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ADHD Adults

Overwhelmed with tasks, what do?

Hi everyone, so… I’ve been managing my ADHD fairly well so far, was just diagnosed early this year with Innatentive type, and things have been quite alright.
However, I started working last month and since then I’ve noticed my meds (Concerta 54mg, Wellbutrin) may not be doing much. I’ts a retail job, I’m second in command at the store, and take on quite a lot of responsibilities that my boss won’t take, since she deems them unimportant.
Today has been a crazy morning… I came to the store at 6:00am to oversee our telephone line instalation, and also to receive new merchandise. The instalation took longer than it should and is incomplete… the merchandise arrived late… It’s new merch so I HAVE to add it to our system as soon as I can. Our storage room is tiny and already crowded. We could have more room, but my boss refuses to listen to my suggestions, despite the fact that I’m the one with the most experience in organizing storage (worked at a retail warehouse previously). The new boxes can’t fit propperly anywhere, and that makes it harder to add the new merch, since the store (a clothes boutique) is already open to public.
I’m alone and will be until 2:00pm (it’s 11:am)... don’t even know where to start, I called my dad for help, and he gave me an excellent guideline, but I can’t get myself to apply it… it’s really hard for me to focus right now.
And to top it all of, I also have Essential Tremors, and my right arm is shaking like mad.
I’m frozen right now… can’t get myself to do anything, can’t decide where or how to start…


ok…writing this all helped a lot… but if it happend once it surely will happen again, specially since christmas is comming.
So I’ll appreciate any and all advice.

Posted by Nacho on Nov 14, 2013 at 9:11pm

Hi, i can certainly relate. If you try to step back and take an inventory of what you need to do, then write them down on index cards or a small notebook, 2-3 on each card or page then do them. When i see only 2 tasks to do, its not so overwhelming.  Good luck.

Posted by harleynana on Nov 14, 2013 at 9:29pm

What did your Dad suggest?

Posted by LaurieMooreSkillings on Nov 14, 2013 at 9:32pm

Sounds like your’re pretty busy, being extremely busy. Unfortunately I can relate all too well as I find myself in these situations quite frequently.

What helps me in these situations is the “Divide & Conquer” approach. When things get overwhelming, I’ll grab a note card or something an take a 10min break.  Then I analyze what has to get done, and start making a master “Task List” where I’ll jot down anything I can think of, (the more the merrier). Once I have everything written down, I then make a small “To Do List” which I’ll take 3 (I can’t handle anymore than that) tasks from the master and put them down. Once the 3 things are competed, I make a new “To Do List”.
It doesn’t matter what order, or how important the tasks are either. I just focus on getting items crossed off the Master list. Completing 1 task is better than getting a million tasks halfway done.

Sorry for the rambling message, but I know how you feel. Take a deep breath, relax and try to put together a game plan.

BTW, I just started taking Wellbutrin XL 2 weeks ago in addition to my 40mg of adderall IR. How do you like the Wellbutrin? I don’t really notice much yet and I just upped my dose to 300mg.

Posted by ACEHOLE on Nov 14, 2013 at 9:44pm

Thank you all for commenting! My dad broke down the tasks according to priority and difficulty. I understood it perfectly, but couldn’t get to do it.
Venting off by writing the above helped me calm down and focus, to a degree. I’m still shaking, but at least I’m halfway done smile.

@ACEHOLE Thanks for explaining with such detail!
I think I’m taking the same dosage of Wellbutrin as you, though can’t say I’m 100% certain.
I initially felt both the Concerta and Wellbutrin worked wonders, but at the time I started taking them, I wasn’t doing much on my day to day. Once I started working it hit me like a brick… I think they aren’t working for me, though my doc told me to take some vitamins each breakfast, see how it goes, then see wether to up de Concerta to 72mg or change it altogether.

Could it be that my organism has, like “adapted” to the meds and they’re no longer as effective? I’ve always had a pretty resiliant organism, for migraines only Migradorixina works for me, and only when the migraines are mild.

Posted by Nacho on Nov 14, 2013 at 10:12pm

Your meds - and who am I to say but that won’t stop me - are just as good as ever perhaps but c’mon! you are on an overload of stress and tension!!  And that stuff produces a chemical reaction in our bodies. Who WOULDN’T (ADD or non-ADD) have a ton of stress-chemicals coursing through their body in such a stressful situation?  And you are alone, which just means even less avenue for tension-release.  I find being alone to be the hardest situation for me attention-wise.  There is nothing to bounce my moment-to-moment actions off of, nothing to guage against, to keep me in the normal parameters zone.  I hope that you know what I’m talking about.  But I’m sure it sounds pretty whacky.  Anyway, just ‘cause you are exhibiting signs of stress doesn’t mean the meds aren’t working.  I think you are more rational and in control while under abnormal pressure than other people in your situation might be.  Good for you for reaching out and seeking help.  For having the presence of mind to do something to address the issue.  Keep going.  You can make progress.  You can make today better and tomorrow even a little more better.  I am impressed with your spirit! You are a smart cookie, is what I think.

Posted by hitwcidb on Nov 15, 2013 at 2:06am

You may need to lower your Wellbutrin because it will cause tremors or shaking in the arms and legs ect. usually means it to high of a dose.  I took Wellbutrin name brand for over a year, it did stop working and I just went off of it cuz I didn’t want a higher dose due to the rashes on my neck and chest plus the tremor type issues.

Make sure you contact your doctor immediately about those tremors, they are very serious side effects and Wellbutrin seems to work best at lower levels, while Adderall and Ritalin seem to work better (for me) at higher levels or mgs.

Read the pamphlet that comes with your Wellbutrin from the pharmacy for the bad side effects.  Also, at a higher dose the Wellbutrin caused me anxiety, something I never had before. You should never have caffeine with either of those medications either.

Posted by BexIssues on Nov 15, 2013 at 4:30am

I have the problem of freezing up with tasks I need to do. Over the years I have found what works for me is to split the task into 3 different categories.
1. Planing and designing, in this part of the task I break down the steps, and create the design I actually need to do to get it done.
2. Acquisition, in this step I collect all of the materials and tools I will need to accomplish the task.
3.Completion, this is the step where I utilize the planing I have done, and the acquiring of the elements needed to do the task.

The 3rd step is the one that I usually get stuck on, and have a hard time getting the thing rolling and then having the sticktoitevness to get it done. That is where hyper-focus comes in to save the day. Once I get focused on doing the task then I will finally have the gumption to get it started and finished. Some times in order for the hyper-focus to kick in it takes a small crisis like a dead line or other like wise stressful thing that causes enough stress to put me into the hyper-focus mode.
Like I say this is what works for me, it may not work for you. Who knows though it might.

God bless you and have a good day.

Posted by Rancher John on Nov 15, 2013 at 6:47pm

Timers. I set a short timer for distasteful or stressful jobs. Usually 15 minutes, but sometimes as little as 5. OK, I’m going to take one paper at a time on this desk for 15 minutes and deal with them. When it beeps I either move to another distasteful task (break down all those boxes, clean that thing, make that phone call, whatever) for 15 minutes and rotate around - or I simply congratulate myself out loud “Whew! I did it! 15 minutes didn’t kill me and I got x done (claim whatever you got done - 15 letters filed - or maybe it’s just 10 letters opened”)! Then I reset the time and say - ok, now for 15 minutes I’m going to file 15 more (or distribute those 10 letters just opened - whatever). Break things down into TINY parts. First, identify the critical things - what will cause a real fire -safety issues, next what will cause a figurative fire - what will get you fired if you don’t do it, then what will lose you money or a friend - rank the things. Make an overall plan - how little of each thing can you do without a disaster. Break down the day into segments that include each of those things and during each segment - that’s when you break the job into tiny parts so you can narrow your focus - limit your brain attention to that one thing to reduce overload. If you made an overall plan, you can tell yourself - I already made a plan for that other thing -now it not the time, now I just post the receipts to the computer - just the receipts ONLY THEN will I look at or thing about the rest of the list. FOCUS FOCUS - talk to yourself.

Posted by Juggler on Nov 15, 2013 at 9:13pm

whoa, thanks for so many answers guys, they really help. I’ve been doing some of the things you suggest without really thinking about it. Now that I see it written down, I can conciously do them!

@hitwcidb I should explain. Yesterday’s freeze isn’t what makes me think the meds aren’t working. Regular, slow days at work is where I realized. I never felt overwhelmed on those days, but still had responsibilities: e-mails to send, cleaning, organizing the storage-room, etc.
I kept forgeting about stuff, or started doing something, then jump to something else and forget about the first thing AND then forgeting about the second as well…

@BexIssues Thanks for your concern, but I have Essential Tremors, which are not caused by the medication. I’ve had those since forever and haven’t gotten any worse since I started taking meds (2 years ago, when I was taking Prozac for a mild depression I had, until now that I’m taking Concerta and Wellbutrin).
Thing is, Essential Tremors get worse with stress, and yesterday my right arm was aching from all the shaking (heh, it rhymes). But once I calmed down, they returned to normal, where my arms and hands tremble mildly when I move them.
Oh and thanks for reminding me of the no caffeine thing, it always slips my mind…

@Rancher Jhon (AWESOME name btw) @Juggler Thanks! I’ll keep your tips in mind as well as all the previous ones. You have been very helpful.

Posted by Nacho on Nov 16, 2013 at 5:26am

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