ADHD is wreaking havoc in our home.

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    • #110246

      Hi all,

      I am new here, been lurking for a little while. I normally don’t like forums and tend to stay away from them, but I really feel very, very stressed and have almost no one to talk to about this.

      I will soon be officially diagnosed with ADHD (I say “will soon be,” because after my first 2-hour evaluation, the psychiatric NP at Columbia University Medical Center where I’m a new patient told me that her initial impressions are I have 1) ADHD, 2) BD type II, or 3) both. And I know deep down it’s not BD, this is very much ADHD but whatever, she’s just doing her job, right). I have a 2-3 hour neuropsych evaluation on Friday, and a second long evaluation on the 12th. I have tried low dose IR ritalin that was prescribed by my original psychiatrist, and it sort of helped, but it was low dose (5mg), so it doesn’t help a whole lot unless I take like, 3 tablets every 4-5 hours. I am 35, and have been living with this my whole life and I always thought it was just depression and anxiety, but I am not depressed. I haven’t been for a long time. I am on anti-depressants and have been seeing a therapist for CBT for two years, and I still feel like I am out of control. I am in despair, because this issue has gotten really, really bad over the past two years because it’s never been treated. I have a lot of issues with the usual stuff, like inattention (I look spacey quite often), hyperactivity in the form of fidgeting, nail and cuticle picking, knee bouncing, hair twisting, and inner restlessness, racing mind, constantly losing stuff in my disordered mess of a home, fog brain, sleep issues. What is making things so much worse for me now are two things. First, I am a student, and I am struggling so bad because I just don’t like showing up to class anymore. I hate it. I hate sitting there, I hate homework, I daydream, I don’t listen anyway. I hate putting in work and effort. I don’t do too well on exams because of my fog brain. “Normal” people have told me, “Hey it’s your last semester! Just hang on, you’re almost at the finish line.” Some people just don’t believe me because when I was a child, I was exceedingly bright (by age 7, my fave things to read were my big sister’s school textbooks and our encyclopedia collection. Reading always was, and still is, my hyperfocus). To me, the “finish line” doesn’t matter. It’s all boring as hell to me and wtf is the finish line anyway. Second, I am really impulsive. I have wild mood swings. I will be OK one minute, then five minutes later, one little thing and I’m the green hulk. I have put my family into severe debt because I buy crap I don’t need but I just like them at the time, so I buy them. And my husband is worried and stressed out because when we go out, I can turn into a raging person. Just earlier today, I tried to provoke a driver who cut us off and we ended up at the same parking lot of a shopping complex, and we also ended up at the same store. I walked over to his car to stare him down and he looked really confused and my husband had to pull me away. I am stressing him out so much sometimes. He often asks me to “calm down,” and “Please don’t get too angry.” Btw if you’re wondering, I don’t abuse him. He’s a really good man who is wonderful to us and I wouldn’t dream of hurting him. I do get impatient with him sometimes, but my ire is like, 99% of the time aimed at random people outside. As a result, I have become a homebody who doesn’t like to leave the house, because I am afraid of what I might do.

      And I don’t know why I do these things. I get a rush, I guess. I have been really reckless before, in my late teens and early to mid-twenties. I used to do the same crap, pick fights with and provoke people who annoy me. I’m that person you just can’t bring anywhere. This is why I am estranged from my family and have like six friends, but anyway…

      My 11-year old is on the same path. She is getting super moody. Her mood swings are terrible. It is wreaking havoc in our home most evenings. It takes her at least 2 hours to do homework that would normally take the average student only half an hour. She has destroyed furniture in here due to extreme boredom. I got a text from her biological dad with whom she’s staying this weekend earlier, and he said she threw a tantrum because of an upsetting text she got from a friend and she couldn’t get a juice bottle open and was about to destroy things. She texted me to whine about it, but I’m off my meds, so of course I wasn’t helpful. I told her to get her s*** together and quit whining about a bottle. That made things worse, of course. Sometimes I feel like such a s****y parent. She is a really sweet kid, very bright and funny, she’s got a great sense of humor. But when she acts like this, I think, “Where did she go?” I was just like her when I was a kid, so this is why I am thinking she too has ADHD.

      She hasn’t been officially diagnosed yet, I am sending her in to see someone ASAP. I feel like our home life is going to fall apart. I NEED meds, stimulants have been the only things that have worked in keeping me calm, not even benzos have worked as well. But I don’t feel right going back to my old psychiatrist, who isn’t an expert in ADHD and therefore would probably feel uncomfortable prescribing me more. My new providers do not feel comfortable prescribing me things either until we’ve at least done the neuropsych evaluation. I only have six ritalins left, and they barely even help. Friday seems so far away.

      I just needed to vent this, because I feel like at least this community will understand. I feel alone, and I feel like crap because I don’t personally know anyone else whose families are hanging by a thread because of untreated ADHD so of course I feel like more of a failure, and I’ve already failed at almost everything in my life. My husband is very, very patient and understanding, is the only person who can get through to me and my daughter, his stepdaughter. But I feel guilty putting him through this all the time. I want to feel like I have control once and for all and not cause my husband to get a stroke, and be much more productive in dealing with my daughter’s mood swings.

      Sorry this has been long and thanks for bearing with me, if you’ve read up to this point. And sorry about the rambling and incoherence.. ya know.. ADHD and whatever.

      • This topic was modified 2 years, 11 months ago by jlb83.
    • #110295
      Penny Williams

      I believe it was Maya Angelo who said, “When you know better you do better.”

      You didn’t know about your ADHD or your daughter’s ADHD, so you did your best with the info you have. Now you know, so now you can make changes to do better.

      I encourage you to stop thinking of your daughter’s outbursts as tantrums. She’s not in control of them because she’s struggling with frustration and her emotions and she doesn’t know how to convey them more appropriately. With ADHD, her brain gets flooded.

      Chill Skills: Calming My Emotional Child with ADHD

      Exaggerated Emotions: How and Why ADHD Triggers Intense Feelings

      ADDitude Community Moderator, Parenting ADHD Trainer & Author, Mom to teen w/ ADHD, LDs, and autism

    • #110336

      Thanks a lot for responding. Yeah, my husband has tried to make me feel better by telling me that because I know what our issues are, that I am working hard to make things better. The thing driving me right now is I refuse to let her go through what I went through growing up. If I can at least give her the tools to cope now, I’d feel much better about her future, and so will she. I had such a crap life for most of my 35 years, and it’s because no one knew what to do for me (parents are immigrants, there always was and still is stigma regarding mental health/neurobiological issues around our community, sadly). I was the “black sheep”, the outsider of the family that no one understood, and whom was sometimes feared because of the outbursts and unpredictable mood…

      Thanks for the links, and I will continue reading up on how to help her deal with the intense emotions. I’ve been doing a good job for the most part, but it’s super tough when I’m off meds and having bad ADHD days, which is about 3/4 of the week. I have to try EXTRA hard when I’m off them. And when my husband doesn’t understand, I try to explain it to him from the perspective as someone with ADHD and that helps too. We are all learning together as a family.

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