Thursday, April 18, 2019

Looking Your Best for Depression

If You’re Depressed, Why Bother Getting Up & Ready for the Day?

I was recently asked if I had a blog post about why I cared so much about my dress, hair, and appearance despite my depression. What drives me to bother cleaning up when laying in bed while reading news in my PJs is easier to do? Why bother shaving? Why bother showering? Why bother getting up at all?

I couldn’t find a specific blog where I addressed this issue, but the pat answer is that my vanity is a super power. Vanity overpowers the darkest, deepest depressions to make sure at least my hair is presentable. Doesn’t that sound superficial? The truth is much deeper than that. How did I get to the point where I care so much about my appearance, it can override the urge to not care about anything at all?

Thursday, March 28, 2019

ADHD: Five Throwaway ToDo Lists that Quickly Organize Your Day

Sometimes the simplest solutions can be forgotten. [1]

A cheap whiteboard and a list on a napkin.

On those days when it feels as if you woke up late for the launch, you need to strap on a jetpack to get through the day. You don’t have time to deal with elaborate ToDo list systems. Franklin Covey? Getting Things Done? Omnifocus? Or any handful of powerful task management systems installed on your phone? These systems each have their strengths, but they require upkeep, and when you’re pressed for time—if you are anything like me—you are focused only on what’s in front of you. The other things, albeit important, get lost in the ADHD panic of the moment. That’s why it is so important to keep on top of those systems, but if you’re forgetful or easily bored, you may find yourself behind.

Most Task Systems Require Maintenance

The Franklin Covey system with its A, B, & Cs helps prioritize your projects, but requires daily review and reprioritizing. The Getting Things Done system hopes to simplify your life by moving unimportant projects out of your headspace, but still requires a weekly review. Other task management systems offer their own takes on organizing to be more productive, but ofttimes the ADHD mind is put off by meticulous systems—or maybe it’s more likely that meticulous systems are put down by ADHD minds. Those minds have a fondness for distractions. All one needs is a few days of disuse, or worse, a week or two, and these management lists become anchored in the past.

So it’s a bad day at the office and an evening lost on Netflix then? Let’s not give up hope just yet.

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

ADHD: Visual Reminders

The simplest ToDo list is one item long and stays in your face. [1]

There is one kind of reminder that I always fall back on when sticky notes, calendar apps, todo lists, and alarms fail. It is the visual reminder, and it is as powerful as it is simple.

Perhaps you haven’t noticed, what with all the forgotten bills, lost paperwork, and unfinished projects no longer on your mind, but one of the most notorious downsides of having adult ADHD is being forgetful. I can remind myself to do something every hour of every day and still forget to do it. All I need is a distraction at the wrong moment. That’s why task lists are so helpful for forgetful people. You don’t need to rely on your memory. That is unless you forget to look at the task list. Then you’re in all sorts of trouble again.

Friday, March 01, 2019

ADHD: Wicked Fast Photo ToDo Lists

When you’re in a hurry, photons are faster than pens. [1]

When I made the transition from paper to digital back in the 90s—you know…when Palm Pilots still roamed the earth and Man was preparing for the impending Y2K Bug apocalypse—I said good-bye to that trusty old standby for ToDo lists: the pen & paper. It was all digital for me! I was prepared to spend as much time as needed to get my very complicated repeating ToDos to beep on cue and sync with the desktop for backup security. It may have, occasionally, required hours to bang out the syncing bugs, but I was living in the future, baby!

Long ago, I sold off my half dozen Palm Pilots and Sony Cliés on eBay for $20. I’m older and wiser now and realize digital isn’t always better. Sometimes, it’s downright unreliable, which is why I keep a pen & paper handy just in case. However, I still love living in the future. I’m just smarter about it.

Saturday, February 23, 2019

Of Awards, eBooks, and Depression

Just a quickie update for you this weekend.

I recently received an award for depression blogging. I even had to send off a headshot. I’ll write more about it when their post goes live, but in the meantime, I realized that I haven’t been blogging about depression much this year. I wanted to let you know why.

I’m cured!

Nah. Wouldn’t that be great? No such luck for me, however. I still struggle with mild depression daily and occasional heavy bouts when most inconvenient. What really has me distracted is my latest book project. I’ve dug through the past fourteen years of articles and collected the best articles I’ve written on ADHD and ToDo lists. That’s the theme of my next eBook. I hope to have a first draft finished by the end of next week.

Some of the articles stand as is, but many need to be updated or rewritten (For example, how about this one? Three Simple Ways to Prevent Your PDA from Becoming a Paperweight). As I update or write the chapters, I’ll post the first drafts here as articles. Then I’ll clean them up and hit the presses. Or press submit. It’s the same thing these days. By incorporating the book writing as blogging, I hope to prevent one from overtaking the other, as has been the case for the past few years. And then I’ll make time for my middle grade novel.

Once I’m finished with the task management for ADHD adults ebook, I’ll tackle the fighting depression book I started a year ago. Or was it two? I also started an upsides to ADHD book, which was also abandoned, come to think of it. It’s like I have ADHD or something. Weird.

For those of you who have come here seeking depression help, please click on the “Main Topics” tab above, then select “Depression”, or take advantage of the search field in the sidebar. I am certain you will find something that will be of use to you. If you have any questions, hit me up on Twitter. I’m @SplinteredMind.

And now I’m off to write.

If you are interested in coping strategies for suicidal depression, you should read my book on fighting suicide.

Thursday, February 21, 2019

ADHD + Haste = Disaster

With Adult ADHD, when we are in a hurry, we blunder in glorious ways. If only there was a way to prevent that.

I have a quickie tip for you today as I’m blazing around my life like some earthbound comet.

Last month, I was quickly packaging up an item I had sold on eBay. The item was secure. The box was sealed. All it needed was a shipping label.

I don’t sell a lot on eBay, but I’ve got a system I’ve developed over the years. After I pay for the postage online, I both print the label AND save it as a PDF. Redundancy is good for these sorts of things. When I went to fetch the printed label, I discovered that the UPC code was all smeared. Back to the Mac I went, but since I had closed the tab, I opened up the PDF and printed from there, this time at a higher DPI and clarity.

The second printout looked great, so I clipped the shipping label out and prepared to tape it to my package. That’s when I stopped myself.

”Which PDF did I print?”

Thursday, January 31, 2019

ADHD – Reminders Right Where You Need Them

It’s hard to imagine, but your iPhone can be used for more than tweeting, texting, and playing games. Crazy, right⸮ [1]

Location Aware Reminders Rock!

How many times have you driven out to do errands and forgotten to do something? It might be getting strawberries at the grocer while they are in season, or maybe you forgot to drop off those library books knocking around the back of your car, or you’re tired of remembering to fill your car tires long after you’ve passed that station with the free air pump. My neglected errand was that I kept forgetting to update the insurance cards in my car.

First I lost the insurance cards, then I kept leaving them at home. When I finally got them into the car, weeks went by without me actually pulling the cards out of the envelop and sticking them someplace safer. The problem was that I was always running in and out of the car on my way to someplace else. It wasn’t until I made a specific reminder that I finally took care of this errand.

Unlocking Your iPhone’s Power

Don’t you think it would be helpful if something could interrupt your reverie right about the time you were in the vicinity of the errand? That’s where Apple’s location aware Reminder app comes in. It packs some features that make it indispensable, but where the app truly shines is with location awareness, taking full advantage of your iPhone’s GPS.

Thursday, January 24, 2019

ADHD: Open Mouth, Insert Friend

It’s a good thing my friend isn’t easily offended. Today my ADHD took our conversation on a colorful roadtrip.

I will spare you the details, but I made a gaffe today that involved flagpoles, fidget spinners, and ED. If I was headlining in Vegas, I would certainly have outdone myself for sheer, bold, cheeky humor—celebrated by the audience’s raucous laughter—but since I’m some average rando calling a friend on the phone, I got the following:

“Am I the only person you have conversations like this with?”
“Yes,” I said while laughing. “You are the only person I can openly talk to this way.”
“Let’s remove one person from that equation, and I think we can solve your problem.”
I don’t know if I got the quote right. We were both laughing. It is common for us to zing each other. However, part of my refined, adult mind started working on what he had said. I suddenly realized that I had stepped over a line.
“Well, I may have been excessively colorful.”
“Oh, you think?” he said while laughing.

Thursday, January 10, 2019

ADHD Is Like a Cupcake

If you’re willing to do the work, your ADHD will come out of the oven like a batch of perfect cupcakes?

I have to agree with you. Comparing ADHD to cupcakes isn’t the best simile. What could I possibly mean? Am I saying that ADHD is covered in sickly, sweet frosting and helps you put on weight? Coping strategies for ADHD are most efficacious when baked at 325ºF? ADHD is best dealt with by spreading it thinly with a knife while gently twirling?

If only dealing with ADHD was so tasty!

Wednesday, January 02, 2019

Capitalism as a Coping Strategy, Plus Other Successes

2018 was a good year for me. Thank you all for reading my articles, sharing them with friends, and supporting me over the years. This blog, A Splintered Mind, has been tackling ADHD and depression with attitude and humor online for fourteen years now. It is the longest project, aside from parenthood, of which I have remained consistently engaged.

In the past year, I have been spotlighted in Esperanza magazine, had blogs published at, had an article published in ADDitude Magazine’s Fall issue, and was selected to participate in a blogger advisory panel. 2018 was busy, but it all came together in the Fall.

The event that took the most effort was the blogger advisory panel—even more effort than trying to get a decent portrait for Esperanza magazine that didn’t make me look like a doofus. That project involved all of my smiling daughters giving me encouragement on a bright summer day. I felt so awkward doing a photoshoot in a public park, as if I’m a looker, but my girls boosted my self-esteem and got me through it. For the Boston gig, in contrast, I had to utilize every coping strategy I’d invented, plus make up a few on the fly, to prepare and present for the panel. It was me vs. myself.

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