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Old 07-06-2008, 01:09 PM   #1
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I am very confused

I pretty much know I have had metal illness's my whole life (depression, anxiety, ocd, eating disorders) but I still felt like some of what I was dealing with couldn't be explained in those disorders. I daydream ALL THE TIME. I cannot stop. I am constantly thinking of other things all day...even when someone is talking to me sometimes I cannot focus. They even tell me "you have this blank look on your face when I am talking to you." In reality it's because I am not listening. I left school at a age 16 because I was depressed but also because I could no longer focus. I couldn't read a paragraph and have it sink in. I was just reading words that weren't getting through to me until I really tried to concentrate. I have a very short attention span too..I cannot even watch a movie all the way through without stopping it and going back later. I feel like I am in my own world. Like I am in a bubble and others are around me but not in the same world I am in. I get bored very easily in fact I am ALWAYS bored and. I find something to do for 5 seconds then I am done and bored. I am very very irritable and moody..pretty much like constant pms.

The thing is, I am NOT hyperactive and I never was. As a matter of fact this past month I have been so depressed I have gained weight from non stop eating and barely leave the house. As a kid I never seemed to have a learning problem and that is what gets me. Usually as a child you can tell that something is wrong with them if they cannot learn properly..I COULD. I was a B student. When I hit around age 11 was when the problems came in school with my learning. But then again, that is really when I became very depressed and realized my weight problem. I guess what I am asking is, can anyone here relate to what I am saying? I took a quiz online and I had a high likely result of having ADHD. However, people were telling me a lot that anxiety and depression are similar to ADHD and can be confused with each other.

Is it possible to not have had symptoms as a young child?? Because if not than I am leaning more toward me having depression/anxiety. I need to know your opinions. I am not asking for medical help, I need opinions from people with this disorder.

Also, I have been on 4 antidepressants and none of them worked at all. I felt like I was taking a sugar pill. I am so confused. I was going to ask to be put on adderall (I am 21 by the way) but everyone makes it seem like this drug will kill you and I am scared to.

Last edited by orangerain6; 07-06-2008 at 02:03 PM.

 
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Old 07-06-2008, 02:17 PM   #2
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Re: I am very confused

Welcome to a group of people that understand your pain.

I'm going to do my best not to make my response too long, because I tend to do that, but if I do go long, try to bear with me.

I'm not a doctor, let alone a psychiatrist, but it seems to me the likelyhood is high that you suffer from the inattentive subset of ADHD. Allow me to address some of your symptoms and then some of your concerns and we'll see if we can make you feel a little better.

As a sufferer of the inattentive subset of ADHD, I tend to daydream constantly. I find myself many times daydreaming in the middle of conversations with other people, thereby missing the gist of the conversation and having to fake my way through by pretending I heard what was said. I often find myself daydreaming while I read, sometimes getting through multiple pages before I realize that my mind was elsewhere and that I have no memory of what I had just read. I find myself daydreaming when I'm listening to music, realizing that my mind was elsewhere and I've missed my favorite part of my favorite song. I daydream at work, which is why I take 10 minutes of break during my shift, while all the other guys take a full hour, so I have time to do the same amount of work everyone else does.

I get bored very easily. I often have to take breaks when reading, writing, watching dvds, playing games.

I am not hyperactive at least not in the classic sense. I do move around in my seat a lot and murder my poor fingers/fingernails by constantly biting or picking at them, but I've never had trouble sitting all day playing games or watching movies (just having to switch from one to the other a lot because holding my attention can be somewhat tricky). I honestly wish I was hyperactive, as if I were, I may not have the weight problems I have today.

I do suffer from depression from time to time, not because I have a depressive disorder, but because my life sucks so hard as a result of my ADD. When I'm depressed, I do use food to stabilize my mood. It's a form of self medication. Food releases endorphins and other neurotransmitters that make you feel better. As my life gets worse due to my ADD issues, my depression deepens and I sometimes have trouble getting motivated to leave the house.

As mentioned above, I do have weight problems, and have had from a very early age. You'll find that many inattentive (not hyperactive) ADD sufferers do have weight problems because we have poor impulse control, leading to very poor dietary habits, complicated by lack of activity, and we learn to self medicate with food, which leads to weight gain and depression, which leads to more eating to make ourselves feel better, which leads to more weight gain and more depression, etc, etc, etc.

In the early years of school, I was smart enough to compensate for my lack of attention. Many ADDers are exceptionally intelligent, and do well in their early school years despite their inattentive problems. Don't let the fact that you were a B student convince you that you weren't showing symptoms, it's precisely the fact that inattentive ADDers are so smart and are not hyperactive that makes them so hard to diagnose. For myself, I honestly didn't really start to struggle in school until High School, and didn't truly fail until University. Decent grades do not mean absence of ADD.

To answer your question, though, ADD is always present in childhood. If you can honestly say that you did not suffer from ADD symptoms by the time you were 7 or 8 years old, you do not have ADD.

Yes, depression and anxiety and a number of other mental health issues can cause attention problems, and should be explored. That said, if traditional antidepressants aren't working for you, it may be appropriate to treat depression with the same stimulants used for treatment of ADD. Talk to your doctor about that, you may find common ground. Adderall will not kill you. It is a stimulant, like most ADD medication, and as such there is risk of addiction and abuse, especially by people with sloppy impuse control (like people with ADD), but if you're careful and perhaps have someone, whether it be your doctor or a significant other monitor your use, the risks associated with Adderall or Ritalin or Dexedrine or any of the others is very low.

Unfortunately, the only way to get treatment is to put your trust in the medical establishment and hold your breath. Educate yourself about ADHD and the various other conditions that you suspect or have been told that you have, and think critically about your symptoms. Demand that your doctors/psychs be able to explain to you why they feel you have a particular disorder, and make sure that you're satisfied with their answers before you begin any course of treatment.

Continue to use this board as a resource. You may find that responses are sometimes slow in coming, but we are all ADD, so cut us a little slack and don't get the feeling that we're not interested.

 
Old 07-06-2008, 02:52 PM   #3
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Re: I am very confused

Thank you so so much for your response.

Honestly, from what you said this is REALLY sounding like what I have. I am sure I have other disorders on top of this though, but still this is a huge discovery for me.

I always assumed that the kids with this disorder were the loud hyperactive kids in class who never shut up. That was the total opposite of me. I was very shy, withdrawn in a way and it got worse as I grew up. I am withdrawn to this day and have a very hard time socializing with people.

See, I don't know if I did or did not have the signs at 7 or 8 now that I think about it. I was never told I did. No teacher ever complained about me. I personally didn't realize something was wrong until age 11. But from birth I have been anxiety ridden, nervous, and worried all the time. I was always 'off' but assumed it was for another reason like anxiety. I would fear a lot... 'what if this will happen' 'what if that will happen' and worry over things like that so much sometimes I would even vomit. Around age 7 was when I started to gain weight due to over eating, and I have been struggling with various eating disorder ever since. It is quite possible I started medicating myself with food at age 7 and thats why I never realized my problems until later.

I have one more question though. Ever since I was a kid I was very..angry/moody. A lot of things got me very mad for no reason. To this day I blow up over small things. Is this a trait as well? I am sick of being so moody all the time. I feel like everyone thinks of me as this mean person they have to walk on eggshells around. In actuality I just don't like my life and have always always been moody.

But thank you very much for your response. This really helped me. What I am going to do is try zoloft first...this will be my 5th antidepressant I believe. If this pill is like another placebo to me...I am asking about Adderall. Because there is no other reason why these pills wouldn't work unless I was diagnosed incorrectly. Thanks again.

Last edited by mod-anon; 07-06-2008 at 08:11 PM. Reason: removed quote

 
Old 07-06-2008, 03:08 PM   #4
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Re: I am very confused

Being as Adderall is a controlled substance, it might go over better if you start off by saying, "Hey, I know someone who's a lot like me, and he's been diagnosed with ADD without hyperactivity." All ADD meds (ritalin, dexedrine, adderall, concerta, focalin) are similar, except for Strattera, which is not a stimulant.

Age of onset really is a key factor in deciding whether or not someone has it. Sometimes, you have it all your life but you're able to compensate well, until you reach high school or college or a particular job or whatever, but the traits have to have been there all along, since age 7 or earlier. Are there any older relatives who can shed some light on the picture?

 
Old 07-06-2008, 03:08 PM   #5
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Re: I am very confused

Don't get me wrong, there are people that don't respond to antidepressant medications that suffer from depression. What I'm seeing, however, is that depression may not be your primary issue, just as it wasn't with me.

I always appreciated this board because it's teeming with knowledgeable people that are always willing to help, but don't let us take the place of research. Read everything you can get your hands on about ADHD, depression, OCD and anxiety disorders, then talk to a psychiatrist, hopefully one that thoroughly understands or specializes in ADHD in adults.

To answer your question too, ADHD is characterized by poor impulse control. This does often include having a very short temper and not thinking things through before you respond (or snap) at people. I found that once I started treatment for ADD, I was more personable (though I was always friendly, just very awkward). So what I'm saying is that yes, you will likely find that your mood becomes more stable once you're treated for ADHD.

 
Old 07-06-2008, 09:58 PM   #6
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Re: I am very confused

Quote:
Originally Posted by orangerain6 View Post

A. I pretty much know I have had metal illness's my whole life (depression, anxiety, ocd, eating disorders) but I still felt like some of what I was dealing with couldn't be explained in those disorders. I daydream ALL THE TIME. I cannot stop. I am constantly thinking of other things all day...even when someone is talking to me sometimes I cannot focus. They even tell me "you have this blank look on your face when I am talking to you." In reality it's because I am not listening.

B. Usually as a child you can tell that something is wrong with them if they cannot learn properly..I COULD. I was a B student.

C. When I hit around age 11 was when the problems came in school with my learning. But then again, that is really when I became very depressed and realized my weight problem.

D. I left school at a age 16 because I was depressed but also because I could no longer focus.
orangerain6,

I tried to arrange your post general description then chronologically.

I'm no doctor, blah, blah, blah ...

A. I read no post on any forum that screams ADD (primarily inattentive) louder than yours.

B. You have always been ADD and you always have been smarter than heck (I'm working on expletive control). You have been conversing with smartest most articulate darn near never wrong people I've encountered here or anywhere. I'm talking Thu and Jane. Both got brains oozing out their ears. OrangeRain (had to do the camel casing to get it) you got same brain ooze problem. How do I know? Your verbal skills are in same class as Thunor's and Jane's. And that is why you faked out everyone including yourself by pulling B's. It was just so easy for you that no attention was required.

C. Your depression began at age 11 and exascerbated your ADD symptoms.

D. ADD + depression did you in at age 16. All the other stuff are effects not the cause. OCD, anxiety, eating disorders, and even the depression are all effects. The cause is ADD.

The good news: ADD is at root. Fix the ADD and you fix everything else.

Fabulous news: Primarily inattentive type ADD is the easiest type to fix. Take the damn Adderall now. You're cured. Sort of. Your managed.

Not taking the damn Adderall will kill you.

Bob

 
Old 07-06-2008, 10:45 PM   #7
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Re: I am very confused

Quote:
Originally Posted by addprogrammer View Post
orangerain6,

I tried to arrange your post general description then chronologically.

I'm no doctor, blah, blah, blah ...

A. I read no post on any forum that screams ADD (primarily inattentive) louder than yours.

B. You have always been ADD and you always have been smarter than heck (I'm working on expletive control). You have been conversing with smartest most articulate darn near never wrong people I've encountered here or anywhere. I'm talking Thu and Jane. Both got brains oozing out their ears. OrangeRain (had to do the camel casing to get it) you got same brain ooze problem. How do I know? Your verbal skills are in same class as Thunor's and Jane's. And that is why you faked out everyone including yourself by pulling B's. It was just so easy for you that no attention was required.

C. Your depression began at age 11 and exascerbated your ADD symptoms.

D. ADD + depression did you in at age 16. All the other stuff are effects not the cause. OCD, anxiety, eating disorders, and even the depression are all effects. The cause is ADD.

The good news: ADD is at root. Fix the ADD and you fix everything else.

Fabulous news: Primarily inattentive type ADD is the easiest type to fix. Take the damn Adderall now. You're cured. Sort of. Your managed.

Not taking the damn Adderall will kill you.

Bob


You've really helped a lot with your answer. I really believe you've hit the nail right on the head. I cannot believe it took me this long, jumping from disorder to disorder...to finally at age 21 get to the actual root of it. So much of my life I felt was wasted not knowing what was wrong with me. Thanks so much for the help.

 
Old 07-07-2008, 12:38 AM   #8
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Re: I am very confused

Quote:
Originally Posted by orangerain6 View Post
...to finally at age 21 get to the actual root of it. So much of my life I felt was wasted not knowing what was wrong with me.
Don't worry, while we've all felt that way, especially when we first have that first epiphany. You still have your whole life ahead of you, I know it sounds cliche, but it's true. It took me until I was 35 to figure things out, and took Bob even a year or two longer than that! Trust me, the only thing we can do is move forward, crying over spilled milk isn't worth the tears.

Oh, and listen to Bob, he's always had the ability to say in one sentence what it takes me a page to say. I call him the board sage.

 
Old 07-07-2008, 06:12 AM   #9
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Re: I am very confused

The good news is, the right medication will make an enormous difference. Instead of fighting my brain every minute to stay on task, I can simply decide to listen to someone, and... I just listen. The same way I decide to walk to the store, and I just get there. I don't space out in the middle of conversations when I'm on it, and if I do my attention quickly drifts back to the speaker all by itself.

Bad news is, when I was diagnosed, (around your age) I next had to learn how to listen well, keep a day planner instead of "organizing" my life by writing notes on my hand, and come to terms emotionally with some of the nastier things that had happened to me. It was work, but the rewards came very quickly. I went back to college, pulled a 4.0 the next semester, and graduated with high honors.

 
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