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.
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 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!