Perseveration and Attention Deficit Disorder

Perseveration and Attention Deficit Disorder
Perseveration is when a person continues the same action or thought after the original stimuli is gone. It can be a persistent thought or idea that a person just can't get rid of, and it is non-productive. For people with Attention Deficit Disorder, often it is an idea about the order in which something needs to be completed. Everybody can perseverate from time to time, but folks with Attention Deficit Disorder tend to do it more than other people. How can you break the perseveration cycle?

When BellaOnline had a massive server crash with lost data, I had the idea that my missing articles needed to be reconstituted before I added more articles. This thought wouldn't leave me. A week later, the missing articles were still floating around in cyberspace, but they certainly were not on my website. Should I just let readers go without new articles? That was unacceptable. While I think missing one deadline in a four-year period isn't terrible, neglecting my website by not posting new material was distasteful for me. It felt like breaking a trust with my readers. What did I need to do to break through the psychic logjam of my perseveration?

First, stepping back emotionally from the idea that a person is perseverating on is essential. Perseveration is loaded with emotions. Unbind yourself and look at the problem dispassionately. For me, this meant deciding that the lost articles needed to be reloaded, but that it did not need to happen immediately. I let go of the anguish that losing those articles had built inside of me.

Second, I thought about the pleasure of writing something new. I replaced one emotional reaction that was causing me problems with a more positive emotion. I gave myself permission to write and post a new article before the older ones were replaced. Then, I started crafting the article in my mind. This intensified the pleasure that I felt when I thought about writing a new article.

Finally, as I thought about the nature of perseveration and how to overcome the difficulties that it causes, I wrote down the process that I go through to break out of the perseveration cycle. I started writing this article. Bringing logic and dispassion to the perseveration equation helps to find a way out of the emotionally tangled mess that keeps you from doing what you want and need to do. Unleash your creativity! The creative problem solving powers that folks with Attention Deficit Disorder possess can certainly help in this process of breaking through perseverative thoughts.

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