View Full Version : Help! Writing dissertation unmedicated

04-24-17, 06:50 AM
Both my doctor and my counsellor have agreed I likely have ADHD but before we can explore medication I need to be diagnosed officially as per NHS guidelines or whatever.

Only thing is, I am apparently 70th in a queue and will have to wait 9 months for my assessment! I'm not even going to be in university then. I've tried so so many alternatives and so far nothing has helped me, and when I asked my counsellor she told me to go back to my doctor and then my doctor said that they can't help, asked me what I planned on doing about my situation, then told me to contact my local MP, not because they can do anything for me individually but just to let them know I'm not happy with my situation.

I am currently trying to write my dissertation, and I've been working on the reading for months and months, and I have had a plan and all my quotes and stuff written for a good month, but now it's two weeks till deadline and I still can't make myself write anything. I've tried working at home, outside, in cafes and various libraries, tried at night versus very early morning, tried leaving my phone at home (but just end up staring at the wall), meditation and mindfullness, exersize, healthy eating, lots of coffee, no coffee, yoga, reading adhd self help books, vitimins and natural remedies--- the list goes on.

Sorry this is so long, but I just don't know what to do. Does anyone have any advice?

Letching Gray
04-25-17, 01:22 AM
start writing

Letching Gray
04-25-17, 05:27 PM
I've seen that suggested many times and I've found it to be true every time I have gotten to the point where I'm absolutely stuck.

It costs nothing if it doesn't work.

04-25-17, 08:21 PM
:yes::thankyou:yes working unmedecated is good ,,,,because you can do more but only in a quitter inveroment .... so you can think....:confused::goodpost:its worth looking at..... reseach the best way...think what would I be looking for from a person and work on that way of thinking.....:goodpost::yes:

04-25-17, 08:56 PM
I would be freaking out too! Start writing is the best advice you're going to get! Just do it.

Good luck!!!

04-25-17, 08:57 PM
Start writing and see what happens. Good luck!!

04-25-17, 09:45 PM
If you have done a lot of reading, and have a plan and quotes, and you still have 2 weeks, you're not in terrible shape (yet)!

Sometimes when I have trouble getting started, it's because the task seems to overwhelming. Even if I know that I am intellectually capable of doing whatever it is I'm supposed to do, all of the organizational pieces can be daunting.

The usual advice is to break down the task into chunks, and that's not bad advice. But for me, a long to-do list of chunks can still be enough to keep me in procrastination mode.

Sometimes thinking about just the very first step can help. For example, "Open the file on my computer." That I can do, no matter how dysfunctional my brain feels at any given time.

Sometimes that's enough to break the inertia.

Other times, I sit for hours, surfing the web, with the file open in the background. (Internet-blocking apps can help, if this is a big time-suck for you when the computer's on to write.)

But if I can then think about the next step, and only the next step (which maybe I can work out from that overwhelming-as-a-whole task list), then I can make progress. Again, it may be small progress, interrupted by any number of unrelated distractions, but it's progress.

To borrow from dormammau's suggestion, it can sometimes help to write as though you were explaining the arguments in your dissertation to a friend who was curious what all it was that you have been avoiding. :) If you can rope in an actual friend who won't distract you further, so much the better! If you are more comfortable speaking than writing, you could also try dictating into a recorder, and then transcribing what you said, and editing. Having something on the page, even if it needs revision, is often better than having a blank page staring back at you.

There's a saying, "Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good." (And a related saying, "A good dissertation is a done dissertation.") These are wise words. You don't need to write something earth-shaking. You just need to write something.

Good luck!

04-26-17, 06:23 AM
Echoing what others have said, the very hardest part is to start writing. You don't need to start at the beginning, either. I'm in the sciences, and I usually start by writing the methods section because its the easiest for me to wrap my head around. I also like writing the results. For me the hardest part is the intro, which I tend to have an easier time doing after I have my results done and in front of me.

My thesis was slow going, but I tried to at least get something down on the page every day. Some days I was able to pound out an entire chapter, others I was lucky if I got a paragraph down. I had to learn to forgive myself and reset after each day, otherwise I spent more time and energy beating myself up than I did writing. It wasn't easy and I failed as often as I succeeded, but I did finish in the end and graduated.