View Full Version : Untangling this mental mess...

11-22-16, 02:04 AM

This is my first post on this forum. I’m hoping I can get a clearer picture of what I am going through by hearing from people that have been through similar issues as I am quite confused with it all at the present. I apologise if this gets long, I’ll try to only include important bits.

I’m going to start with my high school years (age 12 to 18) as I think they are pretty important. Throughout all of high school I was a heavily devoted student focused on doing well. I found it a bit hard fitting in at school so I suppose I used study as a bit of a coping mechanism in that regard. I had friends outside of school that I found I had better relationships with. The later years for me at school were regarded by me as ‘important’ so I always made sure I knuckled down and worked hard. And the results I earnt reflected my efforts.

At the end of high school in Australia you sit the HSC (Higher School Certificate) which is considered a fairly big thing leading up to University. It was the months leading up to these exams that I became aware that I was being heavily affected by anxiety. I was putting so much pressure on myself to do well. I was concerned with continuing my successful streak of grades and I finally cracked... There was one exam in particular that I believe was the main worry and that was one that required me to memorise 3 essays. That to me was like a brick wall. I just couldn’t see how I could possibly achieve that. I ended up getting estimated marks as I wasn’t able to sit the exam and it was then that I started on anti-depressants.
Since then I have come to know anxiety quite well and have tried multiple anti-depressants. It has interrupted my further education and work life and sent me into depressive episodes. In fact I find myself in a very depressed state at the moment.

However, THIS is the main reason why I want to make this post. Ever since high school I have felt mentally slow in comparison to others around me. Difficulty processing what people are saying to me. Having trouble listening and paying attention to people talking to me. I find myself in frequent daydreaming periods throughout most of my days, blank stares almost. It got me thinking whether something else could be at play rather than just anxiety and depression… That’s where I started reading about ADHD and having it exist or get misdiagnosed as anxiety and depression in some. As soon as I started reading about ADHD I was relating to a lot of the symptoms but I kept asking myself ‘What about the hyperactivity? Where is that in me?’.

It got me thinking back to my primary school days (age 6 to 12). In comparison to me in high school this period could not be any more different. I was one of the most disruptive students in class. Constantly getting into trouble and being sent to the principles office. I lost count how many times I got sent there haha. That is the case I have for the hyperactivity side of things but as I said earlier, my later years were completely different. Can hyperactivity leave an ADHD child as young as 12?

Anyway that is where I currently stand. I’m desperately looking for answers outside of anxiety and depression that could be causing this brain fog. People have told me that anxiety and depression can do exactly this to you but to be honest I have had stable periods where I still felt slow mentally… Thank you for those of you that made the effort to read all of that. You are absolute legends!

11-22-16, 02:47 AM
Hey Toby
Welcome to the forum! Check this link below out about ADHD. It goes over the criteria used to diagnose ADHD. Is very informative and may help you rule it out.

I have ADHD, OCD, been on over 10 different anti depressant meds. and crazy anxiety issues. I can usually tell the difference concerning my feelings and emotions and mental struggles.

I mean, I can identify what is causing my big mental mistakes, failures in life, and usually why I feel a certain way. I have experienced what you describe many times and battle against it every day. I wouldn't underestimate the power of anxiety and depression if I were you. They can mimic many of the symptoms of ADHD and be very confusing.

With ADHD it begins in childhood and has impaired your life in many areas. Best wishes on your journey to a proper diagnosis and healthier mind. Been there, still there, always be there but I won't give up. Enjoy the forum!

11-22-16, 03:27 AM
Thanks for the reply Greyhound1.

Hey Toby
I wouldn't underestimate the power of anxiety and depression if I were you. They can mimic many of the symptoms of ADHD and be very confusing.
Yes i am aware that anxiety and depression can have similar effects on your mental state. I think what interested me most about possible ADHD is the fact that a lot of people had been treated for mental disorders like anxiety yet weren't getting much relief from anti-depressants.

11-22-16, 03:44 AM
I am one of those people. Anxiety became a huge overwhelming issue for me panic attracts, OCD and all. I searched for the right treatment for well over a decade.

At age 45, I was finally diagnosed as ADHD. All the failed treatments is what alerted my Dr. to it being possibly a comorbid condition of ADHD. She was the first one to ever listen to all my life struggles. First question she asked was had I ever been evaluated for ADHD. I was very confused.

Many failed conventional treatments can definitely be a clue.

11-22-16, 06:10 AM
Adhd symptoms must have been present in childhood before the age of 12 and impair your life in 2 or more ways, in 6 or more areas in your life for it to be considered adhd. If that rings true for you then you should see someone.

02-23-17, 08:11 PM
ADHD is rarely alone from what I hear I'm so mad the Drs have not screened me for High FA

04-27-17, 11:43 AM
Hi Toby,

I think that adult ADHD is often overlooked in Australia, particularly the inattentive type. It is worth following up with a professional, I think that my ADHD added to my depression and anxiety.