View Full Version : Emotional regulation problems? Or just reacting normally for this situation?

09-06-11, 05:08 PM
NOTE: If you're lazy like me, then just read the Bold

It is known that those with ADHD have problems regulating their emotions. Emotions are produced the same as those without ADHD but the part of the brain that ADHD effects can't inhibit those emotions at will as effectively. I THINK that this is one of the prominent and most destructive features of my ADHD.

(I ay THINK because it is not certain; perhaps it could be due to my apparent predisposition to depression as made evident by my mum's side of the family; perhaps there is an element of hereditory OCD as made a possibility by my mum's apparent but undiagnosed OCD symptoms; or perhaps it is because of my loneliness which was created by and has persisted since my social problems I have had had since school (Im 24 now. But I'm wondering that even if these other things are indeed factors, the emotional redulation problems that people with ADHD have make them harder to deal with and their negative effects more pronounced.)

Id really like to know what you think...if Im over-reactiing about things and what I can do about it.

Anyway, can feel very emotional sometimes. Not sad necessarily, but often jealous about things or worried about things that perhaps I shouldn't be and I can't get the thought out of my head and it can make me quite depressed (I have been diagnosed with depression and disthymia before but now think that it was due to my constant loneliness and emotional regulation difficulties common with ADHD).

This holiday I have been much more lonely than I normally am whilst I am at university where, although I don't have many friends and I don't socialize anywhere near as much as I would like to, I do socialize somewhat which is more than I can say of this holiday. I have been mainly on my own this holiday, seeing my girlfriend mainly when she came to see me but the rest of the time I was on my own. I didnt want to go home because my mum is hard to live with because, I think, because of her undiagnosed OCD. It has been very lonely for me and depressing.

Now my girlfriend has gone on holiday and I have decided to live at home for a bit because I couldnt stay in my house at university any longer as it was a friends. I am constantly thinking about her being on holiday. I am totally and unbearably jealous of her for socializing and having fun, and all while being on holiday in a sunny country. I LONG to go on holiday with her so much if not for the sunshine and holiday atmosphere then just to get away from my miseraly lonely existence this holiday. And there is nobody else I could really go with apart from her.

She has text me saying how she has been going out and made a couple of friends (two boys) who her and her friend have been hanging out with during the day on some days and going out with in the evening and getting drunk til 6 in the morning and having breakfast at their hotel. This makes me more jealous and anxious: anxious because she is spending quite a lot of time with two boys andjealous because she is having so much fun and socializing while I am at home with my parents since I have no friends at home at all to socialize with. She assures me that I have nothing to worry about and I believe her because she is such a loyal and kind person and is in love with me so I know deep down that nothing would happen...but I still cant help my emotions.

Another thing is that she has been on holiday to florida for 3 weeks with her family a couple of months ago and after she booked the holiday she is on now I asked her if she would go on holiday with me and she said she wouldn't because she has been on holiday too much recently. Even despite her knowledge of how miserable I have been this holiday,how lonely I have been and how a holiday abroad would really cheer me up she still won't go with me. I can't help but feel that she is being really selfish and only thinking of herself. Her previous holiday and the one she is on now were both paid for by her parents so money is not the issue; it is simply that she doesn't feel like going on holiday again. I am so annoyed at this that I am close to splitting up with her. I feel that it is such a selfish desicion when I NEED to get a way and cheer myself up by going on holiday so badly, because this holiday's loniless is making me really depressed, but she simply wont go because she has been abroad too much recently and doesn't feel like it anymore.

Perhaps I am over-reacting though? What do you think?

THanks for reading.

09-06-11, 05:39 PM
I hate to be the bearer of bad news but from reading your post and with my experience of how people act while drunk and hanging out with members of the opposite sex in a private situation while on vacation I would say 99% of the time the person on vacation is cheating. I hope you are the 1% and that your relationship is solid.

This is just my opinion based on my experiences.

09-06-11, 07:36 PM
I think emotional regulation just has to do with how we express emotions. Maybe I'm misunderstanding it, but I always thought that people without ADHD might feel the same amount of emotion, they just hold it in.

As for your situation, I don't think what Kronar is saying is necessarily true, but I do think that your situation is a little unfair. If you try to let her know how you feel and see if she can help you come up with some compromises, maybe you can salvage the relationship.

09-07-11, 05:22 AM
Let me start by saying I am extremely open-minded. If I were to be any more open-minded, we'd have an open relationship, period. I have male friends. One of them, is my ex. I don't mind if my boyfriend befriends women. If one of those would be his ex. Heck, if they'd be in contact, I'd even let her sleep over (she lives far away).

BUT. Seperate holidays is a no-go. My mom, as free-fought as can be, being in a bad relationship with my dad for over thirty years now, also does not agree with seperate holidays.

Sure. You need to be trust eachother. You need to not cheat whenever the possibility arises and even day-in, day-out, there are plenty of possibilities to cheat. Cheating isn't the worst in a relationship either (yes, one of my ex'es has cheated on me and this is not the reason he's my ex!). You do need to spend time away from eachother. Make time for friends. Be alone with those friends. You don't need to lock yourself up just because you're in a relationship with someone.

However, you did choose to be in one. You did choose to love eachother and respect eachother. It is not just about cheating, it's about so many other things. You're in a new relationship (seriously, anything that is less than 10 years, is "new" enough), why would you even WANT to have seperate holidays?

Most of the time, from what I've seen, partners who do take seperate holidays, are not in a good relationship. For me, the desire to have seperate holidays, is a no-go and a reason to not be in a relationship with that person - the same as him/her not agreeing to me "smooth talking" to my friends.

People have different views on relationships and you two just seem to have found your different view. In my eyes, you are not overreacting. You are asking what I would ask as well. And heck, I wouldn't even ask. I'd just draw my conclussions - and leave. But that's just me.

09-07-11, 08:42 AM
Did you vocalize your needs and concerns before she went on holiday? That could have yielded some info about where she thinks the relationship stands. It does smell fishy so I'm sure when she gets back you'll have to talk
Is she what you want? Does she understand the difficulties you face everyday? That might be something to talk about when she gets back.

09-07-11, 09:17 AM
I think in this situation, your emotions are within normal range. You two need to sit down together and have a long talk about the future of your relationship. Hanging out with opposite sex while on vacation out of the country, until 6 am, and drinking...major boundary breaker when you are in a serious relationship with someone. She seems quite dismissive of your feelings, also not ok.

09-07-11, 09:22 AM
I absolutely agree that married couples should vacation together if possible, but I feel there isn't anything wrong with a dating couple going on separate holidays either. As a married person, my favorite person to travel with is my husband, though I have gone away with my family when he couldn't get away from work.

Things are different when you are single, and I think it is reasonable for a girl to go away with her parents/family/friends without her boyfriend. However, I don't think it should involve other guys or drinking all night, but that's me and your decisions for your relationship may be different. That behavior would make me incredibly upset and would be a deal breaker if a boyfriend had done that, so you may want to address that with her if you feel the same way. Going on vacation without me, especially with his family (as her trip to Florida was a few months ago) that is expected behavior. When you are dating you are not automatically included in everything the other person does. Having friends and your own interests is always going to be important.

I think it is very sad that you are alone during the holiday, but if I read your post right, you didn't tell her that you wanted to go away with her until she had already booked her trip #2 (the one she is on now). I don't really think you have a right to be upset at her for going without you if you didn't say anything until after she'd booked her trip. Is she being a bit selfish and leaving you out of the equation? Maybe but it just sounds to me like she is in college and having fun and expects you to be doing the same thing. For many ppl this is the last chance to do the things that they want to do before extra responsibilities come.

Also you sound a bit in she is the only one you could go with & you resent her for having fun without you. I think it's sad that you aren't happy that a person you love is having some needed relaxation time and enjoying herself.

She obviously doesn't feel you're her only travel option, and there is nothing wrong with you feeling differently than she does, but you do have to respect her right to say "I've been gone too much and need to focus on my regular life now".

I really really hope you can get away and enjoy yourself somewhere because it would probably really help relax and rejuvenate you too!

Just to clarify, I agree you have a right to be as upset as you want (even to the point of breaking up if that is your decision) about her being away hanging out with other guys and drinking with them all night. However, you said you trusted her that nothing bad was going on.

Your post reads to me like you are mostly upset that she is away having fun without you and you are home and lonely and jealous of her. In addition to being angry at her for saying she wouldn't go away with you (for her this would be the 3rd holiday in only a couple months). On this point I think you are wrong. You aren't married and she can (and should) in my opinion go away with family and friends and have fun.

09-07-11, 11:54 AM
Just for perspective: I recently vacationed without my bf. It was a family vacation with my parents and my sister and her kids and her husband's family, 12 adults, 4 kids in all. He was invited, but for one it was to go to a resort in Cuba during the hot season and Canadian summers are too warm for him, and for two it required flying and he's aviophobic. So he didn't come, and I went alone with my family.

And he was p----d. I kind of thought he was being a baby, because he was invited, and it wasn't fair to ask that the entire thing be rearranged around his phobia, given the number of people etc. But it was more the idea that I was spending vacation time away from him, instead of with him. I, however, felt that I deserved a nice resort vacation to Cuba, and since one with him wasn't forthcoming, I was going to take the one on offer.

In the end, I don't think either of us was wrong. We had a couple of weeks where the subject was tense, but we eventually talked it out. Now I know that if I ever get rich, my bf would be very amenable to going on a Trans-Atlantic cruise with me. And I know that we can spend time apart and have fun without each other, but ultimately the thing that I kept thinking every time I was having a really good time in Cuba was 'I wish my man was here', so really I learned that I need to spend some fun time together with him too.

Side note, men did hit on me in Cuba, but I was very clear as to what kind of friendship we could have, so they mostly left me alone. I was there to have fun with my family, and that is what I did. I understand that if I had gone with a bunch of single girlfriends, the vibe would have been different, but I still would have made clear boundaries. I think it's reasonable to be concerned if someone is on a vacation without you and spending lots of time with strangers. It's a little fishy.

09-07-11, 12:42 PM
I wouldn't be comfortable in that situation. There aren't many platonic reasons why 2 men would stay up drinking with 2 women until 6 AM, particularly if they're not old friends. She should be more worried about how you will feel about it than how they will feel when she asks them to leave, and she should realize that the time for partying late/early with random dudes comes to an end when you get into a serious relationship.

I would voice my concerns openly, and I'd let her know that it's damaging the relationship. I wouldn't be accusational, nor would I give her an ultimatum. I would simply let her know how it is and will hurt you and your relationship, and that you have no control over that. Then I'd gauge her words and actions after that disclosure very carefully, to decide how much she really cares and whether or not the relationship is worthwhile.

After that point, there would be no more discussion, because coercion will never lead to a healthy relationship. She chooses what she chooses, because she wants it more than the alternative. If she wants her late-night/early-morning double-date drinking sessions more than she wants you to be happy then--for whatever reason, innocent or not--it's time to get out.

Just my two cents.

09-07-11, 05:45 PM
Thanks for the replies.

Firstly let me explain that, as 'wif w/o ADD' said, I did only ask her to go on holiday with me after she had booked the holiday. Also she booked the holiday with her friend because she thought we had split up at that time (but we resolved it) and also I didnt have the money to go on holiday which is why we hadnt been on holiday before that. (It was only when my mum offered to pay for me to go that I asked my gf to go on holiday with me). So she did not purosely book a seperate holiday.

I do believe that she wouldn't cheat on me though as has only slept with 3 people (all boyfriends) and is a kind person (brought up in a hindu family) and is not even one of these kind of girls who goes out and makes out with random people. But even so, I don't like her hanging out with 2 guys on holiday with her friend. They met up with those boys (even tho the boys dad and dads partner were there too) on 3 nights and went to their hotel for a swim one day too (while the dad and partner where conviently not there). I dont think she would cheat but its not nice for her to do stuff like that which even puts doubt in my mind. It's not exactly a clear signal to those boys that she isnt interested.

Also you sound a bit in she is the only one you could go with & you resent her for having fun without you. I think it's sad that you aren't happy that a person you love is having some needed relaxation time and enjoying herself.

She obviously doesn't feel you're her only travel option, and there is nothing wrong with you feeling differently than she does, but you do have to respect her right to say "I've been gone too much and need to focus on my regular life now".

You're right I am being clingy and while that's obviously not attractive and can push people away, but it's hard not to be clingy when you're lonely. But I don't resent her for going on the holiday because she booked it when we thought we had split up, but I am insanely jealous of her. I would never be angry at her for that, but I just keep visualizing her in the sun having fun, going out drinking, meeting random people etc. all while im at home with nobody to see (and England isn't great weather). Just this alone is enough to make me feel really depressed. This is a normal reaction though right? given my loneliness at home?

Your post reads to me like you are mostly upset that she is away having fun without you and you are home and lonely and jealous of her. In addition to being angry at her for saying she wouldn't go away with you (for her this would be the 3rd holiday in only a couple months). On this point I think you are wrong. You aren't married and she can (and should) in my opinion go away with family and friends and have fun.

Yes I am jealous of her but not angry of her for going on her current holiday. What I am angry about for is that she won't go on holiday with me after she comes back. I know she has been on holiday a lot recently but I think that she should want to go on holiday with me even if she has already been on holiday a lot simply because I have been having such a lonely and depressing summer. Isn't that the kind of thing you do when you love and care about someone?

It would really lift my mood and help my self esteem and loneliness, and lets face it,it wouldn't exactly be a negative experience for her going on holiday again. She just doesn't want to go on holiday as much as people normally do because she has gone recently. I can't help but feel she is looking at it totally from her point of view and not at all from the point of view of the person she loves (me btw).

Im also worried that if I dont get away and lift my moods before uni starts in 3 weeks then I will find it hard enjoying myself at uni because I feel really quite depressed.


09-09-11, 11:37 AM
Hello Jonny87,

I read your story and I want to give my bit of advice here aswell.

Pick up a hobby like travelling, city hopping, I could really recommend. Book yourself a weekend away to some place you havent been before, it doesn't have to be very special or far away. Explore new territories, try to enjoy, and relax.

You'll notice that the new experiences, images, sounds, smells, feelings, everything, will remember you that you cn live alone in this world and be happy! You can plot your own course, this might just ease or stop the anxious feelings being lonely will give you.

What then happens, for sure, is that you'll eventually start (small)talking to people because you're like relaxed and bored at the same time. Bored in the sense of: there is nothing you have to do, there is even nothing lengthy you cn actually do. Conversations arise, new friends could be made. This is why being "bored" is awesome.

Go drink that beer in the pub on your own, because it doesn't matter, you can do anything you want! (except with other women ofcourse) Go enjoy this random party or event that is in town and you know nothing about. Get to a casino if you never did that before. Try a sauna or a good massage. You'll notice that almost anything will do.

We ADHD-ers are able to make fun with just about everything that gives us new experiences/learns us something, given the right circumstances.

You sound to me like you really need this, you need to get out and get in touch with yourself again. You need to keep living, your wife does so too.

And really do not let obligations interfere with this plan unless they are absolutely necessary. You need this, this is your priority.

Did you notice that I didn't even reply to the relationship situation? I do agree with the others that there are things for you to talk about with your gf. But as you pointed out, right now you have no control over it, and you need to wait to see what happens later.

Close down this thought, because it will not give you anymore information, it is equally useless as sitting at home doing nothing is.

I'm not asking you to just stop feeling it, I know what love is and I know it's impossible to just cut off this stream of mentalism. But you have to stop thinking, and really go get busy doing something useful or enjoyable.
After a while you'll notice that you could have short periods (like couple of mins/hours) that you seem to have completely forgotten it. (and then it kicks back in)

That's where you want to be. Give your brain a little rest
This is what works wonders for me. Sometimes you have to slow down, drop all activities and get out

If you understood the true moral of this, it is needless for me to say that you don't have to do what I do, you can replace the casino with sports, or the pub with a good coffeeshop in Amsterdam, or find a good LAN-party somewhere and start gaming already (you have ADHD right? :-D) I think you get the point

Get on a train already

09-09-11, 09:33 PM
I know she has been on holiday a lot recently but I think that she should want to go on holiday with me even if she has already been on holiday a lot simply because I have been having such a lonely and depressing summer. Isn't that the kind of thing you do when you love and care about someone?

I think it would be nice if you two both want to go away on holiday together. I think that will be a good discussion to have with her. However, since she has said that she doesn't want to go on any more holidays, if she still feels that way you really need to respect her feelings. That is also what you do for someone you love.

I agree that you need to get away and do something to make yourself happy. I do not agree that you have a right to impose this onto your girlfriend just because you want her to go with you. You need it. If she decides that she doesn't need or want it, you are going to have to find some other way to deal with your feelings.

Are there a lot of things she is going to be doing to prepare for uni once she gets back? Maybe that is her concern about taking any more time off. Does she work? She might legitimately not have any more time off. She may not have the money regardless of who paid for her last trips.

If there are no major reasons for her not wanting to go, then perhaps you explaining you feelings to her will cause her to change her mind and go away somewhere where you can enjoy being together. Could you look into places not far away where you could go inexpensively? Perhaps a long weekend at the beach or something? I know my husband and I just had a surprise 4 days given to us on a nearby lake and I was stunned at how relaxing it was--we normally go in for more active getaways but we really needed this one to recharge.

I truly think that regardless of what she decides, you should plan something for yourself and try to enjoy some of your vacation time before school starts back.

Wishing you all the best!