View Full Version : I'm feeling lost and confused...


Calixta
03-14-14, 04:37 PM
I was diagnosed with ADHD and secondary depression about 4 months ago and it's been a roller coaster, to say the least. I've been working with a therapist since then and have been medicating (for ADHD) for ~2 months.

I've picked up "coping skills" for my depression such as knitting, Buddhist teachings, and mindfulness. I've also been making conscious efforts to be more social, and to make time for fun things, to reduce stress, and to not be so hard/critical toward myself all the time.

When I first began this journey, I was hopeful...genuinely hopeful. But my hope has since waned. Despite my efforts to pull myself out of this depression, I can't help but feel like I'm just forcing myself to do these things in hopes that I'll develop habits that resemble normalcy. If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, is it really a duck?

I will admit that the crushing guilt and tremendous pressure that I felt for the longest time has been greatly lessened. But at the same time, I just can't shake the lethargy and apathy that I have for almost everything. Sure, I can force myself to hang out with my friends and smile until my cheeks hurt but I don't want to be there. I'm neither present nor engaged. I'm counting down the minutes until I can go home and lay in bed by myself.

When it comes to my ADHD, I realize that I am different. My goal with that is not to be "normal" but to be "functional" and I still have a lot of work I need to do to meet that goal...but I'm working on it. While with regard to my depression, my goal is not to be a "functional" shell of a person that can act the part of "normal", but I want to be normal again!

I feel like "functional" with ADHD is a much more concrete idea than "normal" without depression. I'm not trying to downplay my ADHD or anything. I realize that with ADHD, I have to relearn how to do a lot of things that have been conditioned into me. But right now, I feel like relearning those things is far more attainable than wrestling with the demons inside of me.

I guess my question is: how do you know when you come out of a depression? Like how do you truly know? Is this the best that I can hope for or am I simply floundering on a plateau toward my full recovery? If it's a plateau, how can I move forward?

I suppose the uncertainty is the toughest part right now and I'm struggling.

sarahsweets
03-15-14, 08:04 AM
Are you taking any medication for your adhd or depression?

Calixta
03-15-14, 08:11 AM
Yes, I have been taking Adderall for my ADHD for almost 2 months now.

DistractedLemur
03-17-14, 05:51 PM
Four months since you've been diagnosed isn't really such a long time in the grand scheme of things. Compare that time, for example, to how long you've struggled without knowing why.

I think your goal should be to be 'exceptional' rather than 'functional'. My own efforts to find out about ADHD have led me to believe that it's certainly real, but I'm just not sure I believe it's a 'disorder'. There seem to be many exceptional people who are ADHD and the problems seem to occur when you're trying to be the star shaped peg fitting into the square hole.

My own view on depression is that if your life is great and you still feel terrible then it's depression, otherwise feeling miserable can be a totally logical and rational reaction to being unhappy with things in your life.

You know when you're out of it when you can say to yourself 'Yikes, I was really depressed back then!'.
It *does* get better, my hunch tells me this is a plateau for you.

Is physical exercise amongst your coping strategies?
A councillor once told to me about the value of running for depression. I didn't feel like I was being taken seriously at the time, but now I regard it as a fundamental.
Good diet, sleep, exercise, hydration and living situation.
Sort these and you are ready to take on the problems in your life. I preach more than I practice. :)

Calixta
03-17-14, 10:22 PM
Four months since you've been diagnosed isn't really such a long time in the grand scheme of things. Compare that time, for example, to how long you've struggled without knowing why.

I think your goal should be to be 'exceptional' rather than 'functional'. My own efforts to find out about ADHD have led me to believe that it's certainly real, but I'm just not sure I believe it's a 'disorder'. There seem to be many exceptional people who are ADHD and the problems seem to occur when you're trying to be the star shaped peg fitting into the square hole.

My own view on depression is that if your life is great and you still feel terrible then it's depression, otherwise feeling miserable can be a totally logical and rational reaction to being unhappy with things in your life.

You know when you're out of it when you can say to yourself 'Yikes, I was really depressed back then!'.
It *does* get better, my hunch tells me this is a plateau for you.

Is physical exercise amongst your coping strategies?
A councillor once told to me about the value of running for depression. I didn't feel like I was being taken seriously at the time, but now I regard it as a fundamental.
Good diet, sleep, exercise, hydration and living situation.
Sort these and you are ready to take on the problems in your life. I preach more than I practice. :)

Haha, I realize that 4 months is only the beginning of my efforts but I guess the uncertainty about my future is what's getting to me. I just feel like I've lost control and that I surrendered my autonomy to my depression for so long that I don't know how I should feel anymore. And now that I'm getting help, I have this squad of people telling me what to do and pulling me in one direction while my darkness insists on trying to pull me in another. It's like a tug-of-war and I'm the little flag in the middle of the rope being yanked back and forth. Where are they trying to pull me? I don't know.

I just want to feel in control of my own life again. I've been following orders from so many different sources that it's just so overwhelming and I have no idea where I'm going. I know where I want to be but as of now I'm trying to follow these people in hopes that they are taking me to where I need to go. I trust them, I do. But I still can't help but ask questions.

And yes, my ADHD plans of functionality include being exceptional. I guess when I said "functional" I was alluding to the fact that I've always known that I've been capable of much much more than I was producing. Boundless potential is useless if you can't tap into it. My potential is my superpower, and like one of the X-Men, I just have to learn how to harness it.

I'll have to try exercising too. More exercise is never a bad thing, depressed or not.

But thank you so much for your kind words! They made me feel better and I appreciate your input!

Tabbycat
03-18-14, 10:56 AM
I understand that tug-of-war feeling very well. I think you are on the right path, trying to move away from the darkness. It is very reasonable to question things - in fact, I take that as a sign of improvement (if that makes sense - it shows you are interested in things, incl. yourself & your care).

I've had several depressive episodes (in one right now) - sadly, I never see the train coming until it's too late. I think you know things are getting better when the days are less of a struggle, when you feel 'okay' rather than dark.

I am very glad you have a 'squad' in your corner.

Jace1973
03-18-14, 01:59 PM
I think it took me about 8-12 months after getting on medication, adjusting to it and coming out my depression haze. Not sure when I realized I came out of it, it wasn't a light bulb moment but just a reflection of the past and a realization that I was in a bad spot mentally and physically and present me was a completely different person. It's an emotional roller coaster but it does get better.