View Full Version : Over stimulation from environment... wow.

06-11-12, 05:55 PM
Hi everyone,

It's years since I last visited this forum, but I've just come upon something which startled me and I wanted to put it out there to see if others had the same issue and/or advice.

Like most people with ADD, I am incredibly messy and disorganised. All of the rooms in my flat are/were piled up with stuff. But recently I managed to clear out absolutely everything from my bedroom and clean it. I was intending to put some of the stuff back when I was finished, but then I discovered something: When my room has no "stuff" in it, when it's just bare walls and carpets with a bed, cupboard and table with a few books, I feel very peaceful and happy in it, and much less confused and braincluttered than usual. In fact, it feels so much better that I have begun spending most of my time in the bedroom instead of the living room.

I'm 30, and this is the first time I've ever realised that my home environment was affecting me so much. I knew that I was exhausted and confused by busy, people-filled environments, because of all the "stuff" going on, but I hadn't realised that my home environment had been affecting me this way for my whole life. It's a big eye-opener.

The purpose of this thread is two-fold: one, if your house is like this, try clearing everything but essential furniture out of one of the rooms (even if you literally just shovel all the stuff into another room) and see if you too find yourself with a little calm oasis!
Two, do any of you experience any similar issues with your environment, and what do you do about it or how do you cope with being in such places? Now that I've realised what a difference it makes, I kind of can't stand being in busy rooms with lots of objects and patterns in them any more!

06-21-12, 11:33 AM
I lived my teenage years at home like this. It worried my mother because she felt it looked like nobody lived in my room. Worked for me though. Even now, having a magazine or something lying on the ground is extremely distracting and irritating as I notice it again, and again, and again....

06-21-12, 11:54 AM
Oh I can't function at all with mess. I love having a tidy room but I just don't have the mental power to keep it that way for long. I spent an entire day deep cleaning and rearranging my room the other week, then in this last week I received two parcels of lots of jewellery and painting stuff... which is now all over the floor. So now I'm just hanging out in the lounge ignoring it.

06-21-12, 12:21 PM
I'm in University right now with over 50,000 students and it's the worst for my ADHD. There's so many people doing different things and leading different lives and I just feel so overwhelmed even just walking around on campus. I focus so much better in more calm-less populated areas.

06-21-12, 12:37 PM
I feel that environment does affect my state of mind, but there's not a lot I can do about it at times so I live with it. Having anybody else clear things out for me would be completely traumatic so I simply have to wait until I have either the time and/or concentration to get around to it myself.

06-30-12, 04:55 PM
I actually have the same thing but not just with my home environment. It's kind of with everything. Like if my room's messy I can't focus, if I'm watching a movie that's not "clean"(I really don't know how to describe this but I can always tell, it's weird) I get distracted and stop watching it, if I'm shopping in a confusing clothing store where there are a lot of items with little organization I usually end up leaving. It's just over-stimulation like you said. People with ADHD don't really have trouble focusing per-se. Our brains have trouble choosing WHAT to focus on so we focus on everything at once, get over-stimulated, then focus on nothing because we feel flooded. It creates anxiety and restlessness. I don't like it so I try to stick to things that make me feel comfortable, like optimum environmental stimuli level. Hope it helps.

Do you ever feel that way in other places? Like on someone else's home or in a store or out?

07-25-12, 02:49 AM
Do you ever feel that way in other places? Like on someone else's home or in a store or out?

I realize you weren't addressing the question to me, but on that note I find when I'm at other people's houses, especially ones that I've never visited before, I'm always wandering around aimlessly in the house checking it out because it's a new environment.

I get lost on trips to/from the bathroom at social events checking out bookshelves, artwork, kitchen magnets, portraits, pets, you name it. I forget that there's a room of people down the hall waiting for me to come back and finish dinner or I've left a conversation for 20 minutes. oops?

08-27-12, 12:51 PM
Sorry it took me a while to wander back here and respond! I appreciate knowing others have the same issues and the suggestions are helpful.

Sarebear, your explanation makes a lot of sense. Yes, I very much feel the same way outside of the house as well - I've been aware of that for a long time because busy environments outside the home (like shopping centres and so on) are more extreme as far as overwhelm, but it never occurred to me that removing distractions from my home environment would make such a difference.

In particular, I find shopping very difficult. Places full of many different products (and of course usually also many people) are so disorienting to me that I have to take a list with me and carefully go from one item on the list to the next without deviating from it, or I will either get confused and come home with the wrong kind of items because I wasn't in a state in which I could make the right decisions, or (in the case of large stores and supermarkets) I end up wandering around there for hours. In fact, before I embark on a trip out of the house which involves visiting more than one place, I have to sit down and write down what I need to do and the order to do it in (eg: post office, then bank, then supermarket) so that if I get completely overwhelmed I have something to look at and reorient myself.

It took me many years to figure out why it was that I found so difficult tasks which other people seemed to do without a second thought.

01-11-13, 01:54 AM
yes i relate to where the mess and clutter affect me and i also got that i have to choose what to focus on before it gets to that restless panicky anxi place and if it dose get there breath deep n refocus on 1thing if i can make that a habit I might be able to learn things its more than what I had before i read what i read while i was in herre stay well an keep comin back