I Was Gonna Make A Thread Last Week (ADHD thread)

Discussion in 'Braaaaiiiinnnns...' started by The Frood Abides, Nov 1, 2016.

  1. The Frood Abides

    The Frood Abides Doesn't Know Where His Rug Is

    First off, I kind of want to make this a general thread, like Adventures in Depression or the Walk-In Freezer, so even though the first post is about me, don't hesitate to post with your own questions or experiences.

    So, after some recent experiments with methylphenidate (Ritalin) that went WAY better than expected, I've had to consider the possibility that my psychiatrist might not be full of shit. I thought depression and possible-autism together accounted for the problems I've faced for a long time. But it's kind of futile to draw a bright line between autism and ADHD given how often they're comorbid and how many traits they share. Whether it was a red herring or not, I guess it stopped people from looking deeper.

    Plus, now a bunch of events from my childhood and young adulthood are falling into place. The thing where I zone out halfway through a conversation, can't easily focus on things that don't interest me (and hyperfocus on things that do), and have a lot of trouble task-switching? That's been there the whole time. The recent increase in executive dysfunction isn't just the inertia of depression, it's the heavier college workload plus having to do my own cooking and laundry. I went undiagnosed for so long probably because I was smart and quiet, plus schoolwork often interested me on its own (except for the subjects where my poor performance baffled my parents and teachers, and I learned to avoid because of the specter of failure).

    I can't even describe the weight this has lifted off my shoulders. On some level, I believed executive dysfunction was a failing on my part, lack of willpower or laziness or something. The last month has shown me almost beyond doubt that there is something chemically wrong with my brain and that it is treatable. Medication gives me control of a faculty I didn't even know was there.
    • Like x 8
  2. The Frood Abides

    The Frood Abides Doesn't Know Where His Rug Is

    After having an anxiety attack I've kind of backed off on the Ritalin (at least long-acting form) until I can see my psych again. Kind of a disappointing setback, plus I'm pissed off that it took me this long to get diagnosed -- I'm nearly done with college, for gods' sake. I could have avoided so much bullshit if I'd gotten this earlier. :/

    Today I spent hours worrying about studying and distracting myself with Internet until I gave up around midnight and told myself I'd review it tomorrow morning before the test -- and I just spent the last hour doing review. Like. As soon as I gave up, the task became 100% easier. Executive function issues CONTINUE to stare me right in the face now that I know what they are.
    • Like x 6
  3. Enzel

    Enzel androgynous jrpg protag

    I gotta say this about being diagnosed as an adult: I also felt the huge relief. But there's also so much...anger? From growing up thinking all my problems were because I didn't try hard enough. Even a year hasn't been enough to process it yet.

    I'm glad I'm getting help now but I can't seem to let go of being bitter about how miserable I was growing up and how everyone acted like it was my fault somehow.

    I've got an excellent therapist who actually has ADHD himself, so he gets it, and it makes me wonder if that was the disconnect where all my previous ones failed.

    But I feel like even though I'm finally making real steps with recovery and mitigation, I'm simultaneously going through a grieving process for my childhood. Mostly the teen years, but still.

    Edit: I'm 27 and in a lot of ways I feel way less emotionally mature than I should be. Like I missed milestones because age 14-23 ish was a depressive haze of anxiety and executive dysfunction. Sometimes I worry that I still act like a teenager in ways.
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2016
    • Like x 3
  4. The Frood Abides

    The Frood Abides Doesn't Know Where His Rug Is

    ugh yeah
  5. The Frood Abides

    The Frood Abides Doesn't Know Where His Rug Is

    I've been treating Ritalin almost as this Magic Focus Drug, which it's not. I wonder if it would be more helpful to think of it as inducing a general altered state, in which increased control of focus and increased anxiety are both possible outcomes depending on circumstances. Borrow the concept of "set and setting" from psychedelics, and not expect the chemical to do all the work for me. In practice, I'm not sure what this would mean. Avoid things that induce anxiety while I'm using it? Continue to use other coping mechanisms I've developed to mitigate the effects of executive dysfunction? Even the mythical neurotypical-in-every-way is susceptible to distraction and avoidant behavior, after all.
    • Like x 1
  6. swirlingflight

    swirlingflight inane analysis and story spinning is my passion

    + 10 Focus, - 5 Willpower against fear effects ?
    • Like x 2
  7. The Frood Abides

    The Frood Abides Doesn't Know Where His Rug Is

    @swirlingflight Ehehehe. I'd also add a bonus on Initiative to represent the improved executive function, though it depends on the system you're running. :P
    • Like x 1
  8. fractalLettuce

    fractalLettuce a disaster cabbage

    Today is the day (well, one of six a year, usually) I attempt to unfuck the fiance's room and 2) figure out where the system we set up for him went wrong. Fun times up ins. He's still learning how to get past the executive dysfunction to the point where "up and away" before bed is doable while I'm not around to prompt. But I forget to ask because loladhd.

    My diagnosis story is fun for the whole family. I was referred to a child psychologist at age six when I found it necessary to stand on my desk in the middle of a math test (I was finished, the testing period was not). This was the last straw for my first grade teacher. My mom was given an info sheet with a list of symptoms which she promptly took to her GP with a righteous fury. "They're trying to tell me something is wrong with her! There is NOTHING wrong with her. I do all of these things!"
    "All of them?"
    "Yes, all of them!"
    "Every single one?"
    "For how long?"
    "Guess we're putting you on Ritalin too."
    And that is how my mom got diagnosed in tandem with me. My sister went through the battery once she turned four, my dad was diagnosed when I was 12. A later psychiatrist wouldn't take the old diagnosis without a battery, so we now know he is severely impaired without medication and the man earned a masters of education without it, so I am always impressed with him. He's the one who taught me to clean and organize, because if everything has a place, or at least a cubby where things of that nature GO life gets a little easier to manage.
    • Like x 4
  9. Enzel

    Enzel androgynous jrpg protag

    Was talking with partner about something that has been bugging me: basically my feelings of alienation and social awkwardness constantly being brushed off by adults, therapists (and yeah im an adult now but I mean...older adults, and ever since I *was* younger) as just my anxiety. As in, because i have anxiety, the fact that I'm worried about how i come off socially is...all in my head? Because anxiety is irrational? and my feelings about, for example, actually being told i read a situation wrong or was unintentionally rude or blunt or said something inappropriate were just...brushed off. Even though those things have been happening to me ALL MY LIFE SINCE I WAS LITTLE.

    It turns out ADHD actually has...a documented social awkwardness component...and in 27 years no one has fucking mentioned this to me.




    Like, this is incredibly validating but it's also really damn upsetting because I can look back and see how many people thought i was being rude to them on purpose when i was just clueless and had no brain to mouth filter. :(


    ....still reading thru this article but...shit...there it is.


    D; D: D:

    this is too relatable, it's painful.
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2016
    • Like x 2
  10. Akiv'a

    Akiv'a ♛ Nyastronaut & Allagan Technyalogist

    @Enzel Also, another example of someone "being socially awkward and rude but its really just ADHD" is Nick. People think hes rude all the time, and we did too until we got to know him. But reaaaally hes just Opinionated and EXTREMELY!!! excited!!! to share his thoughts with everyone rofl.

    I'm glad our talk helped though, even if it doesnt fix the past.
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2016
    • Like x 1
  11. The Frood Abides

    The Frood Abides Doesn't Know Where His Rug Is

    UGH I had forgotten how bad the comedown from long-acting Ritalin is. Agitated and twitchy several hours later. :/

    I guess I keep trying it because I want to acclimate to it somehow? Because control over my focus, at the beginning, is so liberating. Gotta ask my psychiatrist about alternative ADHD meds. I'd like to have something that works for longer than an hour AND doesn't have shitty side effects...
  12. Mala

    Mala Well-Known Member

    its so fun trying to lead 10 person groups on bad ADHD days. so many voices...so many things to keep track of at once
  13. missoyashirou

    missoyashirou Someone please give me a tiny dog to play with

    Strattera is a non-stimulant ADHD medication that's been pretty decent with me so far? I've only had a few days with it, but I don't have the panic attacks of Adderall or Ritalin, and started the day with more executive function spoons than normal. It could be placebo though, but it's the only non-stimulant I know of so far.
    • Like x 1
  14. The Frood Abides

    The Frood Abides Doesn't Know Where His Rug Is

    • Like x 1
  15. Enzel

    Enzel androgynous jrpg protag

    Customer: *interrupts me in the middle of a task*

    Me: *screams internally as I try to process what they're asking me and keep the task in my short term memory at the same time*

    • Like x 1
  16. mizushimo

    mizushimo the greatest hits

    I've been on Adderall for 15 years (dextroamphetamines), since I was diagnosed with ADD at age 17. I think ADD got merged with ADHD at some point, so it should be a viable option? Adderall is a stimulant like ritalin, they have long acting capsules that last for 12 hours, or the tablets which go on for 6 hours. Side effects for me are - binge eating when I skip a day (I just feel like I need to eat all the time unless I'm doing something really distracting), I started getting racing thoughts and anxiety pretty recently until I got on antidepressents. It's a good product, it motivates me to do tasks that aren't immediately interesting and it makes tasks much easier to begin.
  17. The Frood Abides

    The Frood Abides Doesn't Know Where His Rug Is

    @mizushimo thanks. My psychiatrist also recommended L-theanine (an anti-anxiety supplement made from a chemical present in green tea), so I'll probably try that alongside stimulants and see if it mitigates the side effects at all before looking into additional drugs...

    I hate how much trial and error this involves. Grump. I haven't even tried two meds at the same time yet (been off SSRIs for a while now)
  18. budgie

    budgie not actually a bird

    I keep meaning to, and then forgetting to, book an appointment for a consultation regarding ADD, which makes me simultaneously want to laugh and sigh.
  19. swirlingflight

    swirlingflight inane analysis and story spinning is my passion

    an incomplete list of things I've been meaning to do:

    - clothes shopping
    - looking for minis roomie could print
    - tell people i love them
    - try the new hard drive installation (it's been a year+)
    - write a fanfic
    - call the insurance people
    - refill my prescription
    - get a doctor
    - roleplay any of the things that don't have active encouragement from multiple involved people
    - draft an art
    - finish the fucking resume so i can go to that job fair tomorrow???
    - weed out the socks with holes in them
    - bring my trash/recycling downstairs
    - go to bed

    things i've been doing:

    - at least five solid hours of searching for the sources of artwork i used for icons on dreamwidth
    - searching through undertale screenshots for evidence about alphys' powers
    - making mac&cheese
    - doing the dishes the two times i went down to pee
    - roleplaying papyrus tags in the game with the event that people are chattering all excitedly at each other about
  20. Everett

    Everett local rats so small, so tiny

    I meant to be done writing this almost 2 hours ago but of course i spent nearly an hour on kintsugi, some time on facebook, some on ??? I don't even remember. I have about half of my work done and i have to be back here in 8 hours. @ myself... have you tried not being The Worst(tm)
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