Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is commonly mistaken as specific to children, but it also affects adults. ADHD and anxiety often go hand-in-hand. Research indicates that nearly half of adults with ADHD also have an anxiety disorder. A hallmark of both is the inability to relax. If you have ADHD, anxiety, or both, you know that one of the most frustrating things you can hear is “just relax.” Sometimes just thinking about trying to relax produces more tension and stress. Understanding the reasons for your inability to relax can help you access the tools to achieve a relaxed state.
Rose Hill Center is a residential mental health facility in Holly, MI providing comprehensive treatment and rehabilitation services to adults 18 and over. We help individuals with anxiety and co-occurring disorders like ADHD learn new coping strategies to manage their symptoms and improve their quality of life. Contact us at 866.367.0220 for more information on our anxiety treatment program.
10 Reasons for Your Inability to Relax
We live in a society that makes it difficult to relax. For most, the demands of everyday life can feel never-ending. We have become trained to equate success and happiness with achievement, so we constantly strive to do more, accomplish more, and acquire more, putting our bodies and minds under constant pressure.
Following are ten reasons you may have the inability to relax:
- You’re spending too much time on your phone – Social media causes us to compare our lives to others, creating anxiety about our accomplishments. Time spent on the phone keeps us from tending to other responsibilities and interferes with good sleep habits.
- Your emotional brain is overactive – You may stay overly busy to distract yourself from anxious thoughts or feelings of hopelessness associated with depression.
- You equate your job with your self-worth – You have become a “workaholic” because you do not have a sense of identity without your job.
- Your fight-or-flight response is stuck in overdrive – Anxiety associated with chronic stress or trauma leaves your body in a constant state of fear, interfering with the body’s natural relaxation mechanisms.
- You are too busy – In the quest to achieve more, you overschedule yourself daily, vowing to relax “later” or “on the weekend.”
- Your brain craves a dopamine rush – Individuals with low levels of dopamine, typical with ADHD, seek ways to get a rush, often engaging in risky behaviors or inciting conflict.
- You are taking in too much news – With a 24-hour news cycle, you can constantly flood your brain with distressing and disturbing information, inducing stress.
- You do not know how to relax – When finding time to relax is just another thing on your “to do” list, it becomes counterproductive.
- You have an untreated anxiety disorder – Living with untreated anxiety makes everything more challenging. Constant stress and worry make relaxation impossible.
- You have untreated ADHD – Untreated ADHD creates physical and mental hyperactivity that leaves you in constant stress.
Why Do Anxiety and ADHD Create an Inability to Relax?
The primary behavioral symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) include:
- Difficulty focusing or concentrating on things
- Procrastinating because you feel overwhelmed
- Avoiding situations that make you feel anxious
- Inability to relax, be by yourself or enjoy downtime
The primary behavioral symptoms of adult ADHD include:
- Restlessness or hyperactivity
- Inability to control thoughts and emotions
- Extreme distractibility
- Disorganization and poor planning skills
Each disorder clearly has symptoms that contribute to an inability to relax. When combined and the symptoms overlap, it can leave you feeling helpless. The combination of restlessness and overthinking create a perpetual state of stress that overrides the body’s natural relaxation response. When just the thought of trying to relax makes more stress, it is time to seek professional treatment for anxiety and co-occurring disorders.
Call Rose Hill Center for Anxiety Treatment
Chronic stress is highly detrimental to your physical and mental health and overall well-being. A common symptom of many mental health disorders, including anxiety and ADHD, is persistent worry and fear. When your innate fight-or-flight response is perpetually “on,” it is nearly impossible to relax.
At Rose Hill Center, we provide residents with healthy coping strategies to overcome chronic stress related to mental health issues. Through our years of experience as a leader in long-term residential mental health treatment, we have helped countless people learn to manage their symptoms to find ways to relax and enjoy life. Call us at 866.367.0220 to learn how we can help you or your loved one.