Procrastination might be a sign of serious disorders

13 December, 2017 / Mateusz

Procrastination and stress

There are people for whom procrastination is a disturbance in life. Procrastination results in reduced social status as well as deterioration of their financial situation. Also, such persons are not able to change their behavioral schemes – putting things off for later. This is how the vicious circle of stress and procrastination keeps on turning. How does it work?

Thinking about a task that you somehow do not want or cannot perform gives rise to serious concern. Procrastination gives relief for some time, but the thought of the work you put off lingers at the back of your head and does not allow you to rest. The consequences of discontinued work which may await you in the future can only make things worse.

Continuous pressure quickly affects your health – irritability, inattention, headaches, insomnia – these are only some of the effects of such delays. The situation is even more serious if threats must have their background in ADHD, neurosis or depression.

Procrastination and ADHD

Can ADHD be the cause of procrastination? Persons struggling with ADHD disorders have problems with planning their activities, concentrating and performing complex or tedious tasks. That is why they are quickly irritated, tend to forget about different, even day-to-day matters, and it is difficult for them to keep track dates. The disadvantages arising from ADHD disorders certainly contribute to procrastination.

Cognitive behavioral therapy might help. It makes it easier to eliminate erroneous and introduce correct behavior that facilitates better time management.

Neurosis as the cause or procrastination

Anxiety neurosis may be another reason for putting things away. Persons who suffer from it experience continuous restlessness. The worry about their own health, security and family. This occupies a lot of their time and there is not much left to perform other activities. This also contributes to procrastination.

How to make sure that neurosis is the cause of it? The disorder is manifested by: fatigue, insomnia, irritability, tension, cardiac arrhythmia and excessive perspiration.

Medication and psychotherapy might help treat neurosis. Besides, it is also worth trying to distract one’s mind from negative thoughts.

Procrastination in depression

Depression is a very serious condition in which the brain ceases to function rationally due to chemical changes occurring within. A depressed person is low-spirited, overtaken with sadness and a sense of hopelessness. The characteristic trait is the unwillingness and lack of energy and capacity to carry out even the most basic operations.

For bystanders, who have not come across depression, such behavior might be completely incomprehensible. It is often perceived as lamenting or laziness. Sometimes the surrounding reacts to depression by saying “Get yourself together!”.

However, depression should not be neglected, especially as its advanced stage can lead to suicide. It is necessary to consult a psychiatrist and launch treatment, which usually is based on taking medications, sometimes also undergoing individual work with a psychotherapist or a group therapy.

Obsessive-compulsive disorder and procrastination

Obsessive – compulsive disorder is closely related to depression and neurosis. This type of dysfunction does not allow you to feel satisfied with your own, even well-done tasks. This is a feeling slightly similar to excessive perfectionism. There is always something to improve, nothing is perfect as it should.

A person with obsessive – compulsive disorder accumulates negative feelings and thoughts and is accompanied by a sense of helplessness, is chased by bad thoughts, repeats reflex operations (e.g. cleaning, stacking or swapping objects, washing hands or teeth, etc.). All this confines the person and does not allow them to deal with matters that should be performed.

These disorders are treated similarly to neurosis and depression – by taking medication, conducting cognitive-behavioral therapy and group work, etc.

Procrastination in a fatigued person

Not enough sleep, an abundance of tasks, responsibilities and stress in the short term cause serious strain to ones health. Symptoms of fatigue include: drifting off in the middle of the day and in unexpected circumstances, irritability, insomnia, lack of energy and problems with attention. This condition also results in procrastination.

Fatigue is seemingly less serious than the previously mentioned dysfunctions, but neglecting it may lead to severe consequences: autoimmune diseases (diabetes mellitus, Hashimoto, systemic lupus erythematosus, rheumatoid arthritis, etc.), myocardial infarction, atherosclerosis, depression.

Sometimes, to avoid fatigue, it is sufficient to learn assertiveness and delegate tasks to other people. Furthermore, during increased exploitation of the body it is worth ensuring comfort and the possibility to regenerate – maintain a healthy and balanced diet, exercise and ensure a sufficient quantity of sleep.

How to beat procrastination?

It is of utmost importance to raise and answer a questions – why do I procrastinate and put off things for later? What are those things? What does deter me from them? Do I have time for performing important tasks? Maybe there is another reason why I do not want to do them?

If procrastination results from lack of will and does not relate to other types of disorders, you can motivate yourself by dividing your tasks to smaller and more easy batches, learn how to manage time as well as reduce time-consumers such as TV, phones and computer games etc.

If procrastination results from the above mentioned disorders, it is worth seeking help from a doctor or a therapist. Neglecting such problems will surely not help, but might enhance negative health symptoms.