My Forum Comments
August 7, 2018 at 1:31 pm in reply to: Think Before You Act? Easier Said Than Done (new user) #90511
It was many years before I realized I study best by going over information many times, rather than working from front to back systematically. I pick up the salient points first, and then fill in the gaps.
I don’t know if this is a learned coping mechanism or not, but I don’t take things out of the box before I’ve read the instructions. Actually taking the thing out of the box is a reward for reading and understanding the instructions.
I have the same problem, and last year it got really bad.
I think there is something deeper involved than just not liking going to sleep. I didn’t get sleepy at all, and despite my best intentions I’d take the laptop to bed and get the light out at 3 a.m. (and then wake up at 11 a.m., detesting myself.)
Since I’ve been taking medication, it’s been easier. For a 6 a.m. wake-up, which I’m aiming for, I need to get the light out at 10 p.m., but it’s usually 11 p.m. I take a warm shower at 9 p.m., which helps with relaxing and gets my feet warm. (When can’t fall asleep, my feet are cold. I haven’t figured out if there’s a cause-and-effect, but doesn’t hurt to avoid cold feet at bedtime.)
To do this, I actually set alarms that tells me when to go to bed. I know it’s common advice, but it does make a difference. I use both gentle alarm tones on my mobile phone and an app called SplenDo, which reads the reminders one put into it – it lets me be creative with
wording (“Come to bed darling, I have something waiting for you” 😉 ) and it doesn’t require silencing.
When I do go to bed I take some reading, my Bullet Journal, and a cryptic crossword puzzle.
As I read I might remember things to do, and that goes to my BuJo, so that I don’t start a milling thought about it. The same goes for other stray ideas. When I’m tired of reading I turn to the crossword. The moments before sleep are mind-expanding, so I solve more clues during this time.
I think at least part of the problem is that the bodymind has a ‘completion counter’. It keeps track of the things one completes in a day, and keeps one awake until enough things have been completed. Of course the ADD mind doesn’t care about things being completed, so the counter never gets to an “enough for today” threshold. What I do now is to complete minor things (tidying, cleaning) during my breaks, which satisfy the ‘completion counter’ (which doesn’t care about importance or quality).
I haven’t had the light out after midnight now for a few months, and I’m still working on getting it earlier. I don’t have a foolproof scheme yet.
The basic problem I see here is that you are treating his ADHD as something that should be ‘fixed’, so that he can be ‘normal’. That will never, ever happen. Expecting him to keep a schedule like a ‘normal’ person is simply unreasonable if you know he has ADHD. Meds and techniques should not be for making him like other people, they should be for making him the best version of himself, which might be very different from what you imagine he should be.
You should try doing things differently.
If he has trouble getting going in the morning, have you ever tried bringing him breakfast (or at least coffee) in bed? If you think he’s just lazy, of course you won’t feel like doing that, but if you entertain the idea that he might really have a hard time getting going in the morning, such a treatment might just make everybody’s lives easier. (Personally I’ve set my microwave’s timer to cook me oatmeal while I’m still in bed and struggling awake. Eating something kick-starts my lethargic morning brain.)
My advice would be to get a new psychologist. It doesn’t seem that there is enough trust in your relationship for the process to work.
I’ve had a very similar experience. I found myself referred to a neurologist, who latched on to the fact that I’m taking Prozac for maintenance, and declared that my depression is not well controlled. He also implied that because I’m a PhD student and scientist I can’t have ADHD. “People with ADHD go crazy doing that kind of work”, he said. It was only afterwards that I thought to answer, “But trying to do this work is driving me crazy.”
In the end I found my GP more helpful in willingness to prescribe medication.