View Full Version : Only ADHD symptoms? looking for input


MacDemarco
09-25-17, 12:17 PM
Hello

I'm not sure if this is the right forum.

This is my first post, and i might start of telling that english is not my mother tongue, so please bear with me for any whoopsies in the following.

So, a little about myself - I'm 23 years old, i study law, and i was diagnosed with ADHD at age 15.

My childhood-environment was pretty tough. My dad would physically and mentally abuse me from time to time, which i think has made me terrified of sudden loud noises and sudden movements (as if someone is about to hit me) - and it has probalby caused a bit more - He had periods where he would just leave the family in a very dark mood, stay out for a few days till a week tops, and then return as if nothing happened. In these periods he would make suicidal gestures and cheat on my mom. Not surprisingly, I was constantly alert, waiting for the next bomb to go off. I became aware of his facial expressions, trying to learn when to talk to him or not. My mother told me a few years ago, that I frequently asked her why he was mad, even though he wasn't. I would overanalyze every facial expression, and act on them.

I wasn't an easy child myself, but it's quite recent, that i've started to accept the fact, that his behavior cannot be excused by my own bad behavior. Up until then, I’ve always rationalized it by thinking I deserved it, for being out of reach.

Where am i going with this? - I have really bad nightmares about the beatings, and people leaving me, on a regular basis, and those nightmares were what recently made me realize, that i might have some problems, that can't be explained by ADHD. It made me think about my life in general, and I discovered some patterns, I don’t like.

First of - relations: I get friends easily, but I don’t keep them. I’ve had a lot of “best friends”, but I somehow always feel they betray me. I feel as my life can be divided into many chapters, containing different main characters, with intense relations, and then suddenly, I get really mad or disappointed with them, and the friendship is over. My disappointment is often caused by an irrational perception of what is happening. For instance, I tend to lose it, when I ask people if they want to hang out, and they bring up a legit excuse – I hate myself, I hate them, and I feel that I never can trust them again.

I hate being alone, and because of that, I’m seeing a girl living in the same block as me. She is nice and understanding, and she provides a lot of comfort and reassurance. Even though I’m seeing her, I still sleep with other girls, and I’ve always done it. I know the mandatory phrase “yes, I feel really bad about cheating.” But I don’t. The relation with her is all about getting what I want. Comfort and reassurance, and if she finds out, I can just get another one. (I know I sound like a ****ty person, but I prefer being an honest *******). I really do like her, but my perception of her differs from time to time, going from total idealization and passion, and wanting to do all sorts of things for her, to not giving a F***, and focusing on every bad thing about her, and sometimes regretting that I’m with her.

I was dating a 33 year old woman for a year, and I was really struggling in that relationship, since I never trusted her, and always felt like I had to perform in some way, to feel loved. We were really close, and even though I tell myself that I loved her, I don’t think I did. I idealized her, in a not-healthy way. It killed me. One time I was at her apartment, and she would be on her phone once in a while. I lost control, yelling at her, that I didn’t felt noticed at all, and that I didn’t matter. Things get better again, but after a few weeks she takes quite some time to answer my messages while I’m travelling in Africa, and I lose it again. I cut her of, and our relationship stops from one day to the other.

I keep “girlfrends” and friends at an arms length, never letting them get too close, risking that they might disappoint or leave me. I make up excuses to leave when I’m with someone, to avoid them leaving me. I wont let people feel that I do what I do, and I somehow manage to camouflage every single manipulative trick I know.

My self worth is entirely dependent on how much people like me. The slightest hint of people devaluating me can turn me into a really unpleasant person. I don’t listen to WHAT people are saying, I listen to HOW they say it, or at least how I feel they say it. I see hostility where there is none. An example is an oral examination in high school a few years ago. I’m usually doing quite well in school, not straight A-student, but close, and this time I got a D. I rushed out the room, and went to the bathroom nearby, and started kicking the door until I started bleeding a lot. I felt my teacher personally attacked and ridiculed me, even though I had made a terrible presentation. This is only one example, out of many.

I’ve started doing a lot of drugs, taking really high doses. I don’t really care if I OD. I fantasize about killing myself, and often plan on how to do it.

I went to my psych a week ago and told him about the abuse. He listened and gave some advise on how to live with it, but all I felt was him letting me down, and belittling my problems. I was so mad with him, that I went home and took 10 seroquel, and drank a lot of alcohol. I started cutting on and off a year ago, after being hospitalized after a severe break down and huge fight with my family.

I often experience a sudden shift in my sexual orientation – in one moment I’m attracted to girls, and the next I fantasize about boys, and lose every interest in the opposite sex. Over time, this turns into guilt and frustration, since simply don’t know what I am.

A close friend who managed to stay close despite me treating her like garbage recently told me, that I could either suffer from BPD or PTSD. I don’t know myself, I’m not looking for a diagnosis – I’m looking for input from other ADHD’ers. Since I’ve only experienced life through my own eyes, I cant tell if I’m overreacting to my own self image. Is this normal?

Thank you for reading this very long post 

aeon
09-25-17, 12:47 PM
It might be called normal for someone who has experienced chronic traumatic abuse in childhood that included physical and emotional abuse, as well as disruptions to attachment based on repeated threat of abandonment.

Your friend is likely on to something, but as you said, there’s no need for diagnosis here.

I would advise you to find a therapist to talk to who specializes in issues of childhood abuse.

I tell you this because I didn’t, and it only prolonged my drug addiction, pain, and suffering as I tried to forget/escape the memories of my own childhood.

I will tell you this...it is possible to heal, so you have reason to hope, even if it will perhaps be one of the greatest challenges of your life.


Well Wishes,
Ian

Greyhound1
09-25-17, 07:46 PM
A close friend who managed to stay close despite me treating her like garbage recently told me, that I could either suffer from BPD or PTSD. I donít know myself, Iím not looking for a diagnosis Ė Iím looking for input from other ADHDíers. Since Iíve only experienced life through my own eyes, I cant tell if Iím overreacting to my own self image. Is this normal?

Welcome to the forum! Sorry to hear about your issues.

I wanted to directly address your final question. There really is no "normal" but it does sound like you are greatly overreacting compared to what many would consider "normal". Overreacting only because you experienced a great amount of abuse and you still have some unresolved issues it sounds like to me.

I know what aeon has been through and he already gave you the best advice possible imo. He has lived with your pain and knows what it takes to get thru it. He is a successful survivor. Please trust his words!

Best wishes on improvement!

MacDemarco
09-26-17, 04:13 AM
@aeon thank you for reading my post, and sharing your thoughts - I really apprecieate it. I felt like dealing with some big taboos sharing it on an online public forum, but it actually feels good.

I have a follow-up doctors appointment during next week, and hopefully he'll give me the same advise. What makes it all harder, is the fact that my dad (who is a psychologist himself, believe it or not) has told me my entire life, that there are no good psychologists, and they're only trying to fix their own problems. I believe, when you're told such things throughout life, you develop a huge fear of being let down again, after sharing some difficult thoughts.

My psychiatrist, who i respected a lot, told me the same thing. "I'm not sure i know any psychologists, who will be able to help you".

The patterns i discovered, and mentioned in my first post only seem Inappropriate to me, when others tell me about them. I can justify everything i do in my head, and it feels as it's the most reasonable thing to do to me.

That makes it even more difficult, when two of the persons i know, with a lot of knowledge in the field, both tells me, that i can't be helped.

Nonetheless, I'll keep on going. I don't believe i can't be helped.

Thank you again.

sarahsweets
09-26-17, 04:30 AM
Therapy is what comes to mind. Especially since you have had suicidal ideation in the past.

aeon
09-26-17, 10:40 AM
@aeon thank you for reading my post, and sharing your thoughts - I really apprecieate it. I felt like dealing with some big taboos sharing it on an online public forum, but it actually feels good.

My heart goes to all who have had a rough start.

What makes it all harder, is the fact that my dad (who is a psychologist himself, believe it or not) has told me my entire life, that there are no good psychologists, and they're only trying to fix their own problems.

Well, at least we can say your dad is a cynic, and maybe he is jaded.

My psychiatrist, who i respected a lot, told me the same thing. "I'm not sure i know any psychologists, who will be able to help you".

And perhaps your psychiatrist doesnít know any...but that doesnít mean they do not exist.

The patterns i discovered, and mentioned in my first post only seem Inappropriate to me, when others tell me about them. I can justify everything i do in my head, and it feels as it's the most reasonable thing to do to me.

This makes sense to me...for you can only act from that which you know, and the environment that shaped you. That is part of why therapy can help, because it can show you examples of human relationship that may be outside of your awareness or understanding.

That makes it even more difficult, when two of the persons i know, with a lot of knowledge in the field, both tells me, that i can't be helped.

Knowledge of the field only goes so far, and it perhaps points to a truth, but certainly isnít the whole of it.

Also, that is why I recommended finding a therapist with experience in the field of childhood trauma. Those without such experience are going to be ill-prepared as it concerns helping you to help yourself.

Nonetheless, I'll keep on going. I don't believe i can't be helped.

That alone, more than anything else you could say, is a predictor of your chance to succeed.

You may be bent, but you are not broken.


Blessťd Be,
Ian