Adult ADHD and Crowd Control

June 10, 2013 Elizabeth Prager

Yesterday, I had the good fortune to be able to volunteer with the Special Olympics in Maryland. It was a great day where I was able to do a bunch of different physical therapy related skills with some really fantastic Special Olympic athletes. So, overall, the day was really great, and it also posed some challenges for me. The number one challenge? Managing a crowd. How do we adults find a balance between doing our duties (in my case, volunteering effectively) while the possibility for becoming crowd-induced-hyperactive is looming in the background?

First, let me say, I know not every adult with ADHD has periods of hyperactivity. That's why the "H" used to be removable in the name of our disorder. For me, though, the possibility of becoming hyperactive is always a fear when I'm meant to be professional. I've discovered a lot of good techniques, though, for keeping the hyperactive-weasel-eating-monster at bay.

Step One: Realize that hyperactivity could become reality.

Step Two: If it does become reality, take a break.

Yesterday, I scooted off several times for a few minutes here and there after making sure my station was covered. I had left a snack in my car, which provided a good and practical reason for me to go for a walk outside for about 10 minutes to clear my mind of all previous social interactions. When I returned, no, I wasn't back to 100%, but I was a lot closer to it than I had been before my break.

Sometimes, when a full length break isn't possible, bathroom breaks are a great way to go. Simply taking a few minutes alone to regroup and refocus can really help to keep one's energy at an acceptable level.

Step Three: If feeling really overwhelmed, try eating something.

This is where my snack really came in handy. I've been told many times in school since starting my physical therapy program that physiology always wins. You can be the most amazing calm-yourself-downer in the history of calming down, but if you're hungry the hyperactive monster will still win. It's important that when you're leaving the house for a long period of time or at least a period of time when you need to be "on" that you bring enough snacks to keep your blood sugar at a nice even level.

Anyone else have any hints?

APA Reference
Prager, E. (2013, June 10). Adult ADHD and Crowd Control, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, July 24 from

Author: Elizabeth Prager

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