Feeling like a failure and a hot mess…

Home Welcome to the ADDitude Forums For Adults Feeling like a failure and a hot mess…

This topic contains 7 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by  MJ1981 3 months, 3 weeks ago.

  • Author
    Posts
  • #130867

    aamay19
    Participant

    I’ve recently been diagnosed with ADHD by my psychiatrist. I’m 21 year old female, and have been struggling for awhile with symptoms that seemed like ADHD. My brother has ADHD and was diagnosed very, very young in life so I guess I had always assumed that I would have been diagnosed earlier. I also got good grades all through elementary and high school and even got a scholarship for college which made me feel like it was impossible that I had any form of an attention deficit disorder even though I was struggling with so many symptoms. I also struggle with OCD which I am on medication for and that helped me do well in school (because I was so obsessive about organizing papers and making everything look perfect), as well as my parents are both smart so maybe things just naturally came to me. Of course, I still struggled with being forgetful, seeming careless and whatnot but my mother always just told me I lacked common sense and I didn’t care about anything. I was always unable to make the connection between her feedback and my actions and I wasn’t sure why but it made me very depressed.
    I started suspecting I had ADHD when I learned more about it throughout my college experience. I’m a psychology major in my sophomore year and my courses have shed some light on the disorder, past what I thought it was in the past. I learned that sometimes it goes unnoticed and symptoms manifest differently. I told my therapist at the time and she seemed like she didn’t believe me. She never told me I was wrong but I could tell she didn’t. I’ve gotten a new psychiatrist that specializes in ADHD and he diagnosed me and put my on Concerta recently. I haven’t felt a difference at all, and I’m wondering if there’s something wrong. I take it in the morning and sometimes take a nap a few hours later which seems abnormal. I also still feel all the same things I did before, like struggling with keeping my mind in one place and the urge to rush around. Does anyone know if Concerta takes awhile to work?
    I’m struggling in college, getting horrible grades, can’t show up on time for classes, and constantly forgetting due dates even though I write them all down and review them every single day. I just feel like something in my brain is broken and no matter how hard I try it’s not going to work. I want to be good at school and I want to become a psychologist but I can barely get through my sophomore year of undergrad because my head is such a mess and I can’t even pinpoint everything that’s going wrong because there’s just so much. I’m on antidepressants and I’m not feeling generally depressed but very disheartened and like I won’t ever be able to be or do what I want to do because I seem to be lacking what it takes.
    I also told my NEW therapist (2nd time meeting) and she asked me what did I tell my psychiatrist to make him think I had ADHD, rather than what symptoms am I struggling with or something? I Just feel so invalidated, even though I thought my diagnosis would be the end of the invalidation. She said ADHD develops in childhood and stays present, not just a recent thing. I felt the need to almost justify my doctor’s diagnosis and now I’m even second-guessing myself and I feel stuck in this cycle of invalidating myself and feeling like a failure with a brain that won’t work. I’m just wholeheartedly stuck on what to do next.

  • #131072

    Penny Williams
    Keymaster

    There are two types of stimulants: amphetamine (Adderall, Vyvanse, Evekeo…) and methylphenidate (Ritalin, Concerta, Quillivant…). Almost everyone does well on one type or the other, but not both. It could be that you don’t respond to methylphenidate and would do better with an amphetamine.

    A Patient’s Primer on the Stimulant Medications Used to Treat ADHD

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

  • #131181

    Jesudota
    Participant

    Why don’t you simply use behavioral therapy instead of medication, you seem worse now than before you started taking meds. You said you got ggood grades before didn’t you?

  • #139742

    elleanon
    Participant

    I am not an expert, but my understanding that anxiety disorders can produce ADD-like symptoms. The psychiatrist would have to evaluate you to properly distinguish what is affecting your cognition. The OCD makes me wonder if your compulsions or obsessions might be taking up a lot of mental space and either worsening your ADD symptoms or mimicing ADD symptoms. Similarly, stress from school could be worsening things too.

    I also wanted to be a psychologist and didn’t get diagnosed until years later, even though I suspected that I had an issue. I performed moderately well academically and even had some good references. I did extremely well on my GREs (96th percentile in Psychology subject exam), but I was inconsistent. My undergraduate thesis wasn’t great and my professor didn’t like me AT ALL. I worked in a lab where I made inattentive mistakes that affected the research results (MAJOR no no!). My social skills were weak, so I couldn’t reach out for mentorship or advice. I knew when I graduated that I couldn’t do a PhD, despite my strong scores in some areas making it possible for me to be admitted to a less competitive school, and I bowed out and drifted for much too long.

    My executive issues, in combination with adverse living conditions due to a parent’s mental illness, meant that I had a lot of bad living, social and emotional habits that I was also unlearning during these very formative years. All of it took too much from me. I really wish that I had taken time away to mature and resolve some of these issues, so that they weren’t all affecting me at once. I would have had less failure and heart break.

    My advice to you is to think about what you need to create the conditions for success. You are still young and you have possibilities ahead of you! If you need time, take a bit of time away from school. It will be easier to justify a semester or year off than to justify poor grades. Your junior and senior year grades will weigh very significantly in your applications to graduate school. Take time to talk to a psychologist and try to create a plan forward. You may need to do things a bit differently to achieve what you want, but I am confident that if you plan well, you will achieve it.

    Best of luck to you!

  • #139743

    elleanon
    Participant

    I am not an expert, but my understanding that anxiety disorders can produce ADD-like symptoms. The psychiatrist would have to evaluate you to properly distinguish what is affecting your cognition. The OCD makes me wonder if your compulsions or obsessions might be taking up a lot of mental space and either worsening your ADD symptoms or mimicing ADD symptoms. Similarly, stress from school could be worsening things too.

    I also wanted to be a psychologist and didn’t get diagnosed until years later, even though I suspected that I had an issue. I performed moderately well academically and even had some good references. I did extremely well on my GREs (96th percentile in Psychology subject exam), but I was inconsistent. My undergraduate thesis wasn’t great and my professor didn’t like me AT ALL. I worked in a lab where I made inattentive mistakes that affected the research results (MAJOR no no!). My social skills were weak, so I couldn’t reach out for mentorship or advice. I knew when I graduated that I couldn’t do a PhD, despite my strong scores in some areas making it possible for me to be admitted to a less competitive school, and I bowed out and drifted for much too long.

    My executive issues, in combination with adverse living conditions due to a parent’s mental illness, meant that I had a lot of bad living, social and emotional habits that I was also unlearning during these very formative years. All of it took too much from me. I really wish that I had taken time away to mature and resolve some of these issues, so that they weren’t all affecting me at once. I would have had less failure and heart break.

    My advice to you is to think about what you need to create the conditions for success. You are still young and you have possibilities ahead of you! If you need time, take a bit of time away from school. It will be easier to justify a semester or year off than to justify poor grades. Your junior and senior year grades will weigh very significantly in your applications to graduate school. Take time to talk to a psychologist and try to create a plan forward. You may need to do things a bit differently to achieve what you want, but I am confident that if you plan well, you will achieve it.

    Best of luck to you!

  • #140944

    Why don’t you simply use behavioral therapy instead of medication

  • #140946

    Albert
    Participant

    “Why don’t you simply use behavioral therapy instead of medication ”
    I’m not an expert but it really helped me.

    • This reply was modified 4 months ago by  Albert.
  • #141552

    MJ1981
    Participant

    It could be you’re on the wrong kind of medication or the wrong dosage. Talk to your therapist again and express you don’t feel any difference since starting the meds. They can adjust your dosage or the type of meds you’re on.

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.