Q: I have been diagnosed with ADHD and I also have a chronic pain condition. My question is this: do you think that a person with ADHD has more difficulties dealing with chronic pain than non- ADHD? It seems like the pain makes it hard to concentrate or focus on tasks that I already struggle with, ie paperwork, organizing, time management and so forth. Also, the pain causes frustration. Just when I think I can get to work on a task I’ve been putting off, the pain flares up and I lose any focus I had. What do you think? Thanks
From what I understand chronic pain changes the brain. ADHD is also a brain-based difference.
So the combined frustration when you have both must be unbelievable.
My first thought is that it would be easier to do the inner work required to deal with ADHD after you get the pain under control.
All of the EF challenges we associate with ADHD are actually separate from how we view ourselves – so if pain is getting in the way of you seeing yourself as a whole and capable person it will impact any treatment you put in place for ADHD.
One of my favorite lines is, “You can deal with the day-to-day stuff if you haven’t handled the emotional stuff.”
I’m not a physician, but my thinking is to work on the pain first, the ADHD stuff later when you have the bandwidth to deal with it.