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Thread: How do I eliminate these life-threatening ADHD conditions? My youth is being wasted.

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    How do I eliminate these life-threatening ADHD conditions? My youth is being wasted. 
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    Greenlighter oceanablaze's Avatar
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    I'm a 24 year old male. I've been generally socially isolated (lack of consistent communication/barely-no friends) for 10+ years, and deal with various mental health issues because of it. The reason why this occurred was because of things that were out of my control that transpired at the age of 12. I was taken out of school for three years due to family abuse and negligent parents. Three years later, going back into school, I couldn?t adapt socially and academically - resulting in severe social anxiety and depression; progressively deteriorating mental health ever since the age of 15. Ever since graduation I?ve coped with it by generally shutting off society and daydreaming. Now, I?m in a position where I earnestly (and desperately) want to change, but my situation may force me to settle - which is completely unacceptable to me.

    My story - timeline:

    Age 2: Start showing signs of Asperger's/early onset. I learned how to read on my own at a very young age, and based on my findings, it's likely that this was due toHyperlexia/a splinter skill, which is usually tied to ASD's (If you don't know what that is) My mother doesn't know what's going on with me, as I experience meltdowns, the like.

    Age 5: Diagnosed with Asperger's and ADHD by Dr. Bertram Ruttenberg, the guy who founded the Center for Autism back in the 1950s.


    Age 5-9, Public elementary school: School felt like prison to me. Anxious to an extent. I was REALLY hyper in Kindergarten due to my anxiety, teasing others, yelling at teachers, etc. Eventually I calmed down significantly and in the first grade I became the passive, socially introverted/isolated quiet kid, a character which lasted throughout my school years with a few variations in between.


    Age 8- My psychiatrist, Dr. Ruttenberg, retires and refers me to another psychiatrist nearby (Dr. Lee Dante, MD). This new psychiatrist ends up being an important part of this story. My father started seeing him after a panic attack over work. He was put on the same drug and dosage I was prescribed (30mg Adderall XR) and he ended up abusing this substance. However, Dante kept prescribing him this drug.


    Age 9 1/2: After having minor anxiety issues in public school for four years, fourth grade is the last straw, due to major anxiety symptoms over a situation involving my teacher humiliating me in front of students (some mornings, I literally shit my pants before walking to school, at the thought of facing her). I end up being sent to a PreK-12 specialized private school (for students having trouble integrating in public schools due to certain cognitive/neurological and behavioral issues, such as ADHD, ODD, Asperger's/High functioning autism, low functioning autism, bipolar disorder, etc.). My experience here, in the lower school, was far more comfortable than public school, even felt therapeutic in a way, the difference in structure. I actually made some friends and opened up socially in a way I never did in public school, though I was still quiet and reserved. I started becoming more intimate with personal interests; at this time, severe weather was the thing that enthralled me more than anything before. All I did was watch The Weather Channel and observe storms of all kinds in my backyard.


    During this time, my parents started arguing far more than they did before. I noticed this because it was an unusual type of communication from my parents. Fortunately it was only significant debate being resolved in one to two days, but these scuffles would occur every two to three weeks on average, and become more frequent as the months went on.


    Age 12: Over the next two years, the arguments with my parents and emotional state in my father increase and decrease respectively. My father starts beating my mother, he ends up losing jobs, he starts sleeping for two to three days every one to two weeks on average - behavior that is VERY unusual. Because of the lack of grasp on his jobs, and since we were renting houses, he couldn't pay rent. We were technically homeless. Luckily, my grandmother (who was present throughout my childhood thus far, so it wasn't THAT abnormal) helped us out and let us move into her place.
    However, it was only for two weeks - we were kicked out after this brief period.


    Then we were homeless for real. We tried to contact my mother's older sister, and she called the police on us. We were desperately trying to find a place to stay, and when we asked Dante, he actually agreed to let us stay; something that he wasn't allowed to even do. He actually had another patient staying over at his house, at this same time.


    This is where things start to get really bleak and the socially isolated downward spiral begins. Since my parents can't consistently provide for me, my sister and I stop going to school. This started happening in November 2006.


    Christmas 2006: Amazingly, (my father probably panhandled or asked Dante for money - he would do that a lot) I received my first laptop, with internet access to boot. Since I had
    literally nothing to do all day, I spent all my time on the computer.


    I spent every day on my computer, looking up meaningless things; watching YouTube videos. For some reason, interests I had that I would obsess over as a child, like weather, started waning. I just watched YouTube all day, just meaningless fluff. As I got more used to the internet I started finding other message boards, which I would start browsing, sometimes religiously. But most importantly: I started daydreaming far more than before. I had no choice but to shut off the world as a coping mechanism, which was hazardous for my natural inclination towards life - ambitious, adventurous. I started developing high standards for my adulthood, but was becoming developmentally stunted and began to dig a hole for myself.


    Dante still keeps giving (not prescribing) my father Adderall XR - but only every once in a while, giving him breathing room for destructive withdrawals. My dad was probably to blame for this too, though, he was an ex-salesman - he had above-average social skills, and probably took advantage of Dante's vulnerability. Dante was essentially an enabler, nearly playing the role of a drug dealer.


    Age 15, December 2009: 3 years later, I ended up going back to school. Same school - started my freshman year of high school. See my old friends from lower school there, reconnect - but something is off. All of a sudden I cannot relate to my peers. I cannot hold conversations because I do not have life experiences appropriate to my age due to my chronic isolation. I also had experiences early on where friends of my old friends, extroverted assholes, made fun of me, and I actually thought that whatever they said had merit because they were associated with my friends. From this point (and this was literally just a month into high school) I completely withdrew into myself, never spoke in class, especially when the assholes were around. I used the same daydreaming coping mechanisms that I used to escape the family abuse. I fixate on these feelings and cannot concentrate, and I'm overwhelmed by how much I have to catch up on my grades that I missed, how the work seems much more advanced, even to the point of seeming foreign (more on this later) This continued throughout the year, then during sophomore year onwards, I adapted a little more to the situation, but still dealt with the same issues; went further down the spiral, and filtered everything into my heavily distorted, blurred reality. I was still adamant about my future though, because I wanted to be successful in life, and accomplish goals that helped me remain optimistic about my future and helped me get through the abuse - so there were ups and downs. I tried to integrate myself every now and then, but almost always failed miserably. What's amazing is nobody noticed; and the ones that did know about my situation with family abuse didn't bother caring. Nearly every single staff member assumed I was slower than the average high functioning autistic, so they lowered their expectations and talked down to me, and the like, and for a while I strongly considered they were right, which destroyed my self-esteem. I had no one in my life that was able to do proper damage control; I was alienating my old friends away and unable to make new ones, I didn't talk to my family, there was literally no one there to help me. When I had free time, I did the same thing I did during the abuse - I roamed the internet nearly all day, and spent all day inside my head (even at school).


    Age 16, early 2011: During sophomore year, my parents finally separated, my mother, sister and I moved out of Dante's house, mother was able to make amends with her family (amazingly), they helped us out/made up for their wrongs (mainly my grandmother and my aunt/mother's oldest sister) finally found a cheap house, my father never recovered from his drug addiction after a failed rehab stint, and I haven't seen him since February 2011 (age 16 1/2) - if I had to venture a guess, he's probably dead.


    Age 17, September 2011: Junior year: start routine of half day public technical school (my idea: I wasn't kidding about being adamant about my future) half day private school. Just like in my other school, I collapse in technical school as well. Culinary arts is a disaster for me; my reading comprehension issues extend into problems with executive function, due to my inability to get out of the daydreaming coping mechanisms. I'm essentially as clumsy as Dr. Steve Brule (without the obvious extreme speech/social issues) and manage to alienate my entire class, even to the point of getting picked on. I continue the daydreaming, still have no one in my life. What's somewhat peculiar is around this time I finally start seeing a therapist and psychiatrist. Therapy doesn't help me, as I constantly perseverate and lack the self-awareness to understand what is really going on. Prescription drugs don't help, either, though Adderall (which helped me quite a bit as a child) did help for a brief period of time, I can't remember why I stopped taking it.


    Age 18, July 2012: After doing some research on Asperger's, I wonder if I have it. I ask my mother about it, and she informs me that I was diagnosed with it at age 4 1/2. This throws me into shell shock, but I calm down later on, even though I still worry about it from time to time and wonder if this is why I am failing, rather than having my education disrupted.


    September 2012: Senior year, switch from Culinary to IT/Computer Networking. Technical school is far more comfortable this year, even manage to get along with some classmates, but my ADHD/SCT symptoms make it incredibly hard to grasp the concepts of IT and computers, and more importantly, retain information. This year was by far the easiest out of the four, but it was still pretty hellish, and the daydreaming continued. Still isolated; roam the computer all day and daydream. I manage to find an interest in MBTI/Jungian Typology, but I'm really slow to comprehend it due to my myriad issues.


    Age 18-24, June 2013-present: I graduate high school with poor grades, completely uneducated because of the precedent that was set during freshman year; how I fixated and perseverated on why I just couldn't fit in, just withdrew into myself, didn't focus in class at all, just exclusively fixated on my self-consciousness, disassociated from everything very much like with the family abuse. Really, I graduated UNEDUCATED. I struggle to find a job, become suicidal for the first time in my life in September 2013 over the idea of having Asperger's, because of the low-quality prognosis that is common and how that would threaten the future I was striving for. I briefly wanted to get second opinions from experienced psychologists in an attempt to audit that diagnosis, but that plan fell through due to issues with my mother. I end up becoming a shut-in, mainly in my mind, as I'm daydreaming constantly, which helps me go outside for walks every now and then. I end up spending essentially all of my time on my computer playing video games or browsing forums to distract myself from my ugly reality. I lose contact with everyone, except my family, who I live with to this day. I nearly gave up on life, until I found Nardil in early 2016 which helped me re-structure my life and killed my depression - only to be taken off it by my psychiatrist months later because she didn't know that hypomania was only a temporary side effect. I withdrew into myself again, gave up on my life, even quasi-planned a suicide attempt for the next two years until early this year when I was put back on Nardil. As I explained before: the medication has given me a new attitude towards life and humanity, and has motivated me to achieve the goals I set out for myself years ago.


    Current problems:


    ADHD-esque learning difficulties:

    This is probably the biggest problem I'm facing right now. If it wasn't for this, I would have made far more progress at this point. This is seriously wasting my life. Not only do I have an official diagnosis of ADHD-PI, but major depression and significant social anxiety have strongly influenced and enhanced these effects. Symptoms include: when reading new information/articles, I can't read in a straight line for, on average, more than 4-5 seconds; I feel like jumping out of my skin. I can't concentrate, struggle to grasp new concepts and information (even things like basic political concepts), and have a far harder time retaining them. Major issues with memory recall, processing speed and also pattern recognition. Scatter-minded, thoughts and feelings floating about everywhere. Whenever I'm involved in a new hands-on task, no matter what it is, I cannot comprehend it for the life of me, and it takes me a while to warm up to it, so to speak. Bad executive function generally speaking.
    I need to fix this in order to achieve numerous goals related to academia. It's gotten to the point to where I'm extremely concerned about my intelligence level, ESPECIALLY considering the fact that I scored in the average range in IQ in the first grade (despite still having ADHD and anxiety issues that may have affected the score, although nowhere near the level I experience this now), despite having most people that I've had at least 10 minute conversations with (including but not limited to: online people: from MBTI forums, Reddit. offline people: mostly from group therapy programs (of varying ages), therapists and psychiatrists, and two friends from high school) telling me that I am intelligent. Probably 75-85% of everyone who has heard me talk (face-to-face) for 5+ minutes in total, the other 10-15% having no discernible opinion, the other 5 percent thinking I'm stupid. Empirical observation is unreliable, but if so many people, especially therapists and psychiatrists, tell me I am intelligent, there's a pattern. But why do I struggle at such a hardcore level with numerous things related to subscores? Worst case scenario: these issues are also due to genuinely having an IQ in the average range, despite ADHD and anxiety.

    Social anxiety

    I don't have to go into much detail here. I'm extremely self-conscious. Terrified and intimidated of certain people. These problems combine with my (hopefully temporary) learning difficulties.

    (Also, I must note that Nardil has stopped working ("pooped out"). Did some brief research and this may be due to a deficiency in B6, B12 or both. So, basically, Nardil only worked because of the classic hypomania initial effects. Going to test my levels with my general practitioner and check this out.)


    My diagnoses:


    Professional:


    • Asperger's (HX)
    • ADD-PI
    • Social Anxiety Disorder
    • Major Depressive Disorder

    __________________________________________________ _______

    What substances should I seek out? Should I see a neurologist?
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    #2
    Greenlighter oceanablaze's Avatar
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    Bumping this because I really would like a Bluelight perspective. This is a critical situation.
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    #3
    Bluelighter diche's Avatar
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    maybee consult some Jordan Peterson on youtube. His lectures, for me, were transformative. Get your shit together and take responsibility for your situations, regardless of your condidtions
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    #4
    Gardenmeister
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    Seek competent professional help, not advise from random people on the internet.
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    #5
    Greenlighter oceanablaze's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by White_Rose View Post
    Seek competent professional help, not advise from random people on the internet.
    I've done this for seven years. It hasn't even done damage control.

    Therapy has been generally fruitless, no matter how hard I've tried. The advice I've gotten has been generally cliche and putting it into practice spurred little productive results. I don't have enough money for a psychologist, plus, none within walking distance take my insurance. I talked to my psychiatrist last week to receive a psych evaluation. It was generally pointless. I didn't receive any diagnosis, all he did was tell me that I "seemed like a bright guy/expressed myself like documented intelligent people", then proceeded to give me some advice; it was like he started masquerading as a therapist all of a sudden. I asked him if I should see a neurologist, and he said that "I should do whatever I think is best for my health."

    I posted this here because I want alternative perspectives. Therapists and psychiatrists have had an incredibly difficult time cracking this particular case.
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    #6
    Bluelighter
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    I didn't have time to read through your entire post, so forgive me if you addressed this. Have you tried CBT and exposure therapy to address your social anxiety?
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    #7
    My youth has been pissed down the drain by serious mental illnesses too mate, sorry that you're going through it. I think we have to learn to accept that we're probably never going to have a normal, fulfilling life; and that we're always going to be experiencing some form of suffering. I know that I probably will.
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    #8
    Greenlighter oceanablaze's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by candidsurprise View Post
    My youth has been pissed down the drain by serious mental illnesses too mate, sorry that you're going through it. I think we have to learn to accept that we're probably never going to have a normal, fulfilling life; and that we're always going to be experiencing some form of suffering. I know that I probably will.
    Well if it becomes apparent that I'm on this track, I'm committing suicide.
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    #9
    Greenlighter oceanablaze's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mafioso View Post
    I didn't have time to read through your entire post, so forgive me if you addressed this. Have you tried CBT and exposure therapy to address your social anxiety?
    I've tried exposure therapy in senior year of high school and when I tried getting my first job. It didn't help much. In some ways, it made my anxiety and depression even worse, because I alienated certain people.

    Cognitive behavioral therapy was ineffective because of my focusing issues, memory recall and depression/demotivation.
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