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Noitartst

Seeking Help Dealing with an Executive Function Deficit

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Noitartst

So, how do I plug this hole in my life, exactly?  I'm open to re-training, but I'm on welfare, and I'm in a hurry to get bust on an internet startup. 

Maybe I sound rash, but I'm out to rectify not having been properly diagnosed with this , early.

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King_oni

I don't think there's an easy and fast fix for it. 

 

If it would be that easy, it would be a good fix for many on the spectrum.

 

Besides; executive function seems a bit generic. I think I've addressed this earlier in a similar post of yours, but what exactly are your struggles. And how do these struggles affect you exactly? I would assume that this is a matter a therapist would be interested in hearing as well. 

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The Id

So, how do I plug this hole in my life, exactly?

Well, that depends on how you got into the situation and how hard you are prepared to work to get back out of it.

 

Executive function is one of the things we learn as we grow up, and if we learned it in ways that were compromised by stressful influences in our childhood environment then we are somewhat stuck with that until we are prepared to overcome our habits and rewrite them to be more useful.

 

Was your childhood stressful? What influences could have led to you learning non-optimum ways of organising yourself? Look for subtle themes like a mother who always overrode her children and never let them find their own way to do things or who habitually blamed her children. It isn't always the obvious things since we don't have a reference point of what scenarios cause learned behaviours. A subtle recurring behaviour trait in a parent or caregiver that seems benign on the outside can have a far greater influence than a single stressful event such as losing a family member.

 

Take a stand against your emotional mind- the part of you that sets your default behaviours. Whatever way that works for you is all good. Try any therapies you can, positive affirmations, books on the subject... anything and everything until you find something that works. That is the hard bit- realising that you have to do some things your emotional mind doesn't want you to do. It takes time and perseverance but you'll start to notice change if you keep up the pressure on your emotions and push back against their control over you.

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Noitartst

I don't think there's an easy and fast fix for it. 

 

If it would be that easy, it would be a good fix for many on the spectrum.

 

Besides; executive function seems a bit generic. I think I've addressed this earlier in a similar post of yours, but what exactly are your struggles. And how do these struggles affect you exactly? I would assume that this is a matter a therapist would be interested in hearing as well. 

 

Well, in a sentence, my problem is the inability ability to initiate, plan and organize, set goals, solve problems, regulate emotions, and monitor behavior.  Nobody's providing me the structure to operate out of my strengths, and cognitive behavior therapy isn't useful, in my experience, though I've seen such therapists, and they've focused on the social and relational aspects, not on the EF issues.  What use has executive function with them, anywho?  Seriously.

 

I had a happy childhood, full stop.  Maybe I forgot I was molested, or what not, but everything went South round the age of fifteen.  I didn't know how to plan, then, and I still don't.  Wrecked my sanguinity, it did.

 

Planning takes forever. I know what I want, but it involves a typical lot of meandering, after which I space out.  I have goals, but I can't reach them, or I arrive at them so tortured that it strangles any potential momentum.  Pervading sense of drowning and squandered sense of ability.

 

I keep asking professionals for help to build around my strengths, but they keep making excuses though this was before I learned about my EF deficit.  Couldn't even get any help marketing, really.  I have yet to know if training for EF deficit will work, but my  fears are they will be insufficient. 

 

The real issue is I probably will need to farm much of the executive functioning to other, more capable hands.  Mostly, I just want to feel a sense of progress, and accomplishment. 

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The Id

The real issue is I probably will need to farm much of the executive functioning to other, more capable hands. 

 

Trying to farm out some of the very things that define successful entrepreneurs is going to be a hard ask IMO because your requests will be received as unwelcome unless you are offering suitable remuneration, in which case they become your employees. I don't mean offer them shares or future gains on the basis that your venture is successful, I mean pay them a competitive salary.

 

Whether you had a happy childhood or not isn't the issue, it is whether you had somebody with an often-recurring behaviour pattern that influenced your EF capabilities. We don't have to have a bad childhood in order to have personal issues, we just have to have a childhood. A lot of people, myself included, didn't have a bad childhood yet I have had EF issues for a lot of years too. When you start to look closely enough you'll start to see the patterns, they are always there.

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Bruce

And it may just be you have to find a different way to do some of it.... Unfortunately, we can't know which bits are simply your mind will not work that way & how much anything else!

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Noitartst

Well, I think much of my expectation growing up was to trust authority figures... too much, I think, in retrospect.  Liked them more than peers, but I came to expecttoo much of them, or I should have asked for more help.  In any event, I needed to be shown more intensely how to do things, I think, and was reluctant to do so.  Should have demanded to learn how to drive, for one.  On the other hand, I was strongly pucshed into learning to type, for which I'm grateful, even if I'm lazy at it. 

 

I think my mother, especially in my teens, had a deep negative influence, even if I love her.  He family leadership was erratic, and that lack of consistency proved traumatic.  I have always thrived off authoritarians, though, and that was not what I had.

 

See any pattern, yet?

Edited by Noitartst

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Bruce

That's  more for you to say how you might have been affected. If so, any ideas? Personally, I could probably be diagnosed with ODD, although, pedantically, my problem wasn't with the 'authority', per se, usually. Either I couldn't agree the person claiming it had such authority or I disputed their understanding/ application of whatever it was - not just being 'anti' for no reason.

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The Id

I think my mother, especially in my teens, had a deep negative influence, even if I love her.  He family leadership was erratic, and that lack of consistency proved traumatic.  I have always thrived off authoritarians, though, and that was not what I had.

 

See any pattern, yet?

 

Quite possibly. What you experienced is only 100% relevant to you so I don't want to try and interpret what you have written and say it caused anything since I don't have anywhere near the required level of information or understanding of your own personal situation. I don't even understand my own situation in enough detail yet and I've been fairly closely involved in it for nearly forty years.

 

EF is an authority issue- inability to have authoritative control over our own abilities. If we were raised in an environment where we formed unusual attachment to authority or authority figures then that could have interfered with the natural process of becoming our own authority. Part of the transition from child to adult is the transfer of authority from the primary caregiver to the individual and if this doesn't happen naturally then the individual is left with a non-optimal ability to be at cause over their functions. If you can see unusual connections to authority in your past then keep looking and you may find that your mind starts to help you by giving you seemingly random pictures from the past. Acknowledge it each time and you'll start to see the patterns forming. They'll be all sorts of weird to start with and then things will start falling into place. I needed somebody else to fit the last few pieces into my puzzle and then suddenly it all made sense.

 

You could start by asking yourself some questions. Is part of you waiting for an authority figure to come along and tell you to do things? What happens if you try to do something you know will cause issues and when you get that slightly foggy feeling come on then ask "what do I want right now"? Try saying "I can do this" and see what response you get. Push the boundaries of what you are 'permitted' to do and see how your mind responds. Once you get the idea that you can push back against the emotional block that causes EF then you can start to chip away at it and reduce its control over you.

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