View Full Version : Is this ADD, anxiety, or PTSD?


castalia
10-10-16, 08:34 PM
I need some insight here.

Three years ago, my dad (with whom I was very close) passed away and soon after I began a relationship with my boss that had a lot of ups and downs. He was also seeing another woman on and off at the same time, but given that I was bereaved, I was not thinking clearly and was hoping he'd leave her for good. Basically his inconsistent communication level with me, and the whole uncertainty with our relationship, triggered extreme anxiety in me to the point that I would stalk him online every hour and ask people where he was and who he was with. To cut a long story short, things ended when I moved away two years ago, and I have had a few flings with men since then.

My problem is that since my relationship with my boss and his uneven communication patterns, I have become extremely sensitive to the communication of men in general. If they go a day without communicating or take a while to respond/don't respond with enthusiasm, I get the feeling that they are either seeing someone else or want to string me along. I don't know whether this is ADD related, my anxiety, or some sort of PTSD.
I also would like to be able to treat it without therapy (can't afford it atm).
Any ideas?

kilted_scotsman
10-11-16, 05:44 PM
I'd be looking at whether the bereavement/grief process rather than thinking the relationship with your boss was the trigger for the anxiety.

The grieving process can dredge up all sorts of stuff from the depths of our subconscious....

From your description it doesn't look like ADHD or PTSD..... anxiety yes..... however it's likely to be related to something around your relationship with your father and the finality of his passing.

castalia
10-11-16, 06:44 PM
I'd be looking at whether the bereavement/grief process rather than thinking the relationship with your boss was the trigger for the anxiety.

The grieving process can dredge up all sorts of stuff from the depths of our subconscious....

From your description it doesn't look like ADHD or PTSD..... anxiety yes..... however it's likely to be related to something around your relationship with your father and the finality of his passing.

I agree. I was very close to him and he had a big part in forming my identity. But I still feel that I have ADD symptoms which I had since childhood.

castalia
10-11-16, 06:48 PM
Also, it's been over three years since dad passed away. I would assume things would get better by now but no.

kilted_scotsman
10-12-16, 06:31 AM
I was very close to him and he had a big part in forming my identity

Three years is a short time to move on from the death of a parent one was close to.

From the tiny amount of info in your posts, the symptoms you describe probably have little to do with PTSD or ADHD. The high anxiety you describe around "normal" interactions indicates something lodged deeper in the psyche.

It is a pity you choose not to visit a therapist. It is very difficult to unpick this stuff without one.

Over here there are low cost counselling services. If you were in the UK I would recommend CRUSE, a charitable bereavement counselling service. CRUSE takes referrals from a wide range of services, GP's as well as self-referral.

Their counsellors are familiar with the myriad strange ways loss of a loved one can impact one's life.

Socaljaxs
10-12-16, 10:47 AM
Three years ago, my dad (with whom I was very close) passed away

:grouphug: I unfortunately understand the pain and the impact associated with losing a parent. My mom passed away in January the day before my 32 birthday.

soon after I began a relationship with my boss that had a lot of ups and downs.He was also seeing another woman on and off at the same time, but given that I was bereaved, I was not thinking clearly and was hoping he'd leave her for good. Basically his inconsistent communication level with me, and the whole uncertainty with our relationship, triggered extreme anxiety in me to the point that I would stalk him online every hour and ask people where he was and who he was with. To cut a long story short, things ended when I moved away two years ago, and I have had a few flings with men since then.

My problem is that since my relationship with my boss and his uneven communication patterns, I have become extremely sensitive to the communication of men in general. If they go a day without communicating or take a while to respond/don't respond with enthusiasm, I get the feeling that they are either seeing someone else or want to string me along. I don't know whether this is ADD related, my anxiety, or some sort of PTSD.
I also would like to be able to treat it without therapy (can't afford it atm).
Any ideas?

My opinion is that isn't about your ADD. Just based on the information you have shared in your posts thus far, it sounds like this goes much deeper for you than just your boss and bereavement, this may have triggered future feelings but it sounds like this is something that started for you long before your boss.

However, while yes it is common for someone bereaving the Loss of a loved one to not think clearly or to behave differently than one normally would. The deep sorrow and loss felt does impact behaviors, thoughts and reaction..based on your history it may have impacted how you behaved during the relationship or even why you started and continued with it.

I'd be looking at whether the bereavement/grief process rather than thinking the relationship with your boss was the trigger for the anxiety.

The grieving process can dredge up all sorts of stuff from the depths of our subconscious....

From your description it doesn't look like ADHD or PTSD..... anxiety yes..... however it's likely to be related to something around your relationship with your father and the finality of his passing. :goodpost::thankyou:

Also, it's been over three years since dad passed away. I would assume things would get better by now but no.there isn't a time limit for grief. I know for myself I am forever changed from the loss of my mom.I don't think it's a getting better type of thing. Losing a loved one can change you. For me I'm not the same person I was before my mom passed, nor do I think I ever could be. I lost a part of myself when she passed.

castalia
10-12-16, 01:41 PM
I had a nervous breakdown in my early 20s which I believe was neurotransmitter related and changed my personality. After that I had all sorts of anxieties, including existential, health, panic attacks, etc. By my late 20s things had improved somewhat but then dad passed away.
I've used fantasy as an escape mechanism since my teenage years. Thus the love addiction I developed after dad's death. I should also note that before he died, I used to date much older men. After his death, the boss was the last older guy I dated. Then I began dating menu age or younger. I am making 33 years old btw.

ToneTone
10-12-16, 02:23 PM
Wow, this is a thorny question you raise.

It sounds like you're dealing with some deep insecurity ... and I don't know where that fits in clinical terms ...

It also seems you're unsure you can "read" the men you date. You may be having an unconscious reaction to dating someone who was married

The reasoning goes like this: because you saw how easily your boss got involved with you and was apparently able to hide it, now that you're seeking a monogamous relationship that awareness of how successfully your boss "cheated" is high on your mind.

In college, when I had a fling behind my girlfriend's back (or really between breakups--but I was hiding it), I got insanely jealous about her having a fling. Once I engaged in hiding and secrecy it made total sense that I would worry about and project such fears onto others.

These are definitely not issues easy to sort through without therapy. You're from NYC, so there should be some low-cost or sliding-scale centers around.

I'm just not sure that "anxiety" or "adhd" are the issues.

Good luck.

Tone

castalia
10-12-16, 05:02 PM
Sounds reasonable, but the boss was not married. He actually divorced five years before we got together. As someone else said, I doubt that the boss is the main issue. I still feel like anxiety and adhd are partly to blame.

ToneTone
10-12-16, 05:43 PM
Apologies! ... Boss wasn't married. He was occasionally seeing someone else. I stand corrected ...

And you know: dating a boss is also challenging in and of itself ... There is an imbalance in power in that situation ... even if the boss is fair and friendly, in the back of your mind, you know he could ruin your job. So really you had two insecurity-inducing factors going on with the boss ... One, he's seeing someone on the side ... that isn't exactly an ideal condition for feeling valued and appreciated for who you are ... and two, he's your boss ... I think both of those could encourage us to become really really vigilant about relationships.

On the matter of grief, I had multiple family members die in a short period of time ... and I'm thinking back to my dating behavior during this time ... and I think I did glom onto someone in part to have some "security." That relationship didn't work out, and the more I've learned about the person, the happier I am that it didn't work out.

Tone

castalia
10-12-16, 06:40 PM
To make matters worse, last night I dreamt that the boss and I were getting back together. It's been over two years now so go figure.

aeon
10-12-16, 07:02 PM
Also, it's been over three years since dad passed away. I would assume things would get better by now but no.

The passing of time doesn’t necessarily have any relevance to things being better, or not, inasmuch as it is not reasonable to think progress toward a desired goal occurs outside the application of conscious effort, i.e., it doesn’t “just happen.”


Well-Wishes,
Ian

stef
10-13-16, 06:26 AM
Castialia, I'm so sorry for your loss.

I lost my Dad 20 years ago and I really never quite got over the shock of it (he died unexpectedly), although i remember him fondly now. It's the loss itself that just wont register. I "tried" to grieve on the exact anniversary (I had to look up the date) and I just couldn't even wrap my mind around it. There is no timeline for these things.

I think it's great that you are looking into these issues and their possible sources :grouphug:

ToneTone
10-13-16, 06:13 PM
And you're right: ADHD can easily be playing a role. ADHD makes it harder to read the social cues of others. ADHD makes it harder to tune into our own feelings. ADHD, I think, makes it easy to go off on brain tangents that aren't really insightful about the current situation we're in.

ADHD makes it harder to step back and evaluate the life we're living and to think about whether we're dating the right kind of people for us, etc.

So yes, ADHD plays a role in every aspect of our lives. But it's not the only thing going on when it comes to relationships and love. We have family influences (some of which are blindingly obvious to others but which we in the family can't see or acknowledge). We have our own quirky personalities. We have previous relationships that have left that mark, for good and/or for bad.

Tone

castalia
10-13-16, 06:28 PM
Tone, yes, definitely! It could just be that the noise in our brains makes things more complicated, as does impulsivity. I can be thinking about three things at once or I can hyperfocused and not realize that the house is on fire so to speak.