Decluttering brings on extreme fatigue…

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    • #63468

      I’ve been boxing up items in an effort to declutter my tiny condo. I’ve clearly outgrown my condo after 23 years of living here. I was feeling more and more overwhelmed with all my “stuff”. I finally got boxes and have started boxing things up. I find I can get hyper focused and plug away but then it’s like a chemical goes off in my brain and I collapse into much neeed sleep. I’m determined to keep going. I’m just wondering if anyone can relate. When it comes to tasks I’ve avoided like the plague, I get so tired.

    • #63580

      Absolutely. I get completely overwhelmed, which then results in stress-related exhaustion.

    • #63603
      Penny Williams

      My daughter has social anxiety (we suspect ADHD as well, but she’s not open to the possibility at this time, and she’s 18). She’s hanging out with some others in the art program socially and working hard to make connections, even though she’s uncomfortable. She tells me that after she hangs out with other students (that she doesn’t know well yet) she is exhausted and totally drained. The reason is that she is so focused on trying to read other’s body language and stressing about what she should say and being terrified of offending someone in social situations.

      It’s exhausting to work so hard to do things that are relatively automatic for most people.

      ADHD Fatigue Is a Real (Exhausting) Thing

      ADDitude Community Moderator, Author & Mentor on Parenting ADHD, Mom to teen w/ ADHD, LDs, and autism

    • #64322

      Hi. Are you boxing things up just to box them up, or are you separating by category, like donate/toss(to actually take a trip out to the trash…asap)/etc?
      I recently cleaned out my deceased father’s house. There really wasn’t a better way to deal with his stuff than to sort it on-the-spot and deal with it. Some things like “important papers” went home with me to go thru in relative comfort. Some days I started out with a run to Goodwill, others a recycling center run. Not that you have that kind of mess, but every day I saw progress…and that felt good. On days I woke up lazy, I reminded myself about that positive feeling.
      For what clutter I have (of my own) there are days/hours/minutes when I “get brutal”, meaning I “just do it”… Articles of places I’d like to visit and can realistically vs. “by the time I’ll be able to go there I can google it” recycling bag filler. Socks sorted. Undies culled. Usually a little at a time, otherwise I will get overwhelmed and frustrated and lose motivation.

      • #64858

        My ADD medication (Vyvanse) helps me focus on tasks (decluttering, cleaning, grocery shopping) but I still experience the exhaustion after. Does this mean my medication is not enough or is it just normal for someone with ADD?

    • #64347

      I can totally relate! People and leaving my house used to make me feel that way. I was treated for rejection sensitive dysphoria that is present in varying degrees of adhd. Mine was a huge part of my troubles. I have lived 39 years this way and finally saw an adhd psychiatrist because my Son was having difficulty and he gave me the right combination of meds and I am not as drained, socially phobic, or overwhelmed. I still recharge alone but find life fun to live, even when I leave the house and have to interact with others :).

    • #64541

      That sounds like me. I will put off a cleaning job like getting our spare room/storage room cleaned out for the arrival of our next child (it’s an overwhelming task, too much clutter) then I’ll suddenly get hyper focused on it and clean till 3am, completely losing track of time and skipping meals. Then I’ll be so exhausted I’m unable to do anything for days.
      When I finally get it started though, I don’t want to stop or I’ll never finish it and it will remain half done for another 3 years.
      To keep my house cleaning up, I invite my Mom to visit every week (she’s a neat freak) and I frantically clean late the night before or early in the morning before she gets there or I’ll never here the end of it. She went on vacation for a month in the spring and my house was a disaster by the time she got back.

    • #64555

      I can soooo RELATE!!!
      I’m new to the ADDitude community and I am learning so much!
      Thanks for sharing your experiences. It’s so comforting to
      know I’m not alone and there are others who are going through
      the same things (sure sorry about that!)

      I am determined (most days) not to just accept status quo.
      It’s inspiring to know that others are pressing ahead and
      challenging themselves to not just be a ‘victim’ of our
      condition- tempered with compassion and support.

      I hope to share what works for me, as soon as I figure
      out what works… I’ve got piles of boxes of papers that
      desperately need sorting and tossing! It’s almost
      paralyzing… and yes, exhausting. I keep asking myself…
      How can I be exhausted BEFORE I’ve even started?

      Guess I have a lot of reading to do! Here goes…

    • #64859

      (Oops, didn’t mean to post as a reply to Bert! How do I delete a post?)

      My ADD medication (Vyvanse) helps me focus on tasks (decluttering, cleaning, grocery shopping) but I still experience the exhaustion after. Does this mean my medication is not enough or is it just normal for someone with ADD?

    • #64860

      I appreciate everyone’s input and relating. I take adderall but still get wiped out. It’s such a mental process, decluttering. Boy I can relate to getting hyper focused. I kind of like when I go there, I can accomplish stuff but there is a price to pay. Usually exhaustion. I spent Sunday decluttering and found a picture of me and my late sister. It brought tears to my eyes. I don’t even remember taking the picture and it was a very nice picture. She passed away almost 4 years ago, unexpectedly, of a brain aneurysm. In the middle of my clutter, I found a gem. Bless us all as we forge forward doing our best.

    • #66911

      Kerry- I figured that was an “oops”, but I will respond anyway…Do you do your grocery shopping when everyone else in town does, or are you going when it typically isn’t as busy and still getting exhausted? **I think anyone-not just ADDtypes- could get exhausted with every other cart bumping into you/yours or too many screaming children. I think too many people are too preoccupied to realize that they are becoming tired of the chaos.**
      On the flip side, when decluttering, cleaning, etc., is it too quiet? I have to have a radio on when I’m inside doing those activities or else the silence makes my head buzz. If I really need to concentrate on important papers, I still have something on, just with the volume way down. Unless I feel differently on a random day. I don’t have TV anymore and I miss having that on.

      • #66913

        Thanks, Bert. I go at off-peak hours, I guess it’s when I am not organised and am planning meals the same time I’m shopping that drains my battery. I would take my mum grocery shopping with me and she would still have energy to cook while I just want to sit down and do nothing! It’s probably too low of a dosage as I find having coffee helps!

        And yes, having music on softly in the background helps me to focus on household tasks!

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