Wednesday, March 29, 2023

Helping our patients understand their experience with time and how it can impact their mental health

I  have seen a number of teenagers recently whose view of the world is in the “present moment experience as is” and what’s going to happen in the next few seconds or minutes.

In their view of the world, there’s very little “depth in the time dimension” so it’s extremely hard for them to be aware of what’s going to happen in the next few days, weeks, or months.    They can be relatively “time blind”.  Some of them have a formal  diagnosis of ADHD not surprisingly.

They can really struggle with assignment deadlines and school in general because schools of course, work in terms of days, weeks, months and years.

So what are their strengths?

They can be great with living in the moment, going with the flow, and dealing with “real time” tasks like manual arts, carpentry and sports. 

Other kids I see may have the opposite problem.  Their view of the world ranges from the past in terms of years and projected this past into the future in term of months to years.  They have much more “depth in time perception” but also much more regrets, stress and worries. 

Both these groups struggle, but in very different ways. 

Being aware of this, defusing from this, and holding space for this is the start for better understanding, acceptance, and adjustments.  

I wonder if you know what I mean.  

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