Pathological Procrastination?

I want to stop picking. Kind of. The thing is, I've come to realize that I may be holding on to this habit because of the (perceived) protective functions it serves. I thought of one of them today. I was sitting at my computer, trying to summon the motivation to work on job and medical school applications. Fun stuff, I know. As with all fun things like that, I was getting stressed and bored. Luckily I'm an expert procrastinator and I know how to temporarily protect myself against those unpleasant feelings. I have a variety of procrastination techniques, and picking is one of them. That was my game-plan today. After an hour or two of damage it was time to go pick up my sister. As I drove, I tried to imagine how I would feel had I spent that time Facebooking or Sporcling. Would I feel any different? The reality would be the same--I wouldn't have made any progress on what I needed to be doing. Yes, it would have been a step forward (or at least lack of a step backward) in my attempt to conquer dermatillomania, but that's not going to get me into medical school. So, when faced with my lack of motivation, it seems that the blame can go one of two ways--either it's due to a diagnosable disorder, or I'm just a procrastinator. Who's ever heard of pathological procrastination? Maybe it'll be in the DSM-VI, but for now it's simply known as laziness. So why should I give up a habit that gives me such a ready excuse for not reaching my potential? I really need to address the underlying issue of motivation. If I can figure out how to work through stress and resist instant gratification, then I'll be able to stop picking and work more efficiently in my other endeavors. But that takes way too much effort.
slomodove slomodove
22-25, F
1 Response Jul 24, 2010

I see that this is from 2010, so I doubt you will see this, but I wondered how things are for you now? I dont have your (diagnosable) condition, but I have long wondered if I have some kind of pathological procrastination disorder . I know the negative consequences of procrastination, yet I still (and always) procrastinate. It causes problems at work, at home, with my children, with my husband. Its the reason I never finished college. I feel I have potential, but have never reached it because of this urge to procrastinate. I will sit there, in front of whatever task needs to be done (be it work on the computer or the dishes), feeling tremendous anxiety, yet I will make what feels like a conscious decision to procrastinate. Even though I am having an anxiety attack thinking about the consequences. Even though I have time to do it. Even when I am talking to myself, telling myself this is exactly the behavior I want to change; this is exactly the thing I hate about myself. I am not picking when I do this, just staring into space, but it feels like a compulsive disorder. So I wondered what, if anything, has worked for you? And I hope you are doing well!