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As a three-year-old, I snuck out in the middle of the night and ran to the beach to swim. Since then, swimming has been the best ADHD medicine for me. 

Image: Unsplash

This is written by Linn Krogh Hansen, who is a journalist and social anthropologist, and who runs the blog On the blog, she posts about her own experiences and knowledge about challenges associated with ADHD.


Getting rid of excess energy

She writes further in the post:

Swimming is my medicine. I am therefore extremely happy that I have always been crazy about water, and thus found it natural to start swimming as a child. Since then, there has been competitive swimming for several years.

Swimming is a sport I can do all my life, with the intensity that suits me at all times. If I want to, I get rid of relatively much energy during a short training period. For those of us who have a little more unbalanced energy than the average of the population, swimming is therefore a very good form of exercise. 

Whether you choose swimming, running, cross-country skiing or other fitness sports is irrelevant, as long as you get tired in a good way. The training will give you the good "endorphin" feeling, which not only balances the energy, but also gives a kind of feeling of mastery and satisfaction over having "done something" constructively.

When I swim regularly, I also function much better on all other levels. It will be easier to organize everyday life, as the energy is better distributed. Tendencies to mild acute depression and negative thoughts also disappear.


Breaking a negative mood

A good day for me is a day when I have created something or can tick off the list of "work done". As a freelancer without a fixed income, a lot of time is spent on thinking, stress, worry and prioritizing and organizing everyday life.

It also takes little to be distracted during long-term concentration-demanding tasks. While others have the ability to catch up after a few minutes distraction at work, I spend much longer before I am back on track. In the event of frequent disturbances, I often fail to complete any of what I had planned during the day.

What happens then? Wll, I am left with the feeling of being totally hopeless. Such a day is definitely not a good day. If there are too many such days on the rap, the irritation and self-loathing quickly builds up. Faster than I can handle.

This is probably something everyone recognizes to some degree.

For my part, this negative thought process grows much faster than in most others I know, and the impulse control is consequently worse. The next step is the inner dialogue with myself about "everything I do not achieve in this life." Then it is of little use that you argue with everything that is actually done very good in life. In such moments, you might as well tell me that the earth is round, and I will most likely answer that “No, the earth is flat. Like a pancake! ».

This meltdown is quite destructive, but it is so ingrained that it happens automatically.

It's NOW I HAVE TO GET OUT! Do something physical, before the idea that the earth is flat is allowed to grow further.

It is NOW, when it boils in my head and the mental warning lights approach boiling point, that I MUST take a swin in the pool.

An hour of splashing works wonders, and things that looked all black before I dived out usually look affordable after a mile or two in the pool. Maybe I even solved the problem during the session, without even thinking about it. Only by using up some negative excess energy.

A little chlorine water, even if it does not smell so good, can work wonders on a bad day.


Is physical activity underestimated in treatment?

I am just as surprised every time one of the major media publishes "Training helps against ADHD" on the news site. This is not news at all today, but rather indicates that the knowledge about this is not as well known as I expect.

In my opinion, exercise and physical activity should be given far higher priority in the treatment of people with ADHD than is done today.

The lack of dopamine in the brain means that we more often "get bored" than the rest of the population, and therefore often seek more "excitement" than the average. This search for excitement and adrenaline can be reduced by physical activity, although this in itself is not enough for many.

A challenge is probably that many do not have sufficient resources around them to run or start an active life. But again, this is about prioritization and focus.

For me, swimming has become my way of channeling out bad energy and destructive thoughts. And this will continue for the rest of my life, if I get what I want.

- Written by ADHD Frue

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