I know I’ve mentioned bits and pieces of this, but let me tell you my story here, in one place.
I was never thought of as an ADD/ADHD kid. I got fantastic grades with no problem. I never did my homework and I still passed with flying colors. Teachers generally liked me. It was nothing like you see on TV. At home, I was easy and pretty much kept to myself. My parents always tell me that I was an easy kid, and they were like “Babies, kids? We can totally handle this!” and then they had my sister who cried all the time, and was generally a difficult kid to raise.
He he heh heh he hehehe 🙂
I like to think I was secretly being the best baby/child ever to trick them. (That can’t be true, I vehemently insisted on not getting a baby brother or sister. But if we ignore that little part…)
When I went off to college, things started falling apart. I was having trouble dealing with personal issues, as well as the pressure of college and adjusting to a big university. I dropped out before finishing the first year. But, I went back to the town because I had a boyfriend, and I had my friends, and it was a college town, so even if I didn’t do school in a typical fashion, I could still work and start my life. That didn’t work out too well for me either, considering there were all of 12 jobs for 30,000 students. I also still struggled with my past and not using it against my boyfriend. I was acting very neurotic. I mean, I am kind of neurotic, so it was really just a more extreme version of me. Still, it really surprised everyone when I tried to kill myself.
My first diagnosis was Adjustment Disorder.
After that, I got something I don’t remember the name of. Hah! But basically, she said that it’s possible I had a sort of break from reality and I didn’t understand what I was doing, or the consequences of what I was doing. That one is definitely not true. I knew exactly what I was doing, I just fucked up by “breaking up” with my boyfriend beforehand in order to tie up loose ends. I didn’t realize he was going to come over right away and try to work things out with me… which meant he found me and, well, saved my life.
I found a new psych and we moved on to General Anxiety Disorder, Major Depressive Disorder, Seasonal Affective Disorder, Social Anxiety Disorder, Dysthymia, PTSD, Panic Disorder… That’s all the paperwork I have at my disposal it seems, but there are gaps in there so I know there were more diagnoses I can’t remember.
For once, being told I have ADD instead of just being called flaky and spacey and off in her own world… that made sense. But it also meant that getting to the heart of my depression and anxiety would be harder. It’s kind of like I’m a large Venn Diagram, where the center of it just says “crazy”.
Okay, I’m kidding about the crazy part, but if I can’t laugh at myself, I can’t get through my own life. The Venn Diagram thing is real though, it’s sort of how you can have multiple similar diagnoses. Like, you fit everything for MDD, but you also have strange panicky things and mood swings SPECIFICALLY when you have a major change in your life? That’s how MDD and Adjustment Disorder can mix. Psychology is a fucking mess.
I realize now I have no idea how to end this!
So, I guess, for those of you out there reading this and thinking you might fall into one or more categories I just mentioned, please talk to someone. Schools have counselors. There are free clinics all over the place. I personally go to a free/reduced clinic, because I can’t afford a personal practice psych. It might take longer to get an appropriate diagnosis, but it’s so worth it. Just knowing that someone out there can tell you what you have is real, what you feel is completely normal given your diagnosis, etc. It’s made me cry on many occasions. It’s such a relief. Please get help.
Some resources I’ve used (because I tend to research my brains out and so maybe don’t overdo it on the research…)