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Old 09-09-17, 04:01 PM
adhdzee adhdzee is offline

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Managing Motivation with ADHD/Depression/Anxiety

I've always struggled with ADHD, and I've started two online classes (graded), and have been taking a Spanish conversational-group class (an ungraded class, for fun, but I am learning a lot). I need to take it slow or I will be miserable like I was in my undergraduate program. I also work full-time now so my classes are done at night.

I guess what I am working on now (as I take these courses) is also increasing my self-awareness (which honestly I've been doing for years, when I had undiagnosed Celiac Disease, and unmedicated ADHD, depression, and anxiety).

I wrote down a lot of the ideas presented here, and sort of did a mind-map kind of thing...I guess, depending on the day I struggle with a different subset of problems from my ADHD, Depression, Anxiety, and Celiac Disease (i.e. migraines, dizziness, and brain fog if I'm accidentally exposed to gluten).

So, for example, my motivation is pretty low if any of these things are affecting me. In fact, it is always low on the weekend, when I have time to do class work and studying.

So I'm trying to find a solution to those times when my motivation is low. For example, I feel like most weekends I spend a whole day working out my depression or other feelings. It helps me feel a lot better the rest of the week! But with more responsibilities, it gets tough to manage that.

I'm trying to evaluate my ability and emotions before going into a study session:

I woke up today (Saturday), and I just can't bring myself to read the readings for my online class. This is a TEFL Class, and I enjoy the topics, because it brings language and psychology together for me. I actually looked forward to doing it at night after my difficult job...but this was only during the last week. I put this course off for several months and the due date is coming up fast.

But this morning I skim through things, but can't retain a thing. I realize I'm just going for distance, which doesn't make any sense if you can't retain what you're skimming.

So I do this...which I usually do on my weekends...
- I examine my thoughts...usually it's - why bother? what a waste? i can't focus on one thing. I'll never follow-through with my long-term goal of moving abroad (because of family, which i can't change, or depression, etc.)
- Name the thoughts - ok, that's depression and anxiety speaking.
- Visualize what they are doing to me (I am walking forward on a field, and these thoughts strike me as if lightening struck me, I am frozen, or I move back away from where lightening struck. But it's not deadly, it just stuns or distracts me, and I have to keep moving forward).
- - - Sometimes if I'm already doing something, naming the feeling helps me redirect my attention back to the activity. Sometimes not...then I need to go for a walk or leave the environment temporarily or just realize I am tired or frustrated and I need a mental break.
- - - If I'm alone, then sometimes I take a nap or smoke pot...and pot helps me work out and write down my feelings, but I can't do that when I need to do work!
- I try to get out or water and prune my plants or play a game on my phone.
- I still have to work out my feelings, and it takes a couple of hours, and then I'm behind in my work, which already takes longer than other people's.

So I've been reading these forums, and it's been great to read what other people have gone through, and their variety of solutions. But my problem is deeper than study's motivation to get started in the first place! I feel like I've always struggled with this...I am much better at putting a name to it though, and removing the "guilt" from myself of not being able to focus or complete work, and understanding it's a symptom of my diagnoses.

Anyway, how do you push aside lack of focus, anxiety, or other emotional struggles to motivate yourself to study or do work?

Thanks for any suggestions or philosophies or tips! :-)
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Old 09-09-17, 06:44 PM
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Re: Managing Motivation with ADHD/Depression/Anxiety

Well, i feel the same way as you do and i am now also trying to find solutions but i don't think it motivation we should be looking at as much as possibly will power and discipline because motivation can push you in the right direction but you will need will power and discipline to bring you all the way to the finish line.
Because motivation has brought me to starting project but i never fully finished them or go that far with them and then just start new ones lol.
i am not sure how you would go abouts training for discipline or will power but anyways what do you think of what said? let me know
It is not death that a man should fear, but he should fear never beginning to live ~ Marcus Aurelius
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Old 09-21-17, 11:54 PM
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Re: Managing Motivation with ADHD/Depression/Anxiety

Seems like you spend your precious hours on naming thoughts, writing down feelings and trying to understand feelings, instead of studying. Why do you do it?

Seems like a massive waste of time.

EDIT: And if you feel tired, take a short nap, so you can be fresh when you study. Also, get yourself into a library, in order to remove yourself from homely distractions ie. watering your plants etc.
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Old 09-22-17, 03:55 AM
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Re: Managing Motivation with ADHD/Depression/Anxiety

I think you're on the right path with managing your feelings.

Perhaps you can work on behavioral strategies next?

Motivation is flimsy, and you train it by pushing to do things even when it's lacking.

One trick my brain plays on me to distract me from my work is to give me an interesting psychological insight, making me reflect on it and/or write a blog post.
I realize it's a form of procrastination, particularly dangerous, as it makes me feel good.

Try to decide to study for X hours (number is less important), and do so regardless of how much info you're retaining.
Don't let anything stop you (unless the house is literally burning down, or something).
Sit through it, even if it feels like a waste of time.
Eventually the brain will learn "well, I guess we actually have to do this now, may as well give it our best, to avoid boredom".

In the meanwhile, find other coping strategies to help you retain the info.
I find taking notes to help a lot more than just reading the text, for example.
I blog about ADHD, anxiety, psychology and mindfulness at
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