View Full Version : Depression/ADHD


Toss4n
11-05-15, 09:41 AM
So basically I've been having issues lately with always feeling like I should be doing something else, which interferes with me enjoying the thing I am currently supposed to be enjoying (like when going on a trip). I actually feel stressed out when my GF suggest we do something unproductive like go out for a walk, just because I know I have a heap of stuff I want to, or should, do, but never got around to (did something else instead). The thing is even though I feel this way, I can very rarely seem to get anything productive done anyways.

Anyone else in the same boat, and if so how did you get over it? :confused:

Fuzzy12
11-05-15, 10:54 AM
Yup, I'm EXACTLY the same. I'm so busy procrastinating the things I have to do that I don't get any time to do things I want to do. I feel super guilty to do any leisure activity because I've always got a never ending and growing to-do list.

I used to spend most of my time working (or rather trying to work but not being able to), including late nights and weekends but I'm trying to cut down on that. Sometimes you need to prioritise things that are fun, things that help you feel better, things that you find stimulating. These things can be as important (if not more) as work and if you never give yourself time to relax you will sooner or later burn out (even if you aren't actually managing to get anything productive done..you can still burn out).

I found I was not just happier but also more productive when I did allow myself to every day do something just for me, a hobby, or whatever. Being depressed or stressed doesn't really help your productivity.

sarahsweets
11-05-15, 11:08 AM
Its an endless cycle. The only things that made it better for me were meds and therapy.

Toss4n
11-05-15, 12:02 PM
Its an endless cycle. The only things that made it better for me were meds and therapy.

At least there is hope then, because it really sucks and I can't even remember the last time I did something fun without feeling guilty about it and not being able to enjoy it properly (having others remind you of your misdeeds certainly doesn't help).

Delphine
11-05-15, 02:54 PM
The sense of "always feeling like I should be doing something else" has haunted me my entire life.

At school, no matter what assignment I was working on, I had this nagging feeling that I should be working on another.

Same for house cleaning... whatever task I start with, I feel I should have started with another. Same for gardening...
.....Same for work projects, same for lots of things.

When I go for a walk, I feel I should be getting on with work projects.... when I am getting on with projects, I should be taking a nice walk.

For me its a constant, low-grade anxiety. A nagging feeling rather than a big deal. Even when I am efficiently getting on with something that is top of my priority list, I feel guilty for not walking the dogs, or some such other thing.

I've learned to live with it, but would love if anyone out there has found their way to freedom from that!

If so, pleeeaaase do share!

TangledWebs
11-05-15, 06:57 PM
I actually feel stressed out when my GF suggest we do something unproductive like go out for a walk, just because I know I have a heap of stuff I want to, or should, do, but never got around to (did something else instead). The thing is even though I feel this way, I can very rarely seem to get anything productive done anyways.

I've been in the same boat for sure. I'm on Adderall XR, yet, I still have to force myself to be productive. I'm more likely to become depressed when I'm medicated as well. Personally, I have found when I don't take my medication, I don't feel guilty about being lazy or irresponsible. When I'm unmedicated, I live in the moment and I'm more of a free spirit. Since I generally lack the ability to concentrate on or ruminate over one thing for a long period of time, I'm less likely to become depressed or feel guilty. With an improved ability to focus, I'm more likely to fixate on the negatives and think about how my current choices are affecting my future.

I'm uncertain if this is a common feeling among ADHDers. :scratch:

Polymorphed
11-05-15, 07:25 PM
This cycle of procrastination to guilt and back again is one of the most common battles people with ADHD have in common. Others may perceive it as laziness and over time, these critical opinions can affect how we see ourselves, particularly if we are not clear at the time that we have a medical condition underpinning the problem.

Being correctly medicated can make daily tasks childsplay in terms of mental energy required, not to mention that the improved dopaminergic function will help us make positive reward associations with productive behaviour, so motivation will naturally increase.

Therapy is still required for most people (especially those who have developed bad habits due to a late-life diagnosis). But I feel that as long as you are getting the most out of your medication, you should really just find yourself starting and finishing things without even really thinking about it too much.

My own biggest challenge is the early evening, where I have a lot of responsibilities, but I'm no longer properly medicated. I'm still working on solutions :)

GL!

TangledWebs
11-05-15, 07:28 PM
The sense of "always feeling like I should be doing something else" has haunted me my entire life.

At school, no matter what assignment I was working on, I had this nagging feeling that I should be working on another.

Same for house cleaning... whatever task I start with, I feel I should have started with another. Same for gardening...
.....Same for work projects, same for lots of things.

When I go for a walk, I feel I should be getting on with work projects.... when I am getting on with projects, I should be taking a nice walk.

For me its a constant, low-grade anxiety. A nagging feeling rather than a big deal. Even when I am efficiently getting on with something that is top of my priority list, I feel guilty for not walking the dogs, or some such other thing.

Exactly, Delphine!

I'm just like, "...I need to do this, I need to do this, and I need to do this *BOOM, ANXIETY*...I should be doing this instead of this, why am I not doing this? *BOOM, DEPRESSION* Ugh, I need to do this, too! There are a ton of things I need do, and I'm not getting things done fast enough. *BOOM, MORE ANXIETY AND DEPRESSION* I should have done this instead of this... or, I should have done this before or after this... Go, go, go!"

:umm1:

I have to go without Adderall at least two or three days a week in order to keep my sanity.

Polymorphed
11-05-15, 07:38 PM
Exactly, Delphine!

I'm just like, "...I need to do this, I need to do this, and I need to do this *BOOM, ANXIETY*...I should be doing this instead of this, why am I not doing this? *BOOM, DEPRESSION* Ugh, I need to do this, too! There are a ton of things I need do, and I'm not getting things done fast enough. *BOOM, MORE ANXIETY AND DEPRESSION* I should have done this instead of this... or, I should have done this before or after this... Go, go, go!"

:umm1:

I have to go without Adderall at least two or three days a week in order to keep my sanity.

What you describe is known as rumination (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rumination_(psychology)). Cognitive behavioural therapies are usually the best approach in terms of re-programming these destructive thought patterns.

My wife is particularly affected by this kind of guilt cycle and has found DBT (dialectic behavioural therapy) quite helpful. She also finds it helpful to write up a daily chores type list in the morning and work her way through it. That way, regardless of which tasks is being performed, the commitment to duty is being met. It also helps her minimise becoming overwhelmed.

If you feel less pressed/anxious while on your Adderall holidays, then it could be an indication of adrenal fatigue caused by the stimulation. There are quite a number of effective approaches to lowering anxiety in these situations.

I recently posted a thread exploring the use of Clonidine as a sleep aide, which also has the effect of relaxing the sympathetic tone (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sympathetic_nervous_system) and, over time, will help to offset the anxiety symptoms.

:grouphug:

Delphine
11-05-15, 07:51 PM
Fab information on both posts, Polymorphed, thank you!

It's also very relaxing to realise that so many of you share this dilemma (wish you didn't, if you know that I mean.... wish none of us was familiar with any of this!)

- but it is nice to know that this is not yet another of my personal failings, and that maybe I can look forward to a bit of relief from this once the meds programme begins.

(btw...Have kicked that appointment off till after my hols...hope that's not more procrastination... but it feels right to me)

Polymorphed
11-05-15, 08:34 PM
Fab information on both posts, Polymorphed, thank you!

It's also very relaxing to realise that so many of you share this dilemma (wish you didn't, if you know that I mean.... wish none of us was familiar with any of this!)

- but it is nice to know that this is not yet another of my personal failings, and that maybe I can look forward to a bit of relief from this once the meds programme begins.

(btw...Have kicked that appointment off till after my hols...hope that's not more procrastination... but it feels right to me)

Makes complete sense to feel comforted by the fact you're not alone!

You know, I often feel guilty for not feeling guilty about not doing things I should. :giggle: I think the past 15 years of trying to get through life the best I can, I developed a way to ignore the guilt! Now that I am medicated I can see that I should in fact be more productive and stop finding excuses for myself.

So the fact that you feel the guilt is not necessarily a bad thing - it is an indication that you appreciate that you have a balance to find between work and play. It's a mature outlook. Beating yourself up over it or creating anxiety loops is not helpful though, obviously.

The key message in thought pattern therapies is to weigh things up objectively and bring things back down to reality so that you can focus more on what you HAVE achieved and flip your outlook around to a more positive one. It's a skill that can take time to develop, but has a high success rate!

A therapeutic medicine regime can really flip things completely around though. I hope this is the case for yourself and the OP!

Cheers

TangledWebs
11-05-15, 08:53 PM
What you describe is known as rumination (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rumination_(psychology)).

:faint:

YES! I am a habitual ruminator and worrier. I have problems... I need help.

If you feel less pressed/anxious while on your Adderall holidays, then it could be an indication of adrenal fatigue caused by the stimulation.

That's actually a really good point. I should ask my doctor to check my adrenal gland function.

I recently posted a thread exploring the use of Clonidine as a sleep aide, which also has the effect of relaxing the sympathetic tone (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sympathetic_nervous_system) and, over time, will help to offset the anxiety symptoms.

I'm definitely going to be asking my psychiatrist about Clonidine. Thanks! :grouphug:

Delphine
11-05-15, 09:17 PM
....The key message in thought pattern therapies is to weigh things up objectively and bring things back down to reality so that you can focus more on what you HAVE achieved and flip your outlook around to a more positive one. It's a skill that can take time to develop, but has a high success rate!

A therapeutic medicine regime can really flip things completely around though. I hope this is the case for yourself and the OP!

Cheers

I love all of your post and find it very helpful, thank you.
But this part..... that I've isolated... is a conundrum for me (maybe others too..?)

The ability to focus more on what I have achieved is a real weak point.

Whatever awards/ accolades/ positive feedback I receive, it doesn't 'hit' my reward centres..... I like it, it's nice.... but it doesn't feel real or empowering or change anything! Is that normal?

Criticism can numb me.... but not always.... sometimes I can be measured about that too, but always because of some kind of cognitive input.

Sometimes when people say "you must be delighted" (about positive feedback), I play along and know that I 'should' feel some kind of sense of achievement. But truth is, I don't really. I wish I did. It sounds lovely!

I know, cognitively, that I'm lucky to have received much positivity... but somehow I don't feel it, or any better about myself because of achievements.

Is this normal? Or is it something I need to personally work on?
... to learn how to absorb positive feedback to feel good about myself because of it? How to 'flip my outlook around...?'

Maybe this is off topic. If so, sorry.... and ignore my rantings....

Or maybe it's time to start meds alright :)

Polymorphed
11-05-15, 09:32 PM
:faint:

YES! I am a habitual ruminator and worrier. I have problems... I need help.



That's actually a really good point. I should ask my doctor to check my adrenal gland function.



I'm definitely going to be asking my psychiatrist about Clonidine. Thanks! :grouphug:




If the dose of Clonidine is too high, the alpha-2 receptors can become saturated with Clonidine. Any further increase in Clonidine only increases its norepinephrine-like stimulant effects. Thus, past a certain dose, Clonidine works primarily as a stimulant rather than as a norepinephrine-reducing agent. It would cause insomnia, rather than sedation.

Care must be taken when used with stimulants, such as amphetamines. When a stimulant and Clonidine are working simultaneously, the stimulant can overpower Clonidine's alpha-2 agonist effects (it's norepinephrine-reducing effects). This means Clonidine will work primarily as a stimulant which has additive effects with the stimulant medication. This can cause significant problems such as tachycardia or other arrhythmias. A lot of physicians don't realize this, thinking Clonidine only has Alpha-2 agonist effects, not stimulant effects, since the alpha-2 agonist effects are the only ones listed in textbooks. When used in combination, my preference is to limit Clonidine to the evening so that its effects can wear out by the time a stimulant is started in the morning. Then, the simultaneous stimulant effects can be avoided as much as possible. I would avoid giving Clonidine in the daytime along with a stimulant. Since many psychiatrists if not most of them do not take vitals as I do, they may not realize they are causing tachyarrhythmias in the kids they treat with Clonidine and stimulants in the daytime. As I said above, the world "selective" is a weasel-word in pharmacology. A receptor-selective medication is not totally receptor-selective, it works on other receptors as well.


Here is some handy info that your psych may or may not be aware of. Please also note that Intuniv (Guanfacine (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guanfacine)) is generally considered a superior approach if day time dosing is required, as it has extended release properties. Clonidine if used during the day must typically be taken 3 to 4 times a day as it has a rather fast release and short half-life.

Clonidine is perfectly suitable as a night time only solution (as explored above in the quote from expert Dr. Romeo Mariano.

Cheers

PS I think it's worth adding that when referring to adrenal fatigue, we are typically looking at chronic over-activation of the SNS (Sympathetic Nervous System (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sympathetic_nervous_system)). Here is a great article (http://www.wisebrain.org/ParasympatheticNS.pdf)explaining its role in our physiology, as well as how to counteract its negative effects.

Polymorphed
11-05-15, 11:35 PM
I love all of your post and find it very helpful, thank you.
But this part..... that I've isolated... is a conundrum for me (maybe others too..?)

The ability to focus more on what I have achieved is a real weak point.

Whatever awards/ accolades/ positive feedback I receive, it doesn't 'hit' my reward centres..... I like it, it's nice.... but it doesn't feel real or empowering or change anything! Is that normal?

Criticism can numb me.... but not always.... sometimes I can be measured about that too, but always because of some kind of cognitive input.

Sometimes when people say "you must be delighted" (about positive feedback), I play along and know that I 'should' feel some kind of sense of achievement. But truth is, I don't really. I wish I did. It sounds lovely!

I know, cognitively, that I'm lucky to have received much positivity... but somehow I don't feel it, or any better about myself because of achievements.

Is this normal? Or is it something I need to personally work on?
... to learn how to absorb positive feedback to feel good about myself because of it? How to 'flip my outlook around...?'

Maybe this is off topic. If so, sorry.... and ignore my rantings....

Or maybe it's time to start meds alright :)

What you describe is likely the same struggle most ADHDers go through, myself included. Regarding normality; how can one really define normality when there is clearly no exact baseline; gene expression and the differences between one person and another are what make LIFE what it is. Else we'd all be biological robots, forever frozen in time with no evolutionary purpose.

In any case, it's certainly "normal" under your circumstances and mine!

I think once you have pharmalogical support, changing your outlook will become much easier and over time it becomes easier and easier (thanks to improved impulse control and a much more balanced mood) to take a step back and reflect on thoughts before locking them down and letting them affect you. :thankyou: :)