ADD + unemployed: help me develop coping habits without medication.
December 5, 2013 9:27 AM Subscribe
I am pushing 30, and find myself unemployed for the first time in my life. I am staying at my parents' house for the time being until I sort things out, which has been a godsend. I have ADD/anxiety, and believe that deeply ingrained bad habits sprouting from these two conditions have been hijacking my life, with my unemployment being just a recent example. Has anyone been in a similar boat? How have you been able to replace your bad habits with better ones? I cannot let my life collapse to this point again. Details inside.
posted by anonymous to Health & Fitness (11 answers total) 23 users marked this as a favorite
I have ADD, with all the co-morbid anxiety/self-esteem issues that have come along with it. I believe that the anxiety comes from the ADD, not the other way around; when I was successful in my job, I had a confidence that would seem almost alien to who I am today. Still, I was not as successful in my job as I could have been had I applied myself (such is the story of my life), so I was let go.
I have always had a problem when focusing and following through on long-term goals in particular; when faced with an issue that intimidates me or requires sustained mental effort (such as the job hunt) I have tended to try and put it off, often to the point of no return (ergo: I am now unemployed). I don't put my all into many things; maybe I am afraid of failure due to my sensitivity and anxiety. This proclivity to abstain from things that are difficult/scare me is due in part to what I believe are deeply ingrained bad habits/faulty thinking.
Although I wake up every day committed to getting something done, that something is so nebulous that my brain basically shuts down and I find myself hours later surfing Youtube videos. For example: I am considering going to graduate school in California. I am also considering searching for a job overseas, in the country I had been working before I become unemployed. I am also considering a few other options in-state. I am overwhelmed with the decisions I have to make and my inability to at least try and follow through on some leads is increasing my anxiety. I constantly also forget what I am doing, and jump to another project 30 seconds after starting the first (I must have had 30 tabs in multiple browsers before, easy).
Now that I am unemployed I have no set schedule from day-to-day, which in my opinion does not help. I have been trying to wake up at the same time every day (7:00), which is going okay and is a big step in a positive direction as I've always had a difficult time waking up. But without a concrete goal to focus on, I am basically doing the same thing in each one (live in the moment and worry about the future). Are there any other methods anyone on AskMe has used to keep ahead of their ADD? Which have been most effective for you? I would like to learn habits that will keep me from self-sabotaging myself; I get the feeling a strict schedule for my life would be important, but am not sure how to implement it. It has gotten to the point where I am considering buying a dry-erase board and writing down my schedule for tomorrow's day which I must stick to - all the way from wake-up time to what I will be doing every hour. Is this going too far??
Thanks in advance guys and gals, I hope to get out of this rut in my life soon.
PS: I am currently seeing a therapist, but I am not getting very much out of it; I don't feel understood. I tried Adderall, and although it certainly made me able to focus and makes me pretty happy I think the bad habits are undermining the effectiveness of the medication (I can concentrate even HARDER on youtube videos, woo hoo!) I am going to try switching to Vyvanse to see if that helps anything.