View Full Version : Autism/ADHD procrastinations difference


fracturedstory
03-13-12, 02:06 AM
I just had an epiphany!

I wrote most of it on Wrong Planet and being the impatient part ADHDer that I am I'm going to paste it.

On Procrastination.
Me too. I simply don't see the point. I don't see how it will help me really.

Ultimately I've always ended up getting a job out of fear, fear of living on the streets, of death ultimately. I haven't enjoyed any job I've ever had. I just don't want to die.

perhaps you do not really believe you should do the things that you think you know you should. i have no knowledge that there is anything i should do. there are things i could do that might lead to seemingly preferable outcomes that i sometimes neglect to do because the doing is less interesting to me than whatever happens to have engaged my attention. whatever happens is okay. tomorrow i have an appointment that i might attend. will i? who knows? not me. accept the mystery.
Interesting, I'm beginning to see a difference in ADHD procrastination and autism procrastination.

People with ADHD know what they have to do but it's the organising part and the fear of failure that stops them and they find it very difficult to get away from instant gratification and cannot wait for a future reward.

People with autism actually need to want to do something. This does make sense as it's seen as having limited interests that they don't want to stop. I have that feeling about my writing and my sci-fi shows when thinking about socialising or even getting a job. But I also have the problem where when I want to complete a task I really don't want to do but have to that I would waste time doing something that doesn't have as many steps involved and offers instant gratification.

People with autism can actually be great organisers when they decide to be but it's that intense focus on other things that stops that from happening.

I wonder if I got that right?

I actually went off at someone who said that but I have both autism and ADHD so I only know what I experience.


^That's not my real screen name, I'm just being a bit silly.

But do you agree? Or maybe I'm just jumping the gun a bit. Misinterpreting what people are saying. I hear this apathetic attitude all the time on Wrong Planet. "Why should I change? Why should I show I'm sad? Why should I bother doing something that's not interesting." Sorry, as a person trying my very best to overcome my symptoms (or better deal with) it vexes me.

Do you see what I mean that people with ADHD, once aware, will try very hard to get boring monotonous chores down but they find themselves unable to get off...a forum. I don't see the same level of anxiety about procrastination and feelings of failure from trying among just autistic people as much as around just ADHD people. And I only have that feeling of failure a little bit. My executive dysfunction is bad but not as bad as some ADHDers. I can get better control over it because of my ability to organise (and take meds).

My tummy grumbles. But is it grumbling enough to get away from this infernal computer? And will my autistic apathy for anything that is not Canadian sci-fi be enough to keep away those hunger pains?

fracturedstory
03-13-12, 08:40 PM
OK, perhaps this was a bit too much insanity for people here to handle.

Blame sunspot 11429.

Lunacie
03-13-12, 08:46 PM
OK, perhaps this was a bit too much insanity for people here to handle.

Blame sunspot 11429.

If so, it was insanity that I recognize. ;) However, from what I've seen,
fear of failure also inhibits those with Autism as well as those with ADHD.

cillianred
03-13-12, 10:02 PM
There's a distinction somewhere but there will always be exceptions to the rule. I think the fear of failure is a big reason for us ADHDers. But there have been times when I haven't seen the point in rudimentary tasks.

Now whether the background factor behind that reasoning was "I'm going to screw it up so why bother?" or simply "why?" I'm not sure. I think it's the former but I can't be certain; I've been on meds so long I'm not even sure I'd recognize my ADHD self again (well, at least for a little while).

fracturedstory
03-14-12, 02:58 AM
If so, it was insanity that I recognize. ;) However, from what I've seen,
fear of failure also inhibits those with Autism as well as those with ADHD.
Zee thread
http://www.wrongplanet.net/postt192433.html

That I should have posted before.

I'm seeing a lot of apathy about pulling away from special interests and doing those important tasks. Here people have more anxiety and stress from failing to remember to do tasks or organise themselves. I know I get angry at myself. Actually more people have depression over it. Depression in ASD is more about failing to make friendships and being constantly rejected.

Some seem bothered by it but it doesn't seem to bother them as much. A lot of people are acting like it's a choice over not actually knowing where to start. Do people with ADHD also think hyperfocusing is better than doing the more important marriage/house/sanity saving tasks?

And yeah by the end I pretty much went off at someone for saying 'well, doesn't everyone do that?' She has mild AS...kinda says that a lot. Really vexes me.

I'm looking for a majority of people that act like this, not everyone. And usually not those with ADHD co-morbid.

tudorose
03-14-12, 07:11 PM
My son is HFA & ADHD. I understand what you mean. I see both behaviours in him at times. The ADHD procrustination comes in when he's really forced to do something and he knows he has no choice. But most of the time I see the autism procrustination. If he doesn't want to do someting he won't.


But do you agree? Or maybe I'm just jumping the gun a bit. Misinterpreting what people are saying. I hear this apathetic attitude all the time on Wrong Planet. "Why should I change? Why should I show I'm sad? Why should I bother doing something that's not interesting." Sorry, as a person trying my very best to overcome my symptoms (or better deal with) it vexes me.

Do you see what I mean that people with ADHD, once aware, will try very hard to get boring monotonous chores down but they find themselves unable to get off...a forum. I don't see the same level of anxiety about procrastination and feelings of failure from trying among just autistic people as much as around just ADHD people. And I only have that feeling of failure a little bit. My executive dysfunction is bad but not as bad as some ADHDers. I can get better control over it because of my ability to organise (and take meds).

My tummy grumbles. But is it grumbling enough to get away from this infernal computer? And will my autistic apathy for anything that is not Canadian sci-fi be enough to keep away those hunger pains?

Electra2
03-14-12, 09:11 PM
I think sometimes its difficult to decide how much I should do of whatever I start,
how long time Im gonna do it for,
and what is important and not so important ( I waste much time on the non-important stuff,get caught up in it and dream ahead thinking of something else like stuff that motivates me ) Like,if I read homework then Im unsure how to line out in colour the specific text I need to read,
and when I`m going somewhere,I doubble check many times that Ive done everything I needed to do before I leave, (and after that I see something I just have to do,and then some more,and then...and I run back to my home to collect what I forget)
Sometimes I simply resign ,specially if Im allready late,
I think people are gonna look down on me for beeing late again,
and having forgotten the most important thing for that particular event,
which happens now and again,
or forgot to wash the clothes or get money for the buss,
Even if I have preperd for hours to make an event on time,
something can come up the last five minuts to distract me and...its done.
People often coment on this," But you had so much time to get ready"
but still I had so much time to get distracted too...c...its not lazyness...
its easier to isolate at home and avoid the critisism.
When it comes to boring stuff there is also the danger of daydreaing or even falling asleep if its too much of it.
I also hesitate to talk to some people sometimes because I interupt much and blurt out irrelevant things not interesting (to them) and they are like," huh...where did that come from" :confused:
and they have no clue what I'm talking about.
Not that I have so much more clue what they talk about eighter,
because Im daydreaming unintentionally mixed with trying so hard to pay attention that
Im not capable of giving input to the conversation,not even bodylanguage response
like laughter when someone told a joke,because Im too slow to get it there and then,
there are too many impressions that need analysing in the brain allready...they all crave their focus at the same time.

Lunacie
03-15-12, 09:01 AM
My son is HFA & ADHD. I understand what you mean. I see both behaviours in him at times. The ADHD procrustination comes in when he's really forced to do something and he knows he has no choice. But most of the time I see the autism procrustination. If he doesn't want to do someting he won't.

As I've been reading this thread and thinking about it for the last few days, I've
also noticed that my youngest granddaughter does both of these. Her diagnosis
is Atypical Autism, and I thought that the reason she shows signs of both types
of proscrastination was because she isn't "typically" Autistic - but our family doc
has suggested she may also have ADHD, and her mom agrees that it may be
possible. I guess time will tell.

cillianred
03-15-12, 09:43 AM
Do people with ADHD also think hyperfocusing is better than doing the more important marriage/house/sanity saving tasks?

Not sure if this is a rhetorical question, but I'll do my best to answer it all the same.

I've never viewed hyperfocusing as something I could trade off for something else, prior to treatment and during the days when I tried to go sans-medication in high school.

I just hyperfocused because it was how I'd naturally react to an interesting situation/task. Only after the hyperfocus passed did I realize what tasks I forgot to do and then scrambled to fix them, which never worked out.

Hope this helps.

fracturedstory
03-15-12, 06:30 PM
Ah yes, it was a proper question. Thanks. I agree too.

Assumption
08-24-12, 06:51 PM
Interesting question.

I am completely shameless about necro-ing this thread, because it was on the front page, even though it's almost half a year old.

I don't know what I have. I currently suspect ADHD-c and some asperger's-like traits (i.e. broad autism phenotype but subclinical). I think I experience all of those things you mentioned.

I want money. To buy stuff. I need a career, to make money. I have tried to choose a career that will be stimulating for me (academic). Do I care about prestige? Not remotely. I find myself procrastinating a lot. I just don't find many of the boring aspects of academia all that interesting. Writing up a method section? Ugh. Reading a method section? Erg. I love reading academic books, but hate reading academic articles (the books get straight to the point and tend to integrate multiple findings together in a systematic way).

What causes me to procrastinate from doing these boring things? I'm just not that interested in them. I'd rather trawl ebay looking for a cheap cyclone missile launcher to put on one of my space wolf terminators (warhammer; I save $10 but spend 8 hours... a waste of time?). I'd rather work on my excel spreadsheet that allows me to calculate optimal damage per round for my eladrin executioner/warlock D&D build. I'd rather post on forums about whether stamina gems or stamina/defense gems are better for a tanking paladin (WoW). Or better yet, write lists to summarize what the costs and benefits of the various gem options so that I can make the right decision (actually, generally the difference is inconsequential but I nevertheless get so hung up on the optimization process). I get far too absorbed in these things (It's generally one at a time though).

So yeah, I think my main issue is far and away just finding all this other stuff utterly consuming.

On the other hand, I do tend to feel very stressed that I'm not doing what I "should". Am I worried about failure? All the time. Do I "self-sabotage" in order to avoid having to make stable, internal attributions for my failure (i.e. "I only failed because I didn't try hard enough, not because I'm stupid)? I guess it's hard to know for sure, but I really DON'T think I do that. I don't think anxiety is causing me to procrastinate. Finding other stuff far more interesting is the main problem (secondary problem: Getting distracted by the internet after I've made a start).

Anyway, that was a total necro and a ramble. But I find this topic interesting. And apologies for constantly talking about myself :D

fracturedstory
08-25-12, 05:47 AM
That sounds pretty autistic to me. I'm doing the same thing except I hope to get a few bucks out of it. About $23.

Zevispaz
08-25-12, 06:02 PM
Eh.. I dunno. I avoid doing stuff because I don't want to do it. I just can't motivate myself to get up and just start, because there's more interesting things to do.

I rarely have fear of failure from failing to finish tasks.

It's just eh.. this is boring. Then I stop procrastinating when I realize it's about to be a problem and do it kind of sloppy.

I don't have any signs of autism.

fracturedstory
08-26-12, 05:01 AM
Eh.. I dunno. I avoid doing stuff because I don't want to do it. I just can't motivate myself to get up and just start, because there's more interesting things to do.

I rarely have fear of failure from failing to finish tasks.

It's just eh.. this is boring. Then I stop procrastinating when I realize it's about to be a problem and do it kind of sloppy.

I don't have any signs of autism.
Problems with motivation is an ADHD thing. But people with autism don't just do things more interesting, they have a very specific intensive narrow interest that they rather do, but when they want to do that very important task, they can do it.
Unless they also have ADHD.

That's my theory at least.

ana futura
08-26-12, 03:09 PM
If your theory is correct then I am autistic. I'm not sure it is, but I have been wanting to talk to my neurologist about this.

I'm definitely more apathetic than just unable to concentrate on what I need to do. It's hard to say- I think I definitely have ADHD, but I have several autistic traits as well. I am so anxious it's hard to say exactly what's what. One thing that makes me think I might be autistic is how I respond to meds. I am so sensitive, and I really do best on a micro dose. I get revelation after revelation about my behavior on stimulants, I get very self observant, which seems to be more of an ASD thing.

ana futura
08-26-12, 03:20 PM
That sounds pretty autistic to me. I'm doing the same thing except I hope to get a few bucks out of it. About $23.

I struggle so much with the time = money concept. I will waste hours trying to save $5.

Assumption
08-26-12, 04:35 PM
I'd say I understand the concept better than most, but I can't seem to bring myself to live accordingly.

ana futura
08-26-12, 04:45 PM
I'd say I understand the concept better than most, but I can't seem to bring myself to live accordingly.

Yes, that's more like it.

lordmarcusuk
09-24-12, 04:41 AM
I find the same with my ADHD if it is boring I donít want to do it. But before the meds I would spend all my time doing my special interest similar to the other guys. But now I'm on meds and have an organized diary which I've laid out 5 working days a week and have 2 days a week off meds to focus only on my special interest.

This seems to work on the days I do work because I'm so meded my special interest seems less interesting for the ADHD so I donít need to keep doing it all the time to keep simulated. I tend to set a lot of boring tasks to do while on meds then at the end of the day when the meds run out I then allow myself to do my special interest while having a come down from the meds. I find if you do the boring things on meds then the fun things off/come down from meds.

But if its something I really donít want to do that which is social etc. but its not boring its different to how you feel about it with the ADHD. This problem I have been trying to solve. So I've worked out how to do boring things with meds but not difficulty Aspie things.

What I worked out was my Aspie works totally different itís the shutdown, meltdown and even a Breakdown stress system that stops me from doing difficult things. So if I'm already in a shutdown mood before I need to go out I will be late in a bad mood and everything will go wrong because the NTís wonít get it and it upsets me and them because all I want to do is shutdown into my special interest and not be in the stupid Job Centre.

So what I did is wrote a massive list with all these things that add up and which all have different amounts of weight/value that contribute to a shutdown, meltdown or breakdown.
If I manage these and try to keep my stress levels low than I am able to take on the things I really donít want to do due to Aspie like going into crowded places.

ADHD has issues with trying to do boring stuff.
Where as Aspie you need to be in the right frame of mind to be able to do difficult Aspie things like socializing going into crowded places etc.