Reply To: Really struggling, any advice appreciated please

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Spaceboy 99

Hey again 🙂

Ok, so I’d argue that, if you suspect you may have ADHD, the first course of action you undertake should be to see a specialist. There are some ‘self-tests’ on here for ADHD in adults, and for ADHD in girls, so you can give them a go and see what pops up (bear in mind that the tests are not 100% accurate, and are not a substitution for a diagnosis by a specialist). The good news is that, if you have ADHD, there’s help available. If you don’t have ADHD, then there’s STILL help available, but you don’t get the nifty little pills that make the world make sense. As regards your medications stance, I can fully understand the reluctance to take YET MORE pills, but at the same time, I don’t think you’d hesitate to take allergy pills, antibiotics, or painkillers if you had allergies, an infection, or a broken limb, despite already taking several types of medication. As ADHD is CAUSED by brain chemical imbalance, and the medications rectify that balance, not taking medications for it is like walking around with your legs tied together and one arm behind your back. While some people find that they can manage their symptoms with strategies and intervention methods alone, that ISN’T true of everyone, and they still have a harder time doing so than they necessarily would with medications. That being said, the decision is very much a personal one, and if you don’t feel it’s for you, then it’s not for you. But do ALWAYS remember that that IS an intervention you’ve not tried, and that it is always an option to consider.

One intervention to maybe consider is to buy a dumbphone. Shut down the smartphone, buy a dumbphone, and restrict internet browsing to a laptop or desktop computer you keep in the house. Not being able to browse articles wherever and whenever could well make your mind realise how much time you’re devoting to it. It also puts several layers of obscurity between you and the content. Instead of just picking up and browsing, you have to go to the computer, turn it on, whack in your password, wait for it to start, then start browsing. And you’re restricted to ONLY doing that. You can’t cook, or clean, or watch TV at the same time (though I suppose you could multi-tab the TV, but you get my point).

Part of your mistake re: FOMO is that you’re looking for THE PERFECT, CUSTOM, JUST-RIGHT-FOR-ME, TAILORED solution, and it could be JUST ONE CLICK AWAY. The mistake lies in assuming that there IS a perfect solution. All you need is a solution that WORKS. It doesn’t matter if it’s not tailor-made for you, or if you have to hack off bits and plug other bits in, and turn it into a franken-solution, as long as it does the job. It sounds like you’re so concerned with finding one perfect system that you’re ignoring several good, viable ideas that could help you out a great deal, because they won’t fix everything in one fell swoop, and I say you’re missing a trick. Just implement them one at a time. You could try to just add one implementation a month, and you can pick the newest one out of a hat if you like, as long as you actually DO it. That’s the most important part. It’s like going to the gym- it doesn’t matter if you only go once every two weeks, and spend that time flopping about on a cross-trainer for 15 minutes then leave- going is still better than not going, it’s just not as effective as a detailed workout plan with nutrient breaks and a personal trainer.

The reason I specified a hobby, rather than an efficiency mechanism around the house is because, for ADHD types, we seek STIMULATION. PHONES are stimulating, GAMES are stimulating, HOBBIES are stimulating. Rearranging the cookware is NOT stimulating. Hence, we default to phones. It’s not just a case of ‘put it down and get on with it’. Your brain doesn’t LET you. So I specified a hobby to show you that there are ways of getting that same stimulation AWAY from your phone. Getting the stimulation is the important part. Say that you lock your phone in a vault for a day, and instead of spending the whole day entranced by your phone, you spend 3/4 of the day playing badminton, and 1/4 rearranging the cookware, you’ve rearranged far more cookware than you would have if you were just on your phone. You see my point? 🙂 The key is actually STARTING. Distance from your phone is the best thing you can do for your plans. When I needed to do something other than gaming, I used to get my game controllers and give them to someone ‘not-me’ to look after until I’d ‘done the thing’. It worked, even though I bloody hated it 😛 Now I’m a little better at prioritising, and I can keep my controllers about and still do other things, even though I still hate it.

Re: the kindle reading, one thing you could do is use the ‘highlights’ function to highlight key passages for later viewing. Your kindle saves them in a ‘My Clippings’ folder, and you can just go there and view anything that you highlighted. That saves you from trying to remember the information, and from feeling useless for forgetting it. Another thing you could try is ‘mindful reading’. Every time you read a chapter, summarise what you liked about it, on a laptop or something. It means you get less reading done, but the act of writing it down a) makes you more likely to remember it, b) makes sure you fully understand the points you’re writing about, and c) stops you from reading when you don’t have enough time to read AND write.

I hope this helps! Just remember- start SOMETHING, even if it’s NOT perfect. It doesn’t need to be perfect, it just has to help 🙂