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Old 07-07-2008, 02:34 PM   #1
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How to tell the difference from depression/anxiety?(long)

Hey everyone, I am a newbie here... and I think I may have a.d.d. The more symptoms I read online, the more I am screaming out that this is what I have. My family has a history of undiagnosed mood disorders...some of them have depression, some suffer from addiction. I too have an addictive personality but never abused drugs or alcohol. Lately this is me summed up:

I feel depressed, and empty; bored of everything and don't have motivation to do anything. I try to do things and give up quickly because I am bored and don't care. I have always done that. I remember Christmas one year, getting all these toys and being bored of them within 10 minutes. I felt bad that I couldn't even get joy out of Christmas toys anymore because I was so bored and always complained about it. Mentally I feel like I'm in another zone...like I am living inside of my head. Almost like I am a zombie in a trance, going through the motions of life but in my head I am not. My mind constantly thinking of random things and I space out. For a while I though I was autistic or something(I'm not), the way they are in their own world in their heads.

I daydream pretty much 24/7. It scares me because nobody I know with depression understands what I mean. I literally am thinking of things and spacing out all day long to the point where it effected my school so badly and my work. In school I would daydream every class all class long. Looking out the window, boom 45 minutes have passed and I didn't hear a word of what was said. Another example is..say if I am in a store and someone in the line is trying to make conversation with me. I am not listening to them, I am thinking of other things, possibly about the persons hair or eyes etc. The more I realize I am not listening to them, the more I am yelling at myself in my head to listen before they ask something and you make a fool of yourself for not hearing them. So then I am thinking of how I am not thinking about what they are telling me. An entire conversation can go by, and I just nod and give my 'yeah' replies over and over again... when really I have no clue what the heck was even said the whole time. I am the only person I know who can have a 'conversation' and not even have a clue what the person was saying, or what I was agreeing to.

I had a job at the mall, I quit within a week. I was not only miserable, bored and depressed there...but I hadn't caught on to a single thing my boss taught us. We had to learn to make smoothies and coffee and everyone else caught on right away. I couldn't do it at all. I couldn't remember how to make the drinks, I felt like an idiot under pressure with people watching me not able to make these drinks. I realized that I didn't catch on a lot because I wasn't listening the entire week my boss was teaching us things. But still I felt humiliated. I am not a slow person and I was never the slow kid in class, but there I felt like I was. I have mood swings that I can't control. I have tried every remedy for depression possible and nothing works I have been on antidepressants and none of them worked either. I have had severely low self esteem since I was a kid and I don't know why. I just have self esteem issues with myself. Nothing excites me, nothing interests me...all I do is space out and I can't take it anymore.

I want to approach my doctor and ask about a.d.d. Because I just think if I go to the doctor he will only hear key things I say like 'I feel spaced out all the time' and assume I mean just depression. It isn't that simple. It's not like I sit in bed crying all day long(though at times I have), my mind is just not here with me nor is my attention span. I can't for the life of me remember how far this went back. I know I've always had low self esteem and mood swings. I know I have always been a nervous kid who was scared of everything. I know I have always been very quiet and antisocial almost...but I can't tell how long my daydreaming/ terrible attention span has been going on. I can't remember. My brother has a learning disability but he failed everything, I didn't until I got to high school and skipped school nearly every day and stopped trying. He was in the slow classes, I was in average classes.

I know it sounds like this is one big complaint, but really this is just my life and what I have been through. I currently have no job and I don't go to school. I am home full time and I have been for years now. I know I can't function at a job or a school. I know I wouldn't be able to handle it and I would quit. All of my friends are so much farther ahead in life than I am because my life has majorly stalled due to these problems. I don't go to parties, I lost contact with my friends, I don't work I do nothing. As I get older, my problems get worse. My daydreaming is worse than ever and so is everything else. Ignoring really doesn't make things go away. So if you could just throw some of your 2 cents in I would love that. I am trying to figure out which way to direct my doctor. Sometimes I feel like they have such a one track mind and everything they think is depression. All my former friends had the same experience. I have also lost contact with my old friend and don't want to socialize. Is that abnormal? Well, thanks for your time.

 
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Old 07-07-2008, 06:27 PM   #2
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Re: How to tell the difference from depression/anxiety?(long)

Silky,

Some posts are so obviously ADHD that I can "forget" my "I'm no doctor" thing.

But not yours.

It's complex. You need a real brain/mind doctor, in other words, a shrink. Almost all of us frequent blabbers here see or have seen shrink(s). Find the right shrink and he/she can work wonders for you.

Diagnostic difficulties was made more evident to me just a few days ago while talking to old friend that came home from Vietnam missing an arm and with PTSD. The PTSD affects him to this day. What surprised me is how much his symptoms sound like ADHD symptoms. In retrospect, it is a no brianer. Reliving that stuff affects one's ability to concentrate.

You'd think multiple causes for ADHD like symptoms would make diagnostics hard enough. To make matters even worse, ADHD can cause all the symptoms you describe.

See a shrink. Come here for support. One piece I can give here and now, regardless of diagnosis, all mental disorders make life miserable. Been there, done that, glad to say it doesn't have to be that way. With good medical care virtually all brain bugs can be put in the virus vault and safely contained therein.

Best regards,
Bob

 
Old 07-07-2008, 07:28 PM   #3
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Re: How to tell the difference from depression/anxiety?(long)

Oh of course I am planning on seeing a shrink. Thanks for the help.

Last edited by mod-anon; 07-07-2008 at 10:28 PM. Reason: removed quote

 
Old 07-08-2008, 01:14 AM   #4
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Re: How to tell the difference from depression/anxiety?(long)

Silky, I have to say that you sound very depressed to me and it sounds like you have been depressed for most of your life. When you say some of your family have addictive personalities, do you mean your parents? Are the adult child of an alcoholic? I ask because there are well-known, far-reaching consequences of that and there are support groups, books, and therapy available. You mention trying antidepressants, have you also tried therapy? It sounds to me like you could use someone to talk to.

I thought it was interesting that Bob brought up his friend with PTSD because it occurred to me while reading your post that PTSD might apply to you. Were you perhaps abused as a child? Certainly other disorders can cause the depersonalization/derealization that you describe (seeing everything from behind a glass curtain), but PTSD is a common culprit.

About ADD... You definitely describe alot of ADD symptoms in yourself. So, yes, I think it's possible that you have ADD in addition to depression. On the other hand, depression can cause ADD symptoms so, as Bob said, it's hard to know. Hopefully, you will be seeing a good psychiatrist (not a family doctor) who can help sort these things out for you and who isn't afraid to try new meds and new med combinations.

Don't worry about writing "one big complaint". We've all been through times in our lives when all we could do was complain. We understand and we are glad to offer whatever support we can.

I hope you find some relief soon. You sound like you are really suffering.

 
Old 07-08-2008, 01:23 AM   #5
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Re: How to tell the difference from depression/anxiety?(long)

PS Silky, if you don't want the doc to focus on your depression because you really want to try something for ADD, then focus on your ADD symptoms when you describe yourself. You need to let him know about your depression, but mostly dwell on your inability to concentrate, your inability to follow conversations, the incessant daydreaming, etc. Sometimes, it's all in how you present it.

Strattera might be a good choice for you. Strattera is not a stimulant per se but is used to treat ADD while, at the same time, it has some nice anti-depressant effects. The disadvantage to Strattera is that you have to take it for a while before you see any benefits. Or, you might find that you need a combination of meds.

Let us know what you and your doc decide, okay?

Last edited by index.html; 07-08-2008 at 01:24 AM. Reason: typo

 
Old 07-08-2008, 10:28 AM   #6
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Re: How to tell the difference from depression/anxiety?(long)

Quote:
Originally Posted by index.html View Post
Silky, I have to say that you sound very depressed to me and it sounds like you have been depressed for most of your life. When you say some of your family have addictive personalities, do you mean your parents? Are the adult child of an alcoholic? I ask because there are well-known, far-reaching consequences of that and there are support groups, books, and therapy available. You mention trying antidepressants, have you also tried therapy? It sounds to me like you could use someone to talk to.

I thought it was interesting that Bob brought up his friend with PTSD because it occurred to me while reading your post that PTSD might apply to you. Were you perhaps abused as a child? Certainly other disorders can cause the depersonalization/derealization that you describe (seeing everything from behind a glass curtain), but PTSD is a common culprit.

About ADD... You definitely describe alot of ADD symptoms in yourself. So, yes, I think it's possible that you have ADD in addition to depression. On the other hand, depression can cause ADD symptoms so, as Bob said, it's hard to know. Hopefully, you will be seeing a good psychiatrist (not a family doctor) who can help sort these things out for you and who isn't afraid to try new meds and new med combinations.

Don't worry about writing "one big complaint". We've all been through times in our lives when all we could do was complain. We understand and we are glad to offer whatever support we can.

I hope you find some relief soon. You sound like you are really suffering.
Actually yes I am the child of an alcoholic. So genetically I was prone to have mental illness. I was never abused or anything though, and I had problems well before my father developed an alcohol problem so I can't blame it on that really. I deal a lot with depersonalization/ derealization I just wasn't sure if a.d.d caused these things. Like you said, I am going to go to a doctor for sure to find out what is the main problem. From what others have told me about their experiences, I do believe I have a.d.d (non hyperactive). I also think I have depression mixed in with it. Being that several AD's didn't help me, I want to focus more on the a.d.d with my doctor. The constant daydreaming is preventing me from being able to work or do anything. Sometimes it's as if there is some kind of movie in my head and it is so distracting. I feel like people can tell there is something wrong by looking at me (in high school my teacher did say to me I always looked confused or like there was something on my mind...he was so concern he called home. I think he thought I was on drugs or something). But when I space out I am not thinking of my problems or anything, just random things and I just space out. Hopefully I can kill 2 birds with one stone on the meds. Thanks, I will keep you posted.

Last edited by silky233; 07-08-2008 at 01:19 PM.

 
Old 07-08-2008, 10:14 PM   #7
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Re: How to tell the difference from depression/anxiety?(long)

Quote:
Originally Posted by silky233 View Post
Hopefully I can kill 2 birds with one stone on the meds.
Yes, I hope so. I bet you could kill even more birds if you combined medication with therapy. Good luck.

 
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