View Full Version : Anxiety gets in the way of cleaning


Scattered
01-26-06, 12:16 PM
I started stimulent meds back in March and while a lot of things improved it was still monumentally hard to attack the piles in my house and get things organized. Recently I added a supplement that increases serotonin and not only has my anxiety eased way off, but I'm attacking and conquering rooms that have been an unmitigated disaster of stuff I couldn't figure out what to do with.

I think what I've figured out is that between feeling overwhelmed by the sheer size of the task and anxiety that always comes up for me in trying to find things or decide where they go, I simply avoid the task. Now it seems that I can go and get started and keep plugging away because I don't feel so anxious and I'm also getting more satisfaction from ordinary things (like seeing progress) without having to keep my overdriven mind occupied ever second. In several days I've accomplished things that have been left undone since the beginning of the summer. My executive functions still aren't perfect, but without the anxiety I can stick to and accomplish something anyway. Anybody else get blocked by their own anxiety around organizing and cleaning?

Scattered

meadd823
01-27-06, 05:17 AM
Anybody else get blocked by their own anxiety around organizing and cleaning?

Your singing my song.....I am the "master procrastinator"!!!!

In the book "Fidget to Focus" the ADD brain is one that is under aroused seeking arousal=hyper activity or inattentiveness is determined in part by weather our brain seek stimuli from with in or with out.

Stimulants do the stimulating so we do not have to run around like the mad nor do we drift off like the stoned!!!

I have found stimulant medication help me get started, some time re-started on task I am avoiding because they are either over whelming or over whelmingly boring!!!!!

A short time on medications I discovered I had a great deal of organizational abilities many of which were born out of my own impatience and disorganization. I discovered the gift of simplicity.

I now begin every house hold reorganization project with deciding on what stays and what needs to go......there are only so many placed to put stuff. The more stuff the more places I have to find!!!! So a slight impatient mood is better than a sentimental mind set.

I have also learned that when doing a major re-organization of an area always leave room for more stuff to be added...as I always tend to find other things I want to keep....this allows a particular organization to last longer!!!

neroballerino
02-21-06, 11:35 PM
Interesting, I have noticed that I clean before I start my homework. It's kind of procrastination and yet i like it when my environment is neat, then I can then get down to work and stuff.

EYEFORGOT
02-21-06, 11:49 PM
Scattered - what did you supplement with?

Scattered
02-22-06, 12:08 AM
I now begin every house hold reorganization project with deciding on what stays and what needs to go......there are only so many placed to put stuff.That's the trick isn't it -- getting rid of stuff, unfortuantely that's what trips me up the most (although I'm getting better as I care less about stuff). I terrible at figuring what needs to go and what needs to stay.:eyebrow:

Interesting, I have noticed that I clean before I start my homework. It's kind of procrastination and yet i like it when my environment is neat, then I can then get down to work and stuff.I do this too. I can't study in a cluttered environment. Back in college I was absolutely obsessive about keeping my room with everything in place -- the last time in my life sadly I could say that about my domicile.;)

Scattered, what did you supplement with?I tried St Johns Worst (broke out in a rash); Prozac (got weird, lethargic, and irritable); and finally tried 5-HTP (it works great for me!). I don't take it all month just for the 10 days or so before my period when my serotonin level drops. It starts working right away with no side effects for me at the right level. I bought it at Albertsons for $12 something (it's a lot more expensive at the health stores). It comes from a plant in African which is the only natural source outside your body which produces it from Tryptophan (the stuff in turkey that makes you sleepy) and it is the precursor to Serotonin. I only take 50 mg. I started getting anxious on a higher dose and really speeding up. They've done research on it for depression in Japan and some in Europe too. I learned about it from Amen's book Healing ADD. He recommends it for the overfocused type of ADD which described me pretty well.

Scattered

meadd823
03-02-06, 09:42 AM
5-HTP (it works great for me!). I don't take it all month just for the 10 days or so before my period when my serotonin level drops.

This serotonin let me see that helps keep mood "level" drops 10days before menses :eek: ....I do not begin having any real problems until about 5 days out (10 days prior-one of my cleaning strategies as I am less sentimental but not irrational -yet)

Insanity, bloating, and brain swelling and a host of other things begin at the five day mark...okay can't clean, file, because the urge to begin a bon-fire becomes overwhelming----5-HTP huh...have to check that out...just what my pill cabinet needs another herbal supplement (lol) :o

Ruthynj
04-14-14, 09:38 PM
Hi Scattered
My whole life I just thought I was lazy but its so hard for me to clean.
So hard not to feel overwhelmed and I dont know if I am worse now because I have depression on top of ADD but I can barely clean at all. I use to paint furniture cant do that either. I can t be away from a computer and having my brian occupied every second. in my room i have 2 TVs one hooked up to a DVD player, one to a VCR and my laptop. I always have 2 going at a time. I lost my daughter and I just cant be away from having my head filled with distraction. I feel paralyzed. No one will give me ADD medicine down here. they think im someone trying to just get pills because there is so much drug abuse in Florida. I have no history of being any almost any kind of pills. can they see that? Anyway any suggestions would be awesome. So glad I found this, gives me hope.

sarahsweets
04-15-14, 04:35 AM
OMG!!! I feel the exact same way! The worse things are+the more anxiety I have=nothing gets done. I am bipolar and already take antidepressants that control my bipolar and I wish there was something as simple as a supplement to get my as* in gear better.

Carol
05-17-14, 05:34 PM
I keep a mild prescription anti-anxiety medication (ativan) around for social anxiety. I'd use it only when I had to be social (shy). I didn't take it often, because I thought it would "cancel out" the stimulants. By chance, I noticed that I was able to start cleaning (my home is a disaster) more easily after taking it, like it reduced my resistance to getting started. I don't feel anxiety about cleaning, but there is a wall of resistance that I have to battle through to get started. The wall has many components: resentment, fear of tedium, dislike of non-challenging tasks, poor organizational skills, boredom, etc. For now, its helping.

sarahwhite
08-14-14, 06:05 AM
Yes! I have only just realised I have had major anxiety when cleaning.. my stomach feels weak/butterflies.. it goes right down to my pelvic muscles.. then it flutters through gently into my whole body to the point I cannot focus.. and then my hands get the shakes.. my natural instinct is to stop and I feel fatigue or sometimes even light headed.. I've been doing some work with a counsellor/coach about things just general life stuff nothing heavy.. and then I have been realising a lot of underlying anxiety (which I thought was just normal) is due to how I responded as a kid to my mother who was for lack of a better word a psycho.. lots of unexpected bullying attacks.. strokes of violence, yelling rages.. (our family and counsellors suspect untreated borderline personality disorder).. us three kids have trouble with cleaning big time.. I have learnt over the years to be better and get through it.. well to be honest I would clean with the anxiety there.. I would snap and be irritable to people who pushed me.. and am still working through it an am sensitive.. now I know to let people know and talk about my anxiety (it helps.. and people are not mind readers themselves .. they just think you're lazy).. so I just thought I'd add my post to the forum.. incase it helps anyone who also dealt with domestic abuse as a child.

aeon
08-14-14, 02:51 PM
...a lot of underlying anxiety (which I thought was just normal) is due to how I responded as a kid to my mother who was for lack of a better word a psycho.. lots of unexpected bullying attacks.. strokes of violence, yelling rages.. (our family and counsellors suspect untreated borderline personality disorder).. us three kids have trouble with cleaning big time.. I have learnt over the years to be better and get through it.. well to be honest I would clean with the anxiety there.. I would snap and be irritable to people who pushed me.. and am still working through it an am sensitive.. now I know to let people know and talk about my anxiety (it helps.. and people are not mind readers themselves .. they just think you're lazy).. so I just thought I'd add my post to the forum.. incase it helps anyone who also dealt with domestic abuse as a child.

I can definitely relate, and thank you for sharing this.

Cleaning/chores were presented as one of the necessities of life when I was a child, but they also served as a structured opportunity for delivery of a caustic, crushing criticism, punitive shaming, emotional invalidation, and coercive control.

Well, I know that was then, and this is now. Cleaning/chores are one of the necessities of life, but the need to engage in mindfulness exercises to emotionally defuse the experience of initiating a household task means a handful of them go undone for much longer than I'd be comfortable admitting. Dysthymia also plays a significant role in this.

And when those tasks go undone for a long while, they become bigger, both in the amount of work needed, as well as the internal stress and dissonance. It can become overwhelming.

The thing is, I tend to enjoy most household tasks once I am actually doing them. So one of my strategies is to just begin, and give myself permission to stop in 10 minutes...but truly work, fully engaged, for that time.

More often than not, I keep working, and I get the reward of witnessing my own accomplishment and progress. I usually end up asking myself "was it really so hard?" I then tell myself to remember that it wasn't so hard the next time I need to do tasks (and I never do, I always forget).

Dextroamphetamine has helped a lot in terms of sustaining work once I have begun, but it's not of much benefit in terms of motivation and initiation. That tends to come from internal anxiety resulting from self-nagging about what needs to be done.

Hmm, I did go on a bit, eh. :o

TL;DR ... issues from childhood abuse and trauma suck, cleaning can be overwhelming, do a little bit at a time to make progress, and meds can help with some of it. ;)