As was foretold, we've added advertisements to the forums! If you have questions, or if you encounter any bugs, please visit this thread: https://forums.penny-arcade.com/discussion/240191/forum-advertisement-faq-and-reports-thread/

Help me sort my brain out - possible ADHD?

MorivethMoriveth BREAKDOWN BREAKDOWNBREAKDOWN BREAKDOWNRegistered User regular
This is a thing that's been bugging me for a while and I was wondering what people's opinions were.

Basically I'm just running into issues where I think I have pretty severe ADHD. I've not been officially diagnosed, but just looking at the symptoms online I definitely match a lot of them (fidgeting, trouble focusing, impulsive behavior, anxiety, racing thoughts, etc). Obviously that's not a guarantee that I have it, but it seems pretty certain. I don't want to label myself before an official diagnosis, but if I check most of the boxes it seems a safe bet.

I've had difficulty focusing for basically my entire life. Most of the time it hasn't been a real issue, as I was able to get through school without much trouble aside from some difficulties in high school. But once standard school was done with, it became a LOT harder. Basically it took me 10 years to finish community college, though I didn't attend consistently. There were a lot of failed classes and entire semesters dropped out of at that time. It was only a couple years ago that I finally knuckled down and I got my AA, which I'm fairly proud of because of how hard it is for me to do.

Like, I think it's a significant portion of why I've bought so many damn games - I just lack an ability to focus on ONE thing, and whenever I'm playing a game, in the back of my head I'm telling myself that I could be playing Game X instead of Game Y, or if I just had Game Z then that will be something to keep me busy for a while. And this cycle will repeat itself often, where I get bored with Game Z so I'll tell myself oh, if I just had Game A then I'll play that. I'm doing a bit better lately because I just keep reminding myself of all the shit I already have and how adding another game to the pile is really not needed, no matter how damned cheap that game may be.

I'm mainly just trying to figure out how I treat this. I know medication is an option, but... I'm still avoidant of that for whatever reason. I'm trying to do CBT which helps but I still slip up from time to time.

It's killing me because I don't want to want to buy stuff all the time. I really don't want to feel bored when I'm playing a game, especially since I *know* I'm not bored, I'm just thinking about whatever game I theoretically could buy next and how good THAT game is gonna be. Whenever I buy something new I feel immense guilt immediately after the satisfaction of 'purchasing new thing' has left. I shouldn't want to do it that badly given how bad I always feel afterward.

Again, I am doing a bit better than I was, but ugh, it's such a slow process that I can feel how easy it is to fall off the wagon, as it were.

I'm not on medication for ADHD at the moment, however I am taking generic Lexapro for my anxiety and depression. It's helped a lot in that regard.

I'm going to be looking into therapists soon, as well as asking my doctor about possible medications, what the side effects would be, etc. I just want to... enjoy myself when I'm playing a game or while I'm with my wife and kids, instead of constantly thinking about other things that I could be doing.

Posts

  • ceresceres When the last moon is cast over the last star of morning And the future has past without even a last desperate warningRegistered User, Moderator mod
    It sounds a lot like how I am, but honestly you need to see a psychiatrist or psychiatric RN/PA. A real diagnosis will open way more doors for you than we can.

    And it seems like all is dying, and would leave the world to mourn
    dispatch.oCambiataDaenriscabsyschussEncVeeveePolaritieEchoCaulk Bite 6
  • ceresceres When the last moon is cast over the last star of morning And the future has past without even a last desperate warningRegistered User, Moderator mod
    Basically what you described ruined my entire academic career. I know exactly where you're coming from, but it sounds like you're already taking steps in the right direction.

    And it seems like all is dying, and would leave the world to mourn
    Madican
  • Munkus BeaverMunkus Beaver Registered User, ClubPA regular
    You might be avoiding medication, but one of the ways some Doctors diagnose ADHD nowadays is just to see how your react to the medication. If you react well to it, then you have it.

    I can tell you from experience that there are a wide variety of ADHD medications with a lot of different side effects. For a time, whenever I took a pill it would make me have heart palpitations. So you can imagine I wasn't too eager to take the medication unless absolutely necessary. But I took some yesterday and today to help me fill out some disability paperwork and it only has made it difficult for me to sleep and sweat a little more. When you have ADHD and you take ADHD medication, it can give you an intense focus and set your mind racing, but this is can be double-edged sword. I need stuff to occupy my brain all the time, but triply so after taking any ADHD medication.

    From what you're describing, ADHD medication could help. In the times that I take ADHD medication, what it tends to do best is just keep my mind in the moment. It still races and darts about on things, but usually about what I am doing, and I can stay more committed to doing a single task for much longer periods of time. I stopped taking ADHD medication in the 5th grade because I hated the side effects of Ritalin, but when I got to law school it became a necessity for me in order to keep focused on the vast amount of reading that I had to do. To this day I take the medication whenever I need to get work done, or focus through pain.

    I hope my experiences can help you make a decision, Mori.

    Twitch Channel
    Steam: munkus_beaver
    Humor can be dissected, as a frog can, but it dies in the process.
    http://www.ccfa.org/
    MorivethDoctorArch
  • MorivethMoriveth BREAKDOWN BREAKDOWN BREAKDOWN BREAKDOWNRegistered User regular
    Thanks, I'll try and make an appointment soon.

  • Disco11Disco11 Registered User regular
    I have similar issues. It's like my brain does not have an "off" switch and is always racing.

    Have you tried meditation?

    I've been using this app for 10 minutes a day and I have found that it really helps train your noggin to slow down a bit.

    https://www.headspace.com/

    PSN: Canadian_llama
    Caulk Bite 6
  • MorivethMoriveth BREAKDOWN BREAKDOWN BREAKDOWN BREAKDOWNRegistered User regular
    I have heard of that! My big issue is that the monthly cost seems really high. Would you say it's worth it?

  • KetarKetar Come on upstairs we're having a partyRegistered User regular
    ceres wrote: »
    It sounds a lot like how I am, but honestly you need to see a psychiatrist or psychiatric RN/PA. A real diagnosis will open way more doors for you than we can.

    This. Everything you're describing is also characteristic of long-term untreated or undertreated depression and/or anxiety. You want a mental health professional to help you get to the bottom of everything - getting ADHD meds from your GP might help, but if the underlying problem is actually depression or anxiety related you'd be better off in the long run getting that addressed further by someone.

    Cambiataceres
  • Caulk Bite 6Caulk Bite 6 One of the multitude of Dans infesting this place Registered User regular
    edited January 2017
    Moriveth wrote: »
    I have heard of that! My big issue is that the monthly cost seems really high. Would you say it's worth it?

    You can also learn techniques to help you just do it yourself, without an app. I used to have a lot more trouble focusing on things that matter, before going to meditation groups and learning some basics. There should be a few in just about any city.

    Caulk Bite 6 on
    jnij103vqi2i.png
  • CantidoCantido Registered User regular
    See a standard physician and describe these issues first before moving on to the shrink. Standard bloodwork could find all sorts of nasty things. In 2015 my career was threatened from ADD symptoms. I was trying to fight them with diet and exercise, but it got worse. Then when I submitted bloodwork they found I had a metabolic problem, not a psycohological problem. Physical and mental problems tie together, and having a physician and shrink working together will be to your benefit.

    3DS Friendcode 5413-1311-3767
    MrVyngaardcerescabsy
  • MorivethMoriveth BREAKDOWN BREAKDOWN BREAKDOWN BREAKDOWNRegistered User regular
    Well, I'm trying Headspace and just did the first session. It seems very nice.
    Cantido wrote: »
    See a standard physician and describe these issues first before moving on to the shrink. Standard bloodwork could find all sorts of nasty things. In 2015 my career was threatened from ADD symptoms. I was trying to fight them with diet and exercise, but it got worse. Then when I submitted bloodwork they found I had a metabolic problem, not a psycohological problem. Physical and mental problems tie together, and having a physician and shrink working together will be to your benefit.

    Yeah, I'm gonna schedule a doctor's appointment soon. Though last bloodwork I had not too long ago came back with noting aside from slightly high cholesterol.

  • Disco11Disco11 Registered User regular
    Moriveth wrote: »
    I have heard of that! My big issue is that the monthly cost seems really high. Would you say it's worth it?

    I quite like it. The first 3 x months are 99 cents currently but even at the full price it's a fraction of what some studios cost. It's like the price of one lunch out that I usually allow myself during the week so I just skip one.

    The app itself and Andy really make it worth it for me but there are some decent free alternatives on YouTube also!

    PSN: Canadian_llama
  • TOGSolidTOGSolid Drunk sailor Seattle, WashingtonRegistered User regular
    edited January 2017
    Cantido wrote: »
    See a standard physician and describe these issues first before moving on to the shrink. Standard bloodwork could find all sorts of nasty things. In 2015 my career was threatened from ADD symptoms. I was trying to fight them with diet and exercise, but it got worse. Then when I submitted bloodwork they found I had a metabolic problem, not a psycohological problem. Physical and mental problems tie together, and having a physician and shrink working together will be to your benefit.

    And some places make you see a GP first before you go to their psych department anyway, I know the place I went to did precisely because they wanted to do bloodwork first. The upshot is some places have GP's that can handle the prescriptions after you get diagnosed so as long as the meds are working then you can just manage your meds easy peasy BUT I super, super do not recommend that for most people as therapy can have huge has huge benefits in teach good coping skills for managing the condition. I'm naturally anal retentive as fuck (and interestingly, comorbid mild OCD can pop up with ADHD due to the brain coming up with ways to contain and control it, though that can also delay proper diagnosis) so I already was all about making lists, keeping my environment clean, organized, and decluttered, doing things I need to do now rather than procrastinating and ending up in a forgetting loop, writing down ideas as I have them, etc. so all I really needed was meds to smooth things out but I am definitely a giant edge case.

    I went undiagnosed up until last year and when I started deep diving into reading about ADHD just because I was bored (I like to read about behavioral things for funsies) it was like the clouds parted and all of a sudden so many things about myself made sense. My dodgy memory, hair trigger emotional states, inability to focus well, boredom issues, motivation problems, and even some of my physical quirks because apparently some hypersensitivities can go with the disorder like not liking certain sounds, textures, etc. I'm on Adderall now and it was a huge boon at work where it smoothed my train of thought out and prevented me from getting too frustrated with things or being too hard on myself when I make even a minor mistake.

    The game thing sounds a lot like why my Steam account is as gigantic as it is, haha. It took me a while to learn to curb my impulsiveness before I got diagnosed and stop wasting cash on things I don't really need. Meds will definitely help, but it'll still take time and learning self-control and how to manage your mind so that you can really take proper control so don't be hard on yourself if it still feels like you're struggling a while. You may also have to try a few different meds before you find the one that works best. Getting diagnosed and starting the process is a huge first step though and I know I'll be glad to pop into H&A from time to time to help answer any questions or offer suggestions on managing things.

    TOGSolid on
    wWuzwvJ.png
  • MorivethMoriveth BREAKDOWN BREAKDOWN BREAKDOWN BREAKDOWNRegistered User regular
    Thanks, all! I've got a couple of books on ADHD and how to deal with it, and I'm using the Headspace app in the evenings which helps my brain relax a lot. I'm also definitely going to book a doctor's appointment once my work situation calms down (I'm currently going to be moving onto a higher position but exactly when it's going to happen is up in the air, so I'm leery of scheduling any appointments until I know for sure when I'm starting at the new place).

  • PowerpuppiesPowerpuppies Registered User regular
    I'd probably schedule it now. Sooner's better than later with this stuff, and you can always cancel out if something comes up.

    sig.gif
    Caulk Bite 6cereschromdomNightDragonTOGSolid
  • MorivethMoriveth BREAKDOWN BREAKDOWN BREAKDOWN BREAKDOWNRegistered User regular
    Ah, true enough, I suppose. I'll call when the doctor's office is open.

  • ceresceres When the last moon is cast over the last star of morning And the future has past without even a last desperate warningRegistered User, Moderator mod
    If the inspiration strikes you to do something you need to do, whatever you're doing at least drop it long enough to make a note. You WILL forget. I always do.

    And it seems like all is dying, and would leave the world to mourn
    TOGSolid
  • darkmayodarkmayo Registered User regular
    Ahh that reminds me I have to visit my GP about my ADHD (Inattentive ADHD)

    Below is the questionnaire for diagnosing feel free to give it a go but go see your GP

    https://add.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/adhd-questionnaire-ASRS111.pdf

    Switch SW-6182-1526-0041
  • VeeveeVeevee WisconsinRegistered User regular
    darkmayo wrote: »
    Ahh that reminds me I have to visit my GP about my ADHD (Inattentive ADHD)

    Below is the questionnaire for diagnosing feel free to give it a go but go see your GP

    https://add.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/adhd-questionnaire-ASRS111.pdf

    And be absolutely, brutally honest with yourself and take time to think through your past with each question when you answer these questions. For instance, the first question on that questionnaire is "How often do you have trouble wrapping up the final details of a project, once the challenging parts have been done?" and my first, immediate response was "maybe once in a while" but in reality, after thinking it through and thinking about what project really means (Models, video games, reading a book, schoolwork, work work, making a sandwich [yeah, I've gone to get the jelly out of the fridge and ended up with a can of soda and sitting on the couch before I remembered about the slices of bread sitting on the kitchen counter before], etc), it's really "Every single project ever."

    It's just part of being human to think better of yourself and want to project that to others, even when earnestly trying to fix real problems about yourself with someone you pay to help you.

    darkmayo
  • TOGSolidTOGSolid Drunk sailor Seattle, WashingtonRegistered User regular
    edited January 2017
    I dunno about your particular flavor of potential ADHD but I made sure to write down my symptoms and history before I went to the doc to make sure I didn't miss any details due to the annoying memory recall issues I have. Could be worth doing if you've got similar problems.

    TOGSolid on
    wWuzwvJ.png
Sign In or Register to comment.