Sometimes psychology is behind the times. I know it sounds odd because all of us with some form of mental disorder always rely heavily on the findings of psychological studies. However, there are times when the pro’s just don’t listen to us little people and it takes time for them to understand. When it comes to something called “Intrusive Thoughts” in the ADHD adult, you will find resistance from some of the pro’s in believing you because “studies” just don’t say it is common for the ADHD adult and other factors are blamed.
However, if you go to forums like Reddit you find that there are so many adults out there that have been diagnosed with ADHD and have symptoms of intrusive thoughts that you just have to wonder why psychology just won’t add ADHD to the list of mental disorders that have this phenomenon. You can read more on it here, however you will note the lack of acknowledgment that adults with ADHD have it too.
I have talked to many adults with ADHD and this is something that we all seem to have in common. When I talked to my past therapist or psychologist about it, they seemed to think that it stems from my depression and not my ADHD. However, I have these thoughts all the time and not always when in my depressive state. (For openness, I have major depressive disorder with generalized anxiety disorder that have learned to live with after over a decade of talk therapy.) I can be at one of my happiest times watching my kids play and then BAM – horrible imagery of my kids falling and busting their heads open, along with the ambulance trip and hospital machines… yes, they are that vivid. So, I just can’t believe it stems from my depression and NOT my ADHD. My ADHD is with me always, my depression and anxiety come and go and are very well-trained now.
So, what are intrusive thoughts you might be asking? It is a thought or thoughts that are usually violent, sexual, or blasphemous in nature and are unwanted and appear out of nowhere. For me, they are very visual and usually violent. Here is an example in meme form:
Sometimes when I am writing my books they appear and I just keep writing (per my therapist instructions) and rereading them can be terrifying. However, rereading them has helped me to see them when they appear and stop them. Yes, they get edited out of my stories because if I didn’t they would rival Stephen King in creepiness. And of course, they have no place in my story. Not to mention, how would the story continue considering all the characters would die gruesome deaths? I mean, I write young adult novels, not George R. R. Martin type stories, where such writing is acceptable. But I digress yet again as I so often do here.
Recently, there have been studies showing that ADHD and Intrusive Thoughts are connected, so hopefully the psychological community will start to take notice. My psychiatrist now does believe that it is from my ADHD, so I know that they are beginning to have open minds on the subject.
So, if you have ADHD and have these kinds of thoughts, know that it is okay for you to have them. You are not a psychopath because of them. It is okay to talk about them. It is okay to learn to deal with them. I think some of the hesitation from the psychological peeps is because of the unwillingness of adults with ADHD to admit they have them. It is difficult to talk about. However, you have to talk about it so you can learn to deal with them and make them not so terrifying.
ADHD is a mental disorder. It is so much more than just losing attention, interrupting people, and being hyperactive. There are some very scary aspects to living with ADHD and intrusive thoughts is the scariest part. Hang in there!