What does it feel like to have ADD?
November 30, 2016 8:37 AM   Subscribe

Someone close to me was diagnosed with ADD as a child, and takes medication to manage it. I'd like to understand better what it feels like to be in her brain.

Can you tell me what your experience of your own ADD is like? What does it feel like to go through a day, or to try to complete a task, or is your perception of time different from the people around you? My friend who has ADD—I'll ask her to do something, and get increasingly frustrated at the length of time it takes between when I ask her and she says yes, and when she actually does the thing. Is this ADD? Please help me understand and empathise. I'd like to know what it's like to have ADD—what it feels like from the inside. I don't want to get irritated with her with things she cannot help. Relatedly, is there anything I can do to help her in daily ways, besides this attempt to see things from her side?
posted by Clotilde to Health & Fitness (33 answers total) 24 users marked this as a favorite
I bet ADD is different for different people but I can tell you what it is like for me.
I get frustrated with myself all the time.
Here's an example. I get up in the a.m. to make myself coffee before I start the day. I boil the water but forget I am doing that and I boil the water away. I refill the water and boil again. Pour coffee though filter. Forget I did it and get involved with some other morning task. Get back to it and it is cold. Microwave coffee. Forget it is in the microwave. Leave house. At dinner time - find coffee in microwave when going to use it for something else. Pour coffee down the sink.
I REALLY love coffee and want that coffee. The rest of the morning, I am thinking I sure wish I had that coffee.
When I forget to do something for my husband, friends, or household, it's not that it isn't important to me. It's hard for me to get stuff done.
posted by ReluctantViking at 9:03 AM on November 30, 2016 [15 favorites]

The posts on /r/ADHD should be pretty enlightening.
posted by ArgentCorvid at 9:08 AM on November 30, 2016 [1 favorite]

This askme from a few years ago is full of excellent comments that you might find helpful.
posted by rtha at 9:08 AM on November 30, 2016 [5 favorites]

Driven to Distraction by Edward M. Hallowell has long been a go-to book for people to get a handle on either their ADD or the ADD of a loved one. Better books exist on different aspects of ADD, but it remains a rock solid place to start. Half.com has used paperback copies for as little as $0.75 US.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 9:16 AM on November 30, 2016 [5 favorites]

I don’t have a neat to-do list in my head. I have something more like Pinterest, a visual board of things wanting my attention. But if all the tiles were videos with sound, and all resizing themselves all the time. The biggest one is in the center with the rest crowding around.

If you tell me to do something, it goes into that board. It’s hard for me to consciously set the size and volume level and brightness of anything; it’s all being done by subconscious processes, heavily influenced by emotion. Like if I’m feeling guilty about a thing it’s dark, blurry, and harder to focus on.

Every time I take a breath in my current task, I am checking that board to see what needs attention next. So when I’m doing things, I start with the biggest brightest one in center screen. But doing a step of that task shrinks it, makes it less urgent, and something else gets bigger and the next thing I do might be for that task instead.

For me being productive can sometimes mean setting up a white noise thing to ignore. I listen to podcast interview shows a lot while I work. Because then in my breathing moments I listen to the podcast a little, and I can go back to my same task without checking the board of chaos.

When I was a kid I listened to music while doing homework and it freaked out my dad. He was so certain I could not possibly get work done that way because when he listens to music it takes 100% of his concentration. But when he made me work in silence I was squirming around and finding little ways to do something else, anything else, other than the task at hand.
posted by buildmyworld at 9:17 AM on November 30, 2016 [36 favorites]

I've always thought that attention deficit was a terrible name because it seems to me that the issue is that everything gets my attention*. A hypothetical example using a simple task, e.g., doing dishes after dinner, starts off fine, but while running the water, I'll notice that the oven controls are dirty, so I pull those off and pop them in the sink, too. Then I'll notice that one of the screws is loose, so I go to fetch the screwdriver, which I can't immediately find because I didn't put it back the last time I used it. Find the screwdriver—and because I don't want to misplace it again—go back and fetch the entire tool bag. Return to the kitchen to find the sink has overfilled and water is running down the front of the cabinet. Clean up that mess and do the dishes. And when I get to those oven knobs, I will clean every little groove with a toothpick because I can hyperfocus on the most trivial of details.

Conversations can be affected because almost every topic instantly brings to mind a dozen tangents that I want to follow.

Fortunately, my life isn't as chaotic as this implies because I'm aware the issue and make an effort to be mindful of these things. (Also, medication helps.)

Btw, I wasn't officially diagnosed until I was in my 40s. I was unofficially diagnosed when I was a special ed major in the early 1970s. After a lecture that included info about ADD, my friends immediately noted that I fit the definition. At the time, however, it was thought that ADD was a developmental disorder that kids eventually outgrew, i.e., it didn't apply to adults.

(*Yes, I understand that it refers to the inability to concentrate on one particular thing.)
posted by she's not there at 9:19 AM on November 30, 2016 [7 favorites]

buildmyworld: I cannot get anything done in silence—always have podcasts or NPR playing, even though I often have to repeatedly play a podcast to actually hear the entire thing. Never thought of this ADD related, but your explanation makes sense to me.
posted by she's not there at 9:31 AM on November 30, 2016

This is my go-to picture for what my brain is like.

(Or this one.)

I suppose I could describe it like having a room full of different stuff, where each item represents a thought, or an action, or something. Where a person without ADHD might have a spotlight that they can shine on a particular item/thought/action/something and do what needs to be done with it, I basically just turn on the lights to the entire room, and EVERYTHING is there, and EVERYTHING has to get done ALL AT THE SAME TIME AND IT'S OVERWHELMING LET'S JUST DINK AROUND ON THE COMPUTER FOR A FEW HOURS.

When I take my medication, I get the spotlight, but I have to be careful where I aim it, because if I'm not careful, my focus will be directed at something that is not what I should necessarily be doing at that time. Usually I can feel it, though, so I have time to aim it properly.
posted by Lucinda at 9:37 AM on November 30, 2016 [7 favorites]

Please help me understand and empathise.

This answer from jessamyn is something I try to keep in mind to empathize with ADD.
The example that I've read that typifies ADD is "let's say someone held a gun to your head and said they would shoot you if you moved. Most of us would be able to sit still as long as we had to. Someone with ADD would do that for a while and then basically forget the gun was there and start to fidget/move/whatever no matter how serious the consequences." It's sort of overblown, but you get the idea.
Worth reading the entire comment for tips on managing ADD.
posted by Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug at 9:38 AM on November 30, 2016 [3 favorites]

I would like to answer your question, but there are six other things past-due that I have to do right now instead.
posted by TurkishGolds at 9:39 AM on November 30, 2016 [8 favorites]

My brain can't prioritize. Everything seems equally important. The guy in the next cubicle having a phone call with his wife. The itch on my left foot. The technical report I'm supposed to be writing that's due tomorrow. The email from my boss. The birds outside the window. What I'm going to make for dinner next week. They all feel equally important and urgent.
posted by Green Eyed Monster at 9:53 AM on November 30, 2016 [13 favorites]

I've always thought that attention deficit was a terrible name because it seems to me that the issue is that everything gets my attention*

Ditto. For me, it's not that I can't pay attention, it's that I can't help but pay attention to the thing immediately in front of me or the most recent thought that popped into my head.

One day not too long ago I was in my bedroom getting ready for work, putting on my socks. I noticed a cat toy on the floor, so I went to put it with the rest of the cat toys in the living room. I walked by the cat food and realized the bowls were half empty, so I fed the cats. There was a wine glass on the counter, next to the cat food, so I put it in the dishwasher. When I looked in the dishwasher I flashed to the silverware in my desk drawer at work for some reason, and I remembered something I needed to do that day, so I went to put a post-it note on my laptop. I got to my laptop, in the bedroom, in preparation for affixing the post-it note. Sat down on my bed to write that note and realized that I was still holding the other sock, and had been all that time.

I do much better with lists. If I make a list, I can generally stay on track. Or at least more on track.
posted by mudpuppie at 9:57 AM on November 30, 2016 [8 favorites]

One of the things about my ADD that other people find confusing is that, while I usually find it pretty tough to focus, sometimes I can focus much more intensely than other people. I can't turn on and off that intense focus, although I have a sense of what can trigger it. Unfortunately, one of the things that triggers it is stress, which means that one of my major coping methods has been to deliberately put myself in really stressful situations in order to make myself focus. I think there are a lot of reasons that anxiety and ADD are often co-morbid, but I wonder if this is one of them. I procrastinate for a lot of reasons, but one of them is that I tend to go into intense focus mode right before deadlines, so I deliberately wait until I'm up against a deadline and then the stress makes me super focused and productive. This worked for me for a long time, and then it didn't. It's also kind of a terrible way to live your life.

So anyway, because I sometimes have no focus and sometimes have very intense focus, I have a really weird experience of time. Actually, I'm not entirely sure that's the reason, but for some reason, I have no internal sense of how much time is passing. Sometimes I sit down to do something, look up, and five minutes has passed. Sometimes I sit down to do something, look up, and an hour has passed. I couldn't necessarily tell you when I looked up whether it had been five minutes or an hour. That also means that I have a terrible sense of how long various tasks will take. I tend to think that everything will take ten minutes, which can be a problem when I need to do something that will take two hours.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 10:00 AM on November 30, 2016 [24 favorites]

My friend who has ADD—I'll ask her to do something, and get increasingly frustrated at the length of time it takes between when I ask her and she says yes, and when she actually does the thing. [...] Relatedly, is there anything I can do to help her in daily ways, besides this attempt to see things from her side?

People's experiences vary, but in my experience with a ex-spouse who has ADHD, "helping her" is going to look like you constantly reminding and micromanaging her. Constantly. It's much less effort for you to just do the thing yourself. Don't trust her with important tasks, especially ones that have deadlines, multiple steps, or involve anything tedious (like filling out paperwork). If you want to, e.g., meet her for a 7 pm movie, text her the morning of to remind her. Text her at 5 pm, then at 6, then make sure she is en route at the appropriate time.

Whether or not she has difficulty doing these things, your frustration and irritation is still valid.
posted by AFABulous at 10:05 AM on November 30, 2016

Relatedly, is there anything I can do to help her in daily ways, besides this attempt to see things from her side?

(I'm going to base my answers as if you are living with the person in question.)

Don't move anything that's hers unless you've confirmed with her that it's okay. I leave things all over the house in random places because I'M DONE WITH IT NOW GOING TO GO DO THE OTHER THING and in my mind, that's where it is, ready to go back to whenever I'm ready to go back there. If my husband sees it and thinks "oh, that shouldn't be there, it should be here", I get annoyed. Even if it looks like garbage. Especially if it looks like garbage (I'd put a bottle of borrowed stage blood near the back door so that the next time I knew I would see the person to whom it belonged, I could just grab it on my way out. Husband thought it was garbage because it'd been sitting there for a few weeks and threw it out.)

Pick your battles. Like AFABulous said, if there's something you feel is of utmost importance (the back door always needs to get locked at night, the laundry needs to be removed promptly from the dryer), do it yourself.

We have a whiteboard at our house on which my husband will write chores that need to be done. I can then see "oh, okay, the shower curtain needs to be washed"* and do it. This is contentious because I've seen it argued about in emotional labor threads ("why do I have to tell him** to do it, he should JUST KNOW TO DO IT"), but I don't have that KNOW TO DO IT switch.

* because really, who thinks "oh, the shower curtain needs to be washed"?
** because that's what it is in those threads, which is annoying because it always turns into a "men are like THIS, women are like THIS" which is just not true
posted by Lucinda at 10:18 AM on November 30, 2016 [4 favorites]

Basically if I'm studying and I read a certain word I'll instantly think of something related to said word and my mind will travel on many different tangents. Like if I read the word 'dog' I'll think of my dog at home and then think he's probably in the backyard and I hope the fence is holding up and that certain part of a fence needs to be fixed and we need to go to the hardware store and oh they might have christmas trees there and I wonder if the ornaments would fit and oh man the basement is a mess maybe we could clean it when we bring the christmas decorations up.


And that's when I realise that I've been staring at the same word for 5 minutes. And then I try another sentence and my mind gets triggered again and off my mind goes. Repeat.

I also get distracted with everyday things too (which several commenters above me have described very well). There is a scene in the show Malcolm in the Middle where Francis has to study for a big exam but he keeps getting distracted by everything in his room. His friends end up taking every single thing out of the room except a table and chair and lock Francis inside, only to come back and discover that he had become distracted by a thread on his sweater and had ended up unraveling it until he was shirtless. That's pretty much discribes me with my level of distractiveness. I can find ANYTHING to distract myself - no matter how easy the task I'll be sure enough to find something else to distract me.

I'm 32 and haven't been diagnosed, but I'm pretty sure I've had ADD all of my life
posted by littlesq at 11:25 AM on November 30, 2016 [4 favorites]

Richard Pryor's impression of a deer drinking water in the woods (timecode 4:16 in this clip) is pretty much how I feel 100% of the time.

If we all were living in the woods in fear of leopards, I would be an exceptionally good sentinel, until I decided to invent a leopard-whacking slingshot device and padded off in search of a nice forked stick and then found some berries and stopped to pick as many as my cape would hold and then noticed my fingers were all purple so I stopped by the watering hole and went for a swim to rinse off and then saw some nice fat salmon and decided to build a dam to catch them but saw some cute baby otters and spent the rest of the day taming one. I'd come back with a feast of berries and a pet otter but my entire nomadic group probably moved on without me.

*This has literally happened to me in airports when I got to the airport in time with my coworkers but went for a walk to find a snack and started reading a novel in the airport bookstore, didn't hear the loudspeaker calling me three times, and missed my flight for a work event. Ughh. Good book though. No idea what it was.
posted by pseudostrabismus at 11:37 AM on November 30, 2016 [2 favorites]

Someone on /r/ADHD said that it's like having your head stuff with cotton, and I'm inclined to agree. When I'm not on my medication, it feels like I'm living in a massive brain fog. Easily distracted, lost, not at all sure what to do next, or why, or often even how.

There's also the emotional aspects of ADHD that don't get brought up much. For me, ADHD manifested as both anxiety, and mood swings. When things got overwhelming, I would often blow up. I lost a job this way, in fact. Hell, this morning, before I took my medication, I had an outburst on my way to work. After a rough commute, when my slightly flaky Bluetooth headphones had another random disconnect, I smashed the hell out of them on the sidewalk and threw them into the trash. My solace is that in Midtown Manhattan, that's not going to be the weirdest thing anyone sees today.
posted by SansPoint at 11:42 AM on November 30, 2016 [5 favorites]

ArbitraryAndCapricious: That also means that I have a terrible sense of how long various tasks will take. I tend to think that everything will take ten minutes, which can be a problem when I need to do something that will take two hours.

I've been bitten by this so often that I've come around it the other way, and estimate times that are way too long for the task I think I need to do. And then I put them off, 'cause I "don't have time."
posted by SansPoint at 11:51 AM on November 30, 2016 [3 favorites]

I have difficulty getting into tasks: right now I managed to make a list of all the things that need to be done at my job right now, but I can't force myself to pick one and do the damn thing. Some of the tasks will only take ten minutes, and have been on this list for weeks, but here I am on AskMeFi.

If things/tasks are not visible, they might as well not be there. If I put a project away in a closet or drawer before it is finish, it will never get finished because I will forget about it. If you ask me to do something later today and don't email me a reminder or I don't email a reminder to myself right then, it's not going to get done because I won't remember to do it.

A need for constant stimulation with a corresponding inability to stick with one thing for long if it doesn't deeply engage my interest. Twenty years ago, I was buying tons of magazines each month because magazine articles were about the length I could handle and there were always more of them. Now I just zip around on the internet. My Kindle is filled with ebooks I've started but haven't got back to yet.

Conversely, if I've managed to get focused on a book ALL I WANT TO DO is read that book. and it is extremely difficult to put it down and do things like fix a meal, go to sleep, etc. until the biological imperative forces me to do so. I have no idea how my husband manages to put down the controller on a video game he's been anticipating for months to go have dinner or watch a little TV and then go back to the game later because it's so hard for me to switch my brain.

If I am hyper-focused on a task and you interrupt me even for a second, it will take me at least 30 minutes to get back into it. (This is why I often close my office door and turn off the overhead light in favor of a desk lamp when I'm at work--it makes people who just stick their heads in the door of my department and look at my office door think I'm not in, so they go back to their desk and email me.) When I don't get interrupted and manage to stay focused long enough to finish a task, I will stick with it and do constant small unnecessary fixes and tweaks because I can't stop thinking about it, and I can't get on to the next thing. I have stayed late at work when I don't need to because I'm re-reading web copy, inserting and removing commas, or tweaking webpage colors and column widths slightly.
posted by telophase at 12:35 PM on November 30, 2016 [14 favorites]

I had a doctor explain this to me yesterday. He went to a conference where the presenter brought someone up on stage, then had five other people come up too. The presenter then asked the five people to talk to the first all at the same time while the presenter continue with the presentation. After a few minutes he asked the first person had he been saying. Of the person had no idea. He then explained that this is what having ADHD /ADD is like.
posted by tman99 at 1:06 PM on November 30, 2016 [3 favorites]

My problem is what I call "racing brain."

Let's say I am watching a TV show. I notice a character actor that I've seen before, but can't quite figure out where...

Oh! He was that one guy on Guardians of the Galaxy! I really liked that movie. But it's weird that I hadn't ever really heard of Chris Pratt before that one and Jurassic World.

Anna Farris. That's his wife's name. She was in the first Scary Movie, I think... I didn't like that movie much. And the other parody movies by the Wayans brothers were bad too.

What happened to the Wayans brothers? What happened to Jim Carrey? Pauly Shore?

I can't believe that Encino Man, which had Pauly Shore and Brendan Fraser also starred Samwise Gamgee from the Lord of the Rings Movies.

I should watch those movies again. I have them on Blu-Ray.......

And on and on it goes. Suddenly I realize I have missed five minutes of the show I was watching, so I have to rewind and watch it again. It's like my brain keeps making random chains between different ideas or topics and I can't make it stop.
posted by tacodave at 2:30 PM on November 30, 2016 [7 favorites]

My mom and I both have ADD, and it wasn't a common diagnosis when I was a kid in Catholic school the 80s, particularly for those of us who are Inattentive and not Hyperactive, so the radio was our metaphor. If we got distracted or spaced out it was, "Sorry, the radio was on." Kind of like mental white noise.

The best analogy for me is still musical syncopation. There's a rhythm of thought in my head and trying to do something that's out of pace with it is a lot like trying to sing a different song than the one on the radio. You can do it if you want, but it's a bit of a mess and always easier just to sing along. Sometimes what I'm doing jives so well with my mental wavelength that I lose my sense of time and place. It's a pleasurable experience but troublesome when it's hard to control. Hyperfocus is the clinical term I believe.

Maybe this is a little more universal: you know those flash cards they have that say the name of a color, printed in a different color, and you're supposed to say "BLUE" but the letters are RED? And you can do it as long as you REALLY focus but the second you let your guard down, you start saying the color instead of the word? It's kind of like that, the same kind of frustration.

I have a lot of personal systems I've put together myself to keep me on-track in my work and life, but I had to come around to it myself after a couple decades of being an insufferable flake. Unfortunately I don't think there's much anybody else could have done that would have helped or brought me around quicker, short of an earlier formal diagnosis, it was just a maturity thing.

There are a lot of little planning niceties people used to observe that have fallen by the wayside a bit, but can be really helpful. Offering to call to confirm closer to the date of a thing you were going to do, for example. "Hey, we still on for The Thing tomorrow? Make sure you bring your Thing Suit!" Or if there's a task involved, maybe tell her when you'll talk to her next, before when it's supposed to be complete, "Great, we'll put the Thing together on Friday. I'll give you a call Wednesday and see where your part of the Thing is at." It's more common in business than in social situations anymore. Maybe it comes across as controlling to some folks, but it's a good habit to be in and I still really appreciate when people do that stuff.
posted by Phobos the Space Potato at 5:04 PM on November 30, 2016 [2 favorites]

I suspect I have it (however, I don't want to get diagnosed because I have major issues with pill swallowing) because I concentrate better if I am doing more than one thing at a time. For example, typing this response while watching TV and snacking. I generally have to be doing something else while listening to a podcast in order to actually somewhat focus on the podcast. It REALLY helps me to sit through a lecture or long discussion or meeting if I'm able to do something like doodle or a crossword puzzle or knitting. Or if I knit while reading a book or the Internet. Or if I'm working on something but can switch to reading the Internet for a few damn minutes and THEN bounce back to work again (I wish my job would be cool with this) because it feels like some kind of annoying buildup is going on in my brain if I don't. I call it "bouncy ball attention span."

If I am sitting still staring at you because you made me sit still and stare at you while you drone on for an hour, odds are I stopped paying attention to anything you were saying 20 minutes ago. If people let me multitask, then I am just fine. If you want me to ONLY FOCUS ON YOU AND YOUR ONE THING, most of the time this will make me crazy unless I am in the aforementioned hyperfocus mode.
posted by jenfullmoon at 7:01 PM on November 30, 2016 [2 favorites]

Your brain overloads, and everything becomes static. Then you have to focus on something else before you can switch back to your primary task.
posted by Beholder at 7:37 PM on November 30, 2016

Natural brain state is like everything's slippery. I know what I need, or want, to do but no matter how hard I try I just can't hold onto it for more than a few seconds-- it slips away. My meds are like some kind of crazy power drill that if I can get it in does the trick marvelously to give me a foothold, but the drill itself vibrates so violently that it's often hard to even direct it where it's supposed to go.
posted by zokni at 8:00 PM on November 30, 2016 [1 favorite]

I'm reading these and some seem to be the exact opposite. Some folks here are saying they need to free themselves of all distractions to be able to focus, and others are saying they can only focus if they have distractions. How can these be the same thing? Just trying to understand the subjective experience like OP is.
posted by Joe Chip at 8:08 PM on November 30, 2016

ADHD feels like going to Wal-Mart for some kitty litter and coming out an hour and a half later not entirely sure what took so long.
posted by ArgentCorvid at 8:32 PM on November 30, 2016 [1 favorite]

My partner would describe to you how talking to me can be like a free-association game where you find yourself hurtling from one topic to another that on the surface seem entirely unrelated. I am lucky she enjoys my flights of fancy and likes solving the puzzle of how I make these leaps. Often I will go really deep on those topics and related tangents; hyper-focus is the weird flip side of ADD.

How this feels: at times it's a thrilling ride of both fleeting and lasting inspiration as these seemingly disparate pieces fall perfectly into place. At other times, it feels messy and unfocused and I get overwhelmed quickly. Then I become frustrated at my inability to move forward and feel ashamed I'm not able to complete tasks that are easy for others.

What has helped me is to better understand how my ADD manifests so I can identify what is happening and break the cycle before becoming overwhelmed. Having a person (my partner) who also understands and can gently point it out has also been helpful. If you can be this person for your friend, it may help her manage it too.
posted by lieber hair at 9:35 PM on November 30, 2016 [2 favorites]

I'm reading these and some seem to be the exact opposite. Some folks here are saying they need to free themselves of all distractions to be able to focus, and others are saying they can only focus if they have distractions. How can these be the same thing? Just trying to understand the subjective experience like OP is.

I'm thinking these are simply different ways of coping with the issues. Similarly, some people exercise to relieve stress and others meditate.

I'm surprised by the different descriptions, e.g., I would never use "head full of cotton" and "brain fog", but I totally relate to "racing brain".
posted by she's not there at 2:37 AM on December 1, 2016

I think that ADD manifests differently for different people. There used to be a distinction between hyperactive type and inattentive type. I think that the current thinking is that they're the same thing, but there definitely seem to be some people who can't sit still and some people who can sit still but can't focus. There's been a fair amount written on gender differences in how ADD manifests, and women and girls are typically under-diagnosed because we don't necessarily adhere to paradigms that assume the male experience is normal. Also, a lot of people with ADD also have other mental health issues, but we don't all have the same ones. For instance, I have anxiety and sensory processing disorder, which are both pretty common among people with ADD but not at all universal.

Anyway, I have finally realized that while I *feel* more productive when I'm multitasking, I actually *am* more productive when I have the fewest possible distractions. My ADD brain plays tricks on me and seeks stimulation, but I get more done when I have a tidy space, good lighting, and total silence.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 7:41 AM on December 1, 2016 [1 favorite]

I get both head full of cotton/brain fog and racing brain. Racing brain occurs when my interest is engaged (or when I have a deadline imminent), brain fog occurs most other times. Prednisone also gives me racing brain--the first time I went on a weeklong course of it, I made SO MANY plans and SO MANY promises and ended up sitting in front of the computer (mentally) paralyzed and agitated because there were SO MANY projects I wanted to do and if I started one then I couldn't do this *other* one and THAT WAS TERRIBLE. (The next time I had to go on prednisone, I told all my online and offline friends not to encourage me or to believe me if I promised anything in the next seven to ten days, and that worked out much better.)

If I can corral racing brain, I can produce all sorts of ideas, but I can't sit down to work on any particular one of them unless I have an outside force like a deadline or someone else wanting to do the project and pitching in on it.

Brain fog is exacerbated by sleep deprivation (often caused by racing brain at night, or not being able to tear myself away from a book or project). It also sometimes feels like there's a sphere encasing the part of my brain that can think deeply about subjects, and my surface thoughts slide right off it when I attempt to go deeper.
posted by telophase at 7:59 AM on December 1, 2016 [1 favorite]

Whoa, I just came in here thinking it would be interesting to hear people's experiences with something I don't know anything about...but I feel like I could have written half of these posts. EVERYTHING MAKES SO MUCH MORE SENSE NOW.
posted by exceptinsects at 3:27 PM on December 2, 2016 [1 favorite]

« Older Traveling vegetarian   |   Please help me identify these Mexican Day of the... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.