ADHD & Waiting: Do you hate to wait too?
Do you have trouble waiting 😬 ? I do 🙋♀️ ! I often avoid lines (even for important stuff 🙈) And generally, having to wait can get me quite irritated 😫 I’ve always been like this, but I never knew why… Until I got my ADHD diagnosis at 29 😳 ! Strangely, now I’m getting better and better at waiting 😇
Table of Contents
~ 1. The Trouble of Waiting for an ADHD Brain
~ 2. When Patience Wears Thin
~ 3. Waiting Mode Activated
~ 4. It is Normal to Wait and Get Frustrated
~ 5. How to Improve Waiting?
The Trouble of Waiting for an ADHD Brain
How long do you think you can wait for someone patiently? Or how's your patience when anticipating for some things to happen? As for me, honestly, I don't want to wait for long as the anxiety and anticipation become overwhelming for me. Sometimes, I feel slightly irritated and annoyed when I wait for things that I am not expecting to be waited for.
One of the official symptoms of ADHD is having trouble waiting. This might be due to the short attention span that we might have and our inability to keep focused on one thing for a long time, or sometimes, it may be because of the feeling that we need to be constantly "on the go," which waiting prohibits us from doing.
When Patience Wears Thin
Sometimes, it is difficult for people with ADHD to handle emotions. We tend to lose our temper quickly when anxious, sad, or tired, especially when waiting. The feelings that waiting can generate become overwhelming for us when we have been waiting, especially for a long time.
I tend to feel frustrated when the person I'm meeting with arrives late or the food I ordered runs into a delay. I just realized that the excitement that I felt while expecting something to come tends to become disappointment and frustration once I wait for a long time, making my ADHD brain sometimes impatient and a little bit cranky.
Waiting Mode Activated
The feeling of being stuck at the moment sometimes makes an ADHD brain uncomfortable. If there is an unexpected delay and I cannot do something about it, I just frequently look at my watch or constantly check my phone. This behavior sometimes makes me feel like a child who cannot control his emotions and habits. When I am in waiting mode, most of the time I feel impatient and anxious, but I can't do anything about it. Being stuck in the moment of waiting sometimes makes an ADHD brain feel like it cannot control what is going on.
It is Normal to Wait and Get Frustrated
It is entirely normal and understandable for anyone to get frustrated and impatient when waiting. Most of the time, we feel nervous and anxious while we wait. Just like what people with ADHD feel, we can't help but become overwhelmed by our emotions, especially if we know that there is something more important on the line such as an appointment or a deadline at work. Waiting is an inevitable part of our daily lives. For some, they feel anxious while waiting but they can control their emotions while doing so.
However, while it is normal to become impatient, frustrated, and overwhelmed by the anxiety of waiting for a long time, an ADHD brain might amplify the situation and cannot handle the emotions well brought by waiting for too long.
How to Improve Waiting?
I think that the most important part of waiting is our attitude while we are at it. For me, it is essential to understand the reason behind the delay that caused us to wait. Our ability to wait and accept things that are beyond our control might define our attitude during that time. Acceptance and patience can help us not to be too anxious about things and make us comfortable with the idea of waiting, which in turn can make an ADHD brain feel comfortable as well.