"executive dysfunction" is a pretty broad umbrella of things, but usually it means a lack of functioning on one or more tasks that fall under the umbrella of "executive function" (inhibition, working memory, cognitive flexibility, and uh i think interference filtering? something like that.) this is classically used to describe people with neurodegenerative diseases or brain legions, but it is also used with reference to certain disorders, notably autism and adhd, where these populations show difficulties with said tasks. it is sometimes used beyond this definition but in my opinion, that starts to get fuzzier and fuzzier and less useful of a construct in terms of experimental psych, but idk about clinical psych.
i have no personal experience with executive dysfunction, only a worthless education.
REVIEWS of MONI ★☆☆☆☆ "The worst person I've ever met." -- Sister, 2k18 "Literally garbage." - Scrappy, 2k17 "0/10 lol what is this." - Country Queen, 2k16 "0/10 this writer sucks." - Droplet, 2k14 neopets | NT
Post by Breakingchains on Aug 26, 2022 12:26:57 GMT -5
I have a vivid memory from when I was a teenager of laying in bed. It was probably like one or two in the afternoon and I was just waking up, which was pretty typical for me. I was extremely thirsty. There was a full water bottle sitting in arm's reach on my nightstand. I could not manage to sit up, grab the water bottle, and drink it.
Seriously. There might as well have been a brick wall between me and it. I was just staring at the water bottle and suffering from thirst. I remember wondering if this was what a stroke felt like, but no, I could tell the physical ability to move was there. And I knew, intellectually, what the steps were to reaching out and drinking water. I just could not for whatever reason actually initiate the task.
That's a single one of thousands of examples over the course of my life. It's why I finished school late, entered the workforce late, didn't make it to medical school. It's caused me dental and medical problems. It's kept me from finishing projects that are incredibly important to me. It's something about the process that it takes to initiate a new task--at random times, that process will just be out of reach, and as far as I've been able to figure out, there is not a single gotdang thing I can do to fix it when that happens. Articulating what is going on to other people and getting them to understand what this internal state is like is even harder. On the outside it just looks like laziness and being a slob, and in my home culture which likes to think of almost all disability as a personal failing--well, good luck convincing anyone otherwise.
The overall effect has been that for a long time I've just felt really dead inside. It's really hard to maintain mental health when something's wrong with your basic ability to be an active agent in your own life, you know? I remember feeling like I was just being pulled along by forces outside my control and not having a word for it. Like if someone yelled "Fire!" I would be up and out of the building like a shot, but I couldn't get up and brush my teeth. It wasn't until I finally got exposed to a lot of people talking about executive dysfunction and their own experiences with ADHD that I was able to slowly put together that something is medically wrong. And I REALLY did not want to believe it, like hoo BOY I did not want to admit that I had ADHD, but it explains too much.
So yeah, IDK if I have any further insight because I'm still waiting on an appointment that will hopefully allow me to arrange correct treatment, but this is just what it's like for me as best as I can explain it.
Post by June Scarlet on Aug 26, 2022 22:01:02 GMT -5
I was trying to describe how overwhelmed I get sometimes, usually at work nowadays. Like faced with thousands of cookies to make in a shift, even though making cookies is simple enough, I could barely make myself get through it sometimes, it was so much. And someone replied that it sounded like executive function issues.
I mean, though, I do force myself to do it, even though it's so hard, I somehow manage to do it. So I'm not really sure if this describes that feeling or not.
I read the Wikipedia articles on Executive Function, then Executive Dysfunction, and had trouble relating to most of it. But I'm also thinking that Wikipedia isn't the best source for this. Right now, I'm still trying to wrap my head around the concept.
The part I related to was about effects in the classroom. For example, when talking about Goal-related skills, there's often deficits in planning, where it gives these examples:
Doesn't know where to start when given large assignments; Easily overwhelmed by task demands; Difficulty developing a plan for long-term projects; Problem-solving strategies are very limited and haphazard; Starts working before adequately considering the demands of a task; Difficulty listing steps required to complete a task
I mean, I've always struggled with big projects. It's like I don't even know where to start with them. Making plans for long-term projects is pretty much impossible.
I don't know about that though, even, because when I pointed it out to my mom, she couldn't really see it that much. Like, isn't that pretty much anyone when faced with a huge project? And then she pointed out how someone we know can barely manage laundry planning, whereas when I'm thinking a big project, I'm thinking of like a book.
Still, I would like to tackle big projects like writing a book, so tools to help with big project planning is something I'd like to research now. I figure it doesn't really matter if I have this or not anyway, more information is a good thing.
The way I specifically experience executive dysfunction is that I have a hard time starting or maintaining tasks. Starting tasks is harder for me and I tend to experience it more when I have multiple tasks I need to complete, whether it be chores, self care, professional / school stuff, etc. And of course, if I'm stressed, I have a much harder time starting specific tasks, usually if they're the cause of my stress. For me, this leads to procrastination, outright ignoring the (sometimes time sensitive) task, and of course more stress.
The best way I explain Executive Dysfunction for myself is "a car in neutral". You can press on the gas as much as you want but the car isn't moving. All the stress on the motor is there and you feel it building up, but you're not going anywhere.
How I try to deal with it is to start small and to prioritize asks. As I've said, starting tasks is harder for me. For example, if I need to put dishes away, I start with one or two plates. If I have multiple tasks I need to do, I try to organize what I need to do first. Like if I need to shower, make dinner, feed the cats, I'd logically go through what needs to be done first. "I should get started on dinner soon so we don't eat late. The cats will want food if they see us eat, so I'll feed them shortly after."
Of course, this is just how I experience it. Everybody else experiences it differently. And of course, I could just sort of be misunderstanding executive dysfunction entirely. But hopefully, my answer helps you nonetheless.
The name is stars44. Chasing_stars44. Feel free to check me out on Neo.