1059647 tn?1255035854

More than just procrastination

I always think of procrastination as a symptom of my ADD, but sometimes it's more than just a symptom. Sometimes I am just simply procrastinating, time mismanagement and low motivation, but then there are the ones that give it a whole new meaning. And lately its been happening a lot, probably due to mounting stress from school and new unemployment.

I sit down with the drive and intention to work on something I need to do, but then as I start to think about the task my heart starts racing, my breathing gets shallow, I feel shaky, I feel an urge to leave, my eyes start watering, I feel like I'm going to cry. Emotionally I feel like there are more things to do than I could ever accomplish, I feel like I have no control over anything, I feel hopeless. Cognitively, I can't prioritize which are most important, I cant focus in on anything, I feel like a chicken with its head cut off. I feel paralyzed.

So my reaction? Make it stop. The only way to make it stop is to stop trying. I try to fix my "paralysis" by calming myself down and de-stressing. Maybe watch a funny sitcom, write in a journal, or surf the net. My goal being that if I calm down and feel happy I will be able to refocus and do the work. Thats when its mild. When its really bad, I go into full blown sobbing, feeling like a failure, basically falling apart. Its terrifying feeling, I feel like I'm trapped by my own inadequacy and insufficient time. When that happens fixing it entails sleeping, emotional eating, and avoiding any stress at all costs. At that point the goal is not to be able to work, its to be able to get out of bed at all. My limbs feel like lead, its weird.

Regardless there is one feeling I always have, I wish that I could just stop time until I was caught up.  
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1107595 tn?1258377443
Yes, I'm a royal procrastinator! I have consistently set goals and fallen off of them in 1-2 weeks. I don't take any medication for ADHD at the moment but have had a fair amount of success with Dexadrine in the mid-1990s when my Dr/psycologist at the time suspected that I've had ADHD most of my life. I realize that there are more new drugs out there now so maybe talking your Dr. would be a good start. For me, it's a mixture of anxiety, ADHD, depression and lack of a good Dr. who will take the time to diagnose and treat me. I am taking Celexa 20 mg once a day and it doesn't seem to be improving much of anything. Having not been formally tested for ADHD but 99.9% sure that I have it, I can empathize with any of you who have expressed frustration. It's sometimes more bother to try and explain what's wrong to other people then it's worth. Any ideas on what's good to take for a 47 yr old with  generalized anxiety and/or  PTSD ? I have had great difficulty sleeping lately and MightyMouse88, my ADHD symptoms become more noticeable when stress is added into the mix. Hope things work out for those who are struggling. You are in my prayers.
Helpful - 0
1097249 tn?1257377627
I have A.D.D. and i struggle with some o.c.d.  I noticed Zoloft helps me but also seems to zap my creativity.  I procrastinate and have a hard time sticking to my goals.  Does any one else have similar problems?
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Avatar universal
Hey Kiddo, Sorry to hear about the recent changes. Like Sandman said, it's just too much all at one time for you... I'd be off balance too!
Right now if you want to have a laugh on me, I've got chaos reigning in my house because I got a wild hair up my arm and decided to move my office downstairs so that my husband could have a "Man Cave" where he could snore his life away and I can get some sleep. Talk about having anxieties!
So it's been over a week, and it only took me one day to get it all out of the room, but it's still all over the couch and the floor. The room downstairs is just as bad. I just take one thing at a time and have a rule that I can't go downstairs without taking something with me. Of course then I get into the office and spend an hour or so there. But part of the reason I moved my office was so that I'd be forced to go up and down the stairs for some exercise. Talk about procrastination! I've had a work out room down there for 5 years. Worked out like three times and now it's my office so I have to go in there. Ha ha....
I'm also a bit depressed but pushing through it with diet and new friends. Well, I guess you could call the Girl Scouts my friends, but volunteering for me is one way to get me out of the house and dressed at least once a week. It also gives me something to look forward to as that is a great anti-depressant for me as well.
Just focus on one thing at a time. Your exams are priority #1, so ask a counselor to help you out with the paperwork for Unemployment if you need financial help right now. Asking for help is one way to de-stress as well. I tend to delegate well to the other mom's and volunteers so that I don't have to worry about getting everything done. Once they say they are going to help out and do something, I don't have to think about it again.
Find your center again... reach inside and find that joy that is the glimmer of light and hope in your life and hang onto it. Now more than ever, look outside and see that the change in the air is a good change. Family holidays are coming and can be stressful as well, but you get presents... yippee! Ok, so the kid in me comes out once in awhile, but think about it. Look for the good in what you are doing and choose to be happy about what you can do, not what you can't do... and in Girl Scouts, we are not allowed to use the word "can't". It's either we try or we keeping trying...
Cheers and keep us posted...
Helpful - 0
189897 tn?1441126518
    Actually, I would slightly disagree with specialmom (which I hardly ever do - and ya she does have the training to know what she is talking about).  I think its more the anxiety which is fueling your depression.  Mid terms and term papers were always last minute deals for me till I quite procrastinating and started scheduling them out way ahead of time.  Probably didn't figure this out till my junior year of college.  Course I played around a lot my first two years:).  Losing your job is very stressful.  Happening at the same time as mid terms really compounds things.  By the way, did you check into unemployment compensation?  It will help out for the time being, if you qualify and the paperwork is not too hard.  Also you might see what jobs your college offers.  Many times they have great part time opportunities.
   Excuse me for digressing - my point is that you are going through A LOT of stress right now.  Dealing with the stress (or anxiety) will help with the depression.  Your reaction and de-stressing techniques are good (kind of like meditation).  If you haven't done so you might want to check out the anxiety forums here. I still think that good physical exercise is an important tool.  I do hope you have a better therapist now.  I wasn't real happy with the one that did your testing in college (course that may have been just a tester, not a therapist).
  Finally, I don't think that a lot of people realize how debilitating stress is.  And since it can't always be avoided, ya gotta learn how to cope with it.
  Anyway, I am glad you are still writing to us, that alone will be helpful.  There are others on this forum that have gone through what you are going through, and maybe they will also have some ideas.  Best wishes.
Helpful - 0
1059647 tn?1255035854
I know a lot of people are uneducated in psychological disorders, so I'm not upset that you responded this way. But I do want to tell you somethings.
First of all, I was tested and diagnosed with adhd by licensed professionals when I was 8, and my testing was updated this fall concluding that I still have it.

Secondly, one of the symptoms of adhd is in fact procrastination, it is in the DSM IV. Symptom meaning it is one of a list of signs of a disorder, it must be severe enough to disrupt your life, and it alone does not qualify as a disorder.

Third, my medication is very effective, but it can only do so much, it is not a miracle pill. That is why I came to this group, to look for others who could relate and maybe have tips.
And finally, medication is not a chemical lobotomy, it does not take a persons personality away. I am the same person on and off my meds, I just have fewer adhd related symptoms while I am medicated. They wear off every night and I have gone periods without meds and I never feel any change in personality.
I hope this helped you understand the validity and seriousness of psychological disorders.
Helpful - 0
1059647 tn?1255035854
: ) maybe you should be a psychologist, I have been diagnosed with depression since I was 12! You hit the nail right on the head lol. You gave great advice too, unfortunately its the same advice that I have been getting from my therapists, self help books, and websites for add. Its when I start to slip (i think into depression) that I start to feel that panic when I try to break the work into pieces. Thats what I am most scared about, when I get to the point where even trying to plan out my assignments causes me to go into this break down. I have been dealing with this more and more over the past two weeks since I lost my job while also having mid terms and term papers going on. I know I need to talk to a therapist about this.
Helpful - 0
973741 tn?1342342773
Hi, you also describe symptoms of depression with some anxiety.  Depression can cause you to lose concentration, motivation and focas.  I would consider talking to a doctor about this as there is help available.  In the mean time, I would break what you need to do into small tasks.  Then set a guideline for what you want to accomplish.  One to two tasks a day.  This makes it much more doable than looking at the whole picture of what needs to be done.  Being overwhelmed slows us down.  Doing just one or two things a day is so much better than becoming overwhelmed and doing nothing.  Be kind to yourself but push for that one task a day.  Good luck.
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Avatar universal
Panic attacks maybe?  Just a thought.
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757137 tn?1347196453
If procrastination were a symptom of ADD then a good part of the world is suffering from it. Especially me. I have a job of work to do and I put it off and put it off and put it off until the pressure builds. And then I do it. Lots of people are made that way. It is easy to call everything a disease and look for the cure in a pill. Maybe it is just personality. I wouldn't want a pill to take my personality away. Then who would I be?
Helpful - 0
1092101 tn?1256956049
I have ADHD and that sure does sounds just like me, gahhhhhhhhhhhhhh.
Helpful - 0
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