I’m reading about pathological demand avoidance for the first time and it hit a bit too close to me. several things popped into my head that could well be explained with pda according to what I’ve read, and I’d be happy to get other people’s opinions.
- I’ve never had problems with schoolwork, but I did do most of my assignments at the last possible moment. now this could also be explained by executive dysfunction or plain old procrastination, but what’s interesting is that whenever I decided something like “starting tomorrow I’ll study 2 topics each day” I knew that I had to start studying THAT day instead of the next, because it wasn’t a “must” to do just yet and I didn’t have the accompanying anxiety. mind you, we’re only a night’s sleep away from the start of the “official start day” but the fact that it wasn’t “tomorrow” yet so I technically didn’t HAVE TO do the studying made all the difference.
- another thing I find freakishly relatable is how whenever we’re planning anything that I’m looking forward to, like going for a hike, a walk, starting small renovations, playing board games… I’m all enthusiastic as long as it’s just theoretical but whenever the actual date for said activity occurs I start coming up with excuses. and it’s mostly with things where someone else is involved and I feel like they want me to do the thing. “I feel tired now, maybe later” “we shouldn’t go to the movies after all, we can watch it later on netflix and we’ll even save money” “I don’t know how to / if I can execute this task 100% so I’ll wait until it’s absolutely pressing to do or someone else helps”
- I’ve never read anything else that could explain why I feel a sudden burst of anger and irritation whenever someone tries to help me by telling me what to do if I didn’t ask for their help. we constantly fight over this with my boyfriend because he’s being nice and wants to help me and all I want him to do is just listen and support me without offering unsolicited advice. but then he does and suddenly I physically feel myself clamming up in defense because all his ideas, all his plans of action make me feel anxious and overwhelmed. which is sad since we can no longer proceed with solving the issue that started the conversation in the first place because I’m all closed up and irritated and I reject everything.
- there are just too many instances where I feel like I absolutely should have been able to execute a task that someone asked me to do right away but I just couldn’t so I came up with excuses or even manipulated the situation so that I didn’t have to do it then. I wasn’t tired, I had all the time in the world, I wasn’t depressed, I had the tools and resources and I still didn’t. couldn’t. and then the task hung in the back of my mind and everytime I thought of it I was filled with dread and anxiety and I started fearing interactions with the person in case they brought it up or asked again. and if they did, my response was an automatic irritated defensive stance filled with shame and guilt. because I knew they needed me to do the thing but I couldn’t, and I don’t know why I couldn’t but the thought of them demanding this thing to be done was such a huge stress on me that sometimes I was so anxious I wasn’t able do anything else. and I still. couldn’t. do. the damn thing.