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Racing Thoughts: Which Illness?


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I've been diagnosed a few things in my day. Going back to when I was 19 I was diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder.

The meds - either distinctly changed my personality, and I could not concentrate/think worth anything. And I began to destroy everything around me in my life. Picking up the pieces, I moved elsewhere at 22 or so. Back then I would describe "anxiety attacks" , as my thoughts spiralling out of control - to feelings of failure, where eventually I would screw up so much and my life would be a waste. That and worrying over things I could not control. When there was lots and lots of anxiety for a long time, I got very bad depression.

Those depressions/anxieties were usually around real things(although greatly multiplied by intensity by some cognitive trouble/ mental ailment). Some just social shyness.

Several years later I was diagnosed with ADHD - when I saw that my functioning and performance and anxiety about it was centered around ADHD. I accepted this diagnosis as the previous one led me into the worst state of life I had ever been in. I'm wondering which "racing thoughts" are attributable to which diagnosis?

Are my angry, disconnected, thought distorted racing thoughts sometimes ADHD', Bipolar', or Anxious?

Changing answers, day dreaming, bouncing from idea to the next, "seeming to have a different conversation" than others -- is that ADHD like or Bipolar like?

Getting lost all the time after my quitting of the anxiety/depression med... was that just ADHD stuff I did not realize (very severe ADHD). How'd I do well in school and not know if I had ADHD until after the problems arose? Is it possible my dual/diagnosis is just due to real depression things that happened in real life, or because of what I'm labelled with?

Maybe I just know that life isn't going to workout for me. Or maybe I have brain damage, or maybe I'm screwed anyways in life. And I'm supposed to use trial and error to find the right mix of meds... but maybe there isn't one. Maybe I've realized I can't get what I want - so if I choose treatment, I'm choosing to damage my brain in some way - no matter what.

-Are those "what ifs?" Above Racing thoughts? Is that anxiety, ADHD, Bipolar.

-Is stream of consciousness writing and thinking - Bipolar. Maybe "Flights of ideas."

-Is thoughts that I can't control and that hurt me -- "bipolar/anxiety".

-When I want to die... can't it be pent up dissapointment, depression etc causing ADHD to worsen later because I know I'll mess it up. Or is it Bipolar causing me to feel this way?

But that is seemingly hard to do without bipolar medication. Or maybe I just convinced myself that I need medication. The odds of me finding the best ones and living with the side effects seems unlikely. 

-Anxious Racing Thoughts: Fear before a situation or with the results of a situation.

-Bipolar Racing Thoughts: Thoughts that are extreme in hypomania or mania and then depressive or agonizing over depressive/agitated/anxious/non real thoughts?

-ADHD Racing Thoughts: Not being able to focus, trying to solve something and 'racing' between alternatives?

Edited by MNK99
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Your confusion is completely justified. Those are three disorders that can be really hard to tease apart, and those three aren't even all the possibilities! As an internet commenter, nothing is outside my scope of practice, but I'd leave this one to the professionals who can talk to you for a few hours over a period of a few weeks to help you sort all this out. 

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Mostly just the depressive thoughts. Not so much delusions. If they are there - they are temporary...

And it is more about agitation, and kind of overlaps hyperfocus (ADHD) and is really more subtle than full out delusions. I do sometimes have severe insomnia, but only for 4-5 days, but that was mostly with ADHD meds. I was diagnosed ADHD first. I also feel like life is over at times and everything is spinning out of control - catastrophizing.

I had bad or no reactions to depression and anxiety meds. I may have had full blown mania with Effexor for several months, as I was going through a horrible time but that happened once at 19-21 (one of those years, can't recall exactly). I was actually going through extortion at the time... but I think I believed things were worse than they actually were. I was manipulated by someone who played on my "instability" and I think whatever my true issues are coupled with memory problems, made the outcome far worse than just the events. Most issues long term are executive function issues - related to ADHD, and emotional regulation problems. I have said and intended to become "A God" at times, but that was more narcissism than me believing I actually am a God. Not sure if that's answers anything.

Good feelings are fleeting, bad feelings are pervasive. I could succeed and the next day feel like I'm still screwed in life. Most of my sleeplessness was stress related and the fact I take longer to get my work done than normal people, or because I begin when its already due (ADHD stuff). Much of my experience can fit ADHD + traumatic life events. But it doesn't fit just pure depression, because the meds set me off. I felt lifted, happy, capable, and in control on lamotrigine, but I quit it. I am thinking of trying tegretol or trileptal or maybe latuda. Quite often I talk like there's too much information to get out ( I guess "Pressured speech") and since I was a kid I wrote like 2000-3000 words. Arguing with a friend or girlfriend or family member, I often would write/ text like 1000 words per minute (filling up the max length of 20-40 messages). That's why I don't text angry ! Anyways, I think I fit BPII like 80% or maybe lower or higher and I know I fit ADHD totally (like 1000%). But then why don't its meds solve everything?

 

During the episode in my early 20's, I was under threat of violence. BUT I did not see that some of my friends were actually quite manipulative. I had raised the dose of effexor and at some point it went from making my anxiety better to turning me into an alcoholic train wreck. I was using drugs and at times completely out of my mind. Its strange because I was completely straight edge just a year and a half prior. While the threat of violence was real, it was mostly towards my former friends -- who were dealing. In the absence of effexor I would have seen that they were using me to save them -- and I would have not gotten into further trouble to protect them (which was a huge mistake). Also my parents, brother, etc report me doing and saying things that were quite out of character. ADHD explains being late, disorganized, playing catch up in school, but it doesn't explain feeling high on no sleep (in the absence of any susbtance)... nor some of the other things -- acting completely out of character.

Much of my more severe traumatic events in life were alcohol/drug related. BUT I pretty much quit drinking, and got healthy again and still screw up things. The diagnosing physician (only saw once, hard to see this guy) said "I strongly suspect you have bipolar II, I don't think you have bipolar I". When I first moved to my current city, I was an alcoholic and trying to my life together from the betrayal of my friends... but it was more than that. The depression and anxiety - should have resolved. On BOTH MEDS -- I felt like 80-90% of what a normal person (kind of) would feel like. But maybe, I can find a slightly more suitable med for the BP.

As a kid, I described "anxious thoughts spinning out of control" as anxiety attacks, and the "wanting to die, life is over, I'm fucked" thoughts as depression - after screwing things up. (School, career related) -- then later I accepted most of that was not living up to my potential. Being "smart" but still messing things up -- ADHD and its non treated things.

I posted questions on Reddit Bipolar (after finding Reddit ADHD quite useful). I deleted my account there but I had like 60 replies and most of them saying something like "Get treatment now." I don't know wtf. I hope something works and doesn't jack me up with side effects. I WISH Lamotrigine didn't mess with my stomach and my hair, otherwise I'd stay on it. It killed a depression in September and January in like 1-2 weeks.

It's like my symptoms are cerebral and visible - in terms of rapid speech, and pacing, and movement at times. But most people that meet me briefly (I don't find long term friendships/relationships easy to keep, and for many years was decidedly against them). I fell and blacked out around my 21st birthday (first of many -- but I don't anymore). My friends back then were in trouble and maybe I was in real trouble or not... maybe they just saw me as a way to fund things. I think some of them were real and did care about me, but 1 was a psychopath for real, and turned us against each other, and mostly them against me. That episode resulted in a ruined name, having to relocate, financial ruin, academic ruin/postponement, and A LOT of disillusionment and confusion.

I thought maybe I had brain damage. I used to walk and wander in a haze trying to piece together what the hell had happened (unsuccessfully of course). It wasn't til 4-5 years later I said fine I'll get a Psychologist, then Psychiatrist and treated ADHD. 3 years later trying to treat that and BPII. Its a nightmare. BUT it could be worse! What happened then was probably some sort of perfect storm:

Untreated ADHD + Alcoholism + Contraindicated medication due to untreated BPII (or something very similar) + Sociopathic friends + escapism (from responsibilities - by clubbing/drinking) + Anxiety

Most of that is "solved" - just need to get the BP med right and get into a career that works so I can truly move on.

Unless the cognitive issues -- are purely BP and I don't have ADHD and the ADHD meds are making BP worse. I hope not. But that's a fear. I hardly take the ADD meds half the time though, but I see my life fall apart without them. Coffee does not cut it. But treating that alone does not cut it that greatly either.

Other symptoms: Also hypersexual at times, but not acting on it, but then sometimes acting on it in risky, unsafe ways. Porn addiction - fixed, but then risky sex that makes me worry and need STI testing. Also intrusive thoughts. Can't stop thinking. Sex obsessed but usually don't act on it because I prioritize success / other goal directed activity, that I'm mostly bad at anyways - cuz of the ADHD stuff. Also self medicated (both disorders?) with cocaine for a couple years, and legal stimulants when I was younger.

-I can be functional on REAL drugs, but on marijuana - I felt fucking insane when I smoked during 20-21, it took me a while to realize that's not a normal reaction. Seeing, hearing things, acting and saying things that were very weird. Anxiety, paranoia, ADHD , and crawling out of my skin feeling were amplified like 100-1000 times. That must have been sativa / high THC stuff. Trying to get CBD/ or indica medically. Its not that bad - the indica I tried by myself -- outside of partying or with others - a microdose.

I feel and act pretty messed up with no drugs also. I run into traffic when its nearly too late sometimes (when crossing) and used to get into near fights/altercations like 4-5 times a month. I don't anymore thank God. Sometimes I see shadows or things that I cant tell what they are - a person or a creature... but that's vision and imagination or something.

Edited by MNK99
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Wow it definitely sounds like you've been through a lot and suffering with all of this. Who knows if the right BP meds would help you but I think you should give it a shot, I mean why give up before it could work? I recommend seeing an actual psychiatrist, who will go over all of your history and then make the right recommendations for you. 

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