Published on ADDitudeMag.com

ADHD Memory Paranoia

The constant worry that I forgot something rules my ADHD existence, and will bother me until I go back and make sure I really didn’t forget.

by Rebeka Covell


I really need to pay attention the first time I do something. It is the bane of my ADHD existence. I’m always questioning myself, hoping that I really did lock the door, turn off the stove, shut off the headlights, etc.

At work I find myself going back and forth to the fax machine, waiting for my confirmation page to print. After 10 minutes I get the file out to re-send it, thinking it must not have gone through the first time. When I open the folder to get the fax there’s my confirmation, right where I left it the first time I checked.

At my mall job I’m often late because I almost get to my store before I just have to turn around and go back to the parking lot to make sure I didn’t leave the headlights on. So far, every single time, they’ve been off, and I’ve been late for nothing. At my internship it’s easier, because I can just stick my head out the door and look into the parking lot to see my car.

When I leave in the morning I’m paranoid that I left the coffee pot on, or I put my alarm clock on snooze and it’s going to wake everyone else up once I’m gone. When I turn around to check nothing is ever wrong, and I feel stupid for going back to check.

The constant worry that I forgot something is so annoying, but it will bother me until I go back and make sure I really didn’t forget. I think I just do things automatically without even noticing I’m doing it. I never consciously think I’m shutting off my alarm now, or my headlights are off. And even if I said it out loud I would still end up doubting myself (and people would think I was crazy).

I should just forget about it and not go back to check, but the one time I do that will be the first time I actually did forget, and the car battery will be dead, the kitchen will be on fire, or my family will be angry that I left my alarms on all day.

Anyone have any ideas or tips to remember that you didn’t forget something?


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Source: ADHD Memory Paranoia