'Doom Boxes'

7 min read
The concept of "doom boxes" as a little-acknowledged yet common element of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder struck a chord on social media.
Claim "It is apparently common for ADHDers to leave boxes and bags, full of miscellaneous items, all over the place."

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AdvertisementsA viral November 16 2021 Facebook post from "Our Neurodivergent Life" described a phenomenon called "doom boxes," a purportedly shared trait among individuals with ADHD (attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder):

Across four square images, text described "doom boxes" as something "linked to executive dysfunction." All four read:

[1] On Tik Tok, I came across Doom Boxes! It is apparently common for ADHDers to leave boxes and bags, full of miscellaneous items, all over the place. I gasped when I saw this … as this is how my husband lives! [2] For years, he has made excuses for these 'Doom Boxes', frequently insisting he will sort them. But of course, this doesn't happen, and more doom boxes appear. With every house move, my husband promises … it won't happen this time. This time we have more space … [3] He's an intelligent man who, contrary to popular belief, prefers a tidy home. Yet, we seem to be constantly battling the things he hoards and accumulates. I knew there had to be more to it … Apparently it is linked to executive dysfunction. [4] While it doesn't make living with the 'chaos' easy … as somebody who would prefer to live in a home free from clutter … It has really helped me to understand that this is something commonly experienced by some Neurodivergent people.

Presumably, the "doom boxes" descriptor originated with exhaustion and overwhelm experienced by people with ADHD in maintaining their desired level of organization at home, work, or school. The existence of "doom boxes" (or bags) hinted at larger efforts to organize these environments, regularly stymied by the existence containers full of things that would seemingly never be properly stored — resulting in feelings of inadequacy and "doom" among people always striving to rid themselves of endless clutter.

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Kim LaCapria
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