I can't believe I'm the only one with this disease! :)

This is my first ADD forum I've belonged to, and its grand!

 Goodness knows my concentration couldn't last long enough to read through all of the responses on the last forum I was reading, but I saw a forum that struck true for me and my husband!!

I might. just. cry writing this. :)

My story if you'll humor me and read it is simple.  ADD struck me like AIDS and is slowing taking away my life, and interest in it.  Its a brain sucking, life sucking, manipulative, degenerative disease. and I hate it.

I was in high school, in 9th grade and they'd put me in remidial classes because they couldn't understand my complete disinterest in anything "school" related.   I'm not remidial!! goodness! I was told to take a test with a man named Jay (I have no idea how I remember his name even! lol)  this test was a few hours long, and asked me strange if not down right silly questions.  (I didn't know what the test was for, if I had known I might have taken it more seriously... nah, probably not. :))  Anyway, long story short.  I had ADD.  (Not the hyperactive kind, I'd like to say.  I am in NO way hyperactive. AT ALL. I'll get into this later. :))

My parents (who which I'm sure at this point I now realize have ADD too) put me on Riddilin and told me to take a pill a day everyday before school. (OK sure! Tell the clinically forgetful ADD person to take medication before school everyday. gotchya.  I couldn't even wake up for school until the bus had already been waiting in the drive way for 10 mins for me to get out there... anyway, I'm rambling.. ) Needless to say, my parents never remembered to remind me either... (saying something? Nah. Ones real (parents) and the other is a step parent, one of them should have remembered. lol)

Blah blah blah, life goes on.  I graduated by the skin on everyones elses teeth (I ran outta tooth skin (for sliding by) in the 8th grade...) and didn't know what to do.  My parents (oh so ineloquently) told me (And I'm paraphrasing here) "You're not smart enough for college"

So they sent me to beauty school. HA! Same thing there barely graduated, didn't know why I was SO terrible at making friends, doing school work, getting along with my customers... Just figured I was a lost cause, and I'd get a crap job and live a crap life. Thats all that was expected of me. (Still is. I'm being a downer right now. :/)

I went on to a "fast service" salon, and did semi well... I worked there for 4 years off and on. I don't know how I lasted so long. :/

Eventually I met my husband, he is a marine. and hes awesome at it. Hes the love of my life. and I'm about to lose him.

I have been out of work since being fired back in 2008. I lost a car, & a house, and had broken up with my boyfriend (my now husband) - I was nearly homeless... luckily before they took my house we got back together, and I moved to his current station about 6 states away from home. :D  Glad to be away from home!!   Do any other ADDers feel incredibly disconnected from their families???? I do. its depressing. :'(

Anyway, I've had 2 jobs since, one lasted ... 3 months and the other only lasted a week. I can hardly find a reason to get out of bed, so I sleep most days about 15 hours.  Once I'm awake I have no energy for ANYTHING so I just sit on the couch on my computer and watch TV waiting until I'm tired again, then its back to bed and up to the couch. I'm sure I have bed sores by now.. I've back and forth for about 3 months now doing this and sadly I must say without too many details ... I've become the most depressed I've been in my entire life. ever.

Last weekend I went to my best friends B-day party, and got drunk. the drunkest I've ever been. I blacked out, and confessed to my best friend how much I wanted to just kill myself. "It would be so easy" I remember saying. Thats about all I remember- My friend told my husband some of the terrible things I was talking about, and he contacted my mother (who I feel already looks down on me, I'm the failing one out of the family. My sister is a triganomitry teacher, my brother is an architectural student, and my other sister in about the graduate nursing school & Just bought a house (that she'll likely NOT lose))  Then my mother and he discussed me leaving my husband to "go back home" - I happened upon the message, because my husband left the Email open on his computer...   blahblahblah  End of the story:  I have been researching ways to find out whats wrong with me, I've looked into personality disorders, autoimmune disorders (my mother has alopecia a severe autoimmune disorder (shes allergic to all of her hair)), depression, cognative disorders... EVERYTHING!!

But tonight, I happened upon a story about ADD on PBS. It was amazing the things I've learned in the last 45 minutes! I've been sucking up information like a hoover vacuum!!  The symptoms are what explains me to a T, and being that I've been already diagnosed with it. It makes complete sense, and I should have thought of it earlier.

I have questions for you that feel like answering

Do you have strange fears?  (I can't do things for the first time alone, without being shown what to do, or how to do it.  I'm afraid I'll do it wrong)  (going to the post office and sending a box, getting an oil change, couponing)

Do you go *alls to the wall about some things?  (I wanted a truck that was a stick shift for my vehichle. the catch? I didn't know how to drive stick. I refused to find another car. REFUSED.)

Are you particular about silly things? (Spelling, grammar and  punctuation are mine, even though I know I don't spell everything right)

Have a lot of you been diagnosed as depressed instead of ADD??

I'm just happy to know that I'm not here alone, and that reading some of the forums about other men and women and FINALLY seeing myself in it is sooooo comforting!!!  After being told I was just depressed, it didn't feel right. I knew that wasn't what was wrong, but once I considered this, it felt right. Does that make sense?

 

Sorry if this post is all over the place tonight, I guess I'm just a little excited.

DF's picture

Hello...

I have ADD too and my diagnosis is recent.  For those of us that don't know about it, it can be heel on a relationship as I'm finding, but it is also tough for those of us with ADD(HD) that have spouses that are not interested in learning about the disorder.  I'll take a quick minute on your questions:

"Do you have strange fears?"  -> Nothing strange about it.  Low self esteem.  I have it, but not as far as mundane tasks.  I understand what you mean though.  You'd rather not do something than try it and fail to do it right the first time.  That's a tough one and it takes a lot of work on you to convince yourself to just do it and failing doesn't make you stupid.

"Do you go *alls to the wall about some things?"   ->  Called hyper-focus.  You get so in tuned to something that you get tunnel vision.  As with low self esteem it's equally difficult to control this in order to be responsible and/or use it to help you follow through with the right choices.  I struggle with this too and it sucks knowing I usually focused on the wrong things 90% of the time.

"Are you particular about silly things?"  ->  Can't think of them now, but I'm sure I do.  I know I can't go to bed without checking the locks on each door to the outside.  Not sure if that qualifies.

"Have a lot of you been diagnosed as depressed instead of ADD??"  ->  I'm learning that no matter which co-diagnosis you have, the symptoms effect each of us differently.  I have anxiety and low self esteem.  I didn't ever think I did until I looked it up in the dictionary and was shocked that it applied to me.  I'm still exploring how my symptoms and I interact and how it affects my family.

Good luck on your journey.  It's lonely much of the time, but knowing about it makes it less confusing.

Welcome Ashley

Dear Ashley,

First of all, you are a great and funny writer.  These are two qualities I greatly admire, so I like you already.  Promise me that you will keep some kind of journal (electronic or paper) just to write down some of your thoughts. 

I don't have ADD, that would be the other half of my family, but I can comment on some of your questions.

Strange fears: I don't know if it is fear, but my husband and son do not like to do things alone.  I always thought they wanted a cheerleader (ADHD's need a lot of affirmation).

"balls to the wall":  yes, yes, yes!  (DF said hyper-focus.)  This is very characteristic of ADHD.  Once my husband makes a decision, he can't shake it or see if it is logical or not.  What matters is the "truth" in his mind.

Particular: I haven't noticed this, maybe you can give another example.  But poor grammar drives lots of people batty (See Lynn Truss' book: Eats, Shoots and Leaves--hilarious and all about bad grammar).  I'd call it a pet peeve.

Misdiagnosis? My husband has been treated for anxiety and depression.  ADD can co-exist with depression and other issues.  Medication for other illnesses can treat some of the symptoms of ADD.  Or, medication for ADD can treat all your symptoms once thought to be depression.  You can't really know without correct diagnosis and testing different medication regimes.  I had NO idea that my son had ADHD.  It looked like depression to me.  However, we found a great psychiatrist who diagnosed him at the first visit and medication made an immediate difference.

So your fist step to get a correct diagnosis STAT.  A psychiatrist is a better option that a general practioneer because they have more training (usually) in this area.  I am sure there is someone on base you can go to.  Ask your husband for help in this so you can have follow-through.

Good luck and keep us posted.

 

JJ

Hi Ashley

Ashley, I am so glad you found this forum!  It has really helped me.  I also have ADD--Inattentive Type (not hyperactive).  If nothing else, this site gives me a place to "talk" about all the stuff swirling around in my head.  And the people here can relate to whatever I write about and I often get lots of encouragement.  As someone else mentioned, ADDers need LOTS!!

FEAR OF FAILURE - hallmark ADD symptom.  It can be truly paralyzing!

HYPERFOCUS - another hallmark ADD symptom.  An activity, topic or etc. becomes almost an obsession.  OR I am unable to STOP doing something (i.e., surfing the computer) in order to START doing something else, even if it is REALLY important (i.e., making dinner)!  Unable to shift focus.

PERFECTIONISM ("particular") - can also be connected to hyperfocus.  I am a TERRIBLE housekeeper.  But once I get started cleaning something, you might find me 4 hours later scrubbing the floor with a toothbrush (while there are 5 loads of laundry that still need to be done)!  And it's funny that you mention grammar because that is one of my "pet peeves."  I literally EDIT books as I'm reading them!  I will correct punctuation, spelling, word usage and sentence structure!  Once I considered starting a business doing proofreading and minor editing.

DEPRESSION - this is VERY COMMON in those with ADD.  Our self-esteem is generally VERY LOW already.  Any perceived failure (such as losing your job) can send us spiraling down.  I have had depression pretty bad about 3 different times in my life.  Once when I was a young teenager (not an easy time for anyone!), but I was so miserable that I considered suicide and almost did it.  Then after the birth of my 2nd child.  I realized AFTER I pulled out of it that I had been depressed and probably should have gotten some help.  Then again in the fall/winter of 2009.  I would sleep as much as possible, perform any MANDATORY duties such as driving my kids to school or activities, and otherwise sit on the couch watching tv or using the computer all day until it was time to sleep again.  It was HORRIBLE, although I don't think I ever considered suicide, maybe because I had kids?

SOCIAL SKILLS - we are typically very weak in social skills.  We interrupt, say things impulsively, fail to pay attention to cues from other people (body language or otherwise) that they are uncomfortable or want to end a conversation.  I talk SO MUCH that I'm sure I overwhelm people.  And we are usually very bad at self-evaluation.  I used to think that by talking non-stop, I was helping the other person to feel more at ease!  I have not mastered this area yet for sure.  Now I am so self-conscious that I don't say anything.  Or I revert to my old ways and won't shut up.  I have not figured out the middle ground.

FAMILY - ADD runs in families!  It is entirely possible that your biological parent also has ADD (may be why they could not help you or remind you to take your meds?!).  I think my mother has it.  I am 41 now and when I was young, the whole medication thing was a much bigger controversy and ADD was much more misunderstood than it is today.  I am currently working on a set of questionnaires and etc. to get a formal diagnosis.  I couldn't remember all the stuff from my childhood, so I asked my parents to help.  My mother said that when I was a child, her friends would have problems with their kids and the doctors would give them drugs.  This freaked her out, so she admitted to me LAST WEEK that she never told my doctor about any problems she had with me because she did not want him to put me on drugs.  WHAT?!  This was news to me.  Any problems I had in school were explained away by my mom as the teacher's fault--what did they expect a "gifted" child to do when I was done with my work and had nothing else to do?  Of course I was going to talk and get out of my seat...I was BORED (= bad teacher)!  And now she wants to know what is happening that I am wanting to get this evaluation?  I basically told her that I just was not able to handle everything in my life and I was overwhelmed.  She wanted to explain it away again by my "stage" of life (I have 3 kids).  She tried to make me feel better by saying that it was really hard for HER too when she had school-age kids--that it is normal to feel overwhelmed.  But I think she has ADD also, so of course it was hard for her too!  I am learning to forgive my mom somewhat--I must have been a very challenging child!  And she did the best she could, especially if she has undiagnosed and untreated ADD herself.  Like you, I got AWAY as soon as I could (for me, it was going to college in another state).  And I am VERY disconnected.  I barely talk to my family, although not for bad reasons.  Just because none of us are good at keeping in touch.  I think it is just due to "out of sight, out of mind" - another classic ADD trait!

Have you ever been on any medication consistently?  It is time to confirm a diagnosis (unless they will accept your childhood one) and start getting some treatment!  There are a lot of conditions that co-exist with ADD, like depression or learning disabilities.  Maybe you have an LD and that is why you struggled so much in school!?  Although, ADD alone will cause lots of school problems too.  I would think any adult with untreated ADD is probably going to have some depression in his or her life, though, so that part may just be a symptom of the underlying issue of ADD.  Untreated or undiagnosed adults have been coping (poorly) for so long that our sense of self-worth is rock bottom.  We feel like a failure and unworthy of anyone's love or commitment.

GOOD LUCK.  I'm proud of you!  Getting motivated is a very hard thing for us, and you have managed to do that part on your own.  Executing a plan is another story for us sometimes, but you are on the right track.  You do NOT have to settle for a crap life!  You can be better than that; you ARE better than that.  I can tell, just from your one post!!  You GO GIRL!

Just a reply! :D

hihihi!!

  Today is a good day, (I got a job ... maybe not such a good day, I guess we'll see after I start hahahha)

 

  Anyway, I know you mentioned something about social cues, and god knows-  I'm TERRIBLE at that!! I used to wonder "why does everyone hate me?!?!"  and what did I do? They would all get this tense look and I would feel bad for talking so much, butI just couldn't stop my feeling was "THEY MUST KNOW!!"

I had taken some antidepressant for a little time, and it was terrible once it started turning on me, I started having morbid thoughts and created a complex that I couldn't control myself. (I still have this complex, can't drink too much and can't take drugs that make me wonky, I'm also afraid of being "put out" for operations... I'm afraid I'll hurt someone.  Its insane. I know. lol)

 

Anyway, the social thing - I read the book  : <b>First Impressions - What you don't know about how other see you</b> (hopefully that comes out in bold. lol)   It showed me sooooooo much, and I learned a LOT from that book - I was engrossed for days and days in that book I would finish and re-read it, search for parts that interested me and re-read that again.  The pages are worn, the book cover is crumpled, its a great book.  It taught me the social cues, and what other people were thinking, and how to talk/reply to people.   I learned to use fewer words, but more descriptive words that explained more with less.

Please please please check it out, you can just go to Barnes and Noble and read it in the store, its so worth it. :) 

 

Also, the Self Help section has helped me with the silly things like self esteem and "you can do it" motivation, sometimes I forget the things I've learned and revert back to my normal self, but I get these moment of ambition and think I can do it! hahahah :D

I'm back!! :D

Hey guys,

 

  Things haven't changed, I have found a job - so I'm on a little high right now. :D

 

  I've read all of your responses and thank you so much for reading and replying Its such a help to me! :) *Heart felt* thank you, really. <3

 

You folks here are a great help and I love reading all the forum posts and comments -

  I guess today is a good day for me. My husbands family is coming and I have to clean the house. Its so hard lol

 

I know one of you had asked about the particularities I was talking about... at the time I couldn't think of any - but here are some... Its a little OCD - I can't have fans on maximum near me, I'm afraid they'll come off the ceiling and might hurt someone (not a real fear, just a bothersome thought to me lol) - I can't sit under TV's in returaunts, I'm afraid they'll fall off the wall and hurt me. lol - I can't use my hands to open bathroom doors, or hospuital doors .... I know they are covered in nasty nasty nasty nasty germs and possible dodo... so I dont' touch them .  hahha  I used to HATE when people used exclaimation points. I would seeth at the sight of them, but now - I heart using and seeing them. weird. lol

 

Well I'm off, I'm going t odown some coffee and attempt some house work.ugh

**And yes! I'll try to write in a journal or blog to keep track of my thoughts! Thank you for the idea!!  <3 <3