Anxiety and working memory

I discovered that having severe anxiety or periods of severe anxiety, makes the working memory worse , making ADHD worse , making driving and dyspraxia worse in some situations.

If it is long term , maybe forget to exercise, lose routine ?


I can attest to that. It’s how I ended up getting my ADHD diagnosis. Severe anxiety had made my ADHD traits related to my working memory much worse than normal.

One side of the issue was sleep deprivation. When the anxiety was at it’s worst, it caused me to sleep as little as 1-2 hours per night.

Now I know that when I’m feeling anxious, I can do mindfulness or CBT exercises. If the anxiety continues to build for a number of days, I schedule a counseling appointment.

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@j_d_aengus agreed sleep is everything

In your intro you mentioned Covid makes things harder. I second that Covid has definitely made things so much harder.
Did you have Covid and are you suffering from Long Covid? Was just curious.
Tangent beware:
I got sick in March 2020 and my world turned upside—had the classic symptoms but nothing was defined yet. The ER turned me away when I had a high fever and breathing issues. They were only taking people who were near blue in the face. And they didn’t have tests to spare.
I didn’t want to bother anyone.
I sheltered in place and we only had three symptoms at the time: Fever, Congestion and something else…. but after two weeks I lost all desire to eat, my sense of taste and smell, vomiting but the fatigue hit hard.
My doctor at the time dumped me like I was a bad date. Said it’s all in your head go see your psychiatrist. My psychiatrist saved me.
Wasn’t until I had new insurance and a good doctor who put together a care team I was
diagnosed with Fibromyalgia in March of 2021.
I was vitamin D deficient and anemic.
Months later I was so sick I dodged ovarian and blood cancer.
What’s interesting is I read literature online that Long Covid and Fibromyalgia similar symptoms.
So where I am going with this? I think I remember having a point. I was really sick and I reached out for medical help. And it saved my life.
The internet has so much information but when I had physical problems like major fatigue my doctor ran a CBC test on me and I was so anemic and my platelets were low. Then a CT scan and I had tumors. Removed and no cancer.
For me I have to listen to my body and if I don’t I can’t function. If I don’t get enough sleep I have pain and anxiety goes up.
If I’m too tired for a prolonged period of time my anemia is back.
So if I could go back in time and I would give myself advice I would not that do that. I would put myself in a car and drop myself at the hospital.
“All we have is our health”
I hope this helps
Sorry for the confusion it’s late
Good night


Wow, Roo, you’re a survivor!

I had COVID (complicated with dehydration and pneumonia), and I called for an ambulance to take me to the hospital when I realized how badly dehydrated I was. (My wife and kids had just left on a pre-planned trip, after they had all recovered from COVID. I got scared, not for myself, but at the thought my kids would come back and I wouldn’t be here.) It took me 6 days in the hospital, 8 days doctor-ordered rest at home, plus another 3 weeks for me to get back to normal.

Even with all that I went through, I’m amazed by your recovery story. My hat’s off to you!

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“Do not try and bend the spoon, that’s impossible. Instead, only try to realize the truth… there is no spoon. Then you’ll see that it is not the spoon that bends, it is only yourself.” —The Child Matrix

I’m just sharing an experience with a very long and convoluted way of saying when in doubt have your doctor check you out.

But the hat goes to you and our collective consciousness ADHD brains.
Reading about Mindfulness and the no self-theory through a simple act of awareness of breath is so intriguing. But definitely hard in application it’s like retraining your brain. Worth it. Totally worth it.

I think unmanaged severe anxiety is very serious. Be safe and well. I hope you can stabilize soon.
Random thought…I bought a Catrike a couple of years ago. Haven’t been on it since March 2020 but will soon. A stuffed animal sloth is sitting on it and the sloth hasn’t moved. Go figure
Okay my point yep getting to that when riding my Catrike I feel it helps my balance gives me confidence. If you are ever interested in trying out a new sport to keep you at homeostasis and enjoy flying down the road like “On a magic carpet ride” check it out.

Keep your floor waxed and you may just find yourself on a magic carpet slide.

P.S Avoid stairs until sufficient experience has been acquired


@roojem I agree with you, unmanaged severe anxiety is serious. Covid has made me feel more isolated.

Happy New Year !

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Thank you for this. If my emotions are not under control my cognitive skills decline. I can’t function and I have to call someone to bring me back to earth. In the moment it’s seems like there is no hope and then I’m back with my brain working. It amazing to me how everything is not just linked to depression but to my ADHD. CBT really helps with getting emotions under control.


Yes, that is the way it is.
Anxiety makes the ADHD symptoms worse!! And being anxious the working memory doesn’t function. And anxiety causes sleep deprivation.
It is a vicious circle, because then I also get more chaotic and feel more shame about me being chaotic, which feeds in to rejection sensibility. And the notion of being more chaotic and having more less working memory makes me even more anxious…


This bring tears to my eyes. It took me almost 50 year to find this out and learn ways to deal with it.