I have heard from too many professionals to not use the word “bad,” or use harsh words or punishments; that is what I follow. Why? I know how much it destroys an already-fragile self-esteem to have someone call you these things.
I know when those words are used in reference to myself, I internalize them, add them to the negative tape on constant repeat in my mind…. oh, and before I forget the point behind this post?
The fact that people are buying these because they’re “trendy” actually really pisses me off because they’re just making it worse for the people who actually need them.
I have fidgets and Tangle Toys because they help release anxious/nervous energy, which I have a lot of. They also help to stimulate the parts of my brain that requires extra stimulation to allow me to remain focussed on a specific task.
Sitting in a meeting, my mind wanders, and no matter how hard I try, is nearly impossible to listen to a person talk, even when I’m very interested in what they’re saying. I’ve found that having one of my Stephie fidgets in my hand under the table is extremely helpful.
When I’m feeling particularly anxious, playing with a fidget toy is calming.
When I watch TV, mind wanders too. I usually need to occupy half my brain with a game on my tablet just to be able to follow the storyline of my favourite shows. When I get bored of games, that’s usually when the Tangle Toys come out because they are best when you have both hands available.
ADHD can make it hard to stay focused. But depression can make it impossible to even try.
I can’t believe I hadn’t watched this sooner! And yet, at the same time, I can totally believe it. lol. I love Kati Morton’s channel on YouTube and I only just now watched this interview with Mark Suster about ADD/ADHD.
I think I mentioned this before, but I don’t remember when exactly. My counsellor was the one who suggested that I might have ADD, about a year ago. I have not undergone any medical testing for it, because I didn’t know there was the kind of testing discussed in these videos. It was several months later when my doctor and I actually discussed the possibility of me having ADD because at the time, I was going through the most severe depression I’d ever experienced, and I really didn’t give a shit about ADD at that particular point in time. My doctor also wasn’t sure what he thought about the idea and wanted to sit on it for a while. A few months later, something I mentioned triggered him to bring it up again and we tried medication for a while. Some other shit happened after and I haven’t taken medication for ADD in a couple months now. I’m not going to discuss that right now though.
Anyway, I wanted to share these videos because of how strongly I connected with them. Almost everything he described, describes me. It’s unreal. Less clinical too, because most of the time, as Kati says, you hear about the symptoms described in the diagnostic criteria but you don’t hear examples of how those symptoms can actually present. So, watch these videos. Then I have some more thoughts to add.
Adult ADD an honest discussion w/ Mark Suster & Kati Morton (Part 1)
Adult ADD an honest discussion w/ Mark Suster & Kati Morton (Part 2)
I very much related to Mark’s descriptions of everything, but some things that stood out was completing something to 80% and basically losing interest. When he described that, I thought, holy shit! That is so me!!!!!!!!!!! I don’t think I blinked for a good 30 seconds because I was so shocked, not so much by the thought of the 80% completion thing but more by the sudden realization that that’s exactly how I am but I really never clued into it before. Every single project I work on at work, or even blog posts. (I have an insane about if half written blog posts, most are in my Google Drive, not even in my blog drafts, because I know they’ll get lost if I put them here.) I will spend tons and tons of time on, getting it close to being done, and then right around the time I should begin wrapping up and it’s like I just lose all my motivation. I start fixating on other things simply to avoid doing the boring wrap-up tasks and then the thing just never gets done, in the case of blog posts, anyway. At work, it’s a very painful process to get a project to completion. It always feels good once it’s finished and launched, but there are always little things I wish I’d done better.
I’m already finding myself getting to the point of losing interest in writing this post, but I really want to get it out there, so I’ll just leave off with the one thing he talked about that I feel is completely different for me.
I find that a lot of the impulsivity is actually muted by my anxiety and depression. I have had many, many times throughout my life when people have told me to calm down or that I’m too hyper or whatever. Maybe that was the cause… I don’t know… Sometimes I can’t stop it, just like he described, but sometimes, I start to worry too much about what people are going to think if I say or do the thing I have the almost uncontrollable urge to say or do that I will hold it in. It will make it worse, the impulse stronger, most of the time, and sometimes I do give in an let it out later, but when my social anxiety or my depression is particularly bad, I won’t. Especially when my depression was at it’s worst, I would sit through an entire 2 hour meeting and not say a word. I had lots of things I wanted to say, but the severity of my depression at that point simply cancelled out the impulse. Even though my depression is still active, it’s more at its “normal” level (where I’m [sort of] functioning but I hate myself and getting out of bed is nearly impossible, but not because I’m sleepy, just because I have absolutely no desire to) so the impulsivity comes out a little bit more. My social anxiety hasn’t gone anywhere, so that does often cause me to pull back on the impulses, but doesn’t always stop them entirely.
Oddly enough, I actually have an appointment with my doctor tomorrow, so I’m glad I saw this tonight. I plan on mentioning this and asking about proper physical testing for ADD. Being in Canada, I suspect I’m going to have to wait a while, if there is something that can be done.
I have so many more things I want to talk about from Kati’s interview, but I really should be in bed. Plus, I’d have to rewatch and pick out each point and I don’t think I have the attention span for that, especially right now. Maybe another time. Probably not. But you never know.
I don’t want to to be here.
I want it to end.
I don’t want to kill myself. I don’t really want to die. I just don’t want to exist.
I’m so sick of feeling like shit all the time. I hate feeling like a failure at life, like I’ve never accomplished anything.
Whenever I feel like I’m making progress, something happens that sets me back and feels like the world is crashing down around me.
I know I’m going to feel really guilty if I let #BellLetsTalk day go by without actually talking about my current state of mental health.
Last year, I had no problem being open about my experiences and where I was at because, this time last year, I was feeling pretty okay. I wasn’t great. I’m not really even sure what great feels like. Although, in comparison to whew I am now, I was pretty close to good, of not great.
That’s kind of a errors way to say it I guess, but this time last year, I was writing lots about how I watched feeling and it came pretty easily. Right now, in this particular moment, it is not easy. Not even a little bit.
Back in about May or June of 2016, something changed. It happened so gradually though that I didn’t realize it was happening until sometime in July. I kept thinking, oh, its just one of those down periods they always say happens, even after you’ve been on antidepressants for a whole. It’ll pass. I’d had days where that was totally the case and it always did pass. But this time it didn’t.
This time, there was no trigger. This time, nothing I did could bring me joy. This time, I find myself not having emotional reactions to anything. This time, I was legitimately scared that I really might try to kill myself because I didn’t feel like there was anything to live for. I was a failure at everything I touched. I began driving recklessly because I literally didn’t give a shit about my life anymore, and I secretly hoped singing bad would happen, but I couldn’t bring myself to cause it intentionally.
The peak hit in September, the night before World Suicide Prevention Day. I began actually believing there was no way out and I need to go to the hospital. But I still had trouble admitting it to myself, let alone to anyone else, to asking my parents took take care of my dog so I could check in to treatment somewhere was out of the question.
Thankfully I trust my doctor enough that I tried to get in to see him right away. I had to wait because he was on vacation. That was probably the first two weeks of my life, doing to get in to work and stay focused and pretend like nothing was wrong.
A few months and several medication changes later, I am feeling a lot better, but still not where I was this time last year. I’m still finding my emotions are very numbed out, but some of the things that normally bring me joy are beginning to feel good again. Not every day, but most days. Yesterday actually happened to be a pretty decent day. But today I feel like shit again. I’m not suicidal like I was s few months ago, but I still find myself wishing, sometimes, that I could just die so I wouldn’t have to deal with this anymore, but I’m thinking significantly less often about different ways to kill myself. So there’s that.
I still feel hopeless most days but not too the extreme that I had been.
My doctor and I are currently exploring the idea that I might had Attention Deficit Disorder. We bit 190% sure yet, but I’ve been taking s stimulant for over a week now and have experienced significant improvement in my choice function and my ability to stay focused at work. Only problem is, he started me of on a low dose, short acting drug that wears off after 5 hours. But if it helps, he’ll give me a longer lasting one.
Anyway, I’m literally falling asleep on my phone right now and sooner or later there’s going to be a bunch of randon characters across the screen and I don’t think I want that since this post is probably already horribly written because I’m struggling so hard to form my thoughts into different sentences, on top of dosing of every few seconds.
Maybe I’ll add to and edit this post later when I’m more awake. I guess that’s all for now.
Language is powerful.
I’m surprised by how well this article was written, because I had just read one, right before reading this, on the same site (in fact this one was in the recommended section at the end of the other one) that was absolutely terrible.
This one caught my attention though because it’s something I’ve been struggling with lately. Not so much saying the things mentioned — I think I’ve done pretty good at eliminating them from my vocabulary over the passed couple years — but hearing others say them and having an anxiety attack because I want so badly to correct them, but my social anxiety gets the best of me, every time. It’s so frustrating.
I’ve had people say things to me, in the most casual way, about killing themselves, or wanting to die, because something isn’t going their way. While I understand the frustration behind the comment, it hurts every time I hear it because I have been suicidal. In fact, one particular time these comments were made during a time when I actually was suicidal. It hurt so bad that someone who had never struggled a day in their life with mental illness would say that they wanted to kill themselves over a client who was being super annoying. I was annoyed by the client too, but it had absolutely nothing to do with why I was suicidal at the time, and the person who said it, was most definitely not suicidal. That was not the only time that happened with the same person, but my anxiety and depression diagnosis was still very fresh and I hadn’t come out about it yet.
I’m the past few months alone, I’ve heard the people say, “I have, like, OCD,” referring to a pile of boxes in our office and wanting to organize them. Twice. Because of the way it was said both times, I’m not 100% convinced that this person was just saying it. It is possible they do legitimately have OCD, but I’m not entirely sure. It is probably unlikely though, because the boxes are still there any the only time clearing them up is mentioned by that same person is when someone is asking about the boxes.
Both times, it was not said directly to me, I just happened to be right there, so it didn’t feel appropriate to say anything, but the first time, it was bring said to someone who has previously used the phrase, “you’re OCD,” referring to someone’s pickiness about something specific.
If my social anxiety wasn’t so bad I probably would say something, but I am so terrified of coming off as bitchy that I end up bringing myself almost to tears every time this happens. The logical part of my brain keeps telling me that I’ve only ever been called a bitch once, by someone with their own attitude problems (she called the cops on one of my friends, twice, for the dumbest reasons, the cop actually thought she was a teenager, and was shocked when my friend told him she was 27) and didn’t even have the guts to say it to my face. In fact, I was in a different province at the time, over 3000km away. But no matter how many times I remind myself of that fact, I still think on going to be called a bitch.
Another one that happened recently, was a co-worker said to me, “I’m getting PTSD,” referring to some poorly written code we were trying to debug. I was already stressed out to begin with, and when I saw that (it was in a chat message) I started to panic. I went back and forth in my head about what I could say and whether or not to bother. As soon as I stated to tear up, I knew I had to stop. I minimized the window and tried to calm myself down and distract myself with something else, which was hard because I didn’t have anything unrelated to work on at the time.
So, again, I didn’t say anything. It got me thinking though, maybe I need to be the one to start talking about this stuff in the office. I can’t do it by bringing it up to everyone, and I certainly don’t want to single anyone out (because I know it would make me uncomfortable) for saying these things, but how will anyone learn how harmful these seemingly innocent phrase are of no one tells them.
Because I’m also struggling a lot with my depression right now, it makes it even harder to bring this stuff up, so I’m not sure what I’m going to do yet. For now, I’m sticking to spreading awareness online.
October 2-8, 2016 is Mental Illness Awareness Week. Spreading Awareness, Reducing Stigma.
I started seeing a new counselor recently, because I was getting fed up with not feeling like I’ve made any progress. Even though I have made progress, it doesn’t really feel like it, especially because I’ve been battling frequent suicidal thoughts again.
For a while, it was down to where it might pop into my head in the form of a Pure-O (OCD) intrusive thought, maybe once or twice a week, but I could brush it off with the simplest, even unintentional, of distractions. However, over the past month or so, it has gradually returned to the point of, almost daily, obsession.
There wasn’t any one specific trigger, but maybe a few small things happening in a short time span. I started feeling worthless again. Like a failure at everything. A waste of space. I began to spend hours thinking about it — and trying not to think about, which makes you think about it even more. For the first time, I actually started to become afraid a may act upon my thoughts. It’s never gotten to the point where I actually thought I might act upon them before. It usually just remains frequent obsession, but my anxiety would take over and give me all sorts of reasons not to actually try. Maybe my anxiety is getting better…? That’s scary.
Since I first met my new counselor a few weeks ago, it’s gotten a little less frequent. Not that we’ve actually talked about it. We’re still in the getting to know each other phase. But I think there was something reassuring about the fact that someone new was legitimizing my struggles. I think things had just gotten a little stale, and I needed a refreshing perspective.
That’s not too say my suicidal thoughts and feelings of worthlessness are gone, but I’ve managed to have a few days of peace, at least in that regard. The anxiety and depression are still alive and kicking. The social thoughts are a whole other beast.
Taking about this when I’m still kind of in the midst of it is really difficult. I don’t tend to do that. It’s easier to talk about it after its passed. Partially because I just don’t have the energy. I think I’m also afraid of letting anyone see truly hope much pain I’m in while in in it. Especially when I don’t feel there’s any good reason for it. And that’s basically depression in a nutshell.
Anyway, the reason I am talking about this right now is because it’s relevant to something else I wanted to talk about.
So, part of how I ended up seeing this counselor was because at my last doctor’s appointment, he asked when I was next seeing my social worker (who is part of the mental health team at my doctor’s clinic) and I mentioned that he’d been making it about 6 weeks between appointments. He asked if I was OK with that and I finally said what I’d been procrastinating saying for a while. I wanted something more regular, because I feel like I’m not dealing with things that well. Whether it was with my social worker or someone else didn’t matter, although I was beginning to feel he wasn’t equipped to provide the insight I needed. So my doctor offered to refer me to some psychologists/therapists/etc. to get a new perspective.
A few days ago, I had my second appointment. He’s still on the big lists of questions to sort of figure out what we need to work on. I don’t remember what I said or what he had asked me, but while we were getting into the anxiety questions, he suddenly said, “I wonder if you might have ADD.”
He picked up his phone (apparently he only came prepared to cover anxiety and depression) and said we were going to do the short list of questions to see if we should do the longer, more detailed one.
Over the past year and a half, I’ve done a lot of reading about mental illnesses. In doing so, it helps me sort of understand my mind a little better. It also makes it hard not to self-diagnose. The good thing is, my anxiety kind of prevents me from actually believing my self-diagnoses, until someone else actually legitimizes it. My short also prevents me from specifically bringing it up.
I’d been wondering, for several months now, if I may have ADD but it has never come up before.
So, it was about 20 questions, and to get a result of maybe having ADD, you had to answer ‘yes’ or ‘sometimes’ to I think not than half of them. Not including my sometimes, I was already up to about 15 or 16. I think I only said no to 1 or 2.
It’s not an official diagnosis yet, but he said he’s not ready to rule it out.
He also said that if I do have ADD, it may actually be there main issue that my anxiety stems from, which would explain why my anxiety hasn’t really gotten better. By only treating one of the symptoms, you’re not actually solving the problem. So even if my anxiety gets better, or goes away completely, it will probably keep coming back. If the main problem is ADD, and we treat that, it could potentially solve everything else.
I thought it was quite interesting and makes a lot of sense. We’ll see how it goes when we get into the detailed, 70 question version of the ADD stuff.
Anxiety & ADD Tip
Fidget toys are incredible! I’ve tried a few because I have a lot of nervous energy, so I’m always fidgety, but now knowing I might also have ADD, it makes even more sense. For smaller, more subtle fidgeting, I love these and these! I had heard of these first though, but never knew where to buy then till a few weeks ago. This one is my favourite. I absolutely love them!