So, what d’ya know?
I found my dirty little list of secrets ..
This first and original, personal symptom list will be published as follows, but only in the name of God, science, medicine and for the blessed souls of the needy…
Please note: This list is to be used as a reference. As a tool. As a comparison. As a therapeutic info device.
It is not,
and I repeat, it is NOT to be used for naming and blaming, pointing fingers or crying a thousand tears. .
Here is the original I wrote, followed by a translation into digital text.
The next task is to look at symptoms of ADHD as they currently stand, and categorise my black list (+ my school report info) into a correlation between personal manifestations of the disorder and actual listed symptoms on the DSM.
To be honest, I’m unsure why my original doctor didn’t complete this task, perhaps he thought the results from my computer TOVA test were compelling enough. Or perhaps it was the never ending fidgeting and swinging of my crossed legs while sitting in his easy-boy chair.
Or, perhaps he was feeling alittle slack and pressed for time? An underpaid doctor and not a psychiatrist . (I’ve since got a proper shrink)! Or perhaps this is the role of an ADHD coach? .
You see, how the flip do you holistically manage ADHD when you haven’t a clue about your symptoms from childhood to adulthood?
How do you isolate the changes in symptoms that have occurred? How do you monitor the changes after medication? Or compare the effect from different medications or the implementation of cognitive therapy + strategies?
This list is gold to me. And watch this space as I will turn it into a lot more than line after line of dirty blackened spew of crappy experiences.
Historical (childhood) Issues:
(Listed in no particular order of importance)
-usually during conflicts not being able to express my displeasure or hurt in a way that would render desired result or avoid inflicting damage.
-accused for purposely doing things that I really didn’t intend to do, criticised for being overly sensitive, difficult, emotional or dramatic, and that something was wrong with me.
-lessened scope in my oral vocabulary than what I felt I should have been capable of, ie; my peers were using, comprehending longer words and more words.
-unable to self soothe at home, intense crying episodes over a familial upset that would continue for hours upon hours.
-sensitive to “telling off”, would trigger thoughts into a deep shame and embarrassment that would last for days.
-very shy around people I did not know as I would be thinking more about what I look like, ie a heightened sensitivity and awareness of my every position and movement. Yet ultra relaxed and comfortable with family and friends.
Hyperactivity + boredom:
-boredom with serious classroom discussions, would seek to ease the mood by playing tricks on my peers or by making strange faces.
-suddenly talking in a funny voice and saying strange made up words similar to tics behaviours.
-jump on tables, sing made up songs and be the crazy funny person.
-boredom in church, unless there were boys present and/or was writing notes, or I was distracted by discomfort.
-play bizarre tricks and games with people.
-difficulty keeping still, continually moving, fidgeting or doing something.
-impulsive ideas that would get me into real trouble, like putting 1/4 cup of salt in my uncles tea and making him vomit.
-would suddenly find myself doing “exciting” “naughty” “risky things” similar to private detective type stuff ie; stalking, disguise, trespassing, stealing, lying.
-compulsive lying and then feeling very regretful and ashamed.
Anger + Defiance:
-bossy and controlling with my brother.
-being hurt or misunderstood would lead to internal angry thoughts of “I hate you” and/or irrational feelings such as “I don’t care” and defiant “I’ll show you’s”.
Public Speaking failure:
-would experience absolute mental blank, no thoughts in my head when I had to say a speech. Would stand up and say one word. During high school I lied and bunked so as I did not have to say one speech. Yearly speech time was highly stressful.
-no problem standing up and talking incessantly to a group of 2–4 people who were my friends.
-frustration because of a lowered ability in verbal articulation of my thought versus my written articulation. Could write clearly and immaculately but in speech I came across as scatterbrained and less intelligent.
-consistently leave school assignments to the the last night despite weeks available for preparation, could only complete the work when putting myself under pressure.
-continued embarrassment and confusion by my display of anger or hurt after the fact, absolutely no ability to control myself, monitor or tailor my expressions during outbursts of valid emotion.
Difficulty making new friends:
-began high school without friends.
-spent every morning tea break and lunchtime in the toilet as I had nobody to hang out with. My friend Sonya was also crazy , but crazy cool saved me.
Impossible Group friendships:
-would experience a complete change in personality, self expression and lowering of confidence when interacting with more than one person.
-wishful thinking that if only I could make close friends with more than one person at a time. Awareness that aside from one close friend at school and one close friend in my church, I was always the third wheel and a most uncomfortable one at that.
House and bedroom tidiness:
-a strange clever ability to tidy up very quickly, to space save and organise yet no ability to keep it this way.
-a hatred of disorganisation and mess yet at times in sluggish periods would be in such a mess as to become overwhelmed by it.
-when I was married at a young age, beginning to tidy up the house would sometimes become such a problem, somebody would have to come and help me to get motivated. Once motivated externally could complete task very quickly.
Feeling like something was wrong with me:
-thoughts of what was wrong with me would haunt me.
-researching any information I could get my hands on of different disorders but feeling that wasn’t me.
-disgruntled and carried a private shame over my lack of ordinary and mainstream “personality”.
-difficult with physical exercise.
-difficulty controlling emotional eating tendencies which led to a short stint of bulimia at 15 years of age, realised I was hurting my throat and it wasn’t a good solution for my weight issues.
Urges and willingness to do things differently from my peers:
-boredom with mainstream protocols.
-got married at 17 as wanted to have sex.
-professing and joining church at very young age of 11.
Obsession and distraction:
-obsessed with boys, if I lost interest in one I had to quickly find another to fantasise, dream about and target.
-from ages 12–17 there was always “a boy”, as proof of this see my childhood diaries, which I kept daily throughout this period.
Difficulty in romantic relationships:
-not able to express what I needed or communicate my hurts without hurting.
-high expectations of partner.
-dreamy romantic escapism thoughts.
-intense emotional conflict events aggravating to point of violence in which case I would do or say something I would sorely regret, destroy items or would be physically hurt by the other.
Phew ! Ok!
-difficult in processing or alleviating high emotion, for instant emotion can overtake ability to focus or be as productive.
Motivation inconsistency :
-have internal thought based/idea based/ goal based motivation but need external pressure or accountability to perform or fulfil.
-inconsistency between internal motivation and do/action fulfilment of task to meet desired outcomes.
-not meeting my potential.
-sad or painful life events, prolonged continuation of emotion into daily life thwarting productivity.
-sabotaged motivation from failed efforts.
-while someone is talking a thought of “what I want to say” pops into my head and if I do not say it immediately I forget that thought.
-distraction while listening to things I do not agree with, by rising emotion which then upon responding, muddies my response. Is received by the other as if they are not being heard. They are, but aren’t.
-butting in and interrupting when someone is speaking, because I feel they are speaking really slow or taking long to say what I already think I know they are saying , or my ability to follow them is running short, or I’ve misunderstood what they said and can follow them no longer or my thoughts need to be spoken or else forgotten.
Forgetfulness + memory problems :
-forgetting where I put things.
-forgetting I have to do something, and remembering at last minute.
-forgetting where I put the list to remind me to do something.
-forgetting what the strategy was that I devised to remind me to do something, or forgetting to follow through with the strategy to avoid forgetting.
-forgetting what I was saying mid way through conversation and experiencing total mental blankness.
-forgetting words while speaking. and substituting other words instead.
-very limited catchment of long term memory compared for example my brother. Tend to remember only highly emotional events. No ability to recall conversations or timeline of events unless I make a conscious effort to remember or have documentation to refer to.
-walking around in circles, for instance in a supermarket because I’ve forgotten what I came in for , or despite a written list in my hand, arriving home to realise I forgot to put something on the list, or failed to get something in the list.
Unfulfilling Group conversations:
-huge distraction, discomfort and difficulty staying focused in a group where I am not particularly interested or knowledgeable of subject of conversation.
- inability to follow the conversation.
-inability to engage in a timely way.
-heightened self awareness leading to distraction and discomfort.
-zapped out after emotional stress.
-feeling like I have continual brain fog.
-continual low energy like I’m running on 50%.
-difficulty with motivation of physical movement especially in the morning.
-require one hour to wake up , 15 minutes at least, to clear a deep fuzzy heavy brain fog, discern my name , where I am etc etc, 45 minutes required to move out of bed. (Have experienced this consistently through life, worsened into adulthood)
-slowness to leave time wasting tasks when I have something else more important that I should be doing.
-leaving original task midway through to begun another task.
-beginning a task and extending length of time to completion by over doing task.
-huge effort and require myself to talk myself through monotonous or difficult task focus and completion.
Organisation inconsistency :
-attempts to get organised are sometimes really quick and easy, or sometimes seemingly impossible.
-Staying consistent is impossible.
Inconsistency of life performance:
-a wonderment and questioning …”how on earth do people do it?”
-frustration at not being consistent.
-despite being ready to leave. Fill time with meaningless unnecessary tasks to render myself late.
-despise being late, realise it’s disrespectful yet unable to do the simple organisation, make necessary compromises, follow timetables, to be on time.
Failure to achieve:
-having real distant goals and desires but unable to keep on track from a distance, therefore goal remains unachieved.
-difficulty getting somewhere/being successful, feel like it’s harder than what it should be considering, I am reasonably intelligent, sometimes have brilliant ideas and insights, much talent, and have feedback of the same.
At mercy of my brain speed:
-annoyance of inability and lack of self control in performance of my brain, when I’m “on” it’s “snap snap” …very quick, very productive. When my brain is slow, or im tired, it’s difficult to comprehend anything, takes longer to read something or comprehend, “brain fog” reduces my productivity, energy and motivation.
-overload tasks and then underachieve tasks/goals in any given day, as there is a mismatch between what I know and think I can do, and what I actually do. Day ends in a feeling of underachievement and tasks get put off till tomorrow.
-fail at others expectations of my productivity and need to account for failure.
Excessive, energy draining self talk:
-continual self talk coaching voice in my head to keep myself on task and motivate.
-Self talk is consistently scolding, encouraging and takes an awful lot of energy.
-longer timeframe between emotional flooding of my brain than as a child, but into adulthood have experienced these events in romantic and parental relationship.
-suddenly, all at once there is no control, crying, swear words, and irrational sentences, raised tone of voice even shouting.
-leads to deep embarrassment, shame, discredit, and regret.
Budgeting issues/impulsive spending:
-continued difficulty with paying bills in time.
-difficulty managing finances.
Inconsistent social engagement:
-periods of self directed isolation because it’s just not enjoyable to engage. Or difficult to engage. Or necessary that I do not engage.
-periods of isolation must feel like an instant cutting of friendship, and interpreted as a confusing disconnect.
Difficulty in romantic relationships:
-all of the above factors come into play and result in misunderstandings and conflict.
Man am I freaking done yet? -
“Please don’t tell me that I don’t need my medication!.”
And yes I’ve been off my meds for 7 months and I’m nearly done with it.
It’s been a learning curve and a face to face confrontation, of all these life impairing issues of mine.
You’ll be pleased to know I experienced my brain and life differently with dexamphetamine.
I can’t wait to be able to tell you the differences that medication makes with certain clarity.
For now, this is what I’m lumped with, and at the end of each day when the medication wears off like a cup of coffee,
I’m back to carrying all this baggage!