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Facing Overwhelm as an Adult

Facing Overwhelm as an Adult


Facing Overwhelm as an Adult


You know that there is much to do, but you can’t seem to bring yourself to do any of the tasks at hand. Is there a reason to worry? Maybe not. Maybe you just woke up on the wrong side of the bed. Maybe it will pass. When it persists, however, to the point of affecting your life and work, heed the signs—you could be facing overwhelm.

Annie Wright, in an article posted in The Mighty, says that “life can feel hard. Really hard sometimes. The daily stuff of our own individual lives—the Adulting and Humaning we’re all called upon to do each and every waking day—isn’t always fun, glamorous or easy.” Being an adult can be very challenging. You have many responsibilities and goals, and a time frame to meet them.

Achieving your goals can be more difficult when you are overwhelmed, especially when an emotional condition is aggravating the feeling. To face and survive adult overwhelm with success, reach out to a professional; counseling can help.


Behind Adult Overwhelm

Being an adult has its advantages, but it also comes with a lot of challenges and responsibilities toward yourself, others, and your job or career. Those responsibilities can motivate you to be better, or they can curtail or cramp your freedom and choices. As an adult, you must have realized that life is short, so you want to accomplish your goals as soon as possible. That, however, can add more pressure on you.

Part of becoming an adult is the opportunity to develop a deeper sensitivity, which can make you vulnerable to the frailties of human nature. Dr. Irvin Yalom, author of Existential Psychotherapy, says humans have four ultimate concerns: death, freedom and responsibility, isolation, and meaninglessness. These are the things that can disable your ability to adjust to changes and challenges that come into your life.


Changes and Challenges That Overwhelm

Being responsible for the important people and things in your life can be overwhelming. Having a perfectionist, ambitious, or overzealous attitude can make you more vulnerable to emotional overwhelm. Negative life transitions like losing someone very dear can bring about overwhelm.

Furthermore, not all overpowering life transitions are negative; any change or challenge that demands time and attention can overwhelm you. Even positive changes—marriage, job promotion, a fast-growing business, or the birth of a child—may contribute to overwhelm, when they happen simultaneously or one after the other. Feeling overwhelmed can drain you of pleasure and enthusiasm, canceling productivity and obscuring the meaning of your life. Note that “meaninglessness” is another human frailty that can make you prone to overwhelm.


The Impact of Overwhelm

What is emotional overwhelm and why is it an important concern? According to Good Therapy, it is “a state of being beset by intense emotion that is difficult to manage, can often affect a person’s ability to think and act rationally or perform in an efficient and functional manner.” The American Psychological Association (APA) says that overwhelm among adults can significantly shake your physical and emotional health.

It can contribute to or complicate hypertension, heart ailments, or diabetes. It can also weaken your immune defenses and make you eat more, contributing to weight gain and obesity. In addition, overwhelm can trigger or worsen sleeplessness. According to APA, several studies have revealed that overwhelm or stress is also linked to depression, anxiety, and the tendency to abuse substances.


Conditions that Aggravate Overwhelm

There are other factors that can make overwhelm more complicated, such as issues in your relationships or at work or school. Emotional conditions, such as depression, anxiety, and mood disorders, can also make your state of emotional overwhelm more complex. For instance, adjustment can be tougher for those with ADHD, for whom the “world is curvilinear.” According to Dr. William Dodson, the “past, present, and future are never separate and distinct for people with ADHD… as ADHDers experience life more intensely than neurotypicals … Everything is now and that can complicate everyday life, work, and relationships.” Life is riddled with countless reasons and opportunities for overwhelm, but you control how you pick your battles.


Managing Your Life with Counseling/Therapy

Just living life can bring about numerous reasons to be overwhelmed. Striving to be a good person who is loving, responsible, and caring, as well as an achiever who is a perfectionist, organized, and prompt, can overwhelm you. By being human, you are vulnerable to pain, frustration, and getting overworked and tired.

You need someone to talk to: a professional who can help you resolve your issues and realize that there is only so much you can do. That “neutral someone” could be an experienced, independent counselor contracted with Carolina Counseling Services — Pinehurst, NC.

Overwhelm can make you less productive. It can make your relationships, health, and work performance suffer. It can make you distressed and anxious. If you need help, don’t waste time—call for an appointment with an independently contracted counselor at Carolina Counseling Services — Pinehurst, NC, who can help you manage your concerns.


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Serving Areas: Carolina Counseling Services – Pinehurst, NC

Counties: Moore county, NC, Lee County, Hoke County, Chatham County

Areas: Pinehurst NC, West End NC, Taylortown NC, Seven Lakes NC, Eagle Springs NC, Jackson Springs NC, Foxfire NC, Candor NC, Norman NC, Ellerbe NC, Rockingham NC

Zip Codes: 27281, 27376, 28315, 28347, 28350, 28373, 28374, 28387, 28388, 28394

Kelly ErkenBrack, LCSW

Specializes in: (Ages 3+) Children, Teens, Adults, Couples and Families. Anxiety, Depression, Grief and Loss, Mood Disorders, Trauma, Adjustments and Life Transitions, ADHD, Behavioral Issues, Parenting, Relationship Concerns, Self Esteem
Insurance: BCBSTricare Prime/Select, Medicare and Cash
Credit Cards:  
Location: Pinehurst, NC

Robin Caswell, MSW, LCSW

Specializes in: (Ages 5+), Individuals, Adults, Anxiety, Depression, Grief, Loss, ADHD, ODD, Trauma/PTSD, LGBTQ, Self-Harm, Military Family Life, Mood Disorders, OCD, Phobias
Insurance: BCBS, Tricare, Medicare and Cash
Credit Cards:  
Location: Pinehurst, NC

Counseling Information

How Do I Set Up my FIRST Appointment?

  • Call: 910-420-3600 (Fastest way to schedule)
  • Text: (910) 308-3291 (Reply will be via phone)
  • Click here and use our Contact Form (You must include your phone number, because replies will only be made by telephone to ensure security/privacy)
  • Call or Text for your New Patient Appointment Anytime!
  • Appointment scheduling for NEW clients: Mon-Fri 8:30am-5pm
  • Established/Standing Appointments are made directly with your therapist!
  • Referrals: MOST beneficiaries do NOT need a Referral!

Other Contact Info

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Carolina Counseling Services – Pinehurst, NC

45 Dowd Circle Suite 5
PinehurstNC 28374

Our Mailing Address:

PO BOX 9909
Fayetteville, NC 28311