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submitted 2 months ago* (last edited 2 months ago) by [email protected] to c/adhd

Due to a certain situation I'm living at work (for about two months now) I've basically given up tending to all the other stuff in my life and it's really starting to impact my relationships, my mental health and my job itself.

I feel so overwhelmed about all the stuff I still need to do I'm starting to have meltdowns everytime something new pops up (even something as small as a friend's birthday).

Just yesterday I managed to tackle one of the things I've been procrastinating and felt no satisfaction whatsoever due to the huge amount of things that still need to be done and situations that need to be addressed.

I feel I'm only able to handle one "crisis" at a time, and the moment there are two going on, everything else becomes one.

I also can't stop thinking about this whole situation, it's like my brain is constantly active but in the end I can't manage to get me to do anything. It's exhausting.

Does it happen to you too? How do you deal with that?

Edit: thanks to everyone who took time to reply and give honest advice. I'll read all the messages at the end of my shift

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[-] Delphia 27 points 2 months ago* (last edited 2 months ago)

You need to watch a movie.

The Martian. (Yes its fiction but still)

The man is injured and stranded on Mars, at every step of the way he identifies the biggest barrier to his survival and works the problem then moves onto the next one and works the problem. You dont have a giant insurmountable mountain of problems. They just look that way. Watch the movie, look at how hopeless it was when taken as a whole and then watch him knock his issues on the arse one at a time.

Then sit down and make a list, then pick one and work the problem.

[-] [email protected] 6 points 2 months ago

Thanks a lot. I'll watch it for sure

[-] jhymesba 4 points 2 months ago

This is excellent advice. There's also very motivational music (at least to me) to be had.

Making Water: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XuNq7NWGCfo Science the Sh*t out of This: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DTxV9a25TlE

This can help get your brain to problem solving mode if you've made the association like I have.

[-] [email protected] 2 points 2 months ago

Thank you, I'll make sure to watch those videos too

[-] [email protected] 2 points 2 months ago

Here is an alternative Piped link(s):

https://www.piped.video/watch?v=XuNq7NWGCfo

https://www.piped.video/watch?v=DTxV9a25TlE

Piped is a privacy-respecting open-source alternative frontend to YouTube.

I'm open-source; check me out at GitHub.

[-] [email protected] 17 points 2 months ago

Yeah, been here before. Something that truly does help me is making lists like others said. When you add your tasks though, list out the subtasks required too. It helps you visualize the problem better and sometimes makes you realize that your brain is making a mountain out of tasks that are less involved than you realize.

I’m a programmer and sometimes my ADHD makes me sweat when I see incoming work projects. But as soon as I finish a first pass on a list of what needs to be done and the project is broken out into features and tasks within those features, it’s much more mentally manageable. The reality is that you can’t do all of those things at once anyway, so all you can do is divide and conquer. If anyone has a problem with that, fuck em.

I’ve spent a lot of my life trying to hit an expectation target that is often times manufactured in my own head, or just completely unknown and I’m worrying for nothing. The other times, it was someone asking for something completely unreasonable and I had to come to terms with that. I know how quickly I work and how I work. If people don’t like it, I can’t please them and that’s their problem not mine.

I always try to tell myself that no one is getting anything from me if I’m not healthy and supported myself, so fixing that comes first. Sometimes you have to force yourself to remember that you are your own person that deserves happiness and isn’t a slave to anyone else’s unrealistic demands. You control what you do and you work in your own way. Don’t let yourself manufacture expectations because your own brain will always keep them super high.

[-] [email protected] 3 points 2 months ago

Yeah, I've been often told to make lists but the habit never really stuck with me. I guess it's time to change that

I’ve spent a lot of my life trying to hit an expectation target that is often times manufactured in my own head, or just completely unknown and I’m worrying for nothing.

I feel this so much, it's scary how reality is often so different from my own perception. I realized it recently and I'm starting to suppress these thoughts entirely, unless I have explicit evidence of what people expect of me.

I always try to tell myself that no one is getting anything from me if I’m not healthy and supported myself, so fixing that comes first.

That is definitely true, unfortunately when you are in the loop it's easy to forget that. I guess I need to talk and express how I feel more to solve that.

Thanks a lot for your comment. Also amazing instance name lol

[-] agent_flounder 12 points 2 months ago

I can totally relate. Been there many times. Kind of there now to a lesser degree (i.e. not having meltdowns but still so overwhelmed I am battling depression for the umpteenth billionth time and am really discouraged).

Things that help me:


Regular exercise even if light exercise, like walking around the block for 10-30 min. The more I do this per week the better off I am.


Regular sleep; I'm way more mentally tough when rested. I'm a fragile mess if I am too tired plus stressed.


Writing a list. The pile usually looks and feels infinite in my head but finite and thus smaller on paper.

Still, list can be overwhelming. When things are really bad, make three lists:

  • "OMG MUST DO NOW OR I AM SO FUCKED"
  • "Need to get this done soon but not fucked yet"
  • "In the big scheme of things, not that urgent, not that necessary"

And prune any unnecessary items.

E.g. "I really want to finish that one project... But you know what? If I throw in the towel, officially quit, toss it in the bin and never think about it again it is a burden lifted so... fuck it, bye project!"

I tend to overcommit, too, so sometimes it is better to call the friend and just be honest and say it probably won't get done ever. I get really stressed and guilty when I have favors hanging over my head that I know I won't have time for.

I've got two of those hanging over my head now.

If can help to have a friend help prioritize your list. They can help you be brutal in pruning, and objectively determine what is most urgent.

Then... focus on one super urgent thing at a time.


Helps me to think through the first most basic steps to get started on a scary thing that I want to put off. Instead of trying to climb a mountain, it helps to think of the first steps on the trail, the first obstacle. I mean basic as in, "ok first I need a pencil, then paper" -- that level of basic. Once I get started i can keep rolling. It's all about getting over the emotional hurdle associated with starting...


Also helps to not expect too much of myself.

One accomplishment is all I can muster, most days.

Other days just doing basic hygiene and some days just getting out of bed is an accomplishment.

Occasionally when stars align or I'm not stressed and overwhelmed I can knock out several things.

Of course right now I feel like giving up... So that's probably not expecting enough lol.

Maybe it would help to have a mutual accountability buddy, where you encourage each other and report progress. That can be motivating in a good way.

[-] [email protected] 2 points 2 months ago

I really appreciate you took the time to write that, plenty of practical solutions that look like exactly what I need. I'll need to make a list just to remember them!

I get really stressed and guilty when I have favors hanging over my head that I know I won't have time for.

I swear I do this all the time and I hate myself for that.

Thanks again for your advice, I wish you the best of luck. We both can do it!

[-] agent_flounder 2 points 2 months ago

Glad I could help! We got this!

[-] [email protected] 8 points 2 months ago

Put it on a list and make a note of what you need to solve each issue and any deadlines.

It's important to do it on an actual list, either a piece of paper or in some note app. You should not attempt to keep track of every in your head. That's exactly what is stopping you from doing any of it.

Once it's on your list you can take your mind off it and start solving one thing at a time. When you try to solve something on the list you might find that you can't solve right there and then. Put that obstacle on the list as a side quest to the main task. There's no need to concern yourself with things that you can't do anything about. Move on to the next solvable issue.

[-] [email protected] 1 points 2 months ago

Seems like making lists is the way to go. Thanks!

[-] [email protected] 8 points 2 months ago

Have you talked about this with your in-real-life persons? Or are you making a brave face while crumbling inside? Maybe it's time to open up not just online but to someone who is in this with you - and especially the people affected by your struggle. More often than not the opening up already eases some of the load, and often people around you can offer different kinds of support.

If your day hasn't hours enough to handle everything there's probably too much. Is there anything you really don't have to do?

ADHD, like ASD, seem to both have this magnetic force that keep one locked to the current activity, which in your case seems to be 'thinking about the issues'. Your imminent quest is to break the magnetic force of 'activity A - thinking about the issues' and shift towards 'activity B' - doing the things that solve the issues'. When trying to make this shift I find myself scared of not having thought about the issues enough - but when I act it always sorts out well, way better than if I had remained paralyzed.

Set up proper resting hours. In these resting hours there's two modes: one where you enjoy activities that completely force the problems out of your mind, and another where the problems you have to solve are permitted to lightly float in your mind while you enjoy doing something else. You need a bit of both, find out which activities and ratios work best for you. Going outdoors, physical activities, arts, crafts, gaming, ... are some activities that could be helpful in breaking the mindlock. Sometimes it's helpful to do something unusual. For example, take a reeeally long walk. Or participate in a soap making workshop. This helps to break the strongly ingrained brain patterns that won't let you out of the rumination thought mill.

[-] [email protected] 1 points 2 months ago

Have you talked about this with your in-real-life persons? Or are you making a brave face while crumbling inside? Maybe it's time to open up not just online but to someone who is in this with you - and especially the people affected by your struggle.

Deinitely dying inside while tryng to look normal. The problem is, this mainly affects my job, and even though there are people I feel comfortable talking to, it's still a workplace and I do not like exposing myself in it. I feel like the more you let others know you, the more weapons they have against you (I'm talking about the boss especially).

I really think the "fake it until you make it" approach is the only one viable in a workplace that is not perfectly morally aligned with you. I'm probably just overthinking, but it's a chance I'm not really willing to take.

Thanks for all the advice, it's much appreciated

[-] [email protected] 6 points 2 months ago

I feel you, it's hard to get things done, it's hard to track every thing that needs to be done, it's hard to maintain a balance when things are difficult at work.

The past I have pursued an ADHD diagnosis, and gotten medication. It helps a lot, it provides emotional stability and the ability to focus on something without getting distracted all the time. Task initiation is still difficult though...

I don't anybody has a perfect solution but there are things you can try:

  1. Prioritize your mental health and not your work. It sounds difficult, I get it, if I don't get paid me and my sister aren't going to have food on the table. But, having a balance helps you be productive, which in turn helps you maintain a job.
  2. Make lists, your brain will forget. Also, having things written sometimes helps with anxiety (though seeing the volume of things to be done can be intimidating)
  3. Routines help a lot. It's hard to establish one, but once you do it make things easier. Remember to make them interesting, but don't depend on that. Your brain will get used and get bored easily, but you got stick to it, until you no longer have to think about it.
  4. Remember to take a break. It doesn't matter how productive (or not) you were, you get tired from all this anxiety. Just allow yourself to be free a few hours every once in a awhile.
[-] PostingInPublic 6 points 2 months ago

Fix the stupid little things first.

Do you have a friend? Ask them if they would stick around for a few while you fix a bunch of stupid little problems you can't find the motivation to do by yourself. You'll need them only for structure, or maybe the occasional stimulus "OK, now write that email", not to do any of it.

Most people can relate. Ask them directly, don't beat around the bush.

[-] [email protected] 1 points 2 months ago

This is great advice, thank you

[-] [email protected] 5 points 2 months ago

Hey man, it sounds like you're burnt out. You need to get out of there so you could reset your base anxiety to normal levels. You really can't get much done when you're burnt out & overwhelmed. Lists & time management tools are useless if you're under duress. Exercise, music, & hugs will help. Take your vitamins. Go for a run. And here's a virtual hug from me to you. This too shall pass, everything's gonna be alright. I know easy for me to say.

[-] [email protected] 2 points 2 months ago

I'm most definitely burnt out. Luckily there's still some daylight when I finish my shift, so I'm definitely going for some walks.

Unfortunately I feel like I'm unable to take a breaks when there's still so much stuff to do, it's a vicious cycle. But I'm confident I'll be able this stuff out thanks to the advice I recieved in this thread.

Thanks for the encouragement, I truly appreciate it

[-] [email protected] 4 points 2 months ago

The way I dealt with it was to get rid of the source. So in your case, I would have quit the job, or in some other way eliminate the "situation you're living", instead of continuing/finishing it. Basically I gave up on a lot of things, recognized I'm not good enough to do some things, and then everything became much better.

[-] cactusupyourbutt 3 points 2 months ago

how do I deal with it? awfully lol

what can help though is increasing your sens of self-efficacy. the belief that you can do/change something.

and it can be anything, really. read a page in a book if you atruggle with that. make something with your hands. beat that stupid boss in elden ring. doesnt matter, as long as you can finish it.

tiny steps. dont try to read the whole book

[-] [email protected] 2 points 2 months ago

Have you written down all the things you need to do? This, for me, gets it out of the swirl of things in my head and when I see it on paper I can start picking out the urgent ones and the easy ones and suddenly it feels more manageable

this post was submitted on 04 Mar 2024
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