Procrastinators Anonymous is a fellowship of men and women who share their experience, strength and hope with each other that they may solve their common problem and help others to recover from chronic procrastination.

Discussion: Definition of our condition

It seems that most of us are experiencing similar situations where we see a doctor and our specific symptoms don't seem to fit any condition in our doctor's manual so we're inserted in there with GAD and OCD. However, seems to have nailed it as a separate condition.

Can we get a discussion going on defining exactly what condition we have? Let's discuss symptoms and theories as to what is causing these symptoms.

How are people finding relief? Is medication the definite answer or are people getting help solely with talk therapy?

In short, if science were to take our condition seriously and not just group it in with other established maladies, what definition would it come up with?

Hello everyone! I'm new here

Hello everyone!
I'm new here so please bare with me. As some of you said, procrastination isn't a condition that can be easily cured or cured at all. My doctor never suspected anything and I never considered that my lack of will can be more than just me being lazy. I realized I never could finish something or start the important things in my life. I always wanted to knit my daughter a pair of mittens but I started several times and haven't finished them yet. Anyway, what I wanted to say is that this hing we're going trough can ruin our lives. I can barely hold a job. There must be some sort of help we can get.
Is there?
Johanna Bartley, drug detox coach.

Carl Jung

The drug detox link above, as beautiful as the treatment center is, in Malabu, with all the medical people there, and all the coaches in the world still could not make me stop any of my addictions, no matter how much I wanted to. 

 Carl Jung,A former student of Freud believed, for some people, a spiritual solution  needed to be part of recovery. God was at work, because one of the founders of AA became a patient of Jung. He tried Freud and Adler first(Who believed all solutions could be found in the mind and science) but they were not taking new patients. So he  went with Jung (who fell away from Freud and Adler because he believed in a spiritual solution).

A seed that lies dormant in an Egyptian pryimad for 3000 years could still germinated , and live, given the proper conditions.

That is what happened with AA.

 It would not matter if someone could document, research every physiological, nerological, mental, enviromnetal, relational, etc. reason for......

If it were all known and published, who cares, it would not stop people in PA from the destructive condition of procratination.

The solution is never simple, but it could be found here for some of us.


Johanna I wish to say that there are some cures that you can try in order to get rid of your problem. My suggestion for the moment is quite cheap: there are are several CDs recorded with hypnotic sesssions, but also with subliminal messages. This could work a way around your unconsciousness level of the problem. At the same with this you can do another simple thing: buy a big sheet pf paper that you will glue on your ceiling over your bed. Every morning when you wake up, the first thing you see, will be your objectives written with caps on your ceiling. Please try this.
Sears Parts

Welcome here.   I'm

Welcome here.


I'm not convinced that there is one definition for everyone--or that finding such a definition would help. The 12 steps and fellowship here and the addiction model have helped me. Speaking only for myself, I know that I used to deceive myself by saying that 'I will do this or that, or feel like doing this or that... if ... I read one more book about p. OR ... if this or that person will just thank me or acknowledge my effort.' But it has never worked to set conditions. I still struggle, but I know now that the route to recovery is about doing the next right thing. Doing it.  Doing some stuff can just be painful (but not as painful as not doing it) difficult, annoying discouraging, whatever. But the stuff won't go away. My dishes won't wash themselves. I think it never works to run away from pain, even the pain of washing the dishes.

I think the conditions that do respond the medical treatment such as depression and anxiety need that help. As for p. thought, I have pretty much stopped asking why, asking for labels and new books. I need the help of HP and support here to do the next right thing.

Overall,and speaking only for me, I think recovery is partly about being willing to face discomfort and learn self compassion to keep going.

Thanks y'all for being here.

Welcome Johanna!

This is an interesting discussion!  I'll have a comment later but for now I just want to say welcome to the site and you will find support here.


"Time is what keeps everything from happening at once." - Johnathan Wheeler

ipedro, I think you're asking the wrong question

I think you may be asking the wrong question here. You are assuming that procrastination is a medical condition - something based in physiology that can be cured with a pill.

I think a better question to ask is, "Why do I procrastinate?" The answer will be different for different people. Once you know what's in your way, you can start to address the problem.

For some people it's ADD (which is physical, but can't be cured with a pill), for some it's depression, for some it's fear of success or failure, for some it's an organizational problem.

Procrastination is the grave in which opportunity is buried.


It's been proposed around that this may be closer to an Addiction... an addiction to avoidance?

When I was diagnosed by my general practitioner as having GAD w/ a component of OCD, I immediately questioned: "Why Generalized (anxiety disorder)"?

Why can't my doctor get specific? Many symptoms of GAD don't seem to apply.

Similarly, OCD is apparently closer to what I have, but I don't go around washing hands and obsessing with cleanliness. I sometimes obsess with going back to checking locks even though I'm sure I've locked them. I don't have a triple/quadruple/more locking routine though.

So taking the presumption that this is an addiction, do addicts not find resolution through therapy alone? Are alcoholics – for example – prescribed medication like SSRI's?

SSRI's seem to attenuate my condition considerably but they're not stable, not fully effective and come with a laundry list of intolerable side effects.


OCPD is different from OCD


I think you are confusing OCPD with OCD.

They are two completely DIFFERENT things, but their similarity in naming has caused a lot of confusion for most people.





Ultimately, I agree with Pro, that peer support will help us best.  These books and articles might possibly help us understand some of the symptoms.

But only our brother and sister procrastinators really understand what Chronic Procrastination is really like.   And the power of 12-Step peer support is amazing.

Medications may help you cope with related symptoms, or with underlying anxiety, or with other concurrent physical/psychological syndromes.

But ... once you've got a strong habit of procrastination, that has been built up for a while, the habit has become like an addiction, and needs to be treated as such.

  • For example:

    Let's say an alcoholic started drinking because of an issue with a family member.  The drinking became a habit to the point of a biochemical/psychological addiction.

  • The alcoholic might find some necessary growth as a person by getting treatment for the issue with the family member.    But that won't stop the drinking.

  • The drinking itself has become a problem all its own.  Ultimately, it doesn't matter why a person becomes an alcoholic.   They are addicted and the treatment is to address the addiction.

I would say the same is true for procrastination.  We might learn a lot from understanding WHY we became a procrastinator.

BUT .... ultimately the procrastination has become a habit independent from its causes.


I would say the same is true for procrastination. We might learn a lot from understanding WHY we became a procrastinator.

BUT .... ultimately the procrastination has become a habit independent from its causes.

This is very true. I never thought of it that way, but you hit the nail on the head, moving. I've recently become aware of the root cause of my procrastination and other negative behavior, but since procrastination - which was only a symptom - has become another independent and fully developed problem, it has to be addressed and dealt with separately as well.

That being said though, I think it's important to keep in mind that our 'addiction' cannot be properly cured until the original problem which gave birth to it is dealt with.

Despite procrastination being a separate behavioral problem, it is still a symptom of a deeper issue, and no matter how many times one "solves" their procrastination, it will not stay solved until that which is causing it is removed.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Nothing diminishes anxiety faster than action - Walter Anderson\]

peer support

Peer support through 12-step programs is the only effective therapy that has ever been found for addiction. Therapy alone doesn't do it.

Before AA, no drunk ever got sober.

Procrastination is the grave in which opportunity is buried.