ADHD (& executive functioning) info/tips/strategies/resources & questions

Hi all,

I’ll be posting soon once I’ve been able to read through the thread. I wanted to quickly share an intro though.

I’m autistic, with Generalized Anxiety Disorder and Chronic Depression. I was initially misdiagnosed with ADHD about 5 years back because I have many ADHD symptoms. About 2 years ago, after noticing many similarities with my son, who is 9 and also autistic, I decided to have a professional evaluation. So, I was diagnosed with ASD late in life (I’m nearly 50) and I’m also a recovering heroin addict with (as of this 11/19) 20 years clean. I’ve had an interesting ride, I think.

Last year around the winter holiday I had a bit of an epiphany and a sort of major mental meltdown around acceptance of my autism, and how my being unknowingly autistic has shaped my life. This meltdown was pretty significant and is when I was diagnosed with GAD. I ended up out of work for most of this year as a result.

Fortunately I work for a big EDU with really good benefits and ADA protection and I was able to keep my job and returned to work in early July. Going back to work was really hard and I’ve had to navigate a number of challenges, but the last three or so weeks things have been really good.

Looking forward to reading the thread and maybe participating at some point!


Sending you lots of good vibes!

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After I posted earlier I realized “the phone” is a huge thing…

Why does Apple think I wish to be interrupted immediately just because someone or something has dialled my number? I don’t answer the phone and don’t listen to voicemails anyway. Legacy technology! Get rid!

Surely a discrete non-modal toast message (“the phone part of your device is doing something”) would suffice. I long for a phone-sized portable internet device that uses mobile data but has no connection to this “alarming synchronous communication request” technology.

Sorry, just a bit salty today.


i’ve had to desensitize somewhat, due to my job, but unexpected calls still affect my nervous system like a threat.


My most deep respect and empathy for someone that can be so honest and truthful, hats off to you sir.


I try to avoid cussing on this forum, but…

Fuck phone calls.

They are cancer. They are one of the worst forms of communication except for in cases where quick information transfer is necessary but I need my eyes for something else, which is rare. I do not understand why anybody prefers them to texting/IMing/emailing.


nutritionalzero would like FaceTime :rofl:


I just turned 60 a week ago, and my perspective is totally opposite, although I’m finally learning to adapt to texting…

The value of voice telephony is precisely the audible voice, which is rich with nuance that text or email simply can’t convey!


I do still think of people who have the first instinct to use voice telephony as largely an unchangingly kafkaesque set of oblivious front-line workers. Fax machine, diet coke, cigarette break, mutual discussion of suburban children’s [insert regionally appropriate sporting activity].

I also have an extreme and irrational hatred for people who use voice telephony on public transport. This is not a sound I need in my head ever. USE TEXT MESSAGES IT’S QUIET.

Ahhh ADHD thread, sorry, I’ve had a bit of a week.


None of those characteristics in the first paragraph map to me in any way…

I totally agree with the second paragraph…

Long week for me too…


Also: regarding the “Insurmountable Task”, the one so huge as to be unapproachable and unstartable, so you just put it off and then years pass – one of those books recommended to break it down to A LIST of all the smaller, incremental bits needed to get it done. So you go from “I need to clean the apartment but I’m at work all day” to “Just deal with three pieces of clutter from your desk a night, and always do the dishes.”

This strategy has helped me immensely with bandcamp releases and dealing with clutter. At a previous job we used Agile/Sprint method, and would assign a new feature as a “story”, and then sit around listing the 5-10 main tasks needed to make it completely done. Its almost like the planning at work trained me to manage household and creative stuff better. Oh I was laid off from the job but you get the idea lol


definitely a good account of “chunking down” big tasks into smaller steps! sometimes the steps might need to be broken down, too, until you get something that feels manageable.

this is a great method for dealing with overwhelm in general, too. if you’re paralyzed by too much going on & too much to do, make a huge list of everything that has to be done/attended to, put the 5 easiest things on a separate list, and start doing those. refresh the smaller list as needed. (& once you get momentum, switch to the 5 highest-yield tasks, if you can).

similar strategies can work for the dreaded full-stop (which can happen after losing/leaving a job, leaving school, completing large projects, etc…i get this during staycations, sometimes). in the full-stop, there’s little to no familiar structure, and that “listless” feeling discussed above can set in, but really bad. don’t know what to do, and none of the habits are there to keep you moving. i usually respond to this by trying to figure out the best possible course of action, which, frankly, is a terrible approach. i just end up spinning my wheels in indecision, and often end up frustrated and depressed.

best thing i’ve found for that is making a huge list of things i need to do (groceries, cleaning, etc) & things that might help. then do the “5 easiest things” list, just to get me moving again. course corrections are a lot easier in motion than from a standstill.


If you haven’t read getting things done, I highly recommend it, it’s a really useful methodology for personal productivity that works as you describe


Sounds familiar. My approach in this kind of situation is also to just start doing something instead of spending the whole day figuring out the one perfect thing to do next (and ending up doing nothing at all).

Developing (and learning to trust) a certain gut feeling about what to do next can also be very helpful. Still working on that one.

Also, I often get the impression that those moments of indecision are somehow related to a conflict between what I would like to do right now and what I think others expect me to do.

So in a way it’s not only a matter of starting and getting active, but also of trusting yourself.


re: full-stop – my last contract ended like… 2 months ago or so; everyone went on vacation and I was kind of burnt out. But YEAH it is easy to use up a day making breakfast, staring at the laptop, thinking about doing creative things, staring at laptop, coffee/dinner/read/tv, oh look its time for bed. I am just now getting back to answering recruiter pitches and networking for work again.

There’s a crazy list in my pocket now, plus a work-only list and creative/music-only list on my computer’s Notes app. Looking forward to getting a job again and resenting not using all that time I had “off”, ha ha < sheds tear />

Work life is easier to pursue once some creative stuff is out of the way - like, yesterday I went to an experimental music show in the day, talked with some people, and handed out 3 handbills with free download codes on it. Then at home recorded a bit. So those tasks feel “addressed”, and I can move on to other business for a bit.


Oh god the “full-stops.” Thank you to whoever coined this phrase. :sunglasses:

When you’re a kid they come every 60 minutes (change of classroom, unanticipated sporting activity, end of a Star Trek episode). It’s horrid.

When you’re 40 they come yearly, usually between January and April, when emotional resources are already low. The holiday season is the most depleting rat race of remembering gifts, dates, people, and end-of-year deadlines. Who can handle January then, when neurotypicals all declare their renewed focus and professional life tends to ramp up accordingly?

I’m looking forward to my first winter on long-term disability. I’m hoping to roll into the new year with no full-stops in sight and I suspect it will be an instructive experience.

No full-stops, just semicolons and commas.


and ellipses…


Thank you, ellipses is assuredly the most important anti-neurotypical punctuation convention. :sunglasses:


Come over to the Ellipses thread!

You just gave me a significant insight, thanks!


being a thread of neurodivergence, i’m pretty sure we can use our…nonlinear circuits to weave many other threads into this one, and still stay on topic.

as we’re speaking about ADHD-related punctuation—among many other things—i also put forth the beloved (but controversial) em dash (and parentheses!) as essential to notating/articulating thought-processes.

i also tend to hyphenate excessively, since we can’t otherwise just randomly make compound words, like the germans can.