View Full Version : using anxiety as structure
This was in Driven to/Delivered from distraction - does anyone else do this?
it's like the negative & anxious thoughts structure you or provide the "stimulus" you're looking for ... fascinating.
I'm actually enjoying my vacation this year, because I can catch myself doing this...
08-10-09, 02:25 PM
can you elaborate? not sure i understand this.
Yes, its great to just stop caring about this society and its rules and just exist. Because we do not have the social/personality/learning/"jjuts do it" sentres of the brain (or something like that) we need to use emotion to motivate us according to one ADHD drug dude, so anxiety works well as thats how this society works, on violence and intimidation.
... it's like the negative & anxious thoughts structure you or provide the "stimulus" you're looking for ...
Hi, this definitely seems to apply to me. No project that I take on makes significant progress until the anxiety / stress level associated with it reaches a critical level. When that finally happens, I am able to focus extremely well and get a lot of work done in a short period of time.
Unfortunately, the level of anxiety / stress required for me to become productive seems to have been increasing as the years go by. In my 20s and early 30s, it seems I could always count on this happening in time to save me. Now that I'm 40, it seems no amount of stress (that I can bear) will do the trick.
can you elaborate? not sure i understand this.
It (anxiety) actually becomes a kind of a stimulating thing, and something to focus on, in itself; so you keep generating these negative thoughts (anyway that's how I understood it). I had another nice day! this is amazing.
11-06-09, 05:14 AM
Just stumbled upon this post. I'm totally that way. They thought I had OCD for a long time but since I have no set obsessions (I can hyperfocus on something for days but can usually think my mind out of it) or compulsions I was tested for ADD. My mind is constantly looking for something scary, or negative to cling onto and that's where my mind stays. It's similar to OCD but not the same. The stims are helping, some days are better than others. Oh well getting better, hope you are as well.
11-06-09, 11:49 AM
Can I just point out that anxiety and obsesivness are not the same. Anxiety does not drive one forward but freezes one to the spot like the proverbial deer in the headlights. It is fear. That is not conducive to healthy motivation in my book...
For me, anxiety worsens my ADD to the point of being unable to function. The associated negative thoughts become paralyzing and I usually become depressive.
Three things seem to help that I think are in the spirit of the original post:
First, a recognition that anxiety will always be there and will never go away completely (I always thought I could "cure" this somehow)
Two, controlling negative thoughts and anxiety so it doesn't get out of control and become debilitating (better organizing, structures, exercise, meditation, ensuring good sleep, etc.)
Three, reframing these negative thoughts and the associated anxiety - in a cognitive behavioral therapy kind of way. So instead of anxiety making me grumpy and bringing on negative thoughts I try (not always successful of course!) to see it as an early warning system that something needs to be done or I have to be proactive about dealing with something rather than ignoring or denying it. As I said - still working on this one! :(
11-06-09, 02:42 PM
I find a certain degree of anxiety very useful in motivating me to meet deadlines, arrive to work on time, complete assignments, pay bills. I've taken some medications that reduced my anxiety and turned me into an apathetic, lazy zombie. I have more anxiety on my current medication, but find that I can harness it into something productive if I realize it's purpose and avoid dwelling on it.
The Absent Mind
11-06-09, 10:38 PM
I think the anxiety I used to have helped me to become responsible to be honest. It is what actually forced me to achieve even despite the ADHD. This came at a cost though... I was always nervous... not a little bit, but a lot. This made me do things because everything was a dire emergency for me. I had that: OMG I have to do it NOW or I will be too late feeling about everything, literally.
I got terrible stomach problems and GERD. I have to take a proton pump inhibitor now or I'll become ill (cold sweat, gonna barf feeling) all the time.
But the schema was built just the same, the habit. It is there for good now, even though the anxiety is no more.
I was originally diagnosed with GAD and treated with an SSRI. It helped a lot; the anxiety almost completely abated, but made it even more difficult to concentrate... but also made it easier not to care. So there I was, sort of in limbo. The thing is, I had a feeling that I was only covering up the symptoms, because the problem was still underneath.
That's when I found out about ADHD... and more importantly hyperfocus. Like many others, I never considered ADHD because I could concentrate sometimes, on stuff I liked. I figured I just had no willpower. That I got bored too easily and too bad for me.
Now, after awhile with the stim treatment my anxiety is gone. It is very peaceful. I had been anxious for so many years that I didn't even realize that I was. It was a low din in the background... a blue-ish haze over the world that made it dark, cold and unfriendly. I am finally hopeful again and it is nice.
So, while I haven't read that book, I do think that anxiety can motivate... but it isn't very fun at all.
11-07-09, 01:26 AM
I guess it must depend on the level of anxiety.
For me,I think I would prefer water-boarding as a motivator.