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Old 10-13-04, 01:42 PM
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Post ADD college student questioning purpose, and life in general

I want to start with a quick bio, and backround info, its a little booring so please stick with me =).

So, I'm 24 now, I graduated from high school in '98 and jumped straight into a University. I had never been exposed to such freedom, and coupled with that i really didnt have any direction in college, it just seemed like the next step. So I think you all know where this is going, yes, i nearly failed out. I spent the next few years of my life working full time as a waiter and taking a few classes here and there at a community college. One day last year i came to the realization i was no longer content just being a waiter. Don't get me wrong, these years were and incredible experience and i have learned more waiting tables than you can imagine, but thats a different story. I decided i wanted to change the world, my friends around me were growing up and doing awesome things and I wanted to get out and do awesome things too. So over the summer i reapplied to the university and was accepted!!! I changed my major away from what i thought was a successful career to my one true gift in the scholastic area, English. The main concern however was that i am ADD, i cant sit down to study a book for anything, so i sought out a medication to help me focus. My doctor suggested Adderall, he explained how it works to me, and it seemed like a great idea. So i began school again with all the excitement of a little boy on Halloween. I took the Adderall and it worked great, i could focus, i could retain information, i could write notes like never before and i wasn't distracted anymore by everylittle sound, everylittle movement, or everylittle fleeting thought that crossed my fancy. It was incredible, and in many ways still is.

For those of you who don't have experience with Adderall, part of it is a stimulant(i think) and for the first few weeks it has the same effect as a high off a drug. For the first few weeks you feel euphoric, a feeling which your body adjusts to, but the focus part of the drug your body never adjusts to. So Adderall has always helped me to focus, but the euphoria wore off after a few weeks. Which is okay because that was never my goal of taking it.
For me... When the euphoria wore off in the evening it was replaced by a new feeling of emptiness, saddness, and lonliness. I took to the boards here to see if anyone else experienced this, and they have, its a depression, and it sucks. I have discovered i can counter this by not taking as much, and by forcing myself to socialize and be around people for the hour and a half or so that the depression lasts. However, when i take less it dosent work as well, so when i really need to buckle down and study for a test i take a little more Adderall and i can get more work done in 5 hours than i could in days w/o it, but of course the cost is that when evening rolls around it sucks.

Anyways thats all booring information, i hope your still with me because here is the heart of the post.

I'm taking a course on victorian prose and the general concept that seemed to plague the victorian writers is the same thing i feel. These writers were raised an awesome way, they got excited about life, they went out and did amazing things, and then they all crashed. They crashed into a state of depression of which nothing they used to do to make themselves happy anymore seemed to work. They had seen life a certain way, and they based their entire being on cultivating these beliefs and shaping the world around them to these beliefs, then they questioned the very nature of their beliefs and as John Stuart Mill says,
"In this frame of mind it occured to me to put the question directly to myself, 'Suppose that all your objects in life were realized; that all the changes in institutions and opinions which you are looking forward to, could be completely effected at this very instant: would this be a great joy and happiness to you?' And an irrepressible self-consciousness distinctly anwsered 'NO!'"
When I have studied myself out, when i cant stare at words on a page one moment longer, i finally pack it up for the evening, and as i begin to walk across campus to my car, or to the bus an irrepressible feeling of 'whats the point' washes over me. Not, whats the point of school, more, whats the point of Me, to quote Thomas Carlyle,
"Who am I; what is this ME? A Voice, a Motion, an Apperance;-some embodied, visualized Idea in the Eternal Mind? Cogito ergo sum. Alas poor Cogitator, this takes us but a little way. Sure enough, I am; and lately was not: but Whence? How? Whereto?"

I have been Christian my whole life, and the anwser within Christanity is of course that we are here to love our God, and love our neighboor. I have spent my whole life doing for others, I have been the "kindest, most outgoing" friend for many people, I have been the "sweetest, honest, most loving" boyfriend for 4 or 5 girls, and have been left to rot by all of them, all of whom still want to be best friends, still want me to be that sweet, kind, outgoing, person who listened to their problems and life stories and consoled them and guided them everystep of the way telling them what amazing persons they were because THEY ARE, because you ALL ARE, you just dont realize it. I do for others not out of some self-proclaimed responsibility, but because its my nature, I dont stop to think when i see someone glance up with bloodshot eyes then again bury their face in their sleeve I just want to go ask them whats wrong, I want to help, I want to bring joy to the world. But, no one... and this is what plagues me when I'm walking alone to my car, no one I know feels inclined to treat me as such. The 50 people in my cell phone only call when they want to be entertained, or consoled. The girlfriends I've had, who "loved" me could tell you little to nothing about my dreams, my hopes, my goals.

I try at every attempt to keep an open mind, I dont want to believe that what i feel is true, i walk into a group of friends and i wait for someone to acknowledge me, or ask me about my day, or ask me how my life is but they don't. And when they do, their attention isn't on me, it's flittering about as if as soon as i finish a word they have already forgotten what that word was. I changed my entire hair style and shaved off my goat-tee 2 weeks ago and no one said anything for two days, at which point i got so frustrated that I myself began to ask people if they noticed.
Before this life was simple, my mind was engaged in two things, what makes me happy, and what my responsibilities to survive were. The whole time my purpose in life was to honor God by serving man. But something changed now that I'm back at school, I feel like I opened a whole new part of my mind, a part that thinks deeply, and in that deep thinking I find amazing discoveries at the cost of amazing doubts. These questions have proliferated my life so that they no longer only come as my medication wears off, they now come anytime my mind isnt engaged with a responsibility, and they all seem so valid that i can't just dismiss them.
What is this ME? Is my real being in life to be able to connect deeply with all the people around me but never feel anyone connect deeply with me save God himself? Am i a trajedy, have i just not found the right friends, or do i shield myself from true connection with sub-conscious walls? Are these feelings real, if so am i to accept them as "life" and move on, if not how do i stop feeling them? I believe fully that life is beautiful, all around me are amazing creations, humanity itself is amazing, and everyone i know is beautiful, i have made it a point in my life to only surround myself with "good" "happy" "upbeat" people. I know there is purpose, and this purpose has to be good, life is to amazing for it not to be "good", but why then do i feel so unconnected...
Anyways I dont have anymore, i could dig deeper and deeper and ask question after question but You nor I would have a better understanding. I dont really expect any of you to understand in anymore than a sympathetic sense. I'm somewhat of a paradox, a generally happy go lucky guy with a deeply dark confused soul. This post probably dosent even belong here and will get banned, i was just hoping there was another peer out there who might truly understand. I believe that this is an age thing, i dont think you have time to ask these questions anymore once you "grow up". I also think it might be related to ADD, something like: because I have such a short attention span I lose focus of responsibilities, goals, and self-pleasure and the other alternative is to question purpose... I dont know. What do you think? Do you question life often? When you do, do you have anwsers? Do you question your purpose? When you do, do you have anwsers that satisfy you? I don't intend to get anyone down, but i believe everyone asks this question at some point in their life, so it dosent seem to harmful to get a headstart...
The Victorian writers who asked these questions all came up with anwsers which satisfied them enough to move on with their lives. Mill's goal of his youth was to create a society of Utility, his crash came when he realized if the society of Utility was created he still wouldnt be happy, thus he blamed his crash on his own lack of culture and social connections. Carlyle believed the crash is created by our scientific negation of the mystery and miracle of life, his resulting solution to find magic and miracles in spite of the mundane machine of logic and science. They found solutions, they found flaws in their world outlook and patched them up of sorts to see through the confusion.
What do you think...
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Old 10-13-04, 02:23 PM
paulbf paulbf is offline
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Ah, the old "meaning of life" thing. It does sound like maybe you are not paying enough attention to yourself in all that being nice to other people, it still has to be building up to something for you. Don't be afraid to be selfish. People will find you interesting only if you have something happening. If you are doing something interesting. Of course they will be interested if you have something of value to them but IMO the "something" is more likely to be truly interesting if it's done for your own selfish reasons. I know this sounds bad because it's a good thing to help people but really I think Mother Teresa does all that because it makes *her* feel good, not out of responsibility. She probably dissapointed her parents in not getting a nice sensible career & I can imagine they thought she was being selfish when she took that route. And she was being selfish.

I've got some misgivings about humans. I'm optimistic & not really such a cynic but frankly people are not that rewarding for me. Too much politics. So my life path is built around an appreciation of wild nature. That fills the desire for mystery & magic that you describe also. Much of it can be understood with science but those explanations don't come close to removing the inherent magic & beauty of nature. People... they can be so phony & insincere that it's really hard for me to maintain interest in human affairs. So I study nature & learn & I interact with people who find my knowledge interesting because they can see that I really take it seriously. I also have a strong interest in art & music though I'm not real good at either, they color my existence and are a couple other things which are not so poisoned with human shallowness. BTW I'm 40 & still not quite grown up though I think it's coming soon, I still have my share of problems for now.
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Old 10-13-04, 02:24 PM
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I question life often, and have found answers that work for me.

I question my purpose, and have found the answers pretty well...sometimes I find that I was off here or there, but I'm pretty close on...

I understand the happy-go-lucky guy with a confused soul problem...I am often embarrassed when people find out the real me under the extroverted me...part of being an introvert is having that "false front," compared to an iceberg, where you can see a little bit above water but there is infinitely more, hidden and submerged.

I would answer some more...but this can get into serious religious issues, and the language you use is very religious. I would remind you that it is the policy of ADDForums not to allow discussion of religious topics on the forums, boards, private messages, chatroom, or emails sent using the forums. If you want to talk about such things with me, though, you can contact me off the forums using the contact info provided in my profile...

All will be well.
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Old 10-14-04, 03:45 AM
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Your right Kmiller, looking back the language i used does cross the line and it seems to me these forums probably arent the place for feelings, emotions, and definatly not religion which always ties in with purpose.

I've been looking for the edit button for an hour and can't find it, so until i do i appoligize to anyone who finds my post off base, off topic, or offensive.
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Old 10-14-04, 10:29 AM
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It sounds to me like you ought to first talk to your doc about the post-Adderall depression. There might be something that can be done about it.

I don't think this post is inappropriate... probably does not belong in the college subforum, but that's a different question.

Purpose doesn't always tie in with religion, either. Think of the athiests.

The question you ask is a tough one because nobody here has an answer that will work for you. First and foremost, I would get the meds straightened out. That post-Adderall depression can only be making things worse. Then, maybe you can start answering the question.
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Old 10-14-04, 11:56 AM
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i agree with exeter...
i spent my entire 20's going through major deppression. i never understood why..i had an ideal boyfriend who loved me the way any girl would want, great friends, and i even had a great body (important if you're a girl LOL), of course i was a drop out from austin community college (which i suspect might be the community college you're talking about LOL, i'm in sprawly houston now)
i've even spent most of my younger years being suicidal...b/c of my pain, not b/c i felt like life wasn't worth it.
life is beautiful and worth it...but as for the meaning of it..
i just think there is no meaning
the only meaning that could ever be attributed to your life would be the meaning you GIVE it.
life doesn't happen to you. you complete your own transcendence whether that be with the divine help, or alternatively, your devine self.
or both!
(personally i'm going nuts about if something i say is appropiate or not. i am thoroughly a controversial person by nature)
i'm on adderall and i also take wellbutrin. wellbutrin is the only substance i've ever tried that has prevented me from thinking suicidal thoughts every single day.
so you could probably do w/ an antideppresant...
and no, i'm not saying you are suicidal. i'm just telling you how it helped me.
i'm 29 now. and i feel like i'm still 21
but BETTER.

believe me

it happens.....
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Old 10-20-04, 12:24 AM
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Smile

I can relate to your post. Last week I was evaluated for ADD and it took about 4 hours! I wont have the results for about another week or so.

Anyways, I constantly think these thoughts! I toss and turn at night thinking of why I exist and why people act the way they do. My husband will wonder why I sometimes cry for no particular reason it seems. But its really because I was thinking about a particular deep thought that would be way too complicated for me to explain to him.

I hate these thoughts. I would rather not think much and just enjoy life like everyone else. And these thoughts come random to me. I hope I get a diagnosis and medication to stop the racing thoughts and deep thinking.

Sometimes I wonder why Im in school. oh yeah, to get a job. But then what? oh yeah, get married, change the world, have kids. But then what? and why? Sometimes I feel like "whats the point?"

Yeah, I understand about "friends" calling because they want to be entertained or they want to tell you their sob stories. Did you know the most common words in someones dialog are the words "I" and "me"? Next time someone has a conversation with you, count how many times they say "I" and "me".

Thats not to say I am not guilty of doing this. Im thinking about nothing but myself at this very moment. Then I feel guilty. There are people starving and getting tortured on the other side of the world. I shouldn't or have no right to feel bad, right? So I feel like an awful person because I can't help feeling bad about myself. How freaking petty of me. Ah well.....

And Suq'Ata, If I were in your circle of friends I would have noticed your hair style and your shaved off goat-ee.
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Old 10-22-04, 01:01 AM
inautumnforfree inautumnforfree is offline
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i can relate all to well.

my problem was that i did have someone in my life who cared about me immensely. she accepted me for me, the one thing ive looked for for so long. It went from seeing her 3-5 days a week, talking to her just about everyday to nothing. havent heard or seen her in 3 weeks. made efforts to get in contact, yet nothing. its not like her, and its tearing me apart. ive realized how much i care and miss her.

so, yeah, im feeling pretty much the same as you right now.
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Old 11-01-04, 05:54 PM
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I want everyone here to know how much I appreciate your responses. It feels much better knowing that I'm not alone in this boat. I haven't come to any conclusions by any means, but I don't really think its an issue that ever gets "anwsered".

paulbf: I have started to be a little more selfish, i actually think thats some of what triggered the thoughts in the first place. As i mentioned, i spent my whole life giving of myself then I began to come to these realizations that there dosent seem to be any great reason for that. In a sense I think you all are seeing a transformation. Also, i have found a new appreciation for nature, I spend alot of time with my cat lately, shes sweet and reliable, and sometimes i swear she can tell if I'm upset.

Kmiller: I appreciate the cander of your post. I've seen you put people in their place a few times on these forums and the fact that you didn't here, to me, means something deeper than a paragraph can describe.

exeter: I have lowered my dose of Adderall, it seems to help alot with the post chemical depression. I still wonder all the same wonderments, just not to the emotional degree, kinda sad in a way...

f_wcomboadhd: I have never had a suicidal thought, but i appreciate the consideration. I have a hard time taking Adderall as is because of my adversion to chemicals in general. My doctor said i didnt need an anti-depressent as long as i lowered my dosage some, so I'm going to stay away from them for now. Your right, life is what you make it, thats what i tell myself at the end of an episode of depression and i move on...

Hopeless: Thank you for noticing my change in hairstyle =). You should note, however, that medication will stop the racing thoughts and help you focus, but what you focus on is still under control of your mind. If you find yourself dwelling even deeper into troubling thoughts be sure to tell your doctor right away.

inautumnforfree: I feel you more deeply than you can imagine. Throughout highschool and the beginning of college, for 3 years, i dated the perfect girl for me(I know were perfect for eachother because were still best friends and talk weekly, she knows it to, its just to far along to be anything but friends anymore). Anyways she professed to me for those 3 years how perfect we were and how much she wanted to marry me, our lives became intertwined in everyway imaginable, friends, family, future, etc... Then one day she said she was beginning to have doubts. I didnt take it to seriously because everyone has doubts now and again and she made it sound like she just wanted a little time to work things out in her head. Anyways a couple weeks later everything was back to normal. I bought a ring to propose to her now, and before i proposed in public i kinda wanted to hint it to her so she would be ready... That night we had a conversation, in that conversation she dumped me, my whole life at the time seemed shattered, everything i knew she was part of and it all was broken. Anyways its even harder in your case because she hasn't even told you whats going on, I had that a few months ago. I was going through all the normal relationship build up, and then after a month we kissed, an amazing kiss I'll note, then she dissappeared for a weekend with no trace. Needless to say i was deeply confused the whole weekend, my best wishes are out to you right now, at some point you have to say screw it and move on, but thats hard when you dont even know whats going on. I suggest setting a date for yourself, maybee a few days, maybee a week, and on that date you promise yourself you'll move on, then get all your feelings out between now and then.

Thank you all for your time, you have helped me more than you can know without seeing the glimmer in my eyes or the feeling the deepness of a hug.
-tommy
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Old 11-16-04, 07:58 AM
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yo suq'ata, my brother! I am a conflicted Christian, English major (4th college-10th year) ex-honor student, overanalyzer/intellectual/seeker, depressed/adhd dog too! We should chat sometime...do you IM?

The movie "I (heart) Huckabees" is right up your alley (if you don't mind some cussing and sexuality).

I have no answers. But holding hands is the way to go, One Body, together.

I recommend Gerard Manley Hopkins (Jesuit Priest & Poet), John Betjamin, Dante, Milton, Robert Lowell.

Random. Gotta go to class to tell my prof's why I haven't been to class in 2 weeks: no reason, no motivation, constant convictional shifts, the more I read the less I know what I am doing. Inside this bleeping mind I feel like I have a high test Pentium processor with the abilities of a 386. Urgh.

Be encouraged. I have been by you. God is good. Peace brother, Buddy
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Old 08-12-09, 11:28 PM
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Re: ADD college student questioning purpose, and life in general

Hey!, I am so dissapointed to see how old this post is, and part of me hopes you will see my reply, I don't even know if you are still on the forum or if you still feel the same way but I understood every single word you said, and I know, yes I know...you are reading this like yeah right, well maybe you are...but I don't blame you, most people do not allow their minds, or they are just not capable of allowing their minds to travel so deep into question, so deep that you pry up thoughts you never could have possibly preconceived...thoughts that just shake the whole foundation of your individual being, everything you thought you knew and understood becomes torn apart little by little...soon enough you reach the end of the destruction and that is when you decide whether or not you accept it, like you said, or you hold on to it. I too experienced this when i started taking classes at a university, the freedom, getting out in the world, it was a totally new experience and I was just beginning adderall just like yourself. I never had anyone to talk to about this when I was in deep, I felt like I was the only person on the planet going through it, which made me even more depressed. But now I have realized I miss the depression, I have never felt so alive, so involved with the biggest struggle of the mind...the question of existence, meaning etc. I miss the passion, and the angst. lol this is pointless probably, just wanted to share that with you maybe you will find it entertaining to look back on this thread. Have a good one!
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Old 08-16-09, 01:37 PM
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Re: ADD college student questioning purpose, and life in general

odsybmx734, I'd like to thank you for bring this thread up again. I'm not surprised this thread didn't get much response. Not much people can really relate.

I too share the OP's feelings and views, although my interpretation might be different. Ever since I can remember I've always felt this constant boredom. "Is this all there is?"

I hate feeling bored all the time, but I just need an answer to that one question.
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Old 08-16-09, 02:15 PM
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Re: ADD college student questioning purpose, and life in general

Quote:
Originally Posted by XavierQ View Post
odsybmx734, I'd like to thank you for bring this thread up again. I'm not surprised this thread didn't get much response. Not much people can really relate.

I too share the OP's feelings and views, although my interpretation might be different. Ever since I can remember I've always felt this constant boredom. "Is this all there is?"

I hate feeling bored all the time, but I just need an answer to that one question.
This world is truly very unique. I can't imagine thinking "is this it?" when there is SO much. It feels like sometimes we become so caught up in life that we forget all the beauty of it. Go find a telescope, look out into the night sky. Or go some place dark, with no city lights and look up at the stars on a clear night. For me personally it's stunning, it's amazing, and the feeling is so real, so connected it's almost overwhelming, and I can't imagine there being more. There's SO much to look at it, so many things to discover and if you want to do these things, then at one point or another in your life you should have the opportunity to do so. This reply wasn't really directed at you btw, just a general thing, but I quoted you because of the "is this all there is?" portion.

I have always questioned life since I was a kid, and I never felt anyone around me could understand either. I ended up being the quiet kid for a variety of reasons, undiagnosed ADD included. But of course, as most ADDers, my mind was always very active and inquisitive. I wondered what the point of all this is, but something clear enough is that the purpose is simply what you make of it. There are some moments where everything feels so, odd. Even my own hands, they look so strange yet these moments are filled with this energy. I realize in moments where you truly stop identifying everything else as separate from you, a very deep / truthful feeling arises within yourself. Yourself in this case meaning simply your being, not the self you've come to realize as what your name is or what your job is, or your profession, your personality, the shape of your physical body or your gender... these are transient things which people seemingly use interchangeably with who they truly are. If these things are transient, how can it be who you really are? I've come to realize there is a very vibrant and alive aspect of our minds that we have pushed aside.

Anyway, there is just so much more to say, but I don't have the time. But I highly recommend everyone watch this fairly short video. When I watched it, I realized I was not alone in these feelings. Also when I read the works of Eckhart Tolle, I again felt so comforted, so much at peace because he was able to clarify these feelings I have felt so well, and it helped lead me to understanding life at a more "deeper" and truthful level.
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Old 08-16-09, 06:32 PM
Covenant Covenant is offline
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Re: ADD college student questioning purpose, and life in general

Apart from personal experience, I just wanted to add that existential questions such as these do seem to appear more often in college going people. And perhaps even more in ADD people, but I'm not sure of that. And there are a couple of reasons for that I think. First of all most people that go to college are usually reasonably intelligent, thought exceptions exist, know a lot of people who got there with just hard work, rather than having brains that seem to retain everything they read. There is a relationship between intelligence and having existential thoughts. The more intelligent, the more it seems to occur.
Now that doesn't mean that people who aren't "book smart", which is what college is very much about as far as I've noticed untill now, can't have existential problems, I think everyone in life has them at some point and some level, it's just that the most research has been put into the relation between this type of intelligence (the one being measured with IQ tests and the like) and existential thoughts.
Furthermore when you go to college there's a good chance that you're actually on your own for the first time in your life. Sure, the years before that during puberty, your teenage years, and when you were a child you made choices, but I always think a lot of those things are kind of bleak when compared to college. I mean, you probably live on your own for the first time, have to cook and wash for yourself, have to take into account other housemates rather than the family you've been with for 18 years etc. All in all, this is pretty radical, you get a lot of freedom, not just of arranging your own stuff like that, but also freedom of thought. And that combined contributes to overthinking not alone your own life and how you want to run it, but also life in general. Hence our current discussion. As far as I think at least.
Furthermore ADD people tend to have bouncing thoughts anyway, plus a lot of ADD people seem to be rather intelligent to me as well, and that combined I think might also lead to a higher chance of getting thoughts like these. Plus they're also deep, and stimulating questions and therefor perfect for ADD people to concentrate on, since it's actually something though and truly engaging I think.

And phEIGHT I completely agree with you. I'm in college now and from time to time I just like to wander out in the streets at night and just look at the city, stars, the park etc. and wonder why some people don't seem to realize how amazing it is that things like this exist. But even as a child I remember being really drawn to things about the universe for example. And also remember for example being able to just lie on my back in the grass for hours and watch for shapes in the clouds, being perfectly happy. Anyway, the wandering around the city is still very nice as far as I experience, for the reason I said above. Sometimes I just feel like walking around in a quiet city and just wonder about things, and it feels weird indeed sometimes. That somehow your hands look strange, yet you feel connected to everything somehow. And sometimes I just walk around because I want to think, or because I'm agitated/depressed about something. As I sit in classes on a daily basis, I can't sometimes help myself from wondering if this is everything when I see how people complain about having to do homework, or that something is though, or complain about some small job they have to do and turn it into an elephant. They just don't really seem to care about learning/doing new things (not just school btw) as much as me and some other people do. For example they always seem to take their education as if it's something external that they have to do, rather than seeing it as an oppurtunity to learn what they want to learn and expand their minds a bit further.

Anyhow, just my two cents on the thing. I'm sure this is a question we're not going to settle over night, seeing as how a couple generations of philosophers and other deep-thinkers haven't come up with a conclusion
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Old 10-03-10, 11:47 AM
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Re: ADD college student questioning purpose, and life in general

Bro I think you are codependent. Thats a learned thing though so its not as bad as adhd. I went through an almost exactly similar scenario as you. adhd all my life blah blah christian upbringing blah blah do for others blah blah where is my love? You have to realize that everyone else is moving for themselves and theirselves only. Friends are only your friends when it is convenient 99% of the time. My pops used to tell me as a child and even to this day "There is no such thing as friends" ...........maybe not the healthiest thing to tell a small boy (who turns out to have disorders) but its proven true.

I've noticed that I do to much for other people in an attempt to gain their acceptance or love or something. ITs something that was buried in me due to being the oldest of4 kids and being raised as a christian by parents who do things to extremes. I never noticed it until my last GF who is antisocial stomped an emotional mudhole through my soul.

But if you read up on the topic and have one of thos aha moments like you prob did with adhd then you ll know your on the right track. If you are then you know you just need to show yourself some love then you can get a gf who will at least distract you from your loneliness and give you the illusion that someone really cares lol seriously its that brutal.
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