ADHD and the pandemic

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    • #187402

      I am 36 and was diagnosed 5 months ago. I have always been scattered, had trouble regulating my emotions, and bascially always considered myslef a bit of a mess but I made it work. Before Covid I was thriving. I had more energy than I had in years. I had a schedule and a routine. I was about to start a new job at the school my kids attend. Then the pandemic hit and derailed everyone’s lives.
      I did great the first 6 weeks or so. I worked in the yard, tackled projects when the mood hit me. I started all kinds of hobbies to keep me busy and keep my momentum going. It became increasingly harder to stay motivated to complete the projects, until one day I stopped. I started wondering from room to room not remembering why I walked in there. I spent my days feeling overwhelmed by thoughts and choices needing to be made. I was exhausted ALL THE TIME. No matter how much I slept at night, I found myself falling asleep during the day. My poor kids were geting the basic necessities but no real mom time. It’s as if every tool I had unknowingly developed over the years was completely wiped from my brain.
      I’m on medication and I’ve started counseling. I’m having trouble with all the feelings now. At first I was very accepting of my diagnosis. My husband has been great and very supportive. Recently I’ve had zero emotional regulation skills and I’m struggling to explain to my husband that he and our family are not to blame for my irritability. I find myslef getting angy because I realize I’m feeling shame and beating myself up constantly. I always have, but now it feels different. It feels more personal becasue I have a reason for these behaviors, but still can’t seem to change them. I get frustrated becasue I had hoped that just knowing and being aware of the reasons for the behaviors doesn’t seem to be enough to make me do the things and be better. How do you get past the frustration of knowing why you feel the way you do, and why you do or don’t do the things you do, and still have no control? When I’m raging, I can think to myself, “This reaction is unnecessary. You need to take a min and do the things to calm down. This is an overreaction…” But the anger continues to build becasue now I am furious with myself for not being able to stop. Then the feelings of shame and embarrassment follow as a result of my lack of control. I get stuck in a loop.

      I guess what I’m asking is, does anybody else feel like their brain was completely wiped during quarantine and now you’re completely starting over? I’ve got a routine again, my envioronment is as close to what it was before Covid, as it could possibly be without going back in time. But I am struggling. I don’t like the idea of trying so hard and it not changing anything because of the way my brain works. I didn’t know I had issues with control and a lack of patience until my diagnosis. I feel like a crazy person.

      What is the time frame like? How long does it take to feel somewhat normal again after having such a huge setback? I realize I’ve got a lot of internal “work” to do. But what does that even mean?? Is it just thinking about stuff? How am I supposed to remember to be kind to myself when my working memory doesn’t work to save my life? I used to be more accepting of my failures and it didn’t bother me quite as much. Why is bothering me so much now?? Is this a normal part of the process?

    • #187403

      YES! its crazy. Prepandemic, I wouldn’t say I was doing my best It wasn’t perfect, but after being sent to my childhood home again and being stuck in my old life for over half a year was detrimental to me. Everything was so sudden, but I feel like i am regressing. Before being sent home, I was growing and learning and becoming better version of myself. And now, I feel like I regressed while I was stuck in my old home, resurfacing old habits. I feel wiped.

    • #187407

      Some key words I hear both of you saying are: anxiety and irritability. I dontvknow if the medicine you are on addresses that. I know i was on antdepressants and was still depressed. And had anxiety and didn’t know. Once i got the correct med prescribed, I was fine. Depression causes irritability. I knew something was wrong when family and friends asked me ” why are you always upset? And as a person who is usually not mad or easily irritated, I then knew something was wrong. I am irritated that the previous doctoes didnt help me!
      This pandemic is difficult, you may want to get an add coach. Also, plan an activit(ies) everyday. Write down what you have to do. There are online book clubs (yes you will have to sit and read a book) but audio books help. There are many social justice initiatives. Im in the US and I made calls for political candidates- some not in my state. Find a cause and volunteer. There is also Meetup for all types of indoor and outdoor activities. Museums are opening and many places have short online courses for hobbies or technology, etc. Also, if you have work to do, there are internet social media blocking apps and timers to time yourself. The pomegranate method. Work 20 mins. Break for 5 mins.
      But Id say meds adjustment first. Ive been in therapy and I honestly can say it helped me minimally. I now realize because the meds weren’t doing anything, all of the suggestions they made never worked. My brain had to be ready. Lastly, be safe and keep your mask on and no gathering inside. Good luck!

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