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Life with ADHD – I Keep Losing Things – Video

When you misplace your keys, phone, purse, or wallet, gloves… again and again, it’s a problem. “My wife is always losing things.” “I can’t find my cell phone.” “I keep misplacing my tools.” Why can’t we remember where we put things? We not only misplace stuff, we lose time looking for them. It goes beyond disorganization. Even when we have a place to hang our car keys, they’re never there!

According to the DSM 4, there are 18 symptoms main symptoms common to A.D.H.D. in children.  9 of them centre around Inattention…
And number seven refers to the problem of always losing things, misplacing things…
This is one of the symptoms that seem to evolve by adulthood, and look a little different, as my colleague Dr. Annick Vincent explains.
How can you be expected to remember where you put your keys, when at the time you set them down, your mind was a million miles away.
I’m Dr. Umesh Jain, and as an academic in a University, I know lots of absent minded professors. I also know that dealing with thousands of ADHD individuals, there are a lot of similarities like losing things,  poor time management, and lost opportunities.  And after a while, a loss in self confidence.
“How could I possibly hope to start my own company when I can’t even remember where I put my shoes last night!”, they might say.
The key is to develop routines.  Let’s watch our ADHD poster boy Bill and his ever-understanding wife Constance as they fall back on a routine they’ve developed to deal with his habit of losing things.
Okay, that’s an example of a routine for after the horse has bolted from the barn.  A better routine would be to create a spot, something visible, hard to ignore, and right by the door, for Bill’s keys and wallet and so on.
One reason ADDers have stuff everywhere is they don’t actually have a home for it.  Have you ever created a spot where it should go.  “Where is the camera?” would be easier to answer if everyone agreed where the camera was supposed to be.  “In the camera drawer.”
Why not have a bowl, box or funky container by your bed for watches, glasses, earrings, jewellery.
Another by the front door for mail and a garbage can for junk mail.  Particular shelves, drawers or boxes for financial papers, sports equipment, or clothes.
After all, you probably have a place for everything in the kitchen right?  A cutlery drawer, a pot rack, and vegetable crisper.
Extend that thinking to the rest of the house.  And the rest your life.
“Doing my bills and taxes?  The third Wednesday evening of every month.” And if that feels restrictive, well, consider how your current system is making you feel.
Make the third Wednesday yours, make it fun, maybe that’s when you buy a new CD and listen to it, while you do your taxes.  Make it fun, even a game, and then you own it.

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8 Responses to “Life with ADHD – I Keep Losing Things – Video”

  1. bleachboy10 says:

    One major problem I have always had when trying to NOT lose things is…
    When I tell or ask someone to put my stuff back where it was and they don’t do it and (I can’t find it) then I can’t find it. They get pissy with me because they shouldn’t have to put it back exactly where it was. And why is it a “Big Deal” to me? (I didn’t know it was a coping mech back then I just knew It worked best for me)
    Suddenly I’m the bad guy telling them what to do (I was the youngest so I had no opinion that could matter in any way shape or form) and they were always right and I was always wrong, even if I had hard ,iron clad evidence, I was always wrong. LOL, (it is sad and disappointing but I can kinda laugh at it now, I mean none of us understood LD or ADHD at that time)

    This was when I was a kid before and after they misdiagnosed me as LD(which we did nothing to help) and now know it WAS ADHD.

    Yes, Everything needs a place BUT!!! EVERYONE!! needs to be onboard to keep that place. If you have unsupportive or unwilling household members then really you are “screwed” like I was.

    I still drive my roommates crazy that don’t care to or try to understand my ADHD. lol,

    I wish I would have had a resource like when I was a kid. I could have shown it to my parents and extended family. Not that they would have taken it seriously but maybe they would have.

    That’s something else, Have you all thought about an “ADHD kids” side for With brain games and silly kid stuff… kid forums and chats and ADHD Videos for and from kids. Just popped into my head. I’m sure you have already though of it.

    Too much to say. Not enough time to grammatically sentencize it comprehensively. You know what I mean, right?

  2. richhart says:

    Part of the problem, I think, is I have a subroutine in my head I call ’empty a hand.’ This routine is called whenever I want to use a hand, but I have something in it I have to get rid of first. Once this subroutine is active, the conscious mind say ‘ah, I can rest now’ and pays no attention.

    If there is a ‘designated place’ for the thing, VERY NEARBY, the routine may put it there. Otherwise it picks a place. It’s goals are a place where the thing mostly fits, is fairly likely to stay put, and will be ‘out of the way.’ That’s it. So it can be ‘creative’ and pick spots your conscious mind would instantly rule out (ie, the refrigerator).

    The big problem with this subroutine is it lacks code to store any memory of what it does. FORGETTING IS INSTANT. You set the hammer down and two seconds later, it is lost.

    The only way to ‘manage’ this subroutine is to get it to exit at the top, before it gets into ‘picking a place.’ You have to have a designated place ready for it. This means, for example, at ANY work location, pick a Tool Place, where all the tools always go, right at the start. And a parts container is essential, so you don’t wind up with little do-dads everywhere.

    Extend this principle of ‘designating spots’ to all kinds of situations, and a big problem can be licked before it happens!

  3. spngbob says:

    you know why this website is so great? i can show my better half exactly what the score is in a way he really gets it.

  4. Richard says:

    That sounds all too familiar! Good tips!
    By the way, I had a chuckle when “Mr. Smith” became “Mr.Green” when speaking to the video store 🙂

  5. gforcewarp9 says:

    Oh yeah, and also, in my world–the hammer could EASILY have been in the fridge. I have found all manner of things that don’t belong in the fridge, in the fridge. I always look there…;)

  6. gforcewarp9 says:


    Videos make me feel so much better about my life. 🙂

  7. jenwatson2005 says:

    This use to be a daily occurence for me 🙂