Dusty Chipura Profile picture
Aug 2, 2021 21 tweets 4 min read Read on X
Good morning! Here’s your Mon morning #ADHD basics thread:

ADHD causes an inability to “feel” time. It is said that people with ADHD have a short “time horizon”; that we can’t see very far into the future. Since we struggle both to measure time (as in, how long something takes)
And to feel the future, it can complicate a lot of things. Some examples:

- chronic lateness due to not knowing how long things actually take (like getting ready, driving somewhere etc)
- overbooking /busying oneself due to not being able to accurately judge how much time things will take up in the schedule

- not being able to work consistently toward a goal because it feels too far away and it’s in the “not-now”

- not managing time well in the moment
(Ie, I only have half an hour for lunch but I spend 25 minutes fiddling with something in the kitchen because it doesn’t feel like time is passing)
ADHDers conceptualize time in two ways: now/not now. Anything NOW demands our attention, is urgent, is stimulating, can be attended to

Anything in the NOT NOW is basically never/I don’t know when it is and I’ll probably forget
So, projects with fuzzy / far away deadlines (“just get this to me when you can”), things that someone asked you to do “later when you have time”, or tasks you think you’ll return to (like cleaning up after eating) all go into the nebulous Not-Now Land
Things come back from Not Now Land only occasionally and only in a few ways.

1. they suddenly become urgent (have you finished that report that is due today?)

2. They become interesting (I just saw a show about fly fishing & I remember I bought that rod and reel 8 months ago)
Or 3. You plan for them, put them in a real, feel-able future that you are aware of and you remind yourself that they exist.

Guess which one ADHDers are bad at?
It’s actually a lot if you think about it. I need to put said event or task into a time in the future and I already need to know what Future Dusty, who is a creature of great impulse, will be doing at that time
If I don’t have some kind of method of tracking future events and tasks like a calendar or planner, I can’t do that. But as many an ADHDer knows, HAVING a calendar and REMEMBERING THE CALENDAR EXISTS AND TO CHECK IT are very different things
If I can remember to put the thing in the calendar and remember to check the calendar, I also have to be cognizant of the date and time in the moment. Like, I can know that tomorrow is Tuesday and that I have a dentist appointment on Tuesday but if I don’t remember that
Tuesday is Tuesday when I wake up, I can still forget.

This one is so hard to explain. It’s like, I remember that I have an appointment Tuesday. And I know that today is Tuesday. But my brain doesn’t put those facts together somehow? It’s weird.
So there’s the “in-the-moment” forgetting that can happen. For this reason, keeping your calendar and planner game strong is both important and very challenging.
Another way to think about “now/not now” thinking is “black and white” thinking. Another way to think about “black and white” thinking is “all or nothing” thinking. Many people with ADHD are all or nothing thinkers and this extends to tasks and gets mixed up with time
Most ADHDers, without coaching or therapy, are pretty rigid thinkers, especially about tasks. We don’t want to start them unless we can finish them (perfectionism). And since we can’t “feel” time and we don’t know how long a task might take, we are paralyzed to start it.
Conversely this can look like starting tasks and getting really behind because you under-estimated how long it would take.

“Hey what time should we leave for the movies?”
“Come over in 20 minutes! I’m just doing the dishes and getting ready!”
[proceeds to take 30 min doing
Dishes and then another 20 getting ready and the person waiting on you is very annoyed]
It can be really distressing when you think you can get like, five things done but you only get one done because it took WAY LONGER than you anticipated yet the next time you go to get things done you still underestimate. ADHDers get locked into a cycle of not learning from
Past mistakes/behaviours so we keep making them and not understanding why.

It can be distressing to be SO SURE you budgeting enough time to get somewhere/finish on time and still be late.
It’s like, imagine time is 3D, it has volume or weight. And when we want to make a plan or plan a task, we have a box and we need to fill that box with the appropriate amount of objects, which have volume and weight.

Except we see in 2D.
We know there’s room in the box but how much? We know the objects take up some of the room but how much? Know how many objects you can fit in a 2D box without knowing the size of the objects is impossible. Ladies, gents and NB folks, I give you “managing time and tasks with ADHD”

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More from @dustychipura

Feb 21
In the wake of a medication shortage, strategies and techniques to manage your #adhd become even more vital (and harder to implement, it’s a catch-22, I know!).

Here are some of my most foundational non-medication #ADHD management techniques:

1. Your brain is an organ and like other organs, will behave better with adequate sleep, nutrition and hydration. To that, for the ADHD brain, we can add “get vigorous body movement”, “have some fun”, and “practice presence”. Again - easier said than done, I know. Stick with me.
Vigorous body movement = could be dancing around your kitchen to your fave songs or jumping on a trampoline, just get your heart rate up for like 15 mins, cause it boosts dopamine

Fun = your brain NEEDS PLAY TIME. ADHD brains need a high level of stimulation. It’s medicine.
Read 15 tweets
Feb 13
Hello. Would you like a hilarious #adhd story? I’ve got one.

My car randomly broke down the other night and I had a hair appointment today. My housemates picked up my kid from school and I ubered home.

Upon arriving home, it was sunny and everyone was in the yard doing work.
“How fun!” I said to myself, “I’ll join in and finally cut up that big ass pile of branches in the front yard that fell during the last windstorm”.
I was feeling energetic and peaceful - everyone was home, it was sunny, nothing on the agenda… the stage was set for a perfect afternoon!
Read 17 tweets
Dec 14, 2023
We don’t talk enough about the connection between sleep apnea & men’s health, especially as it relates to #ADHD.
While women can suffer from sleep apnea, it’s like a 3:1 or 5:1 ratio for men:women affected by it. So, it’s more prevalent in men. It’s *also* comorbid with ADHD, meaning you’re more at risk for OSA (obstructive sleep apnea) if you have ADHD.
Here’s the thing - ADHD is also associated with emotional dysregulation, irritability and explosive anger. You know what makes you real irritable, angry and dysregulated? Not ever having had a good sleep in your life.
Read 21 tweets
Oct 26, 2023
I need to take a hot second here to talk about a real special kind of neurodivergent grief:

The grief of recognizing that most people don’t socialize, interact, or see the world the way you do, and that you sorta CAN’T just “be like them”.
I’ve been called naive, I’ve been told time and time again that my way of handling situations and trying to relate to people will only bring me heartache, and it often has. I wear my heart on my sleeve, I’m honest and vulnerable and authentic.
Learning that everyone else - in fact MOST people - aren’t like that too is something that took me a very long time to learn. I’m still learning it now, whereas I feel like many people learned this in their late teens and early 20s.
Read 19 tweets
Sep 12, 2023
As a parent with #adhd, I have a lot of guilt & shame about not being able to show up as best i'd like for my child all the time. One area I noticed I was lacking was communicating values to my young child, and this was REALLY important to me. Here's what I did:
Whenever something would spark my mind in the direction of values i'd like to teach my child, I made a note in my phone. Lately the system that's working well for me is the Reminders app on the iPhone because I can organize it into distinct lists.
Some of the most useful lists for me have been:
Things to do Today
Things to do Now (but maybe not today - basically, urgent thing)
Things to do Soon
Things To do Later
Read 15 tweets
Aug 1, 2023
all righty, I said I was going to do a tweet thread on skin picking / Body Focused Repetitive Behaviours & #ADHD and I am and here it is.
Disclaimer: I'm not a medical expert and this is not medical advice. A lot of what is going in this thread came from the book "The Hair Pulling Problem: A Complete Guide to Trichtillomania" by Fred Penzel, a VERY DRY 600-ish pages I read so that you don't have to.
I think all the tips and info provided by Penzel in this book are fully applicable to dermatillomania (skin picking) as well as any BFRB.
Read 25 tweets

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