Diagnosed with both ADD and depression. Wonderful.

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    Dec 23, 2012 11:32 AM GMT
    About three weeks ago, I've been diagnosed with both ADD and depression. I became very suspicious with my severe lack of concentration, especially when it came to reading comprehension and writing, so I got checked up on it. I remember having two panic attacks in the past year, one of which I ended up fainting momentarily. Things seemed like it got better as I started college, but that unsettling feeling of being unable focus and being disenfranchised from society crept up on me. I had an insanely difficult semester and trying to balance a job and internship pretty much proved my constant struggles. It probably has to with my family splitting up a few years ago, along with my deep guilt and denial of my sexual orientation.

    What's even worse is how people can't take me seriously when I tell them I'm not doing well. Everyone thinks nothing is wrong with me, but I've become so good acting like everything is fine. Don't ever ignore the signs. Unfortunately, my older sister is also diagnosed with depression. It's not suicidal, but life has become completely static. I hope people on here can relate with me. It's like I've become numb to everything, and I'm constantly struggling, trying to stay focused and looking on the bright side of everything. Sorry for the sad story. icon_neutral.gif
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    Dec 23, 2012 1:31 PM GMT
    Living on fast food fucks up body chemistry.
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    Dec 23, 2012 1:33 PM GMT
    Sad to hear. Been there myself when I was at university and screwed my grades completely. I was however able to get my degree. I was a good student better than average. Still screwed up my university. At least you understand the underlying reason of your problems. Whenever I used to try to study all these thoughts about how future will turn out for me used to wander around my mind and finally after some time I used to give up. Even though I didn't get into heavy drugs/smoking/drinking I started playing big time online games. I used to bunk classes big time, hardly studying for exams and finally failed many classes.

    However I don't have suggestions apart from don't screw your grades, get more social, keep yourself busy, don't sit in front of computer, do group study, join clubs at university. I think as much you keep your mind of thinking about yourself-gay and all that shit more you will do better. Just don't screw your grades. Get a decent degree and yes things get better. I feel lot different now than what I was in the university.
  • monet

    Posts: 1093

    Dec 23, 2012 1:37 PM GMT
    Are you taking any medication to deal with the depression and ADD? It helps. Counseling helps but it can be expensive unless you have access to something at your university. Regular exercise help too.
  • LJay

    Posts: 11612

    Dec 23, 2012 1:41 PM GMT
    That's quite the double whammy. Hope you will be able to manage it.

    It seems that you do have a couple of things going for you. First, you did get things checked out instead of waiting. That's good. Also, you seem bright and determined to deal with things. Do your best and keep getting help when you need it. Good luck.
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    Dec 23, 2012 1:42 PM GMT
    You can only go up from here... this isn't what it seems it is, cause you could be so much more happier once you've begun to change for yourself.
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    Dec 23, 2012 1:43 PM GMT
    Also coming out to some close friends at university may help which I didn't do when I was at university. Very recently a guy from my batch came out to our whole batch of 550 students via email saying he is a basically transgender. Phew!! I wish I had such kind of balls. He was quite known at the university as he was quite active in theater.

  • Dec 23, 2012 2:01 PM GMT
    Therapy, dude. That's what campus counselors are for. I dealt with the same problems in college, but I had a campus counselor there when I needed it. Unless there's a free PhD on these forums that's willing to give you advice, this is a mental health issue that should be treated by a mental health professional.
    Good luck,
  • calibro

    Posts: 8888

    Dec 23, 2012 2:07 PM GMT
    Alpha13 saidLiving on fast food fucks up body chemistry.


    and playing doctor without a license is illegal
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    Dec 23, 2012 2:33 PM GMT
    Sorry to hear that, but, it's time to see a real psychologist as this can be a physiological thing since it seems to run in your family. Get on meds if a Dr. says you should be. You have the advantage now of not being in the "real" world of job, etc, where it can really screw things up. Take care of it now!
  • spacemagic

    Posts: 520

    Dec 23, 2012 2:36 PM GMT
    I can relate. I was diagnosed with depression and generalized anxiety at 19 and ADD at 25. I didn't realize I had ADD until I got into the professional world. Remember that you are not your diagnoses--you're a person first and foremost. Finding and talking to people who have depression will help tremendously, because they will understand the way the disease colors your thoughts, feelings, and perception of the world. I'm very fortunate to have a coworker and friend who also has depression, and we talk about the crazy and hurtful stuff that creeps up in our minds. It helps. Utilize the counseling resources you have on campus. Medication can be helpful too, but only if you take it correctly--some people make the mistake of stopping their meds once they start to feel better, but the withdrawals can be worse than the disease itself. Living a healthy life is very important in managing depression, too. Eating healthy, getting regular exercise (especially cardio, since it releases endorphins), spending time socializing, picking up a hobby, meditating... all good ways to enrich your mind, body and spirit.

    As far as ADD, I don't know what to advise for that. Its frustrating, but really the best thing to do is find ways to outsmart it. Additudemag.com is a great resource for learning about ADD and how to manage it. And don't get frustrated with yourself. Your ADD brain works differently than others, and sometimes all you can do is laugh at yourself. I consider it a good day when I leave my office for the day and don't have to go back in for my keys, wallet, phone, gym bag, etc.
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    Dec 23, 2012 3:02 PM GMT
    If your life has become static... shake it up.

    Big life lesson: If you're not happy with something in your life, do something to change it for the better.

    You'll be amazed at how well this helps with depression.
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    Dec 23, 2012 5:54 PM GMT
    If you have been diagnosed by a doctor, then did he/she offer you any recommendation as to which medication to take? There are a wide variety of medications out there available to people with ADD/ADHD, and can really help improve their focus.

    When I was diagnosed with major depression, my psychiatrist suggested I try cipralex and see how it goes after a few weeks. Before taking cipralex, I really struggled with maintaining a consistent diet (eating from absolutely nothing to regular three meals per day) and pushing off suicidal thoughts while studying. Sometimes I would spend days locked up in my room, feeling no energy to be able to drag myself out of bed. Two weeks after taking cipralex, I started eating more regularly, and was also able to fight off depressing thoughts that often distracted me from studying or kept me from doing anything outside my room.

    One thing you do have to keep in mind about taking medication is that they are more of an end-of-pipe solution, or only a part of the long -term solution to treating your mental illness. Not all medications guarantee permanent solution in the future - in fact, some people are asked to be put on medication for the rest of their lives. It is particularly important that you see a psychiatrist or any form of external PROFESSIONAL help for your depression - long-term cure rate for depression is significantly higher when both medication and therapy are used, rather than just either one of the two.

    It might be that you started out with ADD or depression, and one of it led to another. When I was at the peak of my depression, I was incapable of studying, but with the medication, I was able to focus a lot better. You should ask your parents if you have any extended family members who have been diagnosed with either ADD or depression as well - mental illness often runs in the family, especially something like ADD/ADHD.

    Remember that the first step to solving a problem is knowing what it is. You know what you have now, so you already are in a significantly better position than where you were before. Look up what you can on ADD and depression - knowing always helps you with anxiety and fear. Then see if you can get a counselling from a psychiatrist, and go from there. One step at a time.
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    Dec 23, 2012 6:27 PM GMT
    I've never been officially diagnosed, but I'm pretty sure I have depression.

    Unless someone else has gone through the same, they can never really understand or relate.

    The thing I've learned, never let yourself be defined by something.

    Though depresson still hits me occasionally, I've learned to cope, and you'll learn to do the same. (If yu haven't already)
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    Dec 23, 2012 6:53 PM GMT
    You know, if you get treatment for your ADD it'll help with your depression.

    Ritalin and similar ADD drugs release mood elevating chemicals in your brain even while they help focus your thoughts. You'll experience almost instant clarity and feel a much stronger sense of "normal" perspective. It's like putting on glasses after years of gradually going blind without realizing it. The world snaps into focus and you realize your perspective was warping.
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    Dec 23, 2012 7:36 PM GMT
    Larkin saidYou know, if you get treatment for your ADD it'll help with your depression.

    Ritalin and similar ADD drugs release mood elevating chemicals in your brain even while they help focus your thoughts. You'll experience almost instant clarity and feel a much stronger sense of "normal" perspective. It's like putting on glasses after years of gradually going blind without realizing it. The world snaps into focus and you realize your perspective was warping.


    This. Especially right out of bed first thing in the morning.
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    Dec 23, 2012 7:56 PM GMT
    You all are so damn sweet. icon_smile.gif

    Fortunately, I've been taking meds (as of about a week ago) and going to my college counselor. Things seem to be getting better, as far as concentration goes. The interesting thing about all of this is that I didn't realize I had an attention deficit disorder or depression. I kind of shrugged off all the signs and continued with my life, and things seemed "normal." We'll see what happens from here on...
  • vj2004t

    Posts: 203

    Dec 23, 2012 8:08 PM GMT
    It's not that bad dude I ha e been on meds for that for years I take adderall for the ADD and welbutrin for depression . If you happen to smoke docs prescribe the same for it also. I found it was better for me to have the doc pres ribs it in 20 mg pill slow release that way you only have to take one pill a day. I also take a sleeping adderall is a controlled substance. It is amphetamines you can only get 30 days at a time. Text me if I can help more...Val
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    Dec 23, 2012 11:13 PM GMT
    I've had ADHD + depression since 7th grade.

    Don't take the meds. Just eat healthy and exercise.
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    Dec 29, 2012 9:47 AM GMT
    Gosh, now you reminded me, I have got to see my psychiatrist again. My mind is getting worse.
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    Dec 29, 2012 10:57 AM GMT
    spacemagic said
    ... And don't get frustrated with yourself. Your ADD brain works differently than others, and sometimes all you can do is laugh at yourself. I consider it a good day when I leave my office for the day and don't have to go back in for my keys, wallet, phone, gym bag, etc.

    Best advice I have read on this. You will likely find yourself getting frustrated at points with what you have done or forgot. Prior to diagnosis I honestly believed myself to be the among the dumbest people to walk the earth. Who locks three sets of keys in the building at work and has to walk home only to remember that the spare key is already locked securely inside the house from the last time you forgot or lost your keys? Just learn to laugh- it really is funny in some ways.

    Larkin said
    Ritalin and similar ADD drugs release mood elevating chemicals in your brain even while they help focus your thoughts. You'll experience almost instant clarity and feel a much stronger sense of "normal" perspective. It's like putting on glasses after years of gradually going blind without realizing it. The world snaps into focus and you realize your perspective was warping.

    After years of a few people telling me I was ADD (and my denying it and laughing at them every time) I finally took a friends Ritalin after a particularly bad loop of thoughts that lasted hours. He still recalls my calling him up and saying 'I am all alone in my head...' Everyone is different- but for me I did not have three hundred tracks and thoughts simultaneously running through my head for the first time in my life and was shocked to find myself with things suddenly quiet. I really can not explain it- just a hell of an experience.

    That said, depression and ADD are often co-morbid and what my doctor had said when he prescribed ritalin was that it might help with the depression- or it might actually make it worse. Apparently, for some people whose ADD is relatively severe, suddenly remembering all of the stupid things that you do and noticing how your concentration wanders and how it affects your life can actually worsen the depression. I was fortunate in that I was able to skip medication for depression and treatment for (and even just recognizing that I was ADD) helped me. Just something to keep an eye on.

    Also, the doctor probably told you... but you may find and think that it is the solution and cure-all to everything. I believed for the first month or two that I found a magic bullet and life would be perfect and I would be normal. When you discover that is not the case and discover that it is a tool that can help but that you may be fucked for life in some ways you can suddenly hit a little bit of a dark spot- another time to keep an eye on that depression when you find that the help medication offers is somewhat limited...
  • WrestlerBoy

    Posts: 1903

    Dec 29, 2012 11:01 AM GMT
    There's a lot to be said for doing what I do..... hold on tight, and tell everyone it's a "plan". :-) Good luck.
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    Dec 29, 2012 11:16 AM GMT
    I think the biggest hurdle with any psych disorder is the first step - seeking help. Great to see you taking that step and reaching out to others.

    We can hide depression so well, effectively living two lives - keeping our pain inside while showing a rosy exterior. I find the black dog a somewhat constant companion myself and have ongoing treatment to keep on a leash.

    Getting the medication right and finding the right treatment team are also important, you really need to be comfortable with them to get the most out of them.

    It's important that they are aware of this at your college, if you are having problems with study they may be able to help you out - as you have genuine reason...if you are finding it is affecting your studies, let your counsellor know.

    Also remember that the Brain can be ill just like any other organ...you have a genuine medical condition (several). Years ago there used to be a stigma around mental health but that is slowly disappearing. Remember also that it is YOUR illness and it will be different from other peoples, you will recover in your own time.

    Group therapy may also help, even if it is to see that you are not the only one...there are other people facing similar difficulties - this can be quite liberating.

    Finally, be patient and forgiving - it will take time.

    Andrew.
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    Dec 29, 2012 11:31 AM GMT
    With some therapy you'll come find that some of the unexpected things you're holding onto are/have become sources of some of your issues. Like a psychological allergy to a stunning beautiful metaphorical flower. At least, that is what it was for me, then. Now I window shop for those flowers.
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    Dec 29, 2012 12:09 PM GMT
    There are some great books and studies out there that suggest constantly using things like smart phones and the Internet can cause ADD. Your mind gets addicted to short, pleasurable acts: checking email, seeing if someone Liked a post, reading short headlines, etc. Eventually you have a harder time concentrating on long-term acts like reading a book or watching a full movie or working on something for a prolonged time.

    The good news is your mind is plastic. You can help reshape it, just as a head injury victim learns to reprogram the mind to perform tasks. You start by shaking yourself up and doing lots of new things. Tell yourself no Internet today, or don't take your phone with you. You limit and predetermine what you want to accomplish in a day. Like, today I want to read three chapters from this book. Or watch this full movie and really take in the meaning. If you have to, reward yourself with a look at your emails, etc. AFTER you've concentrated on an item for at least an hour or two. But don't make it a habit.

    By the way, I think smart phones and people's addiction to them are really fucking up human relationships.