exhausted?

According to a cross-sectional study from 2016, people with ADHD are more likely to experience burnout, and several signs of the disorder, such as poor organization, and impulsivity, may even make the problems brought on by burnout worse. Keep reading to learn more about this condition.

What Is ADHD? ADHD Burnout

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a mental health disorder that affects the brain. It makes it difficult for a person to pay attention and control their behavior. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, ADHD affects an estimated 15 million people in America. In addition, it is more common in males than females.

The American Psychiatric Association (APA) recognizes ADHD as a medically and legally treatable condition. Individuals with ADHD may have a hard time maintaining attention and finishing tasks. Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder can lead to unstable relationships, poor work performance, depression, and substance abuse. Proper ADHD Treatment is attainable, therefore, early detection is a must.

ADHD Burnout nearly becomes a co-occurring disorder for people with ADHD, complicating and aggravating ADHD symptoms.

According to a cross-sectional study from 2016, people with ADHD are more likely to experience burnout, and several signs of the disorder, such as poor organization, and impulsivity, may even make the problems brought on by burnout worse.

ADHD Symptoms

A person may not be diagnosed with ADHD until adulthood because teachers or family did not recognize the condition at a younger age.

Symptoms can become more severe when the demands of adulthood increase.

  • Difficulty finishing tasks
  • Problems listening to others
  • Struggles with organizing projects or responsibilities
  • Forgetfulness
  • Constant fidgeting
  • Inability to control speech or actions
  • Frequently losing or misplacing personal items

People with ADHD may also be clumsy, unable to sleep, and have temper tantrums, and mood swings. They may find it hard to socialize and make friends. The symptoms and development of ADHD vary from person to person.

Types of ADHD

ADHD is a mental disorder that affects many people, and there are different types of this disorder. Types of ADHD can be an inattentive type or a hyperactive-impulsive type.

Inattentive Type

A person with this type often loses focus and thus gets off-topic, people must have at least six of these nine symptoms,

  • Making careless mistakes
  • Failing to pay attention and keep on task
  • Not listening
  • Being unable to follow or understand instructions
  • Avoiding tasks that involve effort
  • Being distracted
  • Being forgetful
  • Losing things that are needed to complete tasks

Hyperactive-Impulsive Type.

The hyperactive-impulsive type must have six or more of these symptoms:

  • Fidgeting
  • Squirming
  • Getting up often when seated
  • Running or climbing at inappropriate times
  • Having trouble playing quietly
  • Talking too much
  • Talking out of turn or blurting out
  • Interrupting
Types of ADHD can be an inattentive type or a hyperactive-impulsive type.
Types of ADHD can be an inattentive type or a hyperactive-impulsive type.

Combined Type

The Combined Type means that the person has symptoms from both types, while the Predominantly Inattentive Type means that the person only has symptoms of the first type. People usually go through a series of stages before they receive an accurate diagnosis for either type (Types of ADHD). Someone who is diagnosed with primary inattentiveness might be told they have ADD or some other disorder (Types of ADHD). Since there is still some debate among experts.

Types of ADHD vary in severity. Usually, with medication, most people can adjust to dealing with this disorder. Sometimes there is a possibility that if you don’t take your medication correctly it could cause an overdose with serious consequences. Types of ADHD are different for everyone who has them, but they are all manageable if taken seriously and properly dealt with.

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ADHD Fact Sheet

ADHD Overview

A long-term disorder characterized by impulsivity, hyperactivity, and trouble paying focus. ADHD frequently manifests in early childhood and can last into adulthood. Low self-esteem, problematic relationships, and challenges at school or at work may all be impacted. Limited attention and hyperactivity are symptoms. Talk therapy and medication are used as treatments.


ADHD Symptoms

  • Behavioral: Aggression, excitement, fidgeting, hyperactivity, impulsivity, irritability, a lack of self-control, or a pattern of repeatedly repeating words or actions.
  • Cognitive: short attention span, forgetfulness, difficulty focusing, absentmindedness, or other cognitive symptoms.
  • Mood: Feelings of hostility, worry, boredom, enthusiasm, or mood swings
  • Also common: Depression and learning disabilities are also frequent.

ADHD Treatment

  • Support group: A place where those pursuing the same disease or objective, such as weight loss or depression, can receive counseling and exchange experiences.
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy: A conversation treatment that aimed to change the negative attitudes, actions, and feelings connected to psychiatric discomfort.
  • Counseling psychology: A subfield of psychology that handles issues with the self that are connected to work, school, family, and social life.
  • Anger management: To reduce destructive emotional outbursts, practice mindfulness, coping skills, and trigger avoidance.
  • Psychoeducation: Mental health education that also helps individuals feel supported, validated, and empowered
  • Family therapy: psychological counseling that improves family communication and conflict resolution.

ADHD Statistics

The CDC analyzes data from parent surveys and medical claims to comprehend how attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder is diagnosed and treated (ADHD). Depending on the source, estimates for diagnosis and therapy can differ.


6 Million

The estimated number of children aged 3–17 years ever diagnosed with ADHD, according to a national survey of parents, is 6 million (9.8%) using data from 2016-2019. 

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

62%

A national parent survey from 2016 reported on medication and behavior treatment for children 2–17 years of age with current ADHD 62% were taking ADHD medication

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

15 Million

ADHD affects an estimated 15 million people in America.

Source: National Institute of Mental Health


At the We Level Up FL mental health facility, we provide the utmost care with doctors and medical staff available 24/7 for life-changing and lasting recovery. 
At the We Level Up FL mental health facility, we provide the utmost care with doctors and medical staff available 24/7 for life-changing and lasting recovery. 

What is ADHD Burnout? ADHD and Burnout

ADHD burnout meaning: Burnout is a chronic state of emotional and physical weariness that is frequently brought on by intense stress, like that experienced at work or school. It frequently includes:

  • Decreased motivation
  • Challenges with work or school
  • Negative self-perception

Although not a mental health issue, burnout is a common sensation. “When a person feels burnout, we’re starting to cross the line of, perhaps, mental well-being, but maybe they’re not to the point where it’s a mental health condition,” says Sheng Lee Yang.

Burnout and ADHD

Burnout, according to Dr. Yang, nearly becomes a co-occurring disorder for people with ADHD, complicating and aggravating ADHD symptoms. “And now that burnout is thrown in, the mental well-being is going to be much more affected,” Yang adds.

According to a cross-sectional study from 2016, people with ADHD are more likely to experience burnout, and several signs of the disorder, such as poor organization, and impulsivity, may even make the problems brought on by burnout worse.

The prevalence of symptoms of ADHD from childhood through adulthood declined with age, according to a 2021 assessment of data from around the world. According to reports, 6.76% of people, or between 139.84 million and 366.33 million people worldwide in 2020, had persistent ADHD.

The most frequent cause of ADHD burnout is excessive and protracted stress, particularly at work or school. It may result in:

You might believe that you are constantly exhausted or that you cannot continue. Getting help begins with knowing what to search for.

ADHD Burnout vs Autistic Burnout

When you experience autistic burnout, your brain effectively shuts down from exhaustion and fatigue from navigating this excessively neurotypical world. Even the most basic duties, like washing the laundry or taking a shower, become impossible. Daily living might be so exhausting that all you want to do is lie in bed until your brain has had a chance to rest.

ADHD Burnout vs Depression

Depression and burnout can both have negative effects on mental health. Although sadness and anxiety are extremely distinct from burnout, both of these diseases share some physical signs.

Understanding the distinction between burnout and depression might help you identify your symptoms and find healing as soon as possible. A depressed episode can result from burnout, but depression does not cause burnout.

Ryan Zofay forming a circle and hugging friends.

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ADHD Burnout Symptoms & ADHD Burnout Physical Symptoms

Burnout cannot be diagnosed with a quick blood test or swab, but there are symptoms to watch for. Yang lists these as the most typical indications of burnout:

Increased irritability

According to Yang, irritation is frequently the most obvious symptom. For instance, “you’ve been irritable for a few days now, more than a bad day,” Of course, you might experience a run of unpleasant days, but feeling agitated more often than usual may indicate burnout.

Changes in routine and appetite

Yang also exhorts people to pay attention to changes in hunger or eating patterns. “Appetite is a significant [indicator], but sometimes we don’t think about it as much.” Another warning indicator is difficulty sleeping. Additionally, a lack of sleep can have its own problems.

Changes in how someone talks about their day or work

Perhaps you keep an eye out for any changes in how someone reports on their day. If your partner, for instance, always delivers a 30-minute overview of their day when they get home, and they start doing so all of a sudden, it could be a red flag.

Alternatively, if they typically answer something like, “Work was OK,” they may then begin to discuss and whine about their jobs. According to Dr. Yang, “that’s a typical indicator,” something may be happening or things may not be going well.

Imposter syndrome

Dr. Yang further claims that although not a physically visible symptom, imposter syndrome symptoms are frequently experienced by persons with ADHD burnout because they may feel “as though they’re not up to par… Imitation syndrome is also a result of that.

And when someone has imposter syndrome, one of two things happens: either they isolate themselves and feel like a total failure or they feel trapped and unable to move forward.

Overcommitting

Or, if you’re dealing with the impulsive side of ADHD, they overcompensate and volunteer for more tasks than they can do, giving the impression that you’re doing much more than you should or should be doing. which ultimately results in failure or lack of success.

ADHD freeze

Even when they want to, people with ADHD can occasionally feel completely immobilized by a seeming inability to act. Executive dysfunctions—problems with the brain’s decision-making process—can be brought on by ADHD. These dysfunctions can increase as a result of burnout stress.

It will eventually affect relationships and families, whether there are kids involved or just a spouse, according to Yang. How can someone who has ADHD and is burnt out contribute? You are unable to accomplish your goals due to your mental health.

ADHD Spouse Burnout or ADHD Partner Burnout

Any relationship can suffer from burnout, but marriages to people with ADHD are particularly prone to this issue. Untreated ADHD symptoms can show themselves in a variety of ways. You might think your partner is ignoring you, or you can be the target of an unprovoked angry outburst.

Non ADHD Spouse Burnout

The ADHD spouse dislikes being treated like a child, while the non-ADHD spouse dislikes having to shoulder most or all of the obligations. Even though it may seem natural to take on this role if only to ensure that things are completed, doing so can quickly result in non-ADHD spouse burnout.

Gifted Kid Burnout ADHD or ADHD Gifted Kid Burnout

What is Gifted Kid Burnout ADHD? Burnout ADHD in brilliant children, like other cases of burnout, is brought on by persistent stress. Physical tiredness, mental exhaustion, and emotional alienation are frequently present symptoms. It can be caused by carrying out too many tasks at once, having insufficient control, or taking few or no pauses.

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ADHD Burnout Cycle & ADHD Burnout Cycle Adults?

However, it can be challenging to tell when someone with ADHD is actually experiencing burnout due to the overlap of symptoms and concomitant disorders.

Burnout in people with ADHD frequently has deeper causes. It alludes to the ADHD burnout cycle of overcommitting and overextending which makes people with ADHD tired. It entails taking on excessive amounts of work and responsibilities, followed by the tiredness that results from not being able to meet all of our commitments.

In other words, we have the propensity to take on more than we can handle before spitting it out in private out of concern that others will judge us or feel disappointed if they see us struggle.

How to Deal With ADHD Burnout & How to Recover From ADHD Burnout

It’s important for ADHDers to keep in mind a few fundamental guidelines for avoiding burnout, in my opinion. Here are a couple of tips on how to avoid ADHD burnout:

ADHD symptoms that go untreated can significantly affect a person's daily life.
ADHD symptoms that go untreated can significantly affect a person’s daily life.

Affirm your self-worth

Your value is not based on what you give to others, and your happiness is not the only thing you should be aiming for in life. Don’t set yourself on fire to keep others warm, as the phrase goes. Regardless of how beneficial, effective, or helpful you are to others, you are valued in and of yourself.

Practice saying “no” without apologizing

Despite what your brain tells you, you can’t be everything to everyone, and you have a limited amount of resources. Saying “no, I can’t,” “I don’t have time for that,” or “I’m not available at that time,” and various variations on those phrases are perfectly acceptable. Sure, you might let someone down. But it’s not your job to control other people’s feelings.

Overestimate how much time something will take

This general principle is really useful to me. Take the time you anticipate something will require and double it by two. Although it can seem absurd at first, it’s preferable to overestimate than underestimate because you’ll be more aware of your limitations.

Commit to rest

You’ll note that we said “commit to rest” rather than “exercise self-care.” Some of us have elevated self-care to the level of another set of demands we feel obligated to meet. Delete it. Practice lying down, daydreaming, deep breathing, and other relaxation techniques instead.

Ask for help when you need it

It’s acceptable to struggle, and it’s acceptable to seek assistance when you do, whether that assistance comes from therapy, your peers, an ADHD coach, or your manager at work. Accommodations at the workplace and in the classroom can also be very helpful.

Drop the mask (ADHD Masking Burnout)

Many neurodiverse people try to hide their ADHD and/or Autism by not showing any signs of perspiration, but doing so prevents us from receiving support and assistance when we most need it. Don’t tell yourself you have to do this alone; you deserve every tool you need to succeed.

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We Level Up Dual Diagnosis Treatment

The exact definition of dual diagnosis (also referred to as co-occurring disorders) can differ between institutions.  However, it is generally described as the specific treatment of someone who has been diagnosed with a substance use disorder and a mental health disorder at the same time.

Treating dual-diagnosis clients is a critical aspect of our inpatient treatment experience because co-occurring disorders are strongly correlated with instances of substance abuse. Creating a treatment plan that addresses the physical aspects of withdrawal, the psychological connection with drug use, and managing underlying mental health disorders is part of setting clients up for success. 

A thorough mental health analysis identifies possibilities for treatment.  Meeting with mental health counselors and medical care providers means access to behavioral therapy and medication treatment.

At our dual diagnosis treatment center, We Level Up can implement the highest quality of care. We recognize the fragile complexities of how mental and substance abuse disorders can influence others and sometimes result in a vicious cycle of addiction.  That’s why we offer specialized treatment in dual-diagnosis cases to provide the most excellent chance of true healing and long-lasting recovery.

It can be challenging to accept that you may be living with a mental illness, but once it is properly diagnosed and treated, treating the presenting case of substance abuse can be magnitudes easier. Only a properly trained medical professional can diagnose these underlying conditions.  If you believe you are suffering from a disorder alongside addiction, we urge you to seek a qualified treatment center to begin your journey to recovery. Call We Level Up today.

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