Why are Transitions Difficult for People with ADD and ADHD?

Image courtesy of Salvatore Vuono at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Image courtesy of Salvatore Vuono at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

As the title suggests, this piece is dedicated to the difficulties us individuals with ADD and ADHD face when dealing with transitions. Whether it is a student transitioning schools or an adult transitioning careers, any type of move in one’s routine can be extremely difficult.

So why is this the case? Well the obvious answer is change. And while it isn’t a wrong answer, there’s a bit more to the story.  Let’s explore this a little deeper.

Stating it simply, ADD/ADHD is a disorder of regulation. Getting our bodies and minds adjusted to certain situations is a process. I remember when I was a child and we owned a tropical fish tank. Whenever we would get a new fish, it was important to acclimate the fish to its new environment. We’d leave the fish in the bag until the temperature of the water in the bag was the same as the water in the tank.

Now let’s compare this scenario to someone with ADD/ADHD. Personally speaking, whenever I enter a new environment it takes me a bit of time to get my body comfortable. From being comfortable with the temperature (yes like my fish) to adjusting to the lighting, it is a process. That is why I try to get places early so I can regulate as well as possible.

Now let’s explore this to the bigger transitions in life. Getting one’s self acclimated to a new school, job or residence requires an adjustment period. The problem is in this day and age, it’s very difficult to make a gradual adjustment. We’re expected to move and move quickly. With this being the case, here are some suggestions to help with transitions.

  1. Get to places early. For students transitioning to college, try to get on campus as early as possible for better acclimation.

  2. Be a student of yourself. Learn the things that help/hinder you and identify potential concerns.

  3. If something isn’t going well, do not be your own worst critic. Learn from these challenges.

Getting yourself in the right state of mind and comfortable will help with the transition process.

For more helpful tips an suggestions, please check out my ADHD Guru podcast on iTunes, Google Play, Stitcher or TuneIn Radio. You can also find me on Twitter (@adhdguru) and Instagram (@adhdguru). Feel free to email me at [email protected] or call 877.398.ADHD (2343) with any additional questions.

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