One of the most discouraging parts of mental illness is when your thought processes don’t even make sense to you, but that doesn’t bring you any closer to overcoming them. That’s what writer M. Molly Backes describes in this Twitter thread about a symptom of depression that not everyone knows about, but many can relate to.

The writer describes encountering an “impossible” task, actually a minor task like a chore or an errand, that seems to overwhelming to deal with. The longer the task is put off, the more insurmountable it becomes, and when you have a whole house full of “impossible tasks”, you no longer know where to start.

Image credits: mollybackes

This Twitter thread talks about an insidious symptom of depression

Image credits: mollybackes

Image credits: mollybackes

Image credits: mollybackes

Image credits: mollybackes

Image credits: mollybackes

Image credits: mollybackes

Image credits: mollybackes

Image credits: mollybackes

Backes points out that the phenomenon actually has a proper name: executive dysfunction. It’s one of the main hallmarks of developmental disorders like ADHD and autism spectrum disorder, but even if you don’t have any of those conditions, it can be brought on by mental illness, stress and trauma. Executive function is the collection of skills that allows you to prioritize tasks, make a plan and figure out where to start. When it doesn’t work well, doing simple tasks feels confusing and takes disproportionate effort.

The writer was flattered that so many could relate to the thread

Image credits: mollybackes