Is it ADH, or the Consequences/Effects of Abuse?

Home Welcome to the ADDitude Forums For Teens and Young Adults with ADHD Is it ADH, or the Consequences/Effects of Abuse?

This topic contains 2 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  michellerain2016 1 week ago.

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  • #76687

    alexfragos11
    Participant

    PS. I need to edit this.
    so please excuse any typos 🙂 thanks

    <3
    Hi there, i’m new here , I have a psychiatrist appointment february 19th, this next monday. I have never thought of the possibility of having ADHD / ADD before because of thinking of Adhd stereotypes and distractability or to what extreme it must be. More so because of the really super Hyper-
    Active little child i’ve had in Mind whenever I have heard of looked up ADHD. I have never really researched it much up until now,
    I was going in for a diagnosis for the first time, for my Anxiety , growing up i love my family and things where so much better up
    until I started highschool my mom had a heart attack in her 30’s and then things started to go downhill. It has always unfortunately been somewhat of a dysfunctional family,

    but I was the glue that stuck everyone together, Happy easygoing, etc patient and matured quickly emotionally , I helped my
    mom with her emotional issues and have kind of been in a way her little counsellor, bestfriend, but also punching bag in a
    sense that after many years of family dysfunctional and verbal/ emotional and at times a bit physical abuse (more so around
    me :/ 🙁 but at times me too) , my mom has an abusive childhood and mental illneses run in her
    side of the family, bipolar, depression , trauma , ptsd etc. So thought i understand where shes coming from, things got
    to a really unhealthy point, and has been quite
    a chaotic and unstable for 5 ish years more so, then usual. In the past 1 or 2 years things have calmed down drastically,
    it used to be such a tense environmemt she would yell at
    me for hours, break plates throw knives etc, I would lock myself inside the bathroom door, and I started getting very
    depressed, suicidal, I was having panic attacks every day, and then I started self-harming and had suicide attempts.
    I was in a bad place, but not until recently am I getting the help and more resources that I need such as counselling
    I am looking for therapy so I can progress in life and though I’ve coped so as to not risk gettinf worse again . Its been
    quite the nourney and i’ve self improved a lot. But before and still a bit now I couldn’t really get out of negative cycles
    and bad habits I really hated myself and have had chronic low-self esteem a bit ever since I was little, one of the reasons
    was because of heavy Negative criticism, insults etc judgment for being stupid, lazy , unmotivated and excusing myself from
    not succeeding, most of the arguments started because I was so messy and my older sister was a bit more to talk back and argue
    so that created more problems too.

    I now just procrastinate a lot, have developed at the moment just bad general anxiety and some avoidance anxiety
    now that I’m trying to finish school and failed classes, during the depression I had and even growing up i’ve just

    struggled with homework, time managment, prioritization, goals-reaching, todo lists, executive functions, etc it

    has progressively gotten so bad that I am struggling with myself because as I get more responsibilities things
    get harder as i get older and am starting to progress into an Adult , i am now 18, will be 19 this year. I’M
    scared to go to college and not be able to keep up with the flow and workload, and i’m scarrd to ever get so
    suicidal , depressed and hopeless to that point again. I am seeing to possibly move out on my own with a youth
    government agreement because I emotionally do better in a more stable environment especially as I am self-improving
    its a little hard to self-love and be self-compassionate with my flaws when i’m judged and criticised often, i have
    some learning disability and struggle with listening to instructions, i get so nervous about looking stupid i get
    anxious and other times i just zone out or drift off thoughts, i mainly relate to inattentive ADD ( adhd)
    And i have noticed that my mom hates it when i remind her of my dad when i’m distractable, not paying attention ,
    forgetful etc . My dad fidgets a bit, and is a bit forgetful or not always very attentive , he is a supervisor though
    and I think has managed life strategies unconciously possibly that have helped for the most part.

    Its hard for me to know if i’m distracted or procrastinsting sometimes just little signs of adhd i dont know if
    i can relate to like the being good in “crisis”mode etc certain things i read online, because i’ve had such different experiences.
    My mom is impatient and very sharp , fast and quick thinking so she gets really little patience for me and my dad being slower,
    i waste hours and hours and never seem to get anything done i’m really sad because I have so much potential and want to live
    my life but i’m so confused within myself and I’m scared if I secretly have ADHd that I will just progress through life and
    get worse, its really self confidence detereorising in the sense that I struggle with BAsic life things such as the struggles
    of adhd, wether i have it or not its just hard and makes me scared for the future if i cant even cope with what little i
    have to deal with now, it makes me really depressed and feel like i dont have the tools
    or level of ability as other adults, I just get a little suicidal sometikes

    thinking i’ll never get out of this and never accomplish anything in life always just secretly struggling,
    its hard to be motivated and focus sometimes my mood and thoughts only make it even worse
    and its hard to ever be in that place where i can just focus and do things. Sometimes
    stimulation can make it confusing because i can focus sometimes and other times
    i just hate myself and find this all to be character flaws, bashing myself
    and I just really want to get out of this I’m scared this is going to be all my life,
    I know i’m young and am kind , nice, sweet thoughtful and bright in somr ways , i was
    shy and struggled with conversation sometimes i zone out if ppl talk a lot or if im daydreaming i guess or thinking about different things while they talk, but its hard to know if its to an extreme or just normal, im happy i have decent people skills now because it gives me energy and stimulates me conversation and getting out and trying to build positive experiences for myself, yet i still struggle so much personally , habits and goals and at home.I feel like a waste of space and im tired of this , im tired of myself, im tired of asking myself trying to find the symptoms to get help and freling guilt and shame because i feel like im overexaggerating and that its just consequences of the abuse. Some reasons for this are A.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~–

    (1) My mom did lots of things herself, she had little patience and would smack us on the head, or like she does now just have anger problems and take it out on you, calling you stupid and comparing you to a little child, for being messy , etc
    Distracted so on

    I feel like maybe its an excuse ADD because it could have just been that I didnt have as much practice making my own bed, cleaning , organizing , prioritizing etc growing up
    And that having someone do it all for me for the most part could have made me lazy in the sense of not becoming skillful and now really struggling with executive functions, and motivation,even though ive improved a lot and have tired having more practice and experiences to build my areas of weaknesses.

    (2) . Having bad memory , and foggy thinking could be because i have had high-functioning depression on and off and anxiety etc panic attacks /disorder
    Though i havent been diagnosed its what i struggle with
    Having a chaotic environment

    (3) growing up being called stupid for learning slowly
    Could have just created that
    In itself more so then
    It already was. If its all your brain ever hears, Even when there are positive remarks you only seem to be stuck with the negative. Being criticized often in spanish there are lots of insults and they have hurt. Especially coming from your own family and parents.
    It could be more trauma and anxiety nervousness re creating this situation.

    (4)
    Not having lots of activities or constant sports growing up, lack of close friends or much of an active lifestyle all the time, created a lack of life balance and now i struggle a lot with
    Prioritizing , etc waste weeks and lots of time trying to accomplish little or any type of goals and

    Having no challenges ever meeted and goals really accomplished
    Could have deterioated my self esteem and progresses into the same vicious cycle and feeling of stuckness.

    (5) lack of attention could have been normal teenager like not listening to parents all the time even though im wise and mature my mom talks a lot so its hard to keep track of multi-step instructions and i become a tad irritable. I could have just been critized a lot for not being up to standards to her areas of being sharp and fast and now i therefor think i have a problem because im slower and am more distracted or have less high attention.

    (6) growing up I was born in mexico when i was 6 or 7 I came to Canada 🙂 , I was an ESL student and I learned quick, my teachers liked me said I was hard-working etc was bright and improving,

    But as the years went and started highschool and maybe even before around12 or less and more so 13 etc I started to wonder how everyone managed so well, I would struggle doing homework for hours and was an A or B student some Cs in math or such before i got depressed and started failing , i just
    Wondered why im like this , thought it was my stupid way of when i was younger in elementary,
    My teachers would praise me If i overdid projects for example really colorful art etc and homework
    And i liked it but now that i am older if i do it i felt its just a stupid habit and negtaive cycle i got into or for when i cant focus much and finish fast i just waste hours and secretly suffering.

    Having no routine and habits only makes it worse to live a normal life instead of a more sedentsry life im trying to eat healthier less bread and such in the diet and exercise. But my emotions fluctuate so much my moods and thoughts its hard to cope without it taking hours of my day and hard to concentrate on homework or want to do it so im scsred im a mess and cant organize how im going to manage in college/uni.

    (7) reading , since grade 10 or earlier, I started struggling with reading textbooks and stuff sometimes, lack of sleep makes it worse but its hard because im most proactuve at night after wasting all the day doing nothing. And reading i have to re-read a couple times the same page sometimes because I just can’t seem to absorb it and retain it, but this could be because i havent read tons of books besides school,cpuld be that im a lot lot slower at reading and doing stuff/finishing stuff because of lack of practice. And havent made reading much of a habit yet

    Theae are just little things that make it all the more confusing i feel like people that really struggle with adhd, in ways that they abruptly get distracted or always zone out when people are talking not on and off and dating they feel like they cant listen to the person even though they care and want to, they are entrepreunears and good in crisis, and with adrenaline etc many unique experiences etc and them recalling things from when they are young, yet for me its much more fuzzy and hard , i dont want to excuse myself for having add if maybe im unsure and dont feel like its fair to be catogorized in it if i cant relate to such things,like i just need to work harder stop with my excuses and bad past experiences and just snap out of it, but i do struggle, i feel so alone in my problems and just want help and resources, i dont want this to be all my life, and maybe its the abuse and lack of practice or life stability/ routine functions and or maybe its inattentive ADD i dont know and some times some days thinking of going into my diagnosis i feel confident and other times i dont feel confident in my a.d.h.d like symptoms
    As if there is another explanation for them, i feel so stupid for my age and it hurts me it makes me sad im very smart but struggle with basic things and am smart in a different way i need to accept that for whatever reasons adhd or not my brain progresses and learns things more slowly sometimes and
    That

    I just want to get out of this, inwant to succeed in life and help others with mental health, and live a good life, but im unsure how to go about it . Im scared my psychiatrist inst very well knowing in adhd especially when mixed in with general anxiety etc or possible bipolarness, and adhd in adults/girls and women, i feel like ill get rejected and struggle more uears unecessarily for lack of confidence in my adhd or symptoms. Putting myself down for not having it in some ways like others and not wanting to put ideas in my head of having something that i may not.

    Plus i dont think my parents would understand or even accept the whole stimulation thing.
    Of sometimes being able to work through atuff and other times not and just wasting my life away. Regardless of if i have adhd or abuse and life xperiences have caused similarities and traumas i feel stimulation meds and therapy i would benefit from

    Wether i have it fully or not i think it could help me in the process of fixing all these errors and personalitiy traits/ weakness of areas in improvement and personality traits if it doesnt turn out to be ADD.

    Excuse the huge ass length of this thing, but if anyone out there cares to help me out :3 and can give me some advice please i would so appreciate it thank you, i hope my diagnosis goes okay. I just want to live my life im done with all these excuses of why i cant.im tired of myself and my flaws,, i need to start accepting myself or improve what i dont like experiences aside.

    • This topic was modified 7 months, 1 week ago by  alexfragos11.
    • This topic was modified 7 months, 1 week ago by  alexfragos11.
    • This topic was modified 7 months, 1 week ago by  ADHDmomma.
  • #99295

    Isurvived43
    Participant

    Hi I’m not a psychologist or therapist although I’m 43 years old and I’ve been in therapy of some sort since I was 4 years old. It’s taken me until I was 41 to actually have the breakdown I needed to absorb all of the coping mechanisms I was taught. I am a survivor of child molestation molested for 7 years, I was raped at 30, and every relationship I had with anyone was some sort of abuse. I also had a brain aneurysms due to domestic violence. I never discussed my issues with the abuse side endured because the few times I tried to get help I was basically shut down by my family and by the system. So when I finally start discussing it and realize that I’m I’ve course I had mental health problems and had been on medication since I was 14 years old. The older I got and any more abuse I endured the more helpless I became. I spoke about my problems with ADHD the one formerly called add. And what I had found out was is a lot of women that have endured long-term abuse have a form of ADHD or ADD. The reason behind that is that your mind is working so fast to not have your mind bring up the trauma that you have endured. So I asked you what came first the abuse or your mental illness. The answer to that is more likely it was the abuse. I now am an advocate as well as an activist to any and everything so I believe that is wrong. I’ve recently started website I also speak out everywhere on social media and I hope that I continue to do so. it’s very rewarding speaking to other survivors and other victims and trying to help them find the right Avenue to get and it healthy environment within their community and in with their in their mind. #breakthesilenceonabuse #STOPmentalhealthstigma, breakthesilenceonabuse.com

  • #99341

    michellerain2016
    Participant

    alexfragos11, I am so sorry for what you’re going through. I saw your post and had to reply because it reminded me so much of my situation growing up. I also grew up in a chaotic, dysfunctional home environment with a Mum with a fiery temper. I also tried to keep the family together with kindness and patience, which is not necessarily inherent in ADHD but if it’s a coping strategy you have to have and you get stuff thrown at you etc otherwise, then patient is something you have to be. People with ADHD are often very generous and caring and tolerant of others with their issues. They’re less likely to ask for help themselves even when struggling and often get told off for being lazy, slow etc.

    Reading your post, it is hard to tell if this is depression, anxiety, cPTSD, ADHD, somthing else or a mixture of different things and only a professional could tell you for sure. If issues with concentration, foggy thinking, distractability,
    executive functions and motivation are recent, then it could be depression or worsening of your symptoms related to lifestyle. Or if they’re things you’ve struggled with your whole life, it could be more likely ADHD and depression could be a reaction to the ADHD and difficult home situation. The fact that you said you’ve got told off whilst growing up for being a ‘slow learner’ suggests these aren’t just problems you have at the moment and they have been going on for long enough for ADHD to potentially be the culprit. A lot of the issues you mention having very much fit with ADHD but also depression and trauma. But ADHD may also be a cause of some of the trauma or a contributor, eg: I got into an abusive relationship and can see that my ADHD had a big part in the trauma of that and why I stayed.

    Here is a link to an article that another member of the forum gave me which may help you pinpoint the cause: https://www.additudemag.com/adhd-and-depression-symptoms-treatment/ I found this helped me realise ADHD was the cause of my issues over depression. But if it’s a mixed picture, it will be more awkward to figure out the root cause of your problems, and a trained professional will try to de-tangle everything to figure it out.

    Trauma definitely won’t help your problems and it sounds like you’ve been through a hell of a lot. You should give yourself the biggest hug and hold your head up high for surviving it all so far and still being the lovely caring, kind person it sounds like you are. Please be kind to yourself and patient with yourself while you wait for some support and answers. You are stronger than you think and sound very resilient (a lot of people with ADHD are because they have to be but can also struggle with emotions and be sensitive to criticism).

    It sounds like you could potentially have primary inattentive ADHD which can make your mind more foggy and make you think more slowly. This is what i’ve been diagnosed with recently and I also had great trouble reading textbooks and taking things in. I also find it hard to develop and stick to healthy routines and massively struggle with organisation. I got through uni with the help of friends but it was a struggle. I moved away from my chaotic home environment. I also wondered if I was bad at household chores etc because I’d grown up not doing loads as my family don’t really do a lot but I’ve been living away from home for 6 years now, trying to emulate how the rest of the world lives their life and be normal but I’ve realised no matter how hard I try I can’t be normal and I’m glad I can get some help now. Another point is, it is possible ADHD could be a contributor to a chaotic home environment if one or both of your parents has it. It is highly heritable and if your mum sees a lot of your Dad in you it is possible you both have it and this contributes to family conflict.

    Regardless of whether you have ADHD, you need to live your life for you and do what makes you happy and it sounds like your chaotic home life has been pretty toxic. I always used to put my issues down to the chaos at home, but since I’ve been away from home so long now I’ve realised the source of chaos is myself and not just my home environment. I lose things all the time, I have the worst sense of time management and am constantly late, I miss appointments and massively struggle to organise and prioritise and I spread myself too thin with family and friends, even now although my family is a lot better than they were. I’ve struggled from social isolation at times but I’m lucky that I’ve now found friends who understand me and who I can be myself around. I am sure you will find friends you have stuff in common with too and I swear this makes the biggest difference to happiness. I hope you can get out into the world away from home and make a positive future for yourself as this is the thing that will help you more than anything, although adequate support from a professional will help you cope with the everyday challenges of life.

    I am now 25 but I wish I’d known what I know now when I was 18. I wish I’d known why I struggled so much. And I could’ve got some proper support rather than coping with family issues with impulsive drinking etc. And maybe I wouldn’t have felt so alone. You are not alone and there are other people who have gone through and are going through what you’re going through and they have come out the other end of the tunnel or can see the end of the tunnel and it is a lot more manageable.

    Before I go, here’s a link to a self-care video that HowtoADHD posted which might be useful for when you’re feeling overwhelmed: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uKigm4NP7ko Self-care is so important and you need it most when you’re probably wanting to do the opposite like self harm or something. Try having a hot chocolate or a cup of tea or meditating next time you’re feeling overwhelmed. Or yoga is also amazing. Teaches you to be kind to yourself.

    Also, if you want more info on ADHD to help you figure out whether you might have it, I massively recommend ‘Delivered from distraction’ by Dr Hallowell. You can access chapter one for free here: https://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=4749307&t=1537111222740 He has it himself but has managed to be successful and is pretty inspiring 🙂

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