ADHD & Burnout

We all have our own obligations and things we need to do. There are so things we’d like to do. Things we do for fun, or to take of ourselves. Sometimes, we do something to help others.

However, sometimes, things get to much, we have too much on our plates, and this can lead to burnout.

What Is Burnout?

A good place to start is by defining what burnout is.

According to the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) website, “burnout is a state of emotional, physical and mental exhaustion caused by excessive and prolonged stress.”

Burnout is constantly feeling we’re swamped. Burnout will lead to feelings of being overwhelmed, feeling drained, and not being able to keep up with all the demands of the person’s life.

Burnout can lead people to not feel motivated and/or perceive ourselves in a negative way.

When ADHDers Experience Burnout

Burnout can happen to anyone. However, studies and research has shown that those with ADHD are more susceptible to burnout. More individuals with ADHD experience burnout than neurotypicals. 

This is sad to hear.

However, there are reasons why so many of us with ADHD experience burnout. Here are some.

  • We put pressure to complete tasks, as we feel we should be able to things like neurotypicals.
  • We can sometimes have difficulty recognizing our own limits.
  • It can be difficult for us to show ourselves compassion and take time to relax and recharge.
  • We may be trying to overcompensate.
  • Managing our ADHD symptoms make regular and daily tasks more difficult and challenging.

With these examples in mind, it makes sense why so many with ADHD may feel and experience burnout.

How To Avoid Burnout

No one wants to end up feeling burned out. There are things things that we can do to avoid feeling burned out and exhausted.

Here are some ways and things that we can do.

  1. Learning and get better at saying no. It’s always easy to do. I certainly have difficulty with this. However we can’t do everything and so this is important to become comfortable with.
  2. Make time to relax and take some breaks. There’s nothing wrong with taking breaks or making time for self care. It’s not selfish. Whether it’s 5-10 minutes or more, make to take time to relax. Whether going for a walk, or taking a few minutes to take some deep breaths, or read a good book, take that time to take care of you.
  3. Ask for help. Sometimes we need some help and extra support. Find someone that can help you, where it’s a spouse, friend or colleague.
  4. Make sure you are getting a good night sleep. Getting enough sleep can make a difference.

These are some suggestions and ways we can manage our stress and avoid burnout. There are quite a few others, but this is a good place to start.

Life can be challenging as it is. Having ADHD can add quite a few extra challenges. And lead to fatigue, exhaustion and burnout. However, it is possible to find ways to manage.

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