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Mad Hatter tries not to self destruct


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19 hours ago, Mad Hatter said:

It's almost the end of the challenge but whatevs, I don't care, I'm going to start experimenting with a new set of goals now. Because I can.

 

1. Sit down and make A Plan in the morning. This plan should contain at least one movement and one art or business or similar (non-adulting, this should be fun!) thing on most days. Make cards or some other tool to help/force me decide.

2. Actually start the things in my plan. This could be a warm up, or sitting down at the right spot without distractions. I don't need to finish anything, I only need to get used to starting again. (I don't get how this got so bad...)

3. Take a time out. This could be journaling or gratitude or stretching, or breathing, or listening to music... Make cards for this too.. Basically I want to end up with a physical toolbox for things to do, rather than creating rigid habits which I'll immediately bail on. Maybe even a flow chart eventually - if mood == x do activity y or z

4. Tidy up for one song. When my environment's messy it adds a huuuge chunk of resistance to doing anything in the messy spot if I have to clean up first.

5. Go outside during the day

BECAUSE YOU CAN.

 

I like the idea of creating the SPACE for your activities but perhaps not having them set in stone. A card pack sounds great to add more impulse and flex to your plan for plans. 😉

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Raptron, alot assassin

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3 hours ago, Mad Hatter said:

Maybe a diagnosis or ruling things out would be helpful, but on the other hand, if I don't want to take meds maybe it doesn't even matter as long as I can find tools that work.

For myself, I at some point decided to "get" diagnosed (for autism) so that I would have access to more specialised therapists. It's also much easier for me to accept now that there are things that will always be difficult, no matter what, while I can train myself at others to make them more bearable. I'm convinced that it would have been much harder to accept these things without diagnosis.

 

3 hours ago, Mad Hatter said:

I had a conversation with @Athena recently where she explained that she needs new systems all the time because they stop working after a while, and it made me think that maybe it's the same thing for me? I've been berating myself so much for jumping from thing to thing and chasing shinies and I've been a bit jealous of people who can do the consistent habit thing. But at the same time, the periods when I get excited about things and do whatever the hell I want are the times when I make the most progress and have the most fun! So maybe I need to foster that trait instead of feeling like garbage because of it?

I'm the same in this! I already had a different organisation-system every half year or so at uni, and while I don't switch systems as often anymore, for chores and the like I need new incentives every once in a while. Maybe you should ask yourself why you want those habits? Personally I'm a nicer person to be around if I'm happy and enthousiastic, and I exercise mostly to keep that positive mood. Depending on the rest of my life and the current ebb and flow of my exercise-motivation, that means different habits. I've had a while when I did daily one-hour walks, or daily yoga, or just climbing twice per week. So yeah, why do you want to exercise, and why not just do whatever you feel like at that moment? Should you currently have structured or unstructured goals?

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1 hour ago, Waanie said:

I'm convinced that it would have been much harder to accept these things without diagnosis.

 

Mm, yes, I can understand that.

 

I also am having such a great time reading things by this coach that is specialised (and has combined adhd herself) with adhd in women. By experience and by reading a lot. (Idk if she has (medical) certification.) 

 

So I can imagine finding therapists that are either on or very aware of your wavelength might be very beneficial. 

 

I had it on my todo list to consider the benefits of a diagnosis and had the same as Hatter, I do/did not see any benefits,

 

i.e. now that I don't have academic career goals left to get diagnosed. (Otherwise I could have gotten extra exam time and who does not want that! Even if I would be done early 😋 But the exam halls so often got me overstimulated with the lights and echo and people grabbing friggen CHIPS and tapping and whatnot. It took me a while to realisile I need to find my Grail Earplugs.)

 

I don't plan on using medicine.

 

And I doubt a paper saying I have a neurological condition would help, for me. 

 

BUT! A big but. My family has always been very affirming for me and it was actually my mother who many many times exlaimed sternly

 

"STOP beating yourself up wanting to be someone/some way different, 

 

so what, that some people are consistent with a method? You are not! And you are great when you are not comparing yourself trying to do everything like others are doing.

 

You work differently, so accept that. Keep switching your tactics, as needed. Make your environment work for YOU, i.e. don't try to adapt yourself to the aesthetics you want in your room :DAnd tell me if you need anything."

 

That's efficient, right? 

 

There is also some parts irrational rebellion though. On one side: against labels. And on the other side: for fear of *not* getting a diagnosis, and just sitting there like "well, what now? Am I not allowed to hang out in the ad(h)d club even if it benefits me so much?"

 

I will keep on considering it though. So thanks, Waanie, for your input.

 

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4 hours ago, Mad Hatter said:

Hyperfocus while managing to take care of myself is an oxymoron in my world! 😆 The only thing that might pull me out for a second is a case of bursting bladder haha.

 

Yes I recognise this 🤣 And yes, just for a second because sometimes even mid-run to the toilet I keep getting distracted by the thing I am engulfed by and then I am like OH NO I DON'T WANT TO HAVE TO DO THAT TYPE OF LAUNDRY, come on, listen to your body brain lol

 

Or I doubt I ever forget to eat but when I eat there have been times - much more often if not consistent when I was younger- when I am e.g. reading/writing thinking/gaming, and going to the kitchen keep "forgetting" what I was going to do, and only barely aiming the food and my hand,

 

or I would (will on bad days) open one cupboard and remember smth and a third thing , 

 

yes leave my phone in a cupboard or in my wardrobe, as I keep switching between 30 things popping up in my brain :D Maybe in between knock something over, grab a towel or the vacuum and leave it randomly and go do something else... Fuuuuuuudge. Those days are delightful.

 

Quote

But yeah it's really hard for me to find that balance.

 

Yeah it is. It is for everyone, it is human, regardless of character,

 

but add in a decreased production of dopamine  and other hormonal stuff,

 

increased responsibilities, increased dynamics of human life (past lives were much simpler and with less sensory stuff which is why there probably were less neurologival conditions diagnosed besides you know, psychology not being recognised as a valid science and all that.)

 

--- Okay I had another thought/sum up of all the things why it is hard to find a balance but it is bed time for me 😄 Hope I remember tomorrow.

 

We will all find a way . Nerds always(*) dooo

 

(*) Uh, well, hope is the only rational response to life!

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Oh oh oh as a last thing I wanted to share how on a date with my partner, I once sat down at a fair to draw some fantasy letters or so (like a monk in those hand written books). He said he will just chill and watch me and take pictures. I thought at one point "okaaay I am probably here for 20 minutes, that is a bit long on a date to be doing something myself." It had been over an hour later 🤣 I asked him why he had not said something and "he did not want to disturb me".

 

:D He totally pulled a Krum on me (who watched Hermione study wordlessly). Well for all I know he could have been off walking around, I had totally zoned out. But seriously, I was so embarassed for a bit. (Then Happy he really understood and knew it did not mean I did not want to spend time together or so. Not only that, he was totally happy I had had such a good time.)

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Because you shared you would like to throw some science at the problem as well (and maybe Sara can help if I understood correctly):

 

people with adhd:

 

- make less dopamine and noradrenaline on their own. 

 

This sucks because:

 

starting tasks is more difficult then, because neurotypical brains usualy get a tiiiny bit when they think of finishing a task

 

* there are less  transmitters that pick up things from your longer term and bring it to your RAM and vice versa.

 

So when you "forget" a lot of stuff, it is not that you forgot. It is still in your brain somewhere but there are less transmitters to bring it to your brain at the right time.

 

* general mood of course, which is why even I, a risk averse person, really feel the need for some high wall climbing or a rollercoaster (despite what a rollercoaster does to my stomache), or even easier: putting myself in situations with adrenaline spikes despite how much I know it sucked, that other people avoid, speaking in public with (formerly) terrible stagefright :D Although I heard other people do this to overcome fears too, so Idk if this falls in this category but still :)

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16 hours ago, Mad Hatter said:

the word adult must've been a little triggering. 😆

 

As I thought it might be ;) 

 

But I think it prompted a great response from you. Not ranting at all. I think what you said makes a lot of sense. Of course we're all different, and what works for one person doesn't have to work for you. Even what works for "everyone" doesn't have to work for you, mainly because it never is really everyone. Every day when I pick up my kids from school I drive by a house where I can see right in to their living room. And everytime their huge TV is turned on and the father in the house is sitting on the couch watching it. The only change over the last several years is that the TV has gotten bigger. I hope he's happy with his life, but that's not something that would have worked for me. I prefer working towards a goal. Constantly building on top of what I did yesterday. But I'd take jumping from goal to goal (shiny to shiny), or even just running around in circles, over vegging out on the couch day after day. While others, like my "neighbour" wants nothing else than rest and numb out in front of the TV after a hard day of work. We're all different.

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20 hours ago, Athena said:

 

There is also some parts irrational rebellion though. On one side: against labels. And on the other side: for fear of *not* getting a diagnosis, and just sitting there like "well, what now? Am I not allowed to hang out in the ad(h)d club even if it benefits me so much?"

 

I will keep on considering it though. So thanks, Waanie, for your input.

You're welcome! I know you said you don't want drugs, but ADHD is the one development disorder for which drugs work REALLY well. Like day and night. If you feel like you're dropping the ball way too much, either at home, at work or with the people you love, it is the one thing guaranteed to help being able to hold onto thoughts. I've also heard good stories about psycho-education and coping mechanisms for people with ADHD, so that might be an angle to go for as well.  (Of course, it is not necessary and if you are happy with your current functioning, then I wouldn't change anything.)

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1 hour ago, Waanie said:

(Of course, it is not necessary and if you are happy with your current functioning, then I wouldn't change anything.)

 

Well, like the lady said (and I have thought this too): any change in life can change someone from "high-functioning" to less high functioning or a disorder. E.g. having (temperamental) kids, or not having my support network, or smth happening to them (knocks on wood).

 

It is a spectrum, and it is fluid... Like brains are. I never say never, I just know I am not *planning* on it & will keep looking for ways not to.

 

Since that is an option for me, now, even if I eventually do get diagnosed & get on medication, I would have had the luxury of first finding out a framework for myself without it.

 

(Because I have heard while doing research from anecdotes, adhd brains indeed feel night and day, like putting on glasses after squinting for their whole life. But then, at one point, for some reason or another... it does not. (Idk if it is temporarily or they simply fall off the bandwagon with taking it or what the reason is.) And then it's useful to have non-medication habits.)

 

We will see. That's my individual outlook... For me, for my circumstances. I am not against using medicine in general. :) But even if there are absolutely no side-effects, there is still the interfering and the having your liver (?) have to do work right? And with age maybe other medication will be needed? Ah, again, I will see.

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On 1/29/2021 at 10:44 PM, Mad Hatter said:

Straight after that I had a chat with my boss, who asked me if I want to lead one of the big projects in the pipeline. Uggggh. I don't know what to say. There are many red flags, and I honestly don't know if I'm even in a good enough mental state (mood and interest) that I can do the job. I've never done anything like this, and it's really difficult. On the other hand, who knows, maybe a more social role would make me less bored. Or it could completely backfire. The great irony of the conversation was when my boss said what a great job I've been doing, when for the past many months I've considered any day where I manage to code at all a successful day. I don't have to decide straight away, but ugghh.

 

Sorry I'm catching up quite late but those were great comments. I hope it helps with the low self-esteem in that area (if you don't fall yourself off the impostor syndrome cliff). But factually to me it sounds like great feedback especially knowing that you have been struggling pretty hard on that side.

 

  

On 1/21/2021 at 11:19 AM, KB Girl said:

❤️

 

I think I'm too lazy to have ADHD. 

 

I just wanted to say that I relate to that to some extent. Not that I'm the lazy type, not really.  Sometimes, but nothing aggravating.  But I do like to control stuff to some extent, so too many things in the pipe would make me quite anxious :ph34r:

 

  

On 1/22/2021 at 4:08 PM, Mad Hatter said:

Question to therapy people: do you need super specific goals? I've been rather restless this week and I don't know if my level of irritation with this guy is appropriate or, uhh, an outlet of said restlessness. :P 

 

For me, nope.

 

Spoiler

It was psychodynamic-based and my therapist was specialized in grief and sexual abuse.  The sort of symptoms I had at the time should have gotten me to another place, more specialized where CBT was usually used at the time (and was usually a lot shorter). But I'm glad I could stay with her for the long haul. We did not have goals as such although she did ask why I came and what I was expecting. To which I remember replying by some comparison about looking through a kaleidoscope, seeing a lot of troubles but not quite getting the  pattern causing all this. But that was it.  We didn't even talk about symptoms reduction as a goal or an indicator. And I'm glad she didn't get into that, that would have felt like a lot of pressure.

When we prepared for closure, I sort of knew it was also time to walk on my own and that closure in itself would be a big one to work through. The relationship was real enough that it felt like a close replay of previous situations that had gone wrong, and yet safe enough to trust the process. It clearly took years to get there.

You made me look at comics I was drawing at the times, and I found one that is not too personal and summarizes my experience at the time. You can see there is basically nothing about goals :P but ending it was kind of a big thing (my therapist was Scottish, hence the tartan thing because she belonged to a specific clan). Keeping in mind it's a comics, it was not that easy... But I think I still feel her tartan wings to this day, so to speak.

 

jumoca-4.png.b63ca59e4ae3f03194f6afc51c5ea101.png

 

 

 

 

 

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Man, you guys are so annoying! Here I am trying to convince myself that I can do it all by myself and that therapy is not for me and diagnosis won't change anything and you're making me doubt again. 😄 I'll give it one more try and see if I can use my insurance for a few more free sessions to discuss if my issues could be something else than just recurring depression.

 

 

  

On 2/4/2021 at 7:20 PM, raptron said:

BECAUSE YOU CAN.

 

I like the idea of creating the SPACE for your activities but perhaps not having them set in stone. A card pack sounds great to add more impulse and flex to your plan for plans. 😉

That's the idea! I have no idea if it's going to work, most likely not, but I'll keep trying!

 

On 2/4/2021 at 9:16 PM, Waanie said:

Maybe you should ask yourself why you want those habits? Personally I'm a nicer person to be around if I'm happy and enthousiastic, and I exercise mostly to keep that positive mood. Depending on the rest of my life and the current ebb and flow of my exercise-motivation, that means different habits. I've had a while when I did daily one-hour walks, or daily yoga, or just climbing twice per week. So yeah, why do you want to exercise, and why not just do whatever you feel like at that moment? Should you currently have structured or unstructured goals?

When it comes to exercise specifically, well, first of all I don't want to "exercise", because that's boring. But I do love to move, and feeling like I have freedom in my body. Different types of movements tick different boxes. For example climbing makes me feel strong and powerful and pushes me to overcome fears and limiting beliefs in a very direct way. Handstands is very meditative. Parkour is plain fun. Dancing makes me feel gooey and swooshy and enjoy my body and sensations. The problem is that sometimes it's very hard to hit those states and then I lose motivation. Progress as such does motivate me, but only as a happy consequence of doing the thing. For example it's fun to discover that I can do one more pull-up, but I don't care about it enough to set goals of hitting an arbitrary target number. Of course there's also physical and mental health benefits, but that doesn't motivate me as much as it being fun.

 

On 2/4/2021 at 10:17 PM, Athena said:

i.e. now that I don't have academic career goals left to get diagnosed. (Otherwise I could have gotten extra exam time and who does not want that! Even if I would be done early 😋 But the exam halls so often got me overstimulated with the lights and echo and people grabbing friggen CHIPS and tapping and whatnot. It took me a while to realisile I need to find my Grail Earplugs.)

I wouldn't want extra time. 😄 The time pressure worked really well for me because I knew that I didn't have time to do anything but keeping pen to paper if I wanted to finish the exam. There was zero room for dawdling. If I knew I had extra time I'd surely get distracted by stuff. Like on the few occasions where I tried to study in the library and I turned into a library nazi because people wouldn't stop making noises. 😄 

 

But after reading through these posts I'm starting to doubt whether a diagnosis is useless or not. Mostly to give myself peace of mind. As you said, I really don't want a label, or an excuse. But I have so much doubt right now whether there really could be something and I'm in denial, or that maybe I'm just a garbage person. My other concern is also if it's something that can get worse with age. I would particularly like to rule out bipolar because that's something that can get scary. 

 

Also your family sounds really awesome. My mum's cool, but with my dad it was more like

 

- I'd get shouted at for losing things

- and for being late

- I'd get shouted at for being slow at replying (he thought I was ignoring him, I was just somewhere else in my head)

- and for not doing chores (I'd forget or not realize how much time had passed)

- I had a fidgety habit of making little braids in my hair, and when shouting didn't work, my dad took out the scissors and cut out a chunk of my hair

- He's called me quitter many times and that I could never have an unsafe/creative job because I'm too flaky

 

This was a child, before I learned to shout back and the fun really started... 🙄

 

On 2/4/2021 at 10:41 PM, Athena said:

Yes I recognise this 🤣 And yes, just for a second because sometimes even mid-run to the toilet I keep getting distracted by the thing I am engulfed by and then I am like OH NO I DON'T WANT TO HAVE TO DO THAT TYPE OF LAUNDRY, come on, listen to your body brain lol

 

Or I doubt I ever forget to eat but when I eat there have been times - much more often if not consistent when I was younger- when I am e.g. reading/writing thinking/gaming, and going to the kitchen keep "forgetting" what I was going to do, and only barely aiming the food and my hand,

 

or I would (will on bad days) open one cupboard and remember smth and a third thing , 

 

yes leave my phone in a cupboard or in my wardrobe, as I keep switching between 30 things popping up in my brain :D Maybe in between knock something over, grab a towel or the vacuum and leave it randomly and go do something else... Fuuuuuuudge. Those days are delightful.

This cracked me up because yes this is so me too. 🤣

 

On 2/4/2021 at 10:52 PM, Athena said:

Oh oh oh as a last thing I wanted to share how on a date with my partner, I once sat down at a fair to draw some fantasy letters or so (like a monk in those hand written books). He said he will just chill and watch me and take pictures. I thought at one point "okaaay I am probably here for 20 minutes, that is a bit long on a date to be doing something myself." It had been over an hour later 🤣 I asked him why he had not said something and "he did not want to disturb me".

 

:D He totally pulled a Krum on me (who watched Hermione study wordlessly). Well for all I know he could have been off walking around, I had totally zoned out. But seriously, I was so embarassed for a bit. (Then Happy he really understood and knew it did not mean I did not want to spend time together or so. Not only that, he was totally happy I had had such a good time.)

That's adorable! I'm so happy you found someone understanding and patient. 🙂 

 

On 2/5/2021 at 5:16 AM, Captainfantastic said:

Coming to the end and you've survived the whole time! I'm excited for you!

YEAH! Thanks!

 

On 2/5/2021 at 10:23 AM, Tobbe said:

As I thought it might be ;) 

 

But I think it prompted a great response from you. Not ranting at all. I think what you said makes a lot of sense. Of course we're all different, and what works for one person doesn't have to work for you. Even what works for "everyone" doesn't have to work for you, mainly because it never is really everyone. Every day when I pick up my kids from school I drive by a house where I can see right in to their living room. And everytime their huge TV is turned on and the father in the house is sitting on the couch watching it. The only change over the last several years is that the TV has gotten bigger. I hope he's happy with his life, but that's not something that would have worked for me. I prefer working towards a goal. Constantly building on top of what I did yesterday. But I'd take jumping from goal to goal (shiny to shiny), or even just running around in circles, over vegging out on the couch day after day. While others, like my "neighbour" wants nothing else than rest and numb out in front of the TV after a hard day of work. We're all different.

Meanie! 😛

 

I think for me reaching goals maybe is just not that rewarding. The fun is in the doing. 

 

Unfortunately the vegging out is something that happens all too often in my life. Sometimes because of mood, sometimes because... it just happens... 

 

On 2/5/2021 at 7:15 PM, Waanie said:

You're welcome! I know you said you don't want drugs, but ADHD is the one development disorder for which drugs work REALLY well. Like day and night. 

I'm curious about this - how can you tell the difference if it's working because you have ADHD, or because you're using it as a PED? Thinking about the popularity of stimulants in student populations here.

 

23 hours ago, @mu said:

Sorry I'm catching up quite late but those were great comments. I hope it helps with the low self-esteem in that area (if you don't fall yourself off the impostor syndrome cliff). But factually to me it sounds like great feedback especially knowing that you have been struggling pretty hard on that side.

To me it sounds mostly like my boss is completely out of touch with what's going on. 😛 And doesn't have a clue with how long a task "should" take. 

 

On 2/6/2021 at 1:04 PM, @mu said:

You made me look at comics I was drawing at the times, and I found one that is not too personal and summarizes my experience at the time. You can see there is basically nothing about goals :P but ending it was kind of a big thing (my therapist was Scottish, hence the tartan thing because she belonged to a specific clan). Keeping in mind it's a comics, it was not that easy... But I think I still feel her tartan wings to this day, so to speak.

I love this, especially the tartan wings! And it's very helpful to know that you don't have to have goals. I get the impression that most therapists here are CBT focused (I guess because they are scientifically validated. Which they can more easily be because they have goals...) but maybe it's worth trying a different form to see if it suits me better at this point in time.

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8 minutes ago, Mad Hatter said:

I'm curious about this - how can you tell the difference if it's working because you have ADHD, or because you're using it as a PED? Thinking about the popularity of stimulants in student populations here.

For the people with AD(H)D I know, I wouldn't describe the meds as a stimulant, more like the opposite: getting enough rest in their head to stick with one thought for more than a few seconds. I don't know the details though, and have never read into this as it is not applicable to me.

 

10 minutes ago, Mad Hatter said:

Man, you guys are so annoying! Here I am trying to convince myself that I can do it all by myself and that therapy is not for me and diagnosis won't change anything and you're making me doubt again. 😄 I'll give it one more try and see if I can use my insurance for a few more free sessions to discuss if my issues could be something else than just recurring depression.

This might sound crazy, but could you get resources through work, either money or a therapist? The doctors/therapists associated with a company have medical confidentiality over here, and I'd be surprised if it would be different in Finland. In my experience, a good therapist can really help a lot, while a therapist with whom you don't have a click can make things MUCH worse, especially if there's a few of them in a row. Do you have friends, colleagues or even your GP whom you can ask for referentials? 

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43 minutes ago, Mad Hatter said:

Unfortunately the vegging out is something that happens all too often in my life. Sometimes because of mood, sometimes because... it just happens... 

 

I do it too. We all do it. And if you're happy doing that, there's no problem with it. It only becomes a problem if you do it even if you don't like it. And even then, maybe you should ask yourself why you can't just let yourself rest.

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25 minutes ago, Waanie said:

For the people with AD(H)D I know, I wouldn't describe the meds as a stimulant, more like the opposite: getting enough rest in their head to stick with one thought for more than a few seconds. I don't know the details though, and have never read into this as it is not applicable to me.

I thought most of ADHD meds are stimulants, but maybe that's not true. But no matter the pathway, people in both groups take drugs to improve focus. I guess the real difference is that one group needs it to get to a certain baseline of function and the other doesn't. Question then becomes what's the baseline...

 

28 minutes ago, Waanie said:

This might sound crazy, but could you get resources through work, either money or a therapist? The doctors/therapists associated with a company have medical confidentiality over here, and I'd be surprised if it would be different in Finland. In my experience, a good therapist can really help a lot, while a therapist with whom you don't have a click can make things MUCH worse, especially if there's a few of them in a row. Do you have friends, colleagues or even your GP whom you can ask for referentials? 

Not crazy at all, it's a very sensible suggestion. The resources associated with my company are very limited, I only get a few sessions with the occupational therapist and a few with the psychiatrist. After that you have to find someone on your own and I don't know anyone who's been through that. (Well, technically I do know one ex-colleague, buuuut I was told via someone else and I don't know if it's ok for me to know, plus I don't know him well at all.) I didn't hate the psychiatrist I went to, so I could ask her, but I somehow got the impression that she wouldn't give a referral... Either way, unfortunately I don't get much choice  in the matter since availability is extremely poor right now.

 

Just now, Tobbe said:

And even then, maybe you should ask yourself why you can't just let yourself rest.

Because it's not rest if you don't have anything to rest after.

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43 minutes ago, Mad Hatter said:

Because it's not rest if you don't have anything to rest after.

Then maybe see it as a rebalancing of your mental energy? Have one day per week in which you veg completely, without fealing guilty about it. Food and basic hygiene are the only requirements, and all other things are optional. Anything useful you would like have done on those days, can be done on the day before or after. Then you do have something to rest after (namely the other 6 days), and you have a day where you can just turn off. For me it was more a shift in mindset than actually reducing productivity; when accepting that I can take a day off every week, I'm actually more productive on the other day of the weekend.

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1. Being too lazy to have adhd is not a thing ;D

 

Firstly, because you have inattentive type ad(h)d, hyperactive type, and the mixed type.

 

Inattentive is (my explenation) when you get more dreamy more easily when you are understimulated.

 

Secondly, Over the years I have learnt that ad(h)d in women is different (by reading).

 

How: different?

 

Firstly, well, same with why "high-functioning" autism is more difficult to diagnose in women. Because of both gendered upbringing and (likely/maybe?) naturally higher emotional intelligence, girls are much better at hiding unwanted social behaviour.

 

Between apostrophes because it is always that you function highly in relation to others and expectations. Inside people are likely always struggling like w.t.f. trying to make sense why they feel so different and well, I cannot speak for others. Can only imagine, to some extent because I watched some recounts.

 

Secondly, well, I suppose.. hormones. Women have a natural occuring difference in hormone composition through the month, I think even if they do not take hormonal contraceptives. (Though I have been noticing differences pre-, during - 5 years - & now after using nuvarings.)

 

The other day I learnt oestrogen is related to dopamine production.

 

And with lower levels of dopamine, you are lustless, and "lazy".

 

Thirdly, "standardly" intelligent kids are better at hiding symptoms because they often do well in the school system. So people don't worry about them.

 

And girls tend to do better in standard school/uni environments than boys, I think I have read somewhere.

 

2. With regards to adhd meds' effect on adhd brains v. neurotypical brains,

 

I understand the stimulants indeed are aimed at helping adhd brains make more hormones-neurotransmitters to help the brain more easily access informations from different levels (RAM, hard drive)

 

like when you "forget" you had to do a chore, and you lose a sense of time, you (often :D ) have not actually forgotten you had to do the chore,

 

your neuro transmitters are simply being used for OTHER things,  so they cannot be used to pick up the information and have you recall it at the right time,

 

and this happens more often in adhd brains than in neurotypical brains because adhd brains have less of them neurotransmitters,

 

AND less of the stuff that gives you hormonal rewards for objectively boring tasks like most chores, (pretty sure  that means your brain has less incentive to DEDICATE neurotransmitters to those things)

 

and that is where my understanding stops but you get the idea.

 

So neurotypical brains indeed have the "baseline" amount of neurotransmitters (uhhh, dopamine and noradrenaline?) and frequency of getting dopamine hits, 

 

and then adhd meds ADD (no pun intended) to that,

 

so they can focus MORE and longer, and stay awake for more too,

 

while in adhd brains it allows for more focus AND more automatic processing of stimuli I suppose (which adhd brains usually have to do manually which costs more time)

 

which allows you to actually rest, 

 

all in theory. Idk if my explenation is correct and I am  pretty sure it does not always work.

 

3. Sorry for being annoying :D

 

4. i think the way ad(h)d manifests differs by personality as well, and what your pursuits are:

 

* like (see below) law v. physics 

 

* are you more rebellious or lawful by nature

Spoiler

 

--> I have always seeked ways to plan and structure, and make my own rule system and principles/code of conduct to follow and yadda yadda. While not very succesful, my tendency TO seek out those things has given me a wider range of tools to switch between, EVEN if a (strong) part of me is also constantly rebelling against those things as well. I do think "there is freedom in a system" :D For years I have been documenting and thinking about and evaluating rules/processes I have tried. 

 

if you tend to hate plans and rules etc., regardless of their usefulness, "more flexibility is always more better", it will be of course take longer to get to

 

"Well, I will take take these different approaches and rotate them"

 

Because, unfortunately, that is ALSO a system if you do it *conciously* 😆 And that will probably give you some resistence.

 

Neither is better than the other, since people that do not go so type A aaaalmost-amy-level-binder-self-analysis are a lot BETTER at winging it and playing by ear usually... For a long time I have not given myself the CHANCE to see if I can do that too. Which is a pity because when I do it accidentally, it is a lot of fun to see what I can play by ear.

 

 Just thinking out loud :)

 

 

* do you tend to be more active (which is good for mental health in general) or not

 

* do you overanalyse (lots of moments to lose focus already in the decision phase but no immediate external consequences, more slower as you miss more and more opportunities and experiences) or are you more of a DO NOW person (you start a lot of things but do not finish them)

 

etc.

 

assuming both of us DO get diagnosed eventually haha, it would be an interesting comparison

 

11 hours ago, Mad Hatter said:

wouldn't want extra time. 😄 The time pressure worked really well for me because I knew that I didn't have time to do anything but keeping pen to paper if I wanted to finish the exam. There was zero room for dawdling. If I knew I had extra time I'd surely get distracted by stuff.

 

Hmm, yeah, so, I think I had the same unless I was super tired (coffee does not work for me),

 

also with physics and maths: it is all about efficiency.

 

My granddad often tells me how he baffled a professor with the solving of a problem in 1 page that most people needed 3 pages for because he had memorised a really handy dandy formula for or what was it. 

 

Also generally there is not much room for 10 different answers?

 

Lawyers (me too), tend to say things in 20 words that can be said in 5. :D

 

The more I learned, the longer my answers became. In year 3 I started my journey of learning how to answer questions more brief and result oriented based on the formulations of practice tests (when we had them). It is a skill, exam writing.

 

Oh and remembering the friggen annoying names of numerous cases instead of just the relevant case rulings and applications etc. 

 

So lots more moments you can lose your train of thought and you are thinking in words not numbers, different parts of the brain. And me having to switch between 2-3 languages when nervous (like...with exam stress!!) AND write it down in a structured, legible, grammatically correct way...

 

(My typing is lots faster than writing. in year 2 I made myself at least study with pen and paper to practice writing speed.)

 

Tho I still don't know if I would have USED the extra alotted time. after 2-3 hours of constant thinking and writing, (and exam stress & "stage fright/fear of failure" if you have it) your brain kinda gets tired anyway haha. I tend to not correct things at that point unless I know 100% sure that smth is wrong and I know the right answer bc in that tired state I have " corrected" correct answers 🥲

 

 

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Like on the few occasions where I tried to study in the library and I turned into a library nazi because people wouldn't stop making noises. 😄 

 

IT ME. But until a couple of years ago almost always I could find a quiet place. 

 

And at home was worse because... baby sis 

 

Since 2 years there has been a tsunami of international students bc the uni's kept accepting more than the housing acommodations. 

 

So many students either browsing fb or watching series (well okayyyy but do not pick a spot where I can see your colorful screen from all the angles) or chatting away ugh :D

 

 

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But after reading through these posts I'm starting to doubt whether a diagnosis is useless or not. Mostly to give myself peace of mind. As you said, I really don't want a label, or an excuse. But I have so much doubt right now whether there really could be something and I'm in denial, or that maybe I'm just a garbage person. My other concern is also if it's something that can get worse with age.

 

❤️

 

The shitty thing is, if you have one thing it Can get worse with more things.

 

Like lots of people with one thing get anxiety disorders and/or depression due to... things happening to them. Being yelled at and internalising instead of mostly clapping back. Not finding purpose. Et cetera.

 

I hear Adhd in girls often gets diagnosed as bipolar because, well, one symptom of adhd is bad emotional regulation. (And bipolar used to be/is seen as a mainly female mental health thing.)

 

Since the same things responsible for the executive functions and DIRECTING your attention  is also responsible for that part.

 

And the whole "OH MY GOD THIS GIVES ME A DOPAMINE KICK I DON'T GET FROM ANYTHING ELSE"... meh now I am used to it and I need more to get stimulated... let's look for smth else shiny... "OH FOUND IT"... etc.

 

(and some things are *designed* to give you that response, and brains are super efficient, so if you find it generally more difficult to get dopamine kicks, your brain is even more likely to go for the easy, and what is easier than a video game/Youtube/food/messaging programs+chatting at someone that makes you happy etc.) 

 

dammit, brains :D

 

Quote

Also your family sounds really awesome. My mum's cool, but with my dad it was more like

 

- I'd get shouted at for losing things

- and for being late

- I'd get shouted at for being slow at replying (he thought I was ignoring him, I was just somewhere else in my head)

- and for not doing chores (I'd forget or not realize how much time had passed)

- I had a fidgety habit of making little braids in my hair, and when shouting didn't work, my dad took out the scissors and cut out a chunk of my hair

- He's called me quitter many times and that I could never have an unsafe/creative job because I'm too flaky

 

This was a child, before I learned to shout back and the fun really started... 🙄

 

With regards to what happened: relatable!

 

With regards to your dad: hmm, my family HAS lost their patience, too but they never uhmm...  They never acted or talked like it was a character trait, a flaw of ME but behaviour I could work on & they always brainstormed with me how. And made sure I knew I was loved in any case.

 

I distinctly remember having this thought as a young kid that my mother could not see my eyes move (???) so I experimented with this just out of curiosity many times, turning my eyes around.

 

And mom also lost her temper a lot bc apparently lots of times I looked like I was smiling when she was teaching/repeating something important.

 

Probably bc I have always tended to laugh when nervous/in uncomfortable situations.  But usually when she would say, stop smiling! I did not think I had been.

 

OH YEAH and if she would go on long rants I would be still analysing the first things she said (or smth entirely different, probably) because indeed. Brain elsewhere.

 

And that would be interpreted as not finding it important or being stubborn/rebellious or so... 

 

Or same with having a counteratgument that sounded like I was just being a smartass, or plain hurtful...

 

because I would start elaborating my counters mid-thought of with half sentences because I want to say evrrything AT ONCE :D And that would lose the nuance I had in mind/where I am coming from... 

 

N.b. - Idk if I explained what I understand of what I have read well/correctly but as well as I could :)

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On 2/7/2021 at 3:44 PM, Waanie said:

Then maybe see it as a rebalancing of your mental energy? Have one day per week in which you veg completely, without fealing guilty about it. Food and basic hygiene are the only requirements, and all other things are optional. Anything useful you would like have done on those days, can be done on the day before or after. Then you do have something to rest after (namely the other 6 days), and you have a day where you can just turn off. For me it was more a shift in mindset than actually reducing productivity; when accepting that I can take a day off every week, I'm actually more productive on the other day of the weekend.

I don't think you guys are quite understanding of how little I'm managing right now... I manage basic hygiene, but even food is optional right now. And I don't even feel guilty about that, I'm mostly really confused because I don't understand why it's so incredibly difficult to do anything right now. My mood is fine, my energy's fine...

 

22 hours ago, Athena said:

2. With regards to adhd meds' effect on adhd brains v. neurotypical brains,

Interesting, thanks for the explanation!

 

22 hours ago, Athena said:

3. Sorry for being annoying :D

Not at all, your thoughts are always very interesting! :D Plus, it distracts people from the fact that I haven't posted about my most recent failings. :P 

 

22 hours ago, Athena said:

assuming both of us DO get diagnosed eventually haha, it would be an interesting comparison

I have to say that even if I tick too many boxes than I'd like I still have a very hard time thinking that I might have some kind of issue... After all I've always functioned more or less fine in society. Just a bit on the weird side haha. 

 

22 hours ago, Athena said:

also with physics and maths: it is all about efficiency.

Oh yeah, I purposefully avoided subjects that required a lot of writing and/or a lot of memorising! Physics was perfect because I only needed to know a few basic principles and could work out the rest.

 

22 hours ago, Athena said:

IT ME. But until a couple of years ago almost always I could find a quiet place. 

I lucked out in that my then partner was doing a PhD so I'd sneak into his office late at night. :D 

 

22 hours ago, Athena said:

(and some things are *designed* to give you that response, and brains are super efficient, so if you find it generally more difficult to get dopamine kicks, your brain is even more likely to go for the easy, and what is easier than a video game/Youtube/food/messaging programs+chatting at someone that makes you happy etc.) 

Very much stuck in this loop right now... 

 

8 hours ago, Athena said:

Alright, it really helped me out to write out the above but I don't expect anybody to reply to all of it :D Just came by to say that.

You're always welcome to use my thread for brain dumps! :D 

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17 minutes ago, Mad Hatter said:

I've always functioned more or less fine in society

 

Considering the human brain's extremely high ability to compensate and adapt until it can do whatever is necessary to stay alive while avoiding actively making tomorrow even more difficult to deal with, I'm not sure this is as relevant as it looks at first glance. And that's before we even get into how low most of society's standards are for "functioning".

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“I've always believed that failure is non-existent. What is failure? You go to the end of the season, then you lose the Super Bowl. Is that failing? To most people, maybe. But when you're picking apart why you failed, and now you're learning from that, then is that really failing? I don't think so." - Kobe Bryant, 1978-2020. Rest in peace, great warrior.

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3 hours ago, Scaly Freak said:

Considering the human brain's extremely high ability to compensate and adapt until it can do whatever is necessary to stay alive while avoiding actively making tomorrow even more difficult to deal with, I'm not sure this is as relevant as it looks at first glance. And that's before we even get into how low most of society's standards are for "functioning".

When you put it like that it makes a lot of sense, but my brain doesn't particularly want to accept it. 😛 

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24 minutes ago, Mad Hatter said:

When you put it like that it makes a lot of sense, but my brain doesn't particularly want to accept it. 😛 

 

Hehe 🤗

 

Look at it this way? There is nothing *wrong* with your brain though. In any case.

 

Whatever, if anything, is diagnosable, is just a tool for self-knowledge.

 

To find ways to have MORE fun more easily.

 

As a (moderate) hedonist myself, I like learning about tools to increase both the fun times and my ability to feel contentment when I cannot get the fun I WANT RIGHT NOW as often as I want.

 

I saw a comment on an article about adhd today from someone calling himself a therapist "Thank you for the info, there are so many  victims of adhd"

 

Whaaaat? Dude, these people are not victims of adhd but of lack of knowledge on how to set up their environment, gather their needed tools,  & communicate their needs properly. and victims of people around them who need labels to treat other humans with understanding.

 

 Not of their neurology. Pfft. 

 

 

4 hours ago, Mad Hatter said:

And I don't even feel guilty about that, I'm mostly really confused because I don't understand why it's so incredibly difficult to do anything right now. My mood is fine, my energy's fine...

 

Mmm yeah, sounds familiar. 😅 Don't overthink it? Enjoy it. Enjoy your energy, let your body enjoy it. You were without it for a long time ❤️

 

It is nicer to do only basic hygene wíth mood and wíth energy than without, right? Awesome. I like hearing about that. You made me smile :D Ta-da! You did that. Thanks.

 

Maaaybe let a seed of curiosity settle in while you are enjoying the increase in mood and energy :)

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4 minutes ago, Athena said:

Look at it this way? There is nothing *wrong* with your brain though. In any case.

Right now I can't help feeling that either there's something wrong with my brain, or I plain suck*. And I don't know which is worse. 

 

*But not in a negative thought spiral of doom kind of way! Anymore.

 

5 minutes ago, Athena said:

Mmm yeah, sounds familiar. 😅 Don't overthink it? Enjoy it. Enjoy your energy, let your body enjoy it. You were without it for a long time ❤️

 

This is an amazing reminder, thank you. ❤️

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Token challenge summary

 

I didn't self destruct! Admittedly that episode already feels like a million years ago, but still, that's a big win! 

 

I also want to say thank you to everyone, you have been extraordinarily helpful and supportive. And confusing. 😛 But awesome. Thank you all ❤️

 

Next challenge will hopefully be more positive. 🙂

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