Reply To: Pathological Demand Avoidance Syndrome

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That sound exactly like what I’m being told is part of ADHD. I’ve just been diagnosed. For years, I thought I suffered from depression and I self-treated. I thought I was doing well with exercise, supplements, etc. But I never felt I met many of the symptoms of depression. I didn’t feel sad, down, or hopeless…just frustration, failure and anger. I continued to have what I could only describe as the “don’t wants”. I constantly struggled to “initiate” and get started at anything. After 20+ years of miserable jobs that weren’t right for me, I believed it was just normal to “fight” against doing stuff you hate. But then I found a job I love and I’ve been struggling even more with self-motivation. And now struggling with fun stuff that it is extremely interesting to me! When I couldn’t make myself get started on a work related activity, I began telling myself I should just do something I enjoy because that was better than sitting around doing nothing and feeling frustrated. I love gardening and yard-work, but I couldn’t make myself go outside and get started. I love anything creative and have tons of projects in mind or unfinished, but I couldn’t go into my studio. In the past, those were activities that helped me cope with the miserable feelings about work. This problem seems to be at its worst when I feel overloaded. Which is now all the time because I’m constantly under-achieving, frustrated and angry at myself for failing. And trying to deal with all the stressful life changes with Covid and related PTSD anxiety, I completely shut down and couldn’t initiate anything. I realized I needed help and I’ve been diagnosed with ADHD. My therapist also has ADHD and says that’s all part of it and meds will change my life. My first dose of Aderall went dangerously bad, so Monday, I’ll start looking at alternatives.

The two supplements I have found helpful are 5-HTP and L-Theanine (making sure it’s “Suntheanine” and usually combined with caffeinated tea). When I first learned about 5-HTP, it was hard to find locally and I ordered 50 mg online. I was able to start a new exercise program, a healthy eating plan, and actually cooking my own meals. But I can’t remember that brand. More recently I got 100 mg 5-HTP “extra” by Irwin from CVS. Either it’s junk or my problem has just reached a level where supplements aren’t enough.