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Relationships & Social Issues This forum is for adults with AD/HD to discuss how AD/HD affects personal relationships.

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Old 06-07-14, 11:16 PM
Yokasuka1972 Yokasuka1972 is offline
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ADHD and social isolation/anxiety

Hello. In a professional swf. Diagnosed a year ago but certain that I've had this my whole life. Take adderall 40 mg. I haven't dated anyone in over three years. Despite being on shape, half way attractive, intelligent, great career -- I find it so stressful to maintain social conversation and small talk. As a result, I am often staying home instead or going out. I am fine if I have friends who don't require my full attention but when my friend or date is solely focused on me it get overwhelmed. I feel like I have to entertain them and keep them engaged and it's just too much for me. Almost causes a panic situation. I feel so very lonely. I want there to be people around me in my home and in my life but I can't keep up. I really don't want to be alone the rest of my life. I have a huge social network but interestingly my closest friends live in other states and I rarely see then. It serves me well as there is less pressure that way. Maybe I just would "casually" date, not because I want to be uncommitted but because mentally I can't give someone 100%. Can anyone help me ? I am so lonely and I don't know what to do. Bless u for any words I can offer. I feel so alone and so different from everyone around me.
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  #2  
Old 06-07-14, 11:50 PM
dvdnvwls dvdnvwls is offline
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Re: ADHD and social isolation/anxiety

Hello, and welcome to the forum.

I suggest that you look for outside-the-home activities that are not one-on-one. Joining a group or class, attending regularly-scheduled events such as sports or arts events or religious services, that type of thing. Choose activities that you are interested in, and show up. In that way, everyone has a good excuse to meet, everyone is in "neutral territory", and the stress and risk of inviting individuals (or being invited by them) is bypassed.
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Old 06-08-14, 12:32 AM
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Re: ADHD and social isolation/anxiety

Welcome to the forum. I think if you root around the topics here you'll find a lot of people with the same tendency towards social isolation.

I've had similar social issues. Unless people share a common interest, I have a hard time relating to them. Sometimes I will click with someone and have an interesting conversation, but I find it oddly stimulating and tiring at the same time. If all that comes from social interaction is small talk, I really feel awkward.

I fully understand what you say about not being able to give someone 100%. I don't think most people are expecting that, but for some of us with attention issues it seems that way.

So I would also suggest finding some interest group that meets regularly, look for an ADHD support group. We have a good one in my area that's been very helpful in getting some understanding of this crazy little thing called ADHD. It is especially important and valuable for those of us who have been diagnosed in adulthood. That diagnosis really rocks the boat.

One of the best places I have for social interaction is my meditation group. It's an odd bunch of people, from a wide range of backgrounds. And since the social time happens after the meditation, everyone is usually in a good mood and receptive. Most of all, there isn't a lot of expectations, since it's such a simple activity.I also meet with a trail running group once in a while. Once again, simple activity, low expectations. It's the expectations, real or imagined that really get to me.

Good luck and welcome again.
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Old 06-08-14, 02:46 AM
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Re: ADHD and social isolation/anxiety

Glad you're here.

Scope out some local free community events/classes via parks and rec, eclectic and fair trade shops usually offer cool stuff, book and record shops, wildlife centers, and the library hosts free workshops and talks, etc.

Some of my single friends that were really hoping (and some obsessing) to find a life partner have found so many other peeps who are so much like them to casually socialize with via those avenues. I rarely hear them mention they wish they had someone now. Find something that ignites your passion big time and find a way to go have fun with it, whether they want you to or not.

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Originally posted by GRbiker:
One of the best places I have for social interaction is my meditation group. It's an odd bunch of people, from a wide range of backgrounds. And since the social time happens after the meditation, everyone is usually in a good mood and receptive. Most of all, there isn't a lot of expectations, since it's such a simple activity.I also meet with a trail running group once in a while. Once again, simple activity, low expectations. It's the expectations, real or imagined that really get to me.
Same here!!! I just facilitated my third community meditation gig last week. Have never done anything like it before and it made me nervous as he!! at first, but I love it. I focus mainly on the deep diaphragmatic breathing, kindness to others, silent time, and paying it forward. So far, there's an international musician, college grad students, a p/t retail dude, a nutritionist, and a housewife.

The local community rhythm gathering/drum circle is my other favorite social interaction spot. Very relaxed, warm, inviting, therapeutic and nurturing. And you can make amazing music with strangers without having to have any musical ability or knowledge or instruments. That's some powerful and healing stuff for me. Both of these venues are free, too. Bonus.

Have fun seeking.
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Old 06-08-14, 06:05 AM
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Re: ADHD and social isolation/anxiety

I have battled with anxiety in social situations and relationships.... it's this area that seems to cause the most pain and distress to ADDers..... I get the feeling we would find life much easier if we didn't have to constantly navigate relational minefields at home or work.

My approach to this has been slightly different. with my therapist for support I began to undertake activities that were specifically targeted at addressing my anxieties.

The objectives
1) exploring the feelings that were generated when I took part in the activity and my interpretation of those feelings.....

2) Desensitising myself so I did not trigger a fear/flight/fight response.

3) Reconnecting the felt sense in my body with the reality of my environment

4) rebalancing the thought/headspace and the body intuition.

I have done several activities but the one that I'd start with would be some form of dance.... I do Tango.... because that challenges the intimacy/proximity sensitivity I have and it also involves significant amounts of body awareness and "connection" to another person but doesn't involve conversation.... and the class I was in we changed partners every dance so we learned how to interact with numerous people

I also do five rhythms.... which is hippy dippy free dance.... biodanza is similar. this is more self-exploratory though interactions with other do occur.

It's important to stick at these things for a while to get familiar with what's going on, and having a good therapist help you explore the reactions you have is invaluable.

You'll notice that these two things specifically don't involve much conversation.... for me this was important.... as soon as I have to talk I go straight into my head.... and the anxiety and impulsiveness causes me problems when I'm in unfamiliar territory.
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Old 06-08-14, 01:13 PM
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Re: ADHD and social isolation/anxiety

I identify with all of these posts. Like the original poster I'm swf, professional, conventionally attractive, etc. But I just don't feel engaged in the act of meeting people socially. It would be one thing if I just stayed home, but I get a lot of invitations and feel pressured to accept. I agree to attend gatherings and dates and then cancel. Horrible, I know! I don't do this intentionally.

In theory, I want to have friends and a boyfriend and social life. But I feel like the amount of effort and focus it takes is overwhelming. I feel that the person has too many expectations for me. Maybe not, but I feel that way. The OP is probably down playing her attractiveness. I bet she's quite attractive and that's part of the her challenge. If you're attractive then sometimes the pressure is even worse, bc a person you've just met is super nervous and has already formed hopes and expectations. Perhaps we all do this to some extent- who doesn't go on a date with expectations, right?

I do best if there are low expectations and no advance plans. Like yoga class. I also can meet people in networking events, conferences or otherwise in a professional context. Somehow I don't feel overwhelmed in that context like I do in a purely social context. And I can see an ex-boyfriend, no problem, and have a great time. It's new people who are scary. The nicer they are, the more effort they put into seeing me, the more terrified I feel. Then, I'll feel bad for letting them down, and have even more anxiety the next time. It's a vicious cycle.
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Old 06-09-14, 06:07 AM
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Re: ADHD and social isolation/anxiety

some of these things remind me of social anxiety or general anxiety disorder. Therapy helped me with this along with meds.
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