My life is falling apart.

I need some help. 5 years ago when I was first married I noticed things about my way of thinking and behavior that was detrimental to being in a healthy relationship so I sought out counseling by myself. I took a test with a psychologist and was told that I had adult ADHD. I thought he was a total moron; I was uneducated about ADD and ADHD I thought there was no possible way I could have ADHD. I graduated with high honors, was on the dean's list in college and am able to finish most (99.9%) of the things I start with no problems. So I argued with him that there was no possible way until they handed me off to a different therapist, which they did. That therapist immediately started treating me for anxiety/depression, which I figured was accurate. I was put on 75MG of Effexor, and stayed on it for about 2 years. There were some side effects but nothing too crazy (lightheaded sometimes, little "brain spasm" type feelings). I came off of it with the help of my therapist because I didn't think it was doing much for me.

I was alright for about another year, but now, for the last 2 years I feel myself spiraling out of control. My mind races constantly. It's like there are 20 people talking to me at the same time and I cannot focus on a singular train of thought. I have increasingly negative thoughts and have even had suicidal thoughts ("i'm better off dead"). My mind gets stuck on negative, hopeless, and sometimes baseless  thoughts ("my husband doesn't appreciate me" or "I'll never be able to afford to pay my student loans, I'll die in debt and won't be able to send my own children to college", etc) until I cannot function. I have crying spells. I have to re-read entire paragraphs in books because I'll realize my mind was completely somewhere else when I get to the end of it.  I feel like I spend 99% of my time awake trying to deal with my thoughts. I wake up many times  a night.  I wake up exhausted, mind already racing. I have zero self esteem and very little self worth.

Everything anyone says to me is totally misconstrued in my mind. I cannot hold a conversation without getting emotional. I've grown angry, defensive and irritable. Every day is a struggle to quite the negative thoughts. EVERYONE bothers me. At the end of the day I feel tired and defeated. I have severe highs and lows. Today is a low, but 2 days ago i felt like my life was changed by a freaking TV show I saw.

I argue with my husband at the drop of a hat, usually because I've become emotional for no reason at all. He barely wants to talk to me anymore. I have (had) a perfectly decent marriage. I love him to death and we are very, very close. He tries to help me all the time but I feel unfortunately this one is out of his hands. This is so deep in my brain I feel powerless to it. It's so bad the talk of divorce has come up, as I'm making both of our lives absolutely miserable. And after an argument, I feel so overrun with guilt for having said things that I really didn't mean. It's like there's the real me, and it's floating around in a place I can't control. To make this more difficult my husband has an aversion to therapists and truly thinks I can just "get over" this if I just tried harder. This is a huge blow to my self esteem, as I feel like I do nothing but try. 

I obsessively pick my cuticles, so badly I have to wear gloves to minimize it. However I work with my hands so I can't always wear them.

I'm afraid if something doesn't change soon i'll be in such a dark place I won't be able to get out. I'm hurting everyone around me who loves me and that I love.

I don't know what to do. I decided today to research ADHD, remembering that first psychologists diagnosis, just to really see and finally give it a chance. It all seemed very, very accurate.

I might have to see a therapist despite my husbands aversion to them, because I cannot continue to live like this. However, is there anything I can do on my own to affect this?


I hear you acarr

I am so sorry you are going through this.  I hear you.  It seems so many people of all ages are going through so much more mind problems than when I was a kid.  Even my 5 year old grandchild says her teacher told her "you think too much" and she is afraid of lots of things and can work herself into a "tither".   Is the world a place filled with more anxious/depressed people than it was at one time?  I was talking to my 97 year old friend about this the other day.  She said she never KNEW anyone with nervousness or depression.  NOW I know so many who are on medication or are anxious or depressed.  I am anxious too with whirling thoughts.  One little thing I do all the time (about 5 times a day and in the middle of the night if I wake up with negative thoughts) is I silently count to 99 in 3's.  Somehow it "resets" my brain and I don't remember what I was fretting about.  Then, if I need more distraction from my thoughts, I pick a letter of the alphabet and name every name I can think of beginning with that letter. After I do that I promise myself some "good thoughts" and "will" myself to feel them.  To physically feel love/joy/faith/beauty and then think of things to FEEL those things.  These are just short term bandades that help me through little rough patches - not a cure or solution.  Life is hard, but life is a gift.  I am trying to get back into some old habits I USED to have - those of prayer, faith and gratitude.  I hope you find things to relieve some of your anxiety.  Exercise, talk, be involved with others, talk, journal, write here, talk.  You deserve to be heard and you deserve happiness.  How old are you?  I ask because of the hormone thing.  Let us know how your are doing.

I'm 26, and it's only getting

I'm 26, and it's only getting worse. I'm destroying my relationships and keeping myself from being able to form new ones. I'd hate to have to go back on medication. I'm tired of how I affect others, but more than that I'm tired of feeling terrible everyday. I have a perfectly decent life, I get to do anything I want to do really, I have people who love me and I've been lucky enough to even have a job that I like. But I can always find a way to ruin it for myself.


There are some physical problems and hormonal problems that cause anxiety and irritability. Start a calendar to see if your low times are cyclical.  Maybe a physical and a frank discussion with a doctor would be helpful.  Also, you say you have a perfectly decent life - but apparently something in you doesn't think it is so perfectly decent FOR YOU.  Talking about it to a good listener might make you come up with what is irritating you.  OR talking to a counselor might help you to uncover what is really bugging you.  Something is bugging you.  If you name it, then you can do something about it.   Oh yeah, staying away from gluten is a BIG help for me.  I was always very tired...I stopped eating all wheat and I feel much less fatigued.   You are a good student and seem to be smart.  Think of your condition like a school project.  A very important project. Gather all the information available like for a term paper.  Gather all the support (doctors, friends, counseling, emotional (outlets for joy/anger/energy), spiritual (meditation/prayer/faith), rest (you may need a few total night's sleep),physical (working out/yoga/exertion), family, diet, vitamins, a vacation to look forward to, events to look forward to and think about, etc. Get your resources together for a big project. Know that this will not be a small or short term project but it will eventually (after all the studying and preparing are done) conclude in a plan of action that will give you a great rewards toward a happy life.  Invest in yourself to be the person you want to be.  It is time for you to get to work. It looks like no one is going to do this for you.  Make the work fun and keep the vision of your future satisfied, grateful, lucky healthy self.


acarr, I am sorry you are experiencing this. Some of the things you describe sound a lot like serious anxiety to me (it is possible to have more than one thing going on with ADHD, if you have ADHD). I have had anxiety issues on and off for years. If there is any way you can get to a doctor or get some help, I think you should, because it can be overwhelming. All the things folks have mentioned on here really do help...exercising, eating well. I find deep breathing and focusing, kind of like meditating and yoga, are good for it. I found that hormones play a huge part (I am in pre-menopause and my anxiety can get off the charts when I get PMS). Some find that medication really helps. Can you keep a diary or chart of your symptoms for a few weeks, then try to make an appointment with someone who specializes in this? I know it is expensive, but it may be worth it to improve your quality of life. It is such a relief to have someone recognize what is going on with you and help you treat it. Don't give up! 

Best to you. 

Have you asked your family

Have you asked your family members if issues like this run in the family? Since you were fine for a year after going off Effexor, it is probably not the medication's residual...

Have you considered your diet? Are you eating healthy? Too much gluten causes brain to be foggy for some people. Processed foods, sugar, fast food, even some food allergies that go undetected -- all that can cause some irritability because your body isn't coping well.

If all else is in order, would you consider going back to the doctor who first diagnosed you with ADHD? S/He will probably run the test again and prescribe something for you. Just because your partner isn't interested in medical doctors, he's just projecting his own feelings and/or insecurity about the seriousness of your issues. It should not stop you from seeking professional help.

Oh I want to mention that my ADHD dh (undiagnosed) picks his cuticles till they bleed when he's under stress. His hands are a wreck.

Thanks for the responses,

Thanks for the responses, everyone.

I pick my cuticles until they bleed too. regularly. I have to wear gloves to minimize it but as soon as they come off I'm back at it. I occupy my hands all day to try to avoid it. If i'm not picking, i'm fidgeting, or shaking my foot, something. 

I'm recovering from major surgery so I can't exercise like I used to for another month still. I'll admit I could eat healthier, I have a sweet tooth and I do eat a little sugar every day. However I only drink water, I eat lean protien, veggies, etc. I avoid fast food, fried food, and processed food. My only allergy in the world is coconut. 

Unfortunately I'm not close with my family. I keep them at a distance because even if they DO have some of the symptoms I have they'd rather pretend like it's not happening than deal with it. Being around them is worse for me than being without them. My mother is in an abusive relationship with an alcoholic, father is dead, brother keeps popping out kids and is totally dependent on my mother still, etc.  I have no one in my family except my husband that I can be totally open with, but after years of my doom and gloom, glass half empty negativity I can see how it's affecting him and he's having a hard time.

I guess i'll just have to muster up the courage to see a doctor. Unfortunately my health insurance lapsed a month ago and I cannot afford to reinstate it.

ADHD is sometimes accompanied

ADHD is sometimes accompanied by other disorders such as OCD.  It sounds like you may have OCD if you are picking your cuticles until you bleed. It sounds like you are stressed about an overwhelming about of things which is why you are recently having a hard time taming your ADHD. Your blog doesn't mention anything about medicine. Have you tried any medicine to cope with your ADHD? I haven't had medicine for 6 months, and I probably should be on it. It makes my mood so much better (less depressed), more focused, and what not. It may be beneficial to try some if you haven't. At least until you establish good habits. 

Okay, I didn't realize you

Okay, I didn't realize you can't afford medicine right now. Without medicine life is generally harder-at least for me. I would suggest trying to get in some sort of routine. Writing down a doable  to-do list the night before (I actually just finished mine). I hate routine, but honestly it is the only way I can survive. You don't have to finish a task at once. You can do a task for 30 minutes or whatever and then do another task for another 30 minutes and go back to your old one. That way you are more likely to focus (hopefully). If you are hyperfocusing on a task, then obviously just finish it. You can also do fun activities in between tasks but set a timer or something so you don't spend your whole time doing something unproductive. I HATE doing productive things. I HATE starting things. I have to have a lot of self talk... "you have to do this now." But, once I do it I finally feel better.  If you are feeling depressed about yourself or whatever, you can write down positive characteristics about yourself, and put it by your night stand. I've done this. Also, an important factor to keep in mind is that you have to WANT to change.