Autumn Anxiety / Depression

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    • #66045

      It happens every year for me, but it’s been unbelievably difficult this time. A living nightmare, really. I guess it’s impossible to erase the residual memories of dread and anxiety caused by all those years of struggling with school….knowing that I’d likely be falling behind in the classes I was starting. Desperately wanting to be normal and succeed but completely unable to understand or explain what the problem was. It was humiliating. I spent a good portion of my younger years in an almost constant state of panic worrying about what I would screw up with next… I had secretively thought I must have some type of brain tumor that would eventually kill me.

      Looking back, I’ve now see that even worse than the ADD condition is the poor self-esteem and misunderstandings it has caused.

      Now, the end of summer basically marks the end of the year for me, and each one seems to go by faster. What did I accomplish? Almost nothing. It’s one day at a time. Feeling hopeless and completely overwhelmed and unable to focus on getting anything useful now that would improve my future. Almost 48, and it seems to be getting sort of late in life to start over or fix anything. Can’t get to sleep until I’m totally exhausted in the early morning and then it starts all over again the next day. I don’t need this happening now when I should be working or at least trying to find a job.

    • #66051

      Hey. I saw this and I had to respond. I am older than you are, but I feel your pain. Even now–right this minute. Now–I’m teaching school, but I have the same issues as when I was going to school: falling behind, not getting papers graded, and then feeling hopeless and overwhelmed. I get way behind, so the answer should be to work harder, but the behinder I am the worse that I feel, and the less I get done.

      I didn’t think that I had a brain tumor as a kid. I thought I was just stupid. So I checked my IQ–I’m not stupid–I couldn’t blame it on not being smart enough. But I didn’t know what I could blame it on. Every time I recommit to taking charge of my life it starts out great but quickly fizzles. I’ve tried meds. I’m on meds–I’ve tried coaching. Everything helps a bit but none of it sticks very long. I’ve tried the tricks; I have plenty of timers. I know the drills. I just printed a list of “Things to Love About ADHD!” hoping that they would pump me up. Things like: Resilience, Ingenuity, Creativity, a Different Perspective. Yeah, I have ALL of that, but when I need it, they don’t help me get things done.

      Wow–this is not a lot of help, is it? Surprisingly, I feel a little better sharing. I didn’t want you to think you’re alone. I hope somebody else comes along–they can join the pity party, no problem, but maybe somebody has found a way out, or at least a way to cope.

    • #66064

      Hi guys
      Reading what you both had to say was like deja vu. I am a little older than both of you and very rarely speak of my condition but I woke up early thinking of what you both were discussing and found that I was compelled to respond. First of all, you are both lucky, yes that’s’ right lucky. I only found out about ADD in my mid 50’s when I received a letter from my son’s school saying that he may have ADD. That prompted me to research it and I couldn’t believe what I read, it’s like someone was following me around and jotting notes on my life. All the time I thought I was different, stupid, that everything was my fault. Very often felt overwhelmed and hopelessness, if something did not go right it was because of me, I didn’t try hard enough. I was fortunate to have a Mother who kept on encouraging me, saying that I COULD do it. I was also fortunate to have faith in God, for I always felt alone, different and I relied heavily on both of these. I can recall as a teenager I had to work harder than everyone else because I was stupid, I had very low self-esteem and often short temper as I was angry at myself for being so stupid. This is just a little background on me, so you can relate. When I grew up ADD was not known. I was fortunate that I found something that I really loved at an early age, animals, a goal and was able to hyperfocus. Over time I was able to develop certain tricks to handle my inadequacies. Ways to study, to handle problems, frustrations etc. These “tricks” were able to carry through 10 yrs of college and in a profession that I still find stimulating and challenging. I too, thought I had PTSD as I use to wake up in a sweat, thinking that I missed ar wasn’t ready for an exam ( many years after I had graduated). One of my greatest success was learning not to be so hard on myself, now I can laugh at myself, instead of criticizing myself and putting me down. I still screw up, forget where I put something, but now instead of putting myself down, I look up to the sky and say “that was stupid, are you having fun ” My aha moments in life was realizing that I was not stupid. Stopped being, being so hard on myself. Realize this, ADD is a result of chemical imbalance in the brain, you can do something about it, its a matter of finding the correct stimulant that works for you as an individual and that anxiety often goes hand in hand with this which also needs to be treated. The problem is finding the right doctor who cares and the correct support staff. In my fifties, after learning about ADD I was sought help for anxiety and was placed on an antianxiety medication and could not believe the change, a lot of my worries, knots in my stomach, depression, self-doubt greatly decreased and I finally felt what it was like to be “normal”. You just need to remember that you CAN do this and not to give up the ship. I hope this helped a little and that I didn’ wander off your topic

    • #66066

      I feel your pain-
      Every year at this time I would get so overwhelmed and depressed.
      I still struggle a bit but this is what helps me.

      I say no more. I do it what I have to do plus a bit more for the holidays. I used to overspend and go to every party and family gathering. No more. People used to complain but now they know that I cannot do it.
      I make sure I eat balanced meals that are healthy for me without being restrictive, this way I don’t binge on the extras.
      I exercise almost daily for at least 30 minutes.
      I practice being compassionate and not expecting myself to have a perfect holiday season. I realize most people are stressed too, not just ADHD people. I try to take quiet time to just enjoy the season in ways that feel good to me. I get massages ( massage schools are cheaper) get pedicures.
      I use a light therapy box and take warm baths. I use organic essential oils, even just smelling them lifts my spirits.
      I pet my dog. It’s our life, we get to choose within reason how to spend our time. Something’s are not negotiable( like taking care of a child when you want a bath) but we can ask for extra help if we need it this time of year. There are solutions. It took me years to get my fall/winter to feel better. Keep trying, it’s worth it.

      • #67341

        I’m 41 years old and since having a child, my ADHD has become more and more unmanageable. I have tried Ritalin and found it made me very anxious. I’m curious as to what anti anxiety medication you found so helpful?? ( caringdoc2 ) I feel that my anxiety ( due to an early childhood trauma ) is the cause of my ADHD. Is it possible to take ant anxiety medication with ADHD medication? Or can a anti anxiety med, on it’s own do the trick?

    • #66264
      Penny Williams

      Could it be some Seasonal Affective Disorder, maybe kicking in early at the anticipation of winter?

      What to Do if Winter Weather Makes You Sad

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

    • #66280

      Fall is tough for me too, and I totally get the school connection. All summer I wake early, and get up by 7, even though I’m always out until anywhere between midnight and 2 AM for my snake rescue work. Once Autumn hits, I can’t ever seem to get enough sleep. Also, I live for summer, and being outdoors and my snake work. As the snakes disappear into dens, and the crows leave for the winter, it’s like someone’s taking the world away from me.

      I don’t really have the answer. I dread it every year. But I can say that what helps me is to get outside, no matter what the weather. I get so unhappy when the snakes disappear, but the same weather brings bighorn sheep, elk, and wild turkeys down from the hills, and before too long, the eagles show up. If I stay inside all the time, I just notice what I’m missing. But if I dress for the weather and go out, I’m reminded that the world hasn’t gone away — it’s just different. If you have trouble making yourself go out, try getting in the habit of carrying a camera. Even when I’m reluctant to go out in the cold, I can lure myself out with thoughts of the cool photos I can take of wildlife in the snow, or ice on the river, or hoarfrost on trees. It makes a HUGE difference to my mood and outlook.

    • #67194

      having ur live run by the changing seasons
      trying to get as much done each summer before it hits october then realiseing u have just raced through summer not really sure what u have acheived
      that unorganised blizard running throught
      ur mind constantly. past memeries of behaviors and hurts and the realisation that ive been playing catch up and tring to correct my mistakes
      i feel u stay strong ive not been here long but there seems to be a lot of compassionate and understanding people here to talk to

    • #67343

      Whatever you do to help yourself, do it now. Looking back into the past and getting stuck in it, will make things seem worse when they’re not. The mind is powerful and can create very believable stories, but they are just stories and not actually happening. When you’re feeling crappy, look to see if your mind is replaying those old stories over and over. It’s difficult to understand at first, but you actually have a choice in whether you want to keep those old movies rolling or not. It’s not that you feel bad, as much as it is the viewing of those not so good stories, which are making you feel bad. It’s like your watching some miserable TV program, but your too tired to get up find the remote and change the channel.

    • #76380

      The thing to remember is that YOU ARE ENOUGH. You don’t need to accomplish ANYTHING today in order to feel worthy, happy, whole. It is true that we with ADD have it tough. Perhaps the answer is to go lightly on ourselves. Just “BE” for a while. Get centered again about what makes you you. Then, take a step (or steps) each day to head in a direction that better serves you! [I was having a crappy day myself, and I need to take that advice too!]

      I too taught high school, and at a certain point, I just decided to assign and correct LESS. Change “the rules,’ where you can, to work for you!!! We are not used to being demanding. Do what works for you, and don’t apologize for it. It doesn’t mean that you are “giving less” to others, you are actually enabling yourself to be more present to them. Authenticity is the greatest gift we can give in this world. In fact, I dare say that authenticity is every bit as valuable as “accomplishment.” Who says that we all have to be “accomplishers”?? It’s certainly not in the Bible, nor in any wise letter of old. Rethink what matters.

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