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Organization or Lack Thereof - PTSD Related?

Discussion in 'General' started by kimG, Aug 5, 2006.

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  1. kimG

    kimG Well-Known Member

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    Does anyone out there have trouble with organization?

    My house is a mess and almost always is. It isn't dirty, just cluttered and disorganized. The house I grew up in was also. I know what needs to be done and I know how to do it, but when I look around to decide to do some things, it all seems too much and I just give up. Even things like vacuuming are sometimes too much for me.

    Other times, though, I get so frustrated - almost to the point of rage - mostly at myself because things haven't been done.

    Is this a PTSD thing?

    Any suggestions to help me get motivated?

    Thanks...

    Kim
     
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  3. anthony

    anthony Renovation Aficionado Founder

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    Kim, this is normal with PTSD. It stems into concentration to organize tasks, and also the lack of motivation is generally stemmed by some depression.

    This is what baby steps is about. You are looking at the bigger picture, instead of looking at individual aspects or tasks that need to be done. The depression can be gotten past if your mind strong to just say enough, and force yourself to do one thing, then process after achieving that task. You will more often than not, find that once you have achieved one task, you then feel really good, and want to move onto another.

    Instead of looking at your entire house and saying its messy, and then looking around and seeing all these things that need to be organized, pick one, and one only, then apply yourself to achieve it.

    Tell yourself, ok... the floors need to be cleaned. So, I need too:
    1. Vacuum, then
    2. Mop the tiles or wet areas.
    So, you now have one task that takes two steps. Go get the vacuum, pick your point you want to start, and vacuum. When the entire house is vacuumed, put the vacuum away, go get the mop and bucket, then mop each area. When complete, sit back and realise that you just achieved something. You have broken down from possibly hundreds of tasks to just one, that contains two steps.

    Work in small steps before attempting to take leaps. It is like cleaning kitchen cupboards. Never pull everything out of all cupboards with PTSD, instead, empty one cupboard, clean it, put everything back. Then, if you are still feeling good, or now feel focused to achieve more, do another cupboard, and then another, each time completing one smaller task within a larger task.

    As you feel better within yourself in relation to concentration and depression, you then put tasks together and start working on a larger scale. I know this sounds basic Kim, and I know you know what needs to be done and how to do it, but this is what PTSD breaks us down too when uncontrolled.

    Still to this day, I will not go and do something like empty every cupboard in the kitchen, because I have at times half way through, suddenly got a little ill or distracted, then finding the motivation to fix what I started is harder than to just do smaller pieces at once. If I only get half a job done in smaller stages, ie. kitchen cupboards, I will just leave it, start on something smaller until I my body kicks into active mode, then I will go back to it and continue with that task.

    Sometimes, I may take a larger task, such as cupboard cleaning, and combine them into other smaller daily tasks, ie. I clean the toilets and then one cupboard. Next day, clean floors then another cupboard. Next day, clean showers then another cupboard, etc etc. I do that because I find some tasks more boring than others, so I combine the boring tasks into other tasks I find more interesting.

    For example, yesterday I whipper snipped (edged) all the outside lawn, then mowed (as I like outside tasks), then I cleaned the windows outside only and the fly screens. The day before, I had actually cleaned all the inside of the windows and window frames, but not the inside and outside.

    So, process tasks with the following in mind:
    • Size of the task (break down into mini-components)
    • Is the task boring or interesting
    • Can the task be combined with other tasks in small components
    • Step a task over days if required, with components set as a goal each day
    You don't need to necessarily write lists, but more practice keeping track of tasks mentally, to help build your memory and mental activity again.
     
  4. reallydown

    reallydown I'm a VIP

    Hi Kim--I know exactly what you're talking about--though I still live at home so often others pick up the slack--then I feel guilty for not doing enough...sometimes i can get it together though...
    i'm sorry i can't offer much in terms of advice...but i think they key is not trying to do everything at once. good luck.
     
  5. permban0008

    permban0008 Policy Enforcement Banned

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    KimG

    This is not exclusive to those with PTSD, I think that you guys are just a little unluckier (understatement of the year) in that its harder to concentrate and get motivated. I like Anthony's suggestion, a little bit at a time. Even those of us without PTSD have had to learn to tackle things little at a time. I used to be one of those people that would upend the entire kitchen cupboards and still be working at midnight to put it right. I don't do that anymore. Naturally, if you are focussing on the whole task you wouldn't be motivated - its just too big of a job.
     
  6. kimG

    kimG Well-Known Member

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    My trouble is, I try to do a little bit at a time, but never quite seem to get finished. I also get distracted quite easily - even to the point of wondering if I have adult ADD. A great example: today I was tidying up the RV, getting it ready for a trip we'll be taking tomorrow. I bought new oven mitts and wanted to hang them up in the "kitchen" area using a cup hook. I left the RV, went into the house to look for the hook, then saw that the dishes needed to be put into the dishwasher, so I loaded it. Went back out to the RV with the feeling that there was something I hadn't yet done. Entered the RV and immediately remembered that I needed that hook. Went back inside the house to get it but then decided to check this board. Went back out to the RV and once again remembered the hook, so I left the RV and went inside AGAIN. This time I went straight to where the hook was and got it and was finally able to put it in the RV.

    This type of scenario repeats many times a day, every day. I'll start vacuuming and in the middle of it see something that needs to be picked up and put away...and then it's the end of the vacuuming. It happens at work too and can be embarassing when the same people see me walking past them several times for the same thing.

    Does the ADD medicine help with this type of thing?
     
    untiltoday likes this.
  7. anthony

    anthony Renovation Aficionado Founder

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    I don't know about the medicine aspect Kim.

    What you describe is normal... but you can see what the problems are, because your writing them, hence you now need to apply that information that you know, to logical steps and processes. STOP distracting yourself. ONE STEP at a time Kim... focus on one thing, see something else, mentally tell yourself to ignore it, continue with your task. ONE thing at a time. This is very much a mental strength aspect Kim... were nobody can make you stop doing what your doing, only you can change this. Use the information above and begin applying... continue at it, and you will begin to get more focused. Doing these small things then move into being more capable again at memory and mental capacity of multi taskings.
     
  8. reallydown

    reallydown I'm a VIP

    As Anthony says, I'm not sure about the medicine. I'd be very careful with that. But the "oven mitt" situation you've described happens to me a lot too...and I'm in my early 20's...i know it's normal and happens to everyone...but i still think that it shouldn't be happening to me as often as it does...for me it's not always a matter of seeing something else that needs to be done...sometimes, as i'm going to do something i just stop and can't remember what i was trying to do...it's really frustrating!
     
  9. reallydown

    reallydown I'm a VIP

    OOps...posted too soon...but what sometimes helps me with memory is this game i used to (and still do )play with my family...there are probably various versions of this out there...but yeah, someone picks a letter and we have to write down a country, city, river, mountain or mountain range, plant, animal and a name that starts witht hat letter...it's really good for the memory...it doesn't have to be geographical...you can pick diferrent categories (ie movies, singers or bands, songs, etc)...maybe you could try something like that when you have some time...i don't know...just a thought.
     
  10. secretstars

    secretstars New Member

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    Could you ask your husband to help you a little bit, even if only to watch you do one task and help you from getting distracted?
     
  11. YoungAndAngry

    YoungAndAngry Well-Known Member

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    Wow, the oven mitt situation....
    Yeah I'm also very guilty of doing that.
    It can up to 10 trips to get 1 thing... grrrrr
     
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