At this point I’m 90% convinced that I have inattentive ADD. I’m going to see an expert soon, and now I’m freaking out thinking that I’m deluding myself and just looking for a cheap excuse for being such a mess. Also, what could I do if it’s really not ADD? I feel like I’ve exhausted my options. Long and snowflakey.
posted by akrasia to health & fitness (14 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
So here’s why I think I have ADD:
- I feel easily overwhelmed in new situations, particularly in social ones, and it takes me a long time to get comfortable. I get anxious without being able to really tell why. I think it mostly it mostly breaks down to not knowing how I should behave in that situation.
- I’m generally pretty lethargic, without actually enjoying doing nothing. I spend most of my time with reading, video games, movies and the internet, but I don’t get a lot of satisfaction out of that. I DO get satisfaction out of creating stuff (painting, woodwork, sewing and so on) but I never seem to get around to actually do any of that.
- I procrastinate, hard, in various areas. This has been especially harmful in school and university.
- I’ve never been able to establish some ongoing order in my apartment. While I can make it look presentable if I absolutely have to (and this often involves throwing random crap into boxes and hiding them until the visitors are gone), the result doesn’t last more than 48 h at most.
- SO: “Woah, did you see that women dressed in eyeball assaulting neon colors/that guy carrying a monkey on his shoulder/that 20qm billboard we just passed?”
Me: “Huh? Nope, sorry.”
- I can get really excited about something like a new hobby, but the second I face any kind of difficulty I drop it and turn to something else.
- Same with projects. I have an ever growing humongous list with things I want to/need to/should do; once in a while I might even start something, but I rarely finish it.
- “The future” is a very nebulous concept to me; the past is really foggy too. How the fuck can people say what they’ll do in 2 years and remember what they did in 2007?
- I’m terribly inpatient. It took me several years to get some professional help partly because I couldn’t stand the thought of waiting months for an appointment
- I scored badly in several categories in an elaborate concentration/attention-test, in which I participated as a proband about 10 years ago; don’t know which categories exactly because I lost the results sheet.
- I’m clumsy.
Other fun facts about me that could be linked to ADD according to stuff I’ve read:
- I’m a smoker
- I’m obese
- I’ve had eczema from infancy up to my early 20s
- I grind my teeth at night
- I regard caffeine as an essential nutrient
- My muscles are really tense in general
Stuff I tried so far:
- Students counseling which covered work techniques as well psychological problems
- A broad range of countless self-help-books
- I got various medical checkups, my thyroid’s fine, no vitamin/mineral/whatever deficiencies (apart from vitamin D, but I got this fixed. Fewer colds for me, yay!), no allergies.
- Nevertheless I supplement with omega 3’s, b-vitamins, zinc, and magnesium mostly out of vanity reasons
- Dietary changes: I’ve discovered I’m prone to reactive hypoglycemia and that I do better with a low carb diet
- Getting enough sleep
(While a good diet, exercise and sleep make me feel a lot better, they don’t make me more productive. And I have a really hard time sticking to it)
So I was diagnosed with social anxiety and moderate depression. I’ve been in therapy for 2 years now and while it has helped me a great deal and I really like my therapist, my progress has come to a halt and I’m getting more and more frustrated. I feel like we are tackling the symptoms, but not the cause of my problems.
I’ve mentioned the possibility of ADD to my therapist a few times, but he dismissed it. He attributes my problems to 1. Social anxiety 2. Unreasonably high standards 3. Lack of appropriate techniques and routines (all 3 related to my upbringing) 4. Being whiny and lazy (no, he didn’t say that, but it kind of leaks through.) His advice can be brought down to “accept that I’m a low energy person” and be done with it. Why self-acceptance is a good thing of course, this advice fills me with rage. It doesn’t feel like acceptance to me but like defeat.
Why yes, I feel bad that I haven’t gotten my academic degree yet at age 30, that I work in a brainless dead end job where I don’t make enough money to support myself and that I don’t spend any time turning my talents into skills because there’s kittens on the internet to look at. Left and right I see people building their careers, raising kids, travelling the world, pursuing their interests, setting goals and reaching them. People who I KNOW aren’t smarter or nicer than me. I feel inferior and ashamed, and I don’t have anyone to blame but myself. I’ve been deeply unsatisfied with my life for decades, I’ve tried to change and I have little to show for it. I’m losing hope and starting to feel bitter.
So right now I see getting diagnosed with ADD and receiving medical treatment as my last real chance to steer my life in a more positive direction, and that scares the shit out of me.
What if my therapist, friends who tell me that I’m perfectly normal if only a little socially awkward and lazy, and my family who tells me that I’m just a lazy slob who will never amount to anything (Thanks, Mom!) are right? What then?
Also, does medication really make (that much of a) difference? I’ve read a lot about other treatment options and it feels very been there done that (If someone tells me again to break a job into small steps or gee, have you tried writing a to-do list? I’ll scream).
Help, please? Thanks!