A mindfulness prescription for adult ADHD

Psychiatrist Lidia Zylowska shares how people with ADHD can manage their restless minds.

“My mind is always busy,” exclaimed Carolyn. “If you ask me about one thing, that makes me think of a million other things.” 

“I noticed,” I thought to myself. Carolyn was in my office for an evaluation of possible ADHD, and it was a struggle to keep her focused. Many of my questions were met with long descriptions and too many details. Other times, she veered to another topic. She seemed to be insightful, and her answers were often interesting or humorous—but they didn’t always address the question.

Along with a restless body, a busy or restless mind is common with ADHD. This can be a curse and a blessing. Having a restless mind can make it difficult to focus and follow through on one’s tasks without getting sidetracked or lost in thought. On the other hand, having lots of thoughts and ideas can lead to making unusual and intriguing connections between things. Many adults with ADHD exhibit “out-of-the box” thinking and creativity due to their incessantly curious mind.


The ADHD Mind

In ADHD, thought flow is often irregular. Ideas can frequently branch out or jump from place to place. On the other hand, there may also be a tendency to get stuck in one way of thinking or to obsess about something—a kind of…