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ADHD, can't study, essay due tomorrow, getting upset

35 replies

BrainOnSpinCycle · 02/12/2018 20:02

I have about 800 words left to write and about eight tables and diagrams left to insert into the essay. I cannot focus and am starting to feel upset.

I was diagnosed as an adult and worked really hard on cutting out self loathing self talk, and not being able to do this assignment well is just making all the shame and frustration start up again. Starting to wonder if I even have adhd or if I'm just lazy and stupid.

I just need to write this all down I'm trying so hard and it's like I'm a rat on a wheel for all the good intentions. I don't know what to do, I'm supposed to have study skills but there's a delay in funding my Dsa as they wouldn't accept my consultant's letter - I don't understand this but don't have time or energy to argue. So it's back to the gp and waiting for them to fill out the form.

Could cry tonight Sad I'm so overwhelmed.

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Elenorrigbywoes · 02/12/2018 20:07

You are not lazy or stupid đź’• 800 words is manageable and you will get it done. Maybe take a break and have some tea. Then come back to it with fresh eyes. Make a list of exactly what needs to be done and allocate exact time to each task. Eg formulate diagram 15 mins. Take a little break after each task and mentally congratulate yourself. You have some time tomorrow and things are always so much clearer after a good sleep. You have a learning difficulty and need to be kinder to yourself. Well done for taking on this course. If you get totally overwhelmed then contact your tutor and explain the situation and request an extension. Good luck!

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lifecouldbeadream · 02/12/2018 20:31

Write 100, or 50 if that feels more manageable. Once you have done that, write the next 100. Take it in bite sized chunks, it seems much easier that way.

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WoodpeckersAreWood · 02/12/2018 20:34

I have an SpLD which cam make it hard to focus

I use this

writtenkitten.co/

To encourage me to break it down

Write 100 words in the box, get a picture of a kitten. C&P that into your essay have a Break and then start again.

You can change the number of words and the pics. I use dinosaur pictures.

Simple and silly. But it works.

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BrainOnSpinCycle · 02/12/2018 20:35

I'm just so slow. Panicking, have wasted the last half hour. I don't want to drop out, but what if I'm kidding myself and I don't have what it takes?

It makes me feel like I'm going mad. I know what I have to do. I even have ideas and opinions. I know I'm not a bad writer. But can I do it? No.

I get so disorientated and then start to think everything I have to say sounds stupid. But really, it's not that stupid! We're all on the course to learn it doesn't have to be world beating stuff, only needs to pass. I know this so why can't I just make myself do it?

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beachyhead · 02/12/2018 20:38

My dd uses Siri in these moments. Dictate what you want to say, put into notes, send to yourself via email, copy into word.

Then do diagrams and edit it tomorrow.

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Mouikey · 02/12/2018 20:42

I agree totally agree with what beachhead suggests... you have the ideas, so speak them out loud- this often makes it much easier and will give you a good start! You’ll probably find you’ll get more than 800 words!!!

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MyLearnedFriend · 02/12/2018 20:43

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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Allfednonedead · 02/12/2018 20:44

Hi - also adult-diagnosed ADHD. You can do this.

Do you have an essay plan? I find it helps to write a word or two for each paragraph of my plan, then a guesstimate of how many words each should be. If a paragraph is 150-200 words, you only need 5 or so.

Each time you write a paragraph, pat yourself in the back.

If the next par is too tricky, just scribble a line of placeholder text and jump to the next one.


When it’s done, you can even re-order the pars if that helps.

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Starlight456 · 02/12/2018 20:47

My Ds has Dysgraphia and ADHD.

I would say if your getting frustrated take a break . Wrong time of day but can you go for a run , exercise even in the house dance . Frustration will make things worse.

Do you know what needs to go in it . Mind map notes . Break it down into sections 200 words reward what ever might help . Caffeine can help people with ADHD focus ( though doesn’t work for my Ds)

You are not lazy . You are trying harder than most people there

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ValiaH · 02/12/2018 20:53

A couple of tips that helped me do my dissertation- 1; pop each remaining point down as a mini paragraph. 2; caffeime is helpful as a focuser. 3; set a 15 minute timer. After 3x 15 mins of work have a 15 minute break. 4; write you work down with paper and peb instead of atraight on to the screen (those paragraphs above) including references. And use 15 mins first as an 'allowed' procrastination to go to the toilet, have a walk, get some chocolate and that caffeinated drink. You CAN do it, your brain just thinks you cant for a moment.

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itbemay · 02/12/2018 20:54

You can do this.

Have a little break and don't think about it for 10-15 mins, tidy your workspace and get your mind organised.

Keep going op Thanks

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ValiaH · 02/12/2018 20:56

Oh and for next time- break the essay down into 200/ 250word sections, as well as each individual task- eg deaw diagram, read x pages of y book, put them in a long to do list and give yourself stickers onstead of a tick. Seriously- it sounds nuts but it works like a reward system and its both healthier and cheaper than chocolate! I wrote all my essays by hand.first and.only.typed them up once they were done as otherwise I lost all focus staring at a screen

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2isur2isubicurtis4me · 02/12/2018 21:07

Coffee.
I can't stand the stuff but it works in focus and calming (this is for ADHD not NTs) so you have medication? My son is and he has short acting medication for evenings to top up.

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BrainOnSpinCycle · 02/12/2018 22:28

Thanks all! I had a small glass of wine Blush when my dinner was in the oven, and it seemed to get things flowing; I've written another 350 words which I'm happy with. I seem to be ok in bursts.

Have just opened that kitten site, and will definitely use it now to get going again. I don't know how to use Siri to make written notes, is it straightforward?

I have an essay plan; so I'm going to get it all down as soon as I can, then make sure references are ok, then edit.

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Junkmail · 02/12/2018 22:35

I also have an important essay due tomorrow—I understand your stress. What time is it due? Mine are generally not due until the evening so if you are the same you have plenty of time. I know the clock is ticking but the best thing to do is take a break. Have a lie down for half an hour (set an alarm)—sleep is the best refresher. Make a cup of tea and then have another look. You can do this. 800 words is only half a paragraph and a conclusion and don’t forget that generally 10% over or under the word count is perfectly acceptable so if you have said all you need to say then just aim for the minimum. You’ve got this!

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redastherose · 02/12/2018 22:49

Well done @BrainOnSpinCycle it can be daunting when you feel overwhelmed and anxious. My DD is like this when she's doing an essay for her degree. The kitten website is really good, hadn't seen that before and have now recommend my dd to look at it. With Siri if you just hold the button don she asks you what you want and you can tell her you want to make a note and she will type out what you are saying and save it into the notes bit on your iPad/iPhone you can then edit it there or copy and paste it over into your essay to edit.

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BumsexAtTheBingo · 02/12/2018 22:57

Message your tutor and ask for an extension. They were really strict about it on my degree course but when I did my post grad you didn’t even need a reason (and you have a valid one) if you asked for an extension they gave it.

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BertieBotts · 02/12/2018 23:07

Sounds like you've got going again, well done. I've also got ADHD (late diagnosed) and I would say DON'T drop out, it's almost never the solution.

If you get to tomorrow morning and you haven't finished the essay ask for an extension. However don't get the extension unless you need it; I used to find that made me ten times worse.

Something which helped me when I got close to the wire was recognising I needed to plan for contingency. So I got one of those wall planners and figured out when I needed to have everything done by and the multiplied the time by 1.5 for me. I also set my own deadline 2 or 3 days before the official one so that those 2 or 3 nights could be used e.g. If DS wouldn't settle to sleep or if I was especially exhausted/struggling to focus. If I felt OK to do it before then I did it before.

Go to learning support at your college or uni, they are there to help you, they have all kinds of tools. If they offer you more time but you don't want this because the stress of the deadline itself helps you focus, tell them so.

Have you been quite recently diagnosed? What have you got in the way of coping mechanisms/treatment set up? It is no use simply trying to carry on like everybody else does, this would be like trying to see without glasses if you were short sighted. Get the scaffolding in place for yourself and you'll do better. If you don't know where to start with this I might be able to help.

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BertieBotts · 02/12/2018 23:10

Also - sounds like you're letting the perfect be the enemy of the done here, when what you need is done.

Write it all down so that it sounds stupid. Then it's done. You can then go back and edit it but if you run out of time, energy, focus or whatever else you can hand in the stupid sounding version, as it is better than nothing. You will get feedback from your tutor later anyway, so it can be something you can discuss later.

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Trippingalongalong · 02/12/2018 23:11

There’s an app called flowstate that’s also very useful for this. Also recently diagnosed with add, even worse I’m a writer! Explains why my procrastination/self-loathing is quite sooooo bad. Good luck.

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MyOtherProfile · 02/12/2018 23:13

Oh my word this takes me back to student days!

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BrainOnSpinCycle · 02/12/2018 23:47

I'm recently diagnosed, and now waiting for an appointment to trial medication. That will be after Christmas sometime though; everything takes a really long time as the service is so underfunded.

have lots of workarounds I've built into my life for things like not losing my keys or phone, but just haven't got to grips with the best ways to study yet. Am hoping the study skills sessions will help if I can get them.

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BrainOnSpinCycle · 02/12/2018 23:49

It's crazy I wonder what life would have been like for me if I'd been diagnosed at school. Oh well! Quite a few of us adults being diagnosed nowadays who were missed at school.

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ChaseOnTheCase · 03/12/2018 00:31

I got diagnosed a couple of weeks after I had finished uni (this summer). That was bloody gutting. Reckon I definitely could have got a first if I had been medicated.

Anyway, I had a ton of nights like this, OP. Except mine were usually due in at midday the next day, I had a toddler to entertain ignore all morning, and I had usually done next to nothing. And would still be procrastinating at 10pm! The self loathing and anxiety is horrible - but it's so hard to make yourself concentrate. If all else fails, it's pretty much a certainty you'll get an extension, so don't panic too much.

Do remember that your brain doesn't work like other peoples, what you're achieving just getting into uni is amazing. And roll on your next appointment cause the meds have changed my life. I'm so excited to start my masters next year and be able to achieve my full potential! That'll be you in a month or so. Best of luck Thanks

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Pumkinsoup · 03/12/2018 06:57

Coffee, coffee Brew

Yes, procrastination, self loathing and anxiety.

But they come in this order, so calm yourself by observable evidence that you are making progress.

Like in a game, progress in bursts, from base to base, 'save your progress'.

Make it an habit of 'banking' any advance you make ASAP,

i.e. Make a plan and write / sketch it, Tic
Capture the key ideas about each point of the plan in a few key sentences. Tic
Turn to fist point, expand , express your ideas. Tic
Move to the next point, expand, develop it. Tic
...
Address inconsistencies and gaps. Tic
Add some finishing touches. Tic

You can work iteratively as many suggested. Put a basic version down, then improve it. If you run out of time, you would have a reasonable draft.

To work in bursts, it is good to have some time reminders, waking up alarms as it were.
Fitbit has a programmable regular buzz. My DD was recommended to programme it for every 10 or 5 min, so if she day dreams, she can go back to work. Also helpful in exams.

Remember that you are brilliant, you are a queen of pulling it off at the last minute. You made it to university for good reasons. You did it before, you will do it again.

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