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Dear friends and family


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1. Please feel free to ask me how I am.

But don't say; "do you feel better?" or "you look like you feel better". No, I don't feel better and besides; better than what? It's not like I had the flu and now "feel better", as in feeling well or un-sick. I have an illness which has always been with me and always will be. Some times, when I'm not all right, it's because I am in a situation where I'm particularly affected by this illness. Sometimes I feel on top of things ("things" usually being the distressful symptoms), at other times I might feel "under neath" it. If I look happy, it is because I am just happy.

(If I actually did have the flu recently, just forget everything I just said).

2. Don't be afraid of my diagnosis and don't treat me like I just caught something horrible and life-changing.

It might be that I only recently got this diagnosis, but I didn't just recently get ill. I am still the same person and nothing as changed me. The difference is that I now have words and names with which to describe and identify how I feel. It changes how I look at myself, though. I now have a whole new perspective on my entire life and a lot of things are beginning to make sense to me. Maybe they will make sense to you too.

3. Ask me about my what it is and how it feels - as my friend/family member I want you to know.

But don't say; "are you sure you really have this, I often feel like that too". Maybe you do feel like that sometimes, but I feel like this ALL THE FUCKING TIME! If you really feel like you belong in my shoes, you need to go see a doctor.

4. If you tell me I'm lazy/stupid/need to get myself together/should do "concentration excersises"/need to "want it" more, one more time - I am going to punch you.

5. I forgot what it was.

And NO, that doesn't mean it wasn't important enough to remember.

6. Sometimes I forget to listen to what you are saying.

But I AM interested and I DO want to hang out with you. You are my friend and I want to hear what you have to say. (Sometimes I get a little bit bored with it, but I would never admit to it, because I like you)

I'm currently in the situation of informing people I know about "what I have". It gets painfully annoying at times. So I thought I'd try and make this list for people who generally mean well, but don't really get it.

Additions are very welcome!

What would you wish your friends/family/co-workers/lover knew?

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No, the medication I'm on is NOT a crutch. If I had a crutch, I'd be hitting you with it now.

Even though few (even here) will admit it, by the time stimulant meds were even discussed I was pretty damned sick of dealing with myself, as was everyone around me. Keep in mind that that same perpetually irritated, frustrated person is only being bought seconds of time to consider the value vs. the temptation of going off on your pompous, judgemental ass.

"This will only take a minute" interruptions only cost YOU a minute

Or five to ten minute, and yes, I HAVE been watching the clock! My attention span is pretty close to all or nothing as it is. When I can concentrate on what I'm doing, I may juggling information that may have taken hours to put together and organize in my head. Now that you've demanded that I pay attention to you instead, it's all gone and I have to start from scratch. Again.

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Word.

Especially #3 and #4. The most articulate response to that crap is usually "BITE ME!" but alas, that isn't very nice, eh.

My alltime fave:

Oh, ADD doesn't really exist./I don't believe in ADD./The pharma companies are making all that up.

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  • 2 weeks later...

i'm one big BP mess with ADD, and i get this from family/friends constantly.

Are you sure you really have BP+ADD? I feel like that too sometimes! Everyone is bipolar and has ADD!

huh?

yes, if you have these symptoms, you need to see a pdoc. (maybe my family is afflicted with these disorders at a high rate and thus this is where my family gets the idea that EVERYONE has these disorders).

i have a cousin who is a medical assistant, and in her coursework she had to write a paper on a psychiatric illness. she picked bipolar disorder actually. i'm mentioning this because it fits in so well with our discussion of "everyone has ADD" or whatever. she interviewed me for it, and went on to claim that everyone has bipolar disorder because EVERYONE HAS MOODS!!! I WAS SO MAD!!! ;):)

so yes, obviuosly there is no such thing as ADD, because if EVERYONE has it, then it isn't a disorder, hmm?

more on that tangent to follow once my adderall-less brain catches up with the rest of me!

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Yes, yes, on all of those, especially #3. I once responded by saying, "have you ever felt like THIS?" and showed him a cutting scar. Of course that was a trusted friend and I wouldn't do that with most people.

My contribution, prefaced by the fact that I am a vegetarian and one of the healthiest eaters I know:

Do you think it could just be your diet?

(Alt version: Maybe you're not getting enough protein/iron/etc.?)

No. Food does not do THIS unless it's poison berries or mushrooms, or perhaps a big slimy jar of lard. My iron is fine, my cholesterol and blood pressure are super. Fuck you, with your 6-pack of beer and double big mac with fries, your pre-packaged hot pockets and trans-fat laden cookies and mountain dew. I actually talk to my doctor about my eating habits, do you???

Thanks for creating this thread so I could get that off my chest!

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My contribution, prefaced by the fact that I am a vegetarian and one of the healthiest eaters I know:

Heh!! I'm vegetarian as well, and actually some of my friends thought I "caught" ADD by being one...

I can relate to all of the above, although I think the worst bit was having to convince my psychiatrist that ADD was actually a diagnosis..yeah I tossed him out after that ;)

Another thing that really bugs me, is how most people just seem to think I'm this distracted/confused person whom they have to take care of. I even have friends calling me up to remind me of shit I have to do, which is not even their business. I mean, sometimes I wouldn't get things done without it, but it's just not their crap, you know? I really do appreciate what they do, but it just seems like they're meddling because they think I would be lost without it.

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This was a great post! So how do your reply when they say: But everyone gets distracted and forgets to do stuff? My diagnosis is really recent and I had to tell a friend that's why I don't always call her back or return emails - I just forget or get distracted and well, I lose time (does anyone else take 45 minute showers and wonder what they do in there?). I don't know how else to explain it...and so I explained about the ADD and she said, "Oh well, that happens to all of us"...but I didn't know how to explain that it's not just what happens to everyone. Everyone doesn't forget to bathe for 4 days....or have boxes stacked to the ceiling in their apt for an ebay project they've had planned for 7 years....or, and or, and or, and or, and or (you get the idea). So how do you make them get the picture or is there a way?

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So how do you make them get the picture or is there a way?

  • Each of the symptoms of ADD/ADHD happens to everyone once in a while.
  • Some people even have a few of the symptoms on a regular basis, though often as the result of another medical problem (like a head injury, or a psych illness, or the side effects of a medication.)
  • No normal person has most of the symptoms nearly all of the time.
  • People who routinely take stimulants to calm down or get some sleep qualify for Mental status to begin with - why bitch about the label?

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  • People who routinely take stimulants to calm down or get some sleep qualify for Mental status to begin with - why bitch about the label?

I'm not bitching - like I said, I was just recently diagnosed and really responding to #3 in the original post. I was really shocked to have a close friend who is aware of and totally acknowledges my BP question the ADD dx and simply say, "oh everyone feels like that all the time". It just freaked me out is all....then to read this, it appears that I'll be hearing a lot of that. It's hard enough to believe it myself and I really don't want to and I don't want to take anymore medicines either (damn, this is making me cry), so I'd really like to just believe them rather than have to convince them and myself and my tdoc that this happens to me ALL THE FRIGGIN TIME. Hell, I can't even get through a 50 minute therapy session without going off on at least 5 conversation tangents that have nothing to do with anything and then forgetting what I was talking about in the first place - you'd think he'd have figured it out by now....or am I expecting too much? I'm just feeling so lost and guilty now....my poor husband is such a saint....and these new medicines are really making me bitchy...and then you saying I'm bitching.....I'm really beginning to hate myself. As I'm sure you can all relate or could at some point or another, I just want to be normal, whatever that means. ;)

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i'm a vegetarian, former vegan, and i get that CONSTANTLY. so, isn't it your DIET??? you MUST BE DEFICIENT!!! but i eat so healthfully. nope, you're deficient because you get your iron from broccoli and not red meat.

never mind that my blood nutrition levels are great every time my gp has them checked. he worries about my diet too. i just don't get it. he of all people should understand that vegetarianism doesn't mean you're deficient, especially with all the various fruits and veggies we eat.

so, are you deficient? ;)

on my way to get that soy burger...

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  • People who routinely take stimulants to calm down or get some sleep qualify for Mental status to begin with - why bitch about the label?

I'm not bitching

No, as far as I could tell, your clue-deficient friend was.

Hell, I can't even get through a 50 minute therapy session without going off on at least 5 conversation tangents that have nothing to do with anything and then forgetting what I was talking about in the first place - you'd think he'd have figured it out by now....or am I expecting too much?

Life isn't a simple linear narrative. Why shouldn't there be tangents when discussing it? What's amusing is how confused "normal" people get when you drop back to finish off the topics left open. That's partly why my list was a progression along the lines of "You can fool some of the people some of the time..." Lead the horse to the water, it'll drink once it gets thirsty enough.

and then you saying I'm bitching.....

You might want to re-read what I wrote in the context quoted.

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  • People who routinely take stimulants to calm down or get some sleep qualify for Mental status to begin with - why bitch about the label?

I'm not bitching

No, as far as I could tell, your clue-deficient friend was.

Oooooooh - the light bulb just went on, now that you explained it this way. She wasn't really bitching. Her twin brother has been hospitalized for severe autism most of his life and I think she feels she knows more than your average joe about this stuff.

Hell, I can't even get through a 50 minute therapy session without going off on at least 5 conversation tangents that have nothing to do with anything and then forgetting what I was talking about in the first place - you'd think he'd have figured it out by now....or am I expecting too much?

Life isn't a simple linear narrative. Why shouldn't there be tangents when discussing it? What's amusing is how confused "normal" people get when you drop back to finish off the topics left open. That's partly why my list was a progression along the lines of "You can fool some of the people some of the time..." Lead the horse to the water, it'll drink once it gets thirsty enough.

I love this too - isn't it fun?

and then you saying I'm bitching.....

You might want to re-read what I wrote in the context quoted.

I did, over and over again and without this explanation I still didn't get it. My brain is fried from an overdose of Strattera. I finally feel like I'm coming down off of it. Thanks for being patient with me though and explaining it better. I appreciate it ;) .

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I don't know how else to explain it...and so I explained about the ADD and she said, "Oh well, that happens to all of us"...but I didn't know how to explain that it's not just what happens to everyone.

You know, I have to say something here. I just found out about my ADHD and I am dealing with it and yes, I have social and professional isolation issues and no one would have guessed it. The truth, maybe that we all face some form of ADHD. What these people seem to not realize, or may be it is just not their time to [which we must also accept], is that the condition affects everyone differently, and thus, we must not dismiss the fact that if we care enough to worry about it, that others would be as sympathetic. My warm advice, is to hang in there and let these people go when it comes to sharing about the ADHD. Those who know or understand and care to be there, will whether you want them to or not; you should not attempt to let the extra stuff get to you as it actually adds more burden to the situation in re: anxiety.

Like I mentioned, not many believe me or see it in me or would believe it about me, because of the way I have carried myself, all the while not knowing that I had a serious condition, so for me, I had to force myself (unknowingly) to adapt to the outside environment, and here I am now, going backwards trying to process all of it, and let me tell is -- it is mentally draining and that is an understatement.

I love myself, and though my depression is horrendous, I honestly love myself more because I am allowing me, and only me to accept/reject what others think of me. I am very in tune with reality, not just mine *smiles*, but the bottom line for me personally, was to make the conscious decision to remove any sources that do not contribute to the "Betterment" of my situation...which means less friends, less dates, less everything; but am happy and enjoy my time alone at home and with my son.

Hope you are able to communicate more with us on all of this. This is therapeutic for me; so thank you for sharing.

Virtual Hugs.

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  • 1 month later...

does anyone else take 45 minute showers and wonder what they do in there?

Hahahahaha that happens to me every friggin day. I day dream a lot while showering lol, I can't help it.

Ok here is my frequent ones:

Every one gets distracted.

You need more discipline.

You just need to get organized (oh really? no shit that's a good one).

ADD is just an excuse for being lazy.

Why are you so selfish?

Just my five cents.

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  • 2 weeks later...
Guest Obieland

I just saw the statistic that average people daydream for fifteen minutes a day.

Fifteen freakin' minutes.

Now, I don't think that's a reliable statistic, given that I can't quite remember where I saw it, and given that it makes no sense to me. However, assuming that normative people actually think fifteen minutes is a remotely realistic amount of daydreaming per day, it might shut 'em up to know that you and I zone out, not for fifteen minutes, but once every fifteen minutes (or y'know however long it is for you).

I tend to express it as "spacing out about twice per conversation, no matter how scintillating" -- sometimes they get the idea when it effects paying attention to their precious words, sometimes they don't. Also, "operating through a constant haze, like a thick fog that exists between me and everything else" can be fairly educational, if dramatic.

What I hate is the constant politically correct chatter about overdiagnosis that I hear at my normally open-minded hippie college. I was underdiagnosed for nineteen years, and while I got by okay, I'd rather see Ritalin in the drinking water than have some poorly-supported kid really fall through the cracks.

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