Diagnosis: At first I was relieved, now I'm not sure whether I'm happy or depressed


#1

Hi, I’m Troy. Nice to meet you, well that is if anyone is actually reading this. I’m 19, I grew up and still live in Vermont, and I am currently in college here. Honestly, there are years of storytelling I could go through about my struggles with my “ADHD” but they are hard to remember and I’d rather not babble aimlessly like I do in conversations. So I will give the quick version of my story. When I was young, maybe in the 2nd or 3rd grade, my teachers formed the all mighty 504 teacher/counselor group and set my parents down to discuss my “behavior”. They suggested I get tested and medicated for ADHD to calm me down now, and produce a productive student for the future. My mother was appalled by the whole ordeal, refused to even have me see a psychologist and then my parents implemented their own way to “correct my behavior”. Flash forward to Freshman year of high school, and two big things were occurring in my life. #1 I was still wetting the bed at night, why is this relevant? Aside from the fact that I made fun of for it, amongst my other issues in school, it is relevant because I was diagnosed with a hormone imbalance in my brain and prescribed medicine which taught my brain the right way to “act” when I went to sleep. Sound similar to anything? #2 My teachers were at wit’s end because of my “obvious intelligence” but lack of a grade above a D+. Flash forward again to senior year, all of my friends had applied to prestigious colleges, most of them getting in, and I was stuck with a 2.8 GPA that got me into a public university, the reason this hurt was I had helped most of them with their understanding in harder courses, but I couldn’t get the grades they could. Flash forward to the end of my freshman year of college, a year ago, and I was on the verge of flunking out, I had a measly 1.9 GPA (which I worked my a** off for mind you) and ended up transferring to another state college but for a much harder major. Before I was studying theater, now I was/am studying electrical engineering. After a rough summer of parents screaming their heads off at me because I was too “lazy” and maybe “I wasn’t the right kid for college” and I was “lucky to make it out of high school” I was determined to get it right and make a kickass first semester, so kickass I’d receive scholarships to pay for ALL of my tuition, not just 500 bucks. Last fast forward, I promise. End of the first semester, here I am, sitting after my “kickass” semester with a 1.92 GPA. It is time to drop out, I obviously can’t handle this, it’s been a crap shoot from the start. That’s what I was thinking in the weeks leading up to my winter break. But then something happened. My physics professor, widely known as the hardest professor on campus, asks me to come to see him in his office and says this phrase to me: “Troy, I don’t understand you, I can’t understand if you are an A or B+ student, but I can tell you have the intellect to be one of those. I watch you in the lab, you can take control of the most dysfunctional group, give them each a job, and then complete all of their jobs at the same time just to double check their work. SO, why are you failing my class?” This hit me like a freight train, the man before me was a man who students tried (and failed) to get a B- with, but here he is recognizing me as someone with A capabilities. So I thought hard, and I decided to go get tested by a psychologist for ADHD. She and I sat together for hours, I had my one on one interview and then had a test with numbers being flashed and spoken to me and I was so overwhelmed. I was diagnosed with ADHD and Motor Tick disorder later that day. My mom broke down, she never thought I actually had it and realized she was part of my distress throughout school. She realized I really was trying all that time, I just didn’t have the mental tools to stay in the race as long as the other kids. I finally felt validated for the past struggles I had gone through. Maybe the second semester will be my kickass semester, now that I can level the playing field, and have a chance to run, instead of being handicapped in the race for education. Then I found How To ADHD on youtube and fell in love, I fell down a rabbit hole of videos by the tribe. Until I came across a review for a movie “take your pills”. Wow did it sound like a scary movie for someone like myself, and boy do I love horror movies. This was a mistake. I was diagnosed about two weeks ago, and I just completed my first week on Adderall. About two days ago though, I watched the movie ‘Take Your Pills’ and I can’t lie, I didn’t have thick enough skin for that. I almost dumped out my new prescription, right into the toilet, I felt like a fraud, I felt, and still almost feel like the whole thing is fake, that I am fake, and I went from being validated to being a failure hiding behind a diagnosis, all within two weeks. This isn’t just an intro, it’s an “I’m feeling sad and I need help” convo. No movie should be able to make you feel like that. I couldn’t even finish it, I was in tears, wrapped up in a ball and it’s just made me feel like I am, well fake. I know in my mind I’m not like the reasoning part of my brain gets that. But the emotional side is digging deep right about now. And that’s who I am, a emotinal wreck since March 30, 1999.
I hope no one is made to feel the way I felt about this again, and I’m sorry my story went from bad to good to bad, but typing it out just makes me feel better I guess.
Peace, love, and positivity,
Troy


#2

I’m 43 and will like to say to you; “Keep moving forward” how hard things look how hard things feel, remember that you can always start over again.
It’s a hard and bumpy road…I’m writing this down but actually I really have to start my work…I’m running late and on a how do you call it again…have a deadline.

If it helps you to write your stort down, just do it…take care :wink:

Will


#3

Hang in there. You’re at the beginning of a path towards getting to know yourself. It is sad looking back, believe me I know. The thing is the past can not be changed. Grief and if you’re ready start finding out about yourself. Be kind to yourself, you’ll get there. You are not a fake. It’s what’s been said to you just too many times. Give yourself time to recognise yourself in the ADHD traits.


#4

Nope. Nobody here. Move along, nothing to see.

Knock yourself out, brother. Don’t bottle it all up inside for the rest of your life, and then break down because you feel so alone. If you can’t ramble on randomly here, where else can you?

Besides, it won’t be a ramble, and if it is, who cares? Nothing lost, potentially much gained.

It will make so much sense to so many people here that they’ll probably read half of it, knowing pretty much exactly what you will write next. But there are bound to be a few surprises for some as well. And the next person who reads it, could very well have found the solution to all their problems in your words.

Once again. I’ve heard the same story here many times. It’s distressing how many people are being undermined by the very same people who have the responsibility of protecting and helping.

I applaud your bravery at writing that in a public space. I can guarantee that others here have had the same experience, but I can’t recall having read anything about it here.

Your personal strength in writing it does you credit.

I had the same problem until I was 16 or so. Deeply humiliating, horribly soul destroying. Emasculating. Of course it is relevant. To this day, I am still tangibly affected and scarred by it. Deeply. Badly. And very, very personally.

Once again, thank you for being brave enough to lay it out.

Seriously, f**k them, and the horse they rode in on. I’m starting to get really tired of hearing that same story over and over again, on top of my own experiences with it. But I’d never even think for a minute that people shouldn’t post about it again.

You are in the right place here.

I had that same conversation with a chemistry teacher once. He couldn’t understand why I was having trouble, and I couldn’t make him understand because I had zero understanding myself. But the fact that he wanted to help has stayed with me for life, even if I ultimately only barely passed his class.

Nice to finally get that validation at least.

I haven’t watched it. Is it a case of “so bad it’s good”? Or just a ruinous mess of half truths and outright BS? I have no idea what the movie is about.

Welcome again.

Try September 1968. Being an emotional wreck is overrated. But it’s a key trait of ADHD that things are so easily and habitually, blown out of all proportion to the reality.

Time will eventually take you out of that loop. It’s often the only thing that will, and all you can do is wait it out knowing that this too shall pass. People have been saying that for a very long time, because it’s a fundamental truth.

Yin and Yang. Light needs the darkness to be appreciated and understood. Good is the same as bad, just viewed from another angle.

It’s all good brother, one foot in front of the other until you get to where you are going, and then the journey just continues on from there.

You already have all the answers you need, and you know the fundamental truths, whether or not you accept them.

You just have to believe in yourself and know what is worth fighting for and when to just passively ride the wave to wherever it takes you.

If only it were that easy…


#5

Let me tell you that making it to a toilet on time to pee is still a challenge for me and my story began in 1968. I don’t pee in my pants that much anymore but until my twenties it wasn’t that uncommon in my life. It was really shamefull and one of those things you punish yourself for. Why do I let this happen to me?

Just half a year ago I found out that it was related to ADHD. A adhd counsellor asked my just diagnosed son about this. It blew me.

Now, everytime I take a fast dash to the toilet, I can shout, ‘there I go again!’, and smile about it. It is a bit hilarious after all!


#6

I get the feeling that Troy has started something here…


#7

Wait, this is another adhd thing?! :sweat_smile:
Not at night, but when I was a kid I would always leave it till the last minute because I didn’t want to stop what I was doing/have to leave and come back… And let’s just say that was not very handy of me :wink:


#8

Yep. I’d read something about it being connected to ADHD. Let the good times roll.


#9

Thank you for your kind words, Will. And I feel you! Deadlines and I are like gasoline and wildfires. They only make the fire grow bigger! I hope you made the deadline none the less, and if you didn’t, don’t worry, neither did I. :smile:


#10

Sietske, I appreciate what you say, sometimes it is hard to get unhooked from the past, but as you said it cannot be changed. Being nice to one’s self is a hard mountain but one I am trying to climb. I often find myself hyperfocusing on my bad characteristics instead of my good ones, I think what you say will ring true in years to come as I start to understand my ADHD. Thank you again for your compassion. :heart:


#11

Simon, there was a lot to digest in my intro, I’m glad you tackled it all, put a smile on my face and a warm feeling in my stomach. You asked a couple of questions, to the big one, ‘Take Your Pills’ is the opposite. It is so good it is bad. And I say that meaning they make it so well, they interview the right people the right way and use ‘facts’ that put the wrong idea in peoples mind. They demonize people with ADHD (in my opinion) and make it seem like ADHD is a joke, and a hoax for big pharma to sell stimulants all throughout the first 45 minutes of the movie. They do this so well it makes you believe it, even if you have it yourself (what happened to me). And I appreciate you saying what you did about my personal strength. I decided to say it because I made the connection in my head between hormone in balances of both conditions. Figured others would be able to relate as well, maybe could relieve someone who was reading it. I really appreciate you taking your time to respond. It does more than I expected it too, and it is just a great show of your character.
Best wishes,
Troy


#12

Hi Troy!

I just wanted to comment on the last part about the pills. I’d heard about how people without ADHD would take Adderall as a kind of super coffee, but didn’t really read about that until after I’d tried it for my brain. … And I recognize pretty much nothing of what they are talking about (and you won’t either).

Your brain doesn’t work like most people’s brains, so the pills won’t work like they do on most people, either.

It sounds like you have access to good mental health care, so trust and work with the doctor. Don’t listen to some random movie (or even random people; in person or on the internet!)

When I am not taking the pills I will drink extra coffee (sometimes a lot) if I am struggling to sit still and need to. For the “other people” coffee usually don’t work like that, either.

It’s hard to comprehend because it’s hard to think of yourself as “ticking differently”. We’re only used to our brain, so how would we understand that the others work differently (of course except noticing that they’re sorta slow at times but have an easier time with a bunch of “simple” things like being on time all the same).

For people with normal brains that’s even harder to comprehend because they don’t even have the experience of feeling that their minds don’t work the same way as most people or just they are so sure that everyone “ticks” the same way that they can’t even recognize themselves as being different.

Also – you are 19! It’s amazing that you have gotten this far in figuring out your brain already. You have a lot of time ahead of you to learn how to make the best use of it.