Support for ADD / ADHD
Our stigmatized disorder is well known for its' hyperactivity and attention issues, but there are several lesser known problems that we face on a more silent scale. Many of us ADHDers (that should be in the dictionary!) suffer from mental noise (also called mental chatter). For those of you that do not have this problem, or maybe you do and didn't realize it's a thing, I will explain: Mental chatter is that background noise in your mind that never quite seems to go away. A constant train of uncompleted thoughts, worries, and even musical tunes seems to fill every gap junction within your very brain matter. Separate from normal thoughts, mental noise is more like that ol' t.v. without a signal. It can be distracting, for sure, but it is more often than not simply annoying. It's like having two conversations at one time and let's just admit it, a lot of us folks already have trouble keeping up with one conversation! Everyone is effected differently -- some of us not at all -- but it is safe to say that mental noise is something that should be addressed if it has become a problem to your everyday functioning. A few options are as follows, but not limited to:
-- If your noise contains looping thoughts of the past or worries of the future, try to stop for a moment, take a few deep breathes, and confront the thoughts head on. Maybe giving those thoughts a few moments of their own will help ease the constant chatter and/or resolve the issue behind the noise.
-- Pick a spot or picture and just stare at it. Take control of your mind and focus by intently observing and noting every minor detail you can find. Think out a description as if your were trying to explain this scene or object to a blind person. Continue this process until you feel more peaceful and totally in control of what your mind is saying back.
-- Medication. For those of you whom are already on medications or are considering the option, stimulants used for ADHD often helping push these thoughts away for you (which is their job) and will help you concentrate a bit better. But while medication may help you, never rely on medication alone and practice techniques during these low intensity periods to find what works best for you.
-- Draw your thoughts out and have a little fun with them. Don't be so quick to stress from the distraction and take the opportunity to give yourself a break and turn the negative experience into a fun one.
-- Write down the thoughts. This also works well with re-occuring thoughts and images, but can work for regular chatter too. Don't worry about grammar or form while you are writing, just place that pen or pencil on some paper and write what comes to mind; let the thoughts flow from your head, down your arm, to your hand, and deposit those thoughts onto paper to save for a rainy day.
If you have come up with other creative ways to address mental noise, please share your experiences in the comments. Even if it failed to help you, it may be beneficial to others.
Stay fresh y'all.