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CieloAzzuro Offline
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ADD and no cure in sight - June 13th 2012, 12:54 PM

So I'm not exactly sure whether I'm posting this in the correct forum, since my thread covers several topics... otherwise, please feel free to correct me.
First of all before writing away, I just wanna say that I just need to get these thoughts off my chest, and I have no one to talk to in real life about it... my family has financial problems (so my mum is in a stress anyway, I've tried talking to her about it multiple times, but she just begs me to "be strong just for a little bit longer"), my little sister is suicidal and twists all my words in her head and is currently in a day hospital, my friends... lol, I could never talk to them about it, I'm too proud for that. Also, they wouldn't really be able to help me anyway. I know that it'd probably the wisest decision right now to talk to them about it... but... I can't.
Other than that, I really have no other people I confide in, so...
I see that my problem isn't really that "huge of a problem"... but yeah. I need to get this off my chest somewhere, or else I'll explode

Where to begin...

So... I'm 22 and am in really crappy financial circumstances at the moment... I've tried looking for a job for the past 12 months, have even worked for a few days in 2 jobs before they'd give me the sack everytime with the explanation that I'm "too slow, too inattentive, can't get anything done, burden for the instructors, often late", etc. ... I became so desperate in February this year that my sister finally voiced out her suspicion that I could be suffering from ADD, and recommended me to see a doctor. That's what I did, he referred me to a psychiatrist who I've seen several times now, and this is what she noted after a few sessions:

"definitely an ADD patient, has been occasionally suffering from depression since childhood, likely to experience panic attacks, probably highly gifted - IQ test necessary for confirmation"

I've been seeing her since March now and we've been trying several medications to treat the ADD (with Ritalin, Concerta, Focalin), but the result of this was that my brain reacted to none of these drugs. (I was at work when I tried out Focalin and had a legit panic attack even). Right now, I am put on Concerta, but I'll see my psychiatrist again in 2 days and I'll need to tell her that I don't feel any difference. I'm practically the same person as always, my appetite hasn't changed, etc. etc.

She's considering to send me to a hospital or to put me on antidepressants if Concerta really has no effect on me (she's unsure about the antidepressants though because, as she says, "It's difficult to assess whether you really need them or not, because you have this great control on your emotions"). I have recently also discovered that "depression" seems to be something that's running in my family, since basically all my closest relatives have been diagnosed with it at least at one point of their lives. (I hope that's enough background information)

The thing is that I have this gut feeling that the medicaments from the hospital won't have any effect on me, either (even if I desperately wish for them to). I have absolutely no motivation or any zest for life left in me; the only reason why I keep going is because I would never ever consider committing suicide (it would kill my mother), and out of a sense of duty towards my mother and also my little sister. That's all. I used to be someone who had so many aspirations and dreams that I was striving to make true, but some really bad things happened at school last year, and, yeah. I don't have any diploma to present to potential employers, and for jobs for which I'm over-qualified, I only get rejections ("you'd be bored easily"). I really really feel desperate at the core of my heart because the welfare agency refuses to help us out and I feel so depressed also because of our financial situation and additionally, I feel like I keep forgetting so many things. My psychiatrist noted this on her papers when I mentioned it, but didn't tell me anything further about it. I feel like I forget so much the more time passes and I seriously cannot understand how someone can even *suspect* me of being highly gifted, when all my life I've only been told how stupid I am by my teachers and honestly, I don't feel like that much of a smart cookie, either. My strategies to get us out of this have utterly failed the whole year, I've been insulted, I've been made fun of, and now not even the medication that is supposed to help me works on my brain... I swear, I don't know how to go on.

Does anybody of you have an idea? Like... something that could really help?

In my forlornness, I kept trying things from the past which used to help me get out of this black cave. I remembered one thing and enthusiastically told my psychiatrist about it, and when I asked her whether she knew what it was, she answered, stunned, "No, I have no idea." I think she thinks I made it up or something -___-;;

The first time I fell into a big depression was when I was 10 (I was harassed at school for my looks, for my nerdiness, for my origin... etc.). This lasted until I was transferred to a prestigious high school, where people also made fun of me, but less than at elementary school until it became boring and they just began to ignore me. At 13 in exactly this high school... I had an extremely special experience which people refuse to believe that this actually happened. Mind you, I don't buy into any of this esoteric stuff - but this really happened: I had Internet friends at the time (due to my lack of RL friends) and one evening, a "popular" Internet friend called me out on my jealous and childish behavior (she was completely right on this btw :P I was just a bit too young to get that at the time LOL), so I shut down my computer and cried myself to sleep that night. I remember that my last thought before finally drifting off to sleep was, "Am I really always going to be like this? This gloomy, depressive person? Will nothing ever change?"...
I woke up the next day and felt like a newborn. I really am not kidding - I have no idea whether I dreamt something cool or something - but I felt as light as a feather and as if I had been given a chance to start anew, kinda. If somebody had given me a blank canvas and asked me to paint my heart at the time, I think I'd have answered, "I can't, because everything in me feels so pure right now... as if I have been white-washed." I took in the sunrays as if I was feeling them for the first time, I was genuinely, sincerely, happy. This state lasted until I became 18 (but that's another story for another time...)

... anyway, so to get back to topic: what was that?
Do you guys have any idea? Now that I'm older, I keep doing research on this stuff (keywords "self-healing", "healing" etc.) but I swear all my findings are crap. Please try to understand me... I'm a little desperate. And people like this try to come up with the most absurd possibilities to heal again, don't they? I swear I've tried about EVERYTHING (even mental training) you can imagine for the past 12 months, but I fail over and over and over again. I had no idea even I am suffering from certain disabilities until this year's March!
I know that the point is not to give up and keep marching on like a trooper, and I swear I try, it's just... maybe I give up too easily, I dunno. I'm really a bit desperate.

So my questions to you guys are...

1.) Do you have any idea if there are other possibilities to treat ADD/depression? Do you have any tips in general for me?

2.) What on earth was that thing I experienced at 13 but that my psychiatrist cannot explain herself? Back then in my youthful naïveté, I used to tell myself I had experienced "a miracle", but now that I'm older and wiser lol, I'm not so convinced anymore. I am certain there must be a scientific explanation for it, because it was really something that happened overnight. It wasn't a process of many months, I assure you. If you have any idea what that was... I'd be very grateful.
(My younger sister is convinced it must have something to do with my overly vivid imagination [side effect of the ADD]. I don't think so, because I can't remember anything I could have dreamt)

OK I hope my post makes sense kinda...
Thanks for taking your time to read this...
I feel better having got this off my chest ^^''

Just in case someone misunderstands. I'm asking about the second thing because if there is actually a scientific explanation for whatever happened back then, I'd like to try to "stimulate" those circumstances so I can help myself move on.
Hope it's clearer now.

Last edited by CieloAzzuro; June 13th 2012 at 06:40 PM.
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Always * Offline
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Re: ADD and no cure in sight - June 16th 2012, 04:44 PM

Well, as for your first question. I, myself, have ADHD, so I can definitely understand your struggles. I think part of the problem for you though, might be that you suffer from depression too (do you?) as a legit diagnosis. I know that a lot of people with ADD have a higher likelihood of co-morbdity, and even if they can't be diagnosed with multiple disorders (I am one of the people with only ADD) they still have a higher likelihood of having anxiety or depression due to the stress that demands from school and work place on life and the "I didn't do good enough" stuff. So if you have a comorbid condition (ADD and depression) that might explain why things like concerta and ritalin haven't been working for you because as stimulants, they will only counteract the ADD, but could negatively impact or not help the depression at all. And depression is also known to share a lot of the same symptoms as ADD (such as being unable to concentrate while in a depressed period), so it is very possible that depression might be your real problem. In any case, you could look into taking Adderall (it's what I was taking up until about 2 months ago). However, you could also look into taking strattera, which is a non-stimulant and may have a more posit affect if you have depression issues. However, lots of people are put on adderall once other meds (concerta and ritalin are the main 2 to start with) fail, so you should also ask your psychiatrist about an ADD and depression med combo. And there are a bunch of depression meds that also treat anxiety, so you could look into taking one that will also treat any anxiety that you may suffer from (even if only periodically). The ADD meds you should be able to feel a difference right away, I find its later on I don't feel as much of an impact (but I won't go to a higher dose) but with depression meds you usually have to take them for around a month before they are full working. But it would definitely be worth bringing up.

Also if you smoke (weed, tobacco, etc, don't give a crap what is in it) quit, it won't help you. It doesn't help your health and I know how much weed and cigarettes cost so it won't help your situation (the downfall of being a student/having some questionable friends is that I know how much a lot of drugs sell for on the street). Alcohol is also something to avoid because it can exasperate your condition (even if it is only temporary).

And as for being bright. Well, trust me, I am another one of those people. I sort of skate by in school, would get 70's mostly in high school and people would be like "you can do better" lol... Even when I got really terrible grades in my first year, I could see a lot of people doubting me, but I had a few people on my case being like "your a god damned smart person, get it together". I definitely do not have a higher than average level of intelligence, but I do have a decent level that doesn't always correlate with my actual recorded grades (which tend to be lower than people would expect of me). So don't sweat it, you defs need to just get into things you like. If you are like pretty much every ADD person I know, you get bored and restless very quickly and lose interest in things. That can happen to anyone, but especially to people with ADD. I think for me that is one of the hardest things in school because I get bored of it SO quickly. You just need to find the right "thing" for you.

Also, just try to learn more about ADHD via internet, if you ever go back to school you can actually get assistance to learn how to study properly and stuff. And just remember not to make excuses. I'm not saying that you are, but a lot of people do. You have to take responsibility for what you do or do not do regardless of whether you have been presented with extra challenges. For example, compile as many things as you can about what make jobs difficult for you (or why you never got a job etc) and try to find ways to improve those qualities or what ever. Stuff like that might help
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