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Kyle vs. ADHD

Kyle vs. ADHD
This past year I’ve been trying to address some of the issues I’ve been facing with my mental health. Mostly the stuff I’ve been used to dealing with, but some things really hit the fan last summer, and I had to face my issues head on. I’ve been used to dealing with a constant background hum of depression and anxiety, but the anxiety really kicked it up a notch and I quickly found my back up against the wall. I had to take steps to address this because it became very apparent that how I was living was just not sustainable.

This is going to be a long one, so buckle up.

The anxiety was the first thing I tackled. Long story short I opted to go on an SSRI medication. I won’t get into a big amount of detail about what that is or what it does, but I know that it’s a big help for me. In high school I was on Zoloft for a time because I needed help even back then trying to manage my brain. Currently I’m taking the generic version of Lexapro. 10mg a day taken each morning after I wake up. SSRI medications take awhile to become fully operational, but I can really feel the results when they take effect. It’s like the medication allows my rational thoughts to have power over my totally off the wall anxious thoughts. I’ve been on it for about 8 months now, and I plan on sticking with it for the foreseeable future. So far so good.

Along with medication I entered a regular therapy program that lasted for about four months. I had to cut it off when I moved cities, but I’m currently looking into getting back into regular therapy because I do think it is incredibly valuable. My therapist focused on cognitive behavior therapy which seems to be the new hotness amongst the mental health care world. We also focused a lot on mindfulness, and changing my outlook on things. I’ve always struggled with being optimistic because I always felt like I was setting myself up for a bigger fall by hoping for the best. I thought that preparing for the worst, and always thinking about the most negative scenarios was somehow helping me, or defending me from everything. Turns out I don’t think that’s true. Navigating my brain with the help of a professional was great, and I can’t wait to get back to it in the coming weeks.

My anxiety seemed to be pretty well under control, but as I was recovering from a mental breakdown I felt like my depression issues weren’t getting any better. I was a little disappointed because a lot of what I was doing both medication and therapy wise should have been helping in regards to both anxiety and depression, but as my anxiety began to subside all that was left was the heavy weight of depression. After moving to a new city I decided to hit up a new doctor to talk about it, and try to figure out why I was tired all the time.

Some friends of mine have struggled with similar issues and ended up discovering that they did in fact have some sort of issue that needed dealing with. Hypothyroidism, or some sort of nutritional imbalance, or something else along those lines. I went to the doctor with the hopes that I would find some clue as to what could be going on with my mind and body.

The doctor I found was great, and listened to me describe my issues in a lot of detail as best I could. I asked specifically about the issues that my friends dealt with personally. Some things came up like hypothyroidism, low testosterone, iron deficiencies, or other nutritional issues. Some blood work would sort any of those out quickly. We talked some more though and he mentioned the possibility of attention deficit disorder, or ADHD.

It actually didn’t come as a total surprise when he said it, and to be honest I was actually pretty excited that he mentioned it. When I was going to therapy on the regular I did bring up my thoughts on ADHD to two different therapists. With both therapists we talked about it at length but both decided that I didn’t fit the official diagnosis criteria mostly because I did well in school, and I’m able to hold down a job. Both times I felt disappointed in the result of those discussions because it didn’t really feel fair to dismiss it based on that. To be honest doing well in school felt like I was barely making it work, and my relationship with work and jobs has been very bizarre compared to most people’s experience. I’ve worked from home almost my entire life, and have mostly been working either on my own projects or in relatively short lived contract positions. A big reason I pursued a career that allows me to work my own hours from home is because I feel like I would never survive in the 9 to 5 office world.

My doctor went on to tell me that the symptoms of ADHD can look a lot like depression sometimes. It made a lot of sense to me. I talked about how I felt tired constantly, and no amount of caffeine could save me. I was drinking quad shot espressos every morning, and by the afternoon drinking cold brew, and then black tea in the evening, and still barely managing to stay awake. I talked specifically about how I can’t do something like sit and read a book without feeling like I want to explode. Sitting down trying to do work is also a nightmare, even though I’m working on things that I love. I feel like I can’t focus, and when I do focus, it’s on the entirely wrong things.

After talking it out for awhile we went ahead with doing the blood work to test for anything else going on, and he gave me a prescription for a 7 day trial of Adderall. 10mg once a day in the morning to just see how it feels. I was excited and also a little terrified. I mean most of what I’ve heard about Adderall is people taking it to push through school work or crunch at work, or stuff like that. There’s all these articles and now documentaries about how awful it is, so I did a lot of thinking on it.

The blood work results came in, and I looked to be pretty normal. I could use some more vitamin D, but that was about it. So with that out of the way I was ready to try out the medication. Worst case scenario was that if I end up experiencing horrible results from it I can just not take any more of it and be done. I mean even the SSRI I take is full of horror stories on the internet, and it works great for me. I remember when I first started taking it a psychiatrist told me to specifically not google search it. He was right. Trying to absorb all of the horror stories about the medication doesn’t help me at all. I took the Adderall and strapped myself in for whatever was going to happen.

I had no idea what to expect. The doctor did give me a heads up that I might start to feel jittery or a little wired from it. I was expecting it to feel like a big blast of caffeine or something like that. I was trying to mentally prepare myself for going into a freak out from it, as sometimes in the past too much caffeine has given me bad anxiety and sometimes panic attacks.

About 45 minutes later the feeling started to set in. It was nothing what I was expecting it to be. Looking back on it it now it still feels like it’s hard to describe. The best way that I’ve seen it phrased was that it feels like a dense fog is being lifted from your mind. To me it felt like I was entering a totally different reality. I noticed how awake I felt. I was sitting at my computer typing out how I felt to externalize it in case I started to have a freak out, but no freak out came. I felt more awake than I ever had in my entire life. My mind went quiet. I didn’t know how loud it was in there until that moment. The feeling of being pulled in a hundred different directions all at the same time was gone. I could sit at my computer and write out my thoughts and feelings and be content doing so. The feeling of never being satisfied vanished. If this all sounds pretty intense, that’s because it was.

The feeling of never being satisfied was one of the core things I’ve been trying to deal with ever since I can remember. It’s like this constant nagging feeling that no matter what I’m doing some part of my brain is telling me that it’s either not enough, or not the correct thing to be doing. It’s a part of my brain that wants to do everything, and nothing all at the same time. I think as a student I was able to cope with this feeling better, but over time and especially in the past 5 or so years my ability to deal with it eroded almost entirely.

As an example here’s how a typical day would go for me: After spending an hour convincing myself to get out of bed I would try to focus on getting work done, but I would quickly find myself browsing garbage websites that just provided cheap distractions. I would try to set up work blocks of time to find that I could go for only 10 minutes before feeling awful. I would try to take a break and tell myself I’d get back to work, but the breaks would stretch out for the rest of the day. I would go for a walk to get myself out of the house because I felt like I had to go somewhere. I probably would go eat a huge lunch, and even after eating my weight in food I would still feel hungry. I would come back and fall asleep even though I just drank a quad shot espresso, and wake up 3 or 4 hours later feeling like trash. Then I would feel guilty that I wasted the day. Feeling terrible at this point I would fall into whatever distraction I could until finally I would go to sleep only to repeat the same thing the next day.

All of this was driven by a voice in my mind constantly shouting at me, and I was just trying to appease it. Sitting down and doing work felt like torture. The overwhelming sense of dread I would feel when trying to make myself focus for more than five minutes was unbearable. The voice in my mind was just telling me that it was bored and it wanted to do something else. Maybe go outside. Maybe take a nap. Maybe browse the internet. Maybe play a video game. Maybe try to work on a different project. It felt so loud, and out of my control. I would try to hold it off, but it figured out ways to break through my defenses. I would try to listen to it, hoping that it would eventually shut up if I did the right thing, but it never ceased. I never knew it was like to not have this voice in my head until my first dose of the ADHD medication kicked in.

When the medicine kicked in the overwhelming sense of dread vanished. I was able to focus on whatever I chose to focus on, and not feel like I was going to explode. I was able to look at my list of tasks that I had ahead of me, and not instantly feel exhausted. I was able to read things, and understand them, and not feel like I wanted to take a nap afterwards. I even noticed that the movement of my eyes was calmer, and less jumpy. My thoughts slowed down to a comfortable pace instead of feeling like they were constantly spinning out of control and the only way I could escape them was to try to fall asleep. I could actually do focus work blocks for 45 minutes or longer, and the tough part became taking a break. When I did take my breaks I found myself eager to get back to work at the end of them. I’m writing this right now about four hours after taking my daily dose, and the sense of calm that I feel is amazing.

As I continued on with my day after the first dose I noticed some other things that were different. My entire life I had been used to fighting the urge to just crawl back into bed during all hours of the day. That feeling was totally gone. I actually wanted to do things. I wanted to get to work on my projects. I wanted to do a bunch of lingering chores around the apartment. I wanted to go to the grocery store to pick up some things. I looked forward to things instead of dreading everything.

One of the biggest changes I noticed was that my ability to multitask skyrocketed. I had become so used to safeguarding my attention from any distractions. Whenever anyone would send me a message dread and exhaustion would instantly overcome me. It would take all of my mental strength to look at the message, read it, and respond. Not because of the message itself, but because it would interrupt me. I was spending so much energy on trying to focus that when I heard the sound effect from the message I instantly felt shattered and totally wiped out. As I sat at my desk after taking the medication I noticed that these little tiny interruptions had no effect on my mental state anymore. I could easily read, and respond to a message, and immediately jump back to whatever I was doing at full speed.

Recently the condition of ADHD has been less linked to “attention” and more linked to the executive functions of the brain. A major part of ADHD can be “executive dysfunction.” This was a struggle for me constantly. Executive dysfunction means I lack the ability to prioritize tasks in my mind, and I struggle with trying to do anything that isn’t immediately satisfying in the moment. This was something that I noticed change almost immediately as well. Before taking this medication if I saw my phone was at 5% battery then I would just let it sit. Then it would die, and it might be another hour or so before I can muster up the mental energy to plug it in. Yes, even as something as simple as plugging in my phone would feel absolutely impossible even though I knew I wanted, or needed to do it. When I’m under the effects of my medication it’s absolutely effortless for me to notice the same thing, and simply plug in my phone. It’s hard to describe it, but taking this medication lifts impassable barriers in my mind.

I noticed the effects on the work on my projects right away as well. The team I’m working with currently uses a task tracking website to manage the project, and I barely used it. I couldn’t stand it. It always felt so overwhelming, and trying to figure out what was going on, and what tasks were being worked on by who, and all this stuff would just wipe me out instantly. After I took the medication I could easily jump into the task tracker, figure it out, and start contributing to it. I was able to read through things and understand what was going on. Beyond that I was able to take on tasks, and start working on them right away instead of spending 3 or 4 hours trying to hype myself up enough to jump into it.

Something that I became used to when working on projects was constantly having some sort of minor distraction going at all times. For anything that wasn’t related to code I would always have podcasts, videos, twitch streams, movies, or whatever nonsense playing on one of my other monitors. I was constantly just searching for a way to quiet the impulsive part of my mind that was telling me to do something else, so that the rest of me could get some work done. After taking the medication I found that I didn’t even need to do this anymore, and when I actually tried it I found that it was too much. I wanted pure focus, not distractions. Writing this right now I’m actually sitting in complete silence, and it’s fantastic.

Any sudden breaks of my concentration or attention used to be absolutely devastating. I often found if anything came up unexpectedly it would ruin my entire day. I had to plan out my entire day down to the last detail of how much free time I would have to try to focus. Otherwise I would stress out about not having enough time in the day to establish a focus on anything. If I was trying really hard to get work done, and I got a phone call from someone that they’re in a pinch and they need a ride home, I would feel absolutely awful. I would still make the effort to help out my friend, or whatever the situation was, but internally it felt like I was having a complete meltdown. I could barely hold it together sometimes and I would get frustrated and act like a complete jackass to people. I would become quiet and retreat into my own head so that I wouldn’t lash out at anyone. It was awful. After I started the medication things like this have happened multiple times now, and I’m absolutely amazed that it has no effect on my mood anymore. The other night I was in the middle of a pretty long work block and I got a text from someone saying that they needed my help with something right away, and it was easy enough for me to just reply to them and head out the door. I didn’t even give it a second thought. My mood didn’t go down the drain. My mind didn’t melt into a pile of garbage.


It’s important to note that over the past nearly 10 years of my life I’ve been trying to deal with all of these issues that seem to be coming from ADHD and executive dysfunction. I was probably dealing with these issues even further back than that. I’ve always thought that everyone struggled with these same feelings as much as I did, and they were just much better at dealing with it than I was. I always felt like I was lazy or unmotivated compared to everyone else. In college my roommate once jokingly called me “Sleeps All The Time Kyle” because I took so many naps and slept so much every night. I’m starting to think that I had to sleep that much because the amount of focus I needed to do any work in college was totally obliterating me. I was constantly wearing myself out just trying to pay attention in lectures, trying to read and understand the material in the textbooks, and keeping up with mountains of physics homework.

For awhile I was trying out the Pomodoro technique which is a fancy set of rules for doing timed work blocks. I thought that maybe having some sort of fun structure like this would help me develop better focus. I would try to do 25 minutes of work, and then take a 5 minute break, but even that was a struggle for me. I would push through the first 25 minute block, and then the 5 minute break would turn into a 10 minute break. Then 20 minutes. Then suddenly it would be an hour since my last work block and I would feel terrible. I would read about how people successfully do 14 or 16 Pomodoro blocks a day and I would crumble into a pile of hopelessness and despair. How could I be so bad at this? This was work that I wanted to do! I’m literally working in the career of my dreams and I still couldn’t do it.

I would try blocking out all distracting websites from my computer. I wouldn’t go as far as unplugging the internet since I often needed it to look up why my code wasn’t working. This worked for a short time, but then I noticed that the more I blocked out websites I used to communicate with people, the more anxiety and dread would build up. What if I was missing something important? What if I was missing messages from people? Am I missing out on opportunities to promote what I’m working on by blocking out these sites? I would be able to get more work done sometimes, but overall my racing thoughts just would find other ways to destroy my focus by thinking about what distractions it’s missing out on.

Game jams are something that worked for me for a number of years, but even the jams I loved so much couldn't hold my interest for very long. The adrenaline that would surge through my body during a game jam would be enough to convince myself to focus. That’s an underlying secret that I understand now. When my adrenaline overpowered the impulsive part of my mind then I could actually focus. I would lose myself in the frenzy of the jam and just be totally overtaken by the adrenaline making the best game I could in a weekend. Of course now thinking about it this is clearly the “hyper focus” part of ADHD. Game jams had a lot of success for me in turning on the hyper focus part of my mind, but only if everything lined up perfectly. It had to be a good theme, and I had to have a cool idea in mind already, and it had to be a good environment of people that I liked being around. Eventually game jams became predictable, and they wouldn’t give adrenaline anymore, and my brain would be too bored to care. I really wanted to care though, and it was frustrating that I simply couldn’t. Another trick wore out.

When I was growing up I often found that the right music would help me focus. I got really into fast paced action type music because it felt like that really scratched the itch of whatever part of my mind was feeling bored. Psytrance and video game soundtracks were my jam for a long time, and they still are. However this was another trick that become less effective over time. I found myself being bored of music in general over the past few years. Songs wouldn’t bring me into a focus anymore and instead I would think about how predictable the song I was listening to was, and how unsatisfied I was with it. That would spiral into being unsatisfied with everything and not being able to work. Again I would be left frustrated and bored.

I tried so many task trackers and to do lists, and I was convinced that the right one was out there waiting for me to find it. I went through the same cycle with every single one of them that I tried. I would sign up for an account and make a task list, and then it felt like too much effort to keep the task list updated. When I finally did get around to checking on my tasks they would be so stale that I felt awful about it, and the dread I would then associate with the list would guarantee that I never checked it again. I’m actually sitting next to a white board right now that has tasks on it from over four years ago that I never did. I should probably clear it off and start fresh.

Even just trying to keep track of things in a simple notepad file would start to feel too overwhelming, and instead of feeling proud of the things I checked off I felt guilty about all of the things that were still unchecked. Making a list of things to work on often didn’t relieve me at all, and in fact it would make me feel worse. I would look at the list and that impulsive part of my mind would start to convince me that it was too much to work on. I would try to break down tasks into smaller tasks, but even that would exhaust me. I became confused as to how I could possibly break down some of the tasks further. The more tasks I wrote down the more overwhelmed I would become, and I would feel compelled to not do them. The feeling of being pulled in a hundred different directions except for the one I wanted go would exhaust me just by looking at a simple to do list.

In relation to that the whole “don’t break the chain” method is something that gets tossed around a lot. A common phrase of advice in the world of writing is “write every day.” No matter what happens during the day find time to sit down and jam out any amount of words. That sounds great, but to my mind it was always a set up for disaster. I would start off one of these “don’t break the chain” exercises with good intentions. I would be all set to get started on my streak of good habits, and soon my momentum would carry me through, right? It started off well most of the time. Eventually I would run out of steam, and I would miss a day. A missed day would turn into two days. Then three days. Then the guilt of missing so many days in a row would just fill me with disgust. I would see nothing except for my broken streak and feel ashamed and throw the whole thing out. I would chalk it up as another failure, and it would turn into just a downward spiral attack on myself.

External deadlines worked for a good while on me as well, but as I got older the less I encountered them. In school I was able to pull through because even with working on everything at the last possible moment I was somehow smart enough to still get good grades most of the time. Shortly after college I found myself working on projects to submit to various awards and festivals, and I entered online game making competitions where I could find them. I would use these kinds of external deadlines to push myself to work on things, and for awhile it was very effective. Eventually though, going along with the theme of all of these coping mechanisms, it wore off. Signing myself up for any sort of external deadline would make me crumble under the pressure instead of rise to the occasion. I started to dread any sort of deadline, and I would freeze in place. The negative emotions I’d feel from it would just make me flee in any way I could. Again I would be pulled in a hundred different directions except for the one I wanted to go.

For awhile I found that having a nice hot coffee in the morning at the start of my day would be a solid pick me up. Something about the feeling of having the coffee, and the caffeine would feel really satisfying and I would be able to focus for awhile. Eventually the amount of caffeine wasn’t enough, and I would start upping the amount higher and higher. I would throw in energy drinks sometimes to see how effective they would be, and sometimes they were very effective. I eventually hit a point where my body would have no more energy to gain even from a million shots of espresso, and instead of feeling more awake from caffeine I instead would just instantly fall asleep. I tried energy supplements and nootropics as well to practically no effect.

Exercise? Forget it. I never understood how anyone associated exercise with feeling good. I was never able to run more than half of a mile without feeling like I wanted to die. Whenever I heard someone say “every day it gets a little easier” I would want to lose my mind. It never got easier for me, it got harder! All this time I thought I was just physically unable to do it. I thought my endurance was just trash, and there was no hope for me. I’ve come to find out though since starting the Adderall my ability to exercise has increased significantly. The problem wasn’t that I was getting physically tired from the exercise. The problem was that I would become hopelessly bored with whatever exercise I was doing after 5 minutes, and the mental exhaustion would just translate to physical.

I tried going places to work like coffee shops, and once again it was very effective but only for a short while. After a few weeks I would become bored of whatever location I was going to, and instead of working I would just go there and find myself distracted by the internet or the environment. I would start to dread the commute especially if I had to drive, and eventually the feelings of guilt and dread would ruin yet another coping mechanism.

Somewhat related to going to a place to work every day I also tried out streaming my game development on Twitch. This again was exciting for a little while but it turned into dread. I tried to adhere to a strict schedule of when I would go online. I had a cool audience of a few regulars, but eventually instead of looking forward to streaming each day I would instead just absolutely abhor it. I hated opening up all of the programs. I hated the moment I hit that start stream button. The weird thing though is that I still liked it. I liked streaming and I wanted to do it, but that horrible impulsive part of my mind hated it and couldn’t stand being locked into it. It was effective for awhile, but eventually I hated it so much that I gave up on it. It just seemed like the more I tried to lock up the impulsive part of my mind the stronger it would become to break free. It would always win.

I’ve tried different diets across the past 10 years and they’ve had varying effects on my ability to focus. When I got into a really good routine with a diet it would last me for about 30 or 40 days but eventually I would break it and the guilt of breaking it would sink in and destroy me. Similar to the “don’t break the chain” method, the instant I messed up I would sink into a deep depression. Instead of just simply resuming the chain I moved further and further away from it. Whenever I broke a streak I felt so ashamed that I couldn’t face it, and the entire point of the method would backfire on me.

I thought maybe a major problem I was facing was eye fatigue, so I ended up installing f.lux onto all of my computers. That actually has been a huge help, but it wasn’t treating the actual issue. I did notice an improvement since I started using it, but I now notice the difference between what eye fatigue feels like and what total mental fatigue feels like.

Everyone claims that the best help for depression was establishing a good routine. People have it on good authority that routine is the best thing ever, but for my entire life I have absolutely hated routine. I hated anything that was scheduled out in advance too much. School was the absolute worst in this regard, and I despised every morning that I had to wake up for it. I tried so hard to get into routines of things that I actually liked doing, but the repetition of anything made me hate it. I tried going for walks every day because that’s a fun and healthy thing to do, but sure enough after a week of doing that I would feel horrible about each upcoming walk instead of excited. Any kind of routine in my mind was the ultimate enemy. The impulsive part of my brain that is constantly bored of things is already bored of the routine before it even begins. Anything associated with a routine to me just felt like something that could get in the way of anything that I would want to do in the moment.

Maybe I just needed to take a break from game development? I could have been putting too much pressure on myself. I know that releasing Offspring Fling and Snapshot in the same year was pretty brutal, and I definitely pushed myself to the absolute limit at the end of each of those projects, but even still I kept thinking at some point if I did somehow burn myself out or injure myself I should eventually start to recover. I wasn’t though. Every day it felt like my mind was slipping away from me more and more. The ability I had yesterday was higher than that of today’s. I took a long purposeful break from game development and all it did was make me feel more frustrated that I wasted more time.

I could keep going with all of the solutions that I’ve tried but you can probably see that there’s a common theme here. Things would work for a short time, but eventually they would gloriously explode in my face in the worst way possible. If they didn’t explode in my face then they would slowly drift away as their effectiveness reached zero. Every single time a thing didn’t work for me I would take it as more evidence that I was a stupid, lazy, idiot. It constantly felt like I was battling my own mind because I was doing exactly that. I knew I had the capabilities for focusing, and I knew I had the knowledge to do my work, but I just could not figure out how to get myself to do it. The part of me that wanted to do work felt totally separated from the part that was in charge of doing it. I would read life hack after life hack, or productivity tip after productivity tip, and the ones that worked would be exhausting for me to do, and would only work for a short time. I would constantly wonder how everyone else dealt with this, but I’m starting to realize maybe a lot of people actually don’t deal with this after all, or at least not to this degree.

I’m only a few weeks into my treatment for this, so it’s very early to say how overall effective it has been. This could all very well end up on the list of things that I tried and got bored of, but so far it feels vastly different from the rest of the things I’ve mentioned. I’m still taking 10mg of Adderall a day, and that goes along with my 10mg of Lexapro. So far the efficacy of the Adderall hasn’t diminished at all. The dose still kicks in about an hour after I take it and my mind goes quiet, and I’m able to do whatever I want to do. Things that used to feel utterly impossible feel effortless now. Things that used to destroy my concentration no longer effect it in the slightest. I don’t spend the entire day yawning anymore, and I don’t find myself collapsing into my bed at 3:00pm every day ready for a 6 hour nap. Most importantly I feel like I’m no longer battling with my own brain every waking moment of my life.

If you’ve been keeping up with my writings you might have noticed the core issue that I struggle with. Over time I’ve felt like I’m somehow becoming worse at everything I do, instead of becoming better. I’ve felt like I’ve been getting worse at game development especially. Right now though I might have the answer as to why. If this has indeed been ADHD that I’ve been fighting with for my entire life then it makes sense. The erosion of my coping mechanisms means that my ADHD is getting heavier, and harder to deal with. When I was younger I had more ways to effectively trick myself into focusing, and I had more energy to calm down the impulsive part of my brain. Just turning on the right music, or sipping caffeine used to do be enough, but over time nothing seemed to work anymore. With my current medication I feel like the old me in a way. The young me, I mean. I feel like the version of myself that worked on games and other projects without feeling awful. It feels really good.

I find myself thinking a lot about this time I was talking with my dad about my work when I was in college. I was trying to describe the feeling that I would get sometimes where everything in my head would line up, and I would suddenly be in control of everything. This feeling would never last, but whenever it struck I would try to use it as much as I could. This is why my sleep schedule was always so broken. If I felt like I had a clear mind at 1:00am, then you can be absolutely sure that I would stay awake for as long as I could because who knows when that feeling would return. Nothing was more important than that sense of clarity because it would be here one moment, and gone the next. I remember saying to him I wish I could feel like that all the time. I wish I could just take some sort of medicine that would make me feel like I’m in control of my brain like that. What I was describing to him is how I feel now when I take my medication.

Who knows though? Maybe after awhile the medication wont have this effect anymore. Maybe it will. At least for the time that it does work I’m able to enjoy the peace of mind it gives me. Thanks for reading all the way down here. I try to be an open book about this kind of stuff because other people being open about their issues is what helped me discover and navigate my own.

Too long, didn’t read: It turns out that what I thought was depression might actually be ADHD, and so far taking medication for it has turned out incredibly well, and I feel like I actually want to do things again.


What a young man! Very proud of you! Keep going! The more you learn about yourself the further you will soar!! 😘
Posted May 7th 2018 3:04 PM
thanks rene! <3
Posted May 7th 2018 11:14 PM
Love you bro - thank you for helping open the door even further on mental health and already helping other ppl by doing so. Including me. I couldn’t be more proud. Xo
Posted May 8th 2018 12:07 PM
Joshua H
Joshua H
You're not alone! Great read man, I certainly tackle similar issues myself with our "task assigner" at my workplace, and the spiral of garbage websites (this is certainly not one of them) - Knock out those tasks, good luck!
Posted May 8th 2018 12:26 PM
you are doing a great job. and you have a good support team, or should I say person. always good to give back as you are doing. if one person reads this and seeks assistance with success, you have done a great thing.

Posted May 9th 2018 5:18 AM
Ah thanks everyone! I have the best friends and family ever ;D
Posted May 9th 2018 12:26 PM
Posted May 9th 2018 12:37 PM
Thanks for sharing.
Posted May 10th 2018 8:32 AM
I super loved reading this and it makes me so happy to see and hear you’re doing so well.
Posted May 17th 2018 12:46 AM
Thanks for reading and the kind responses, everyone <3
Posted May 30th 2018 6:59 PM
Thanks for writing all this down. I'd love to hear a follow up on how it's working for you a few months later. Glad you're doing well.
Posted August 16th 2018 2:48 PM
Archie B
Archie B
I feel that we are the product of our environments and can relate to much of what you typed. I recently began to taking seroquel, an anti psychotic, to stop hearing voices and be able to focus better. The powers that be claim that my mind is the problem but I blame it on the environment which we live in. The world is overly complex and consumes our attentions. The ones most notable are the instant gratifications which cumulatively leave little room for what we really need to focus on. Our minds no longer give gratification for doing what need to be done, and the mind fails to produce dopamine, the pleasure hormone, in response to lesser actions and behaviors.
With practice I become better and better at focusing, thou I constantly find myself trailing off while reading fiction books. Sometimes, in complete silence, I'm able to speed read which is much easier than the slower plodding forward like I am accustomed to. It's not that I'm lacking anything, its just that my mind tends to want to to multitask especially in processing irrelevant information while trying to complete a goal. I think such a "disorder" is actually a sign of intelligence. Our brains know that something is wrong and is crying out for efficiency of mind, and we allow the outside world to interfere with that productivity. Besides this our bodies cannot keep up with our thoughts, so we must practice entering a meditative state to cope with this dichotomy, and learn to maintain presence of the moment.
I understand that this is precisely what the ADD medicine is for and hope to continue following your blog to see how well the medicine holds up for you. My main issue is for whether or not you'll have to increase the dose over time. If you want to talk more about it I would be glad to give you my number.-
From an old high school classmate
Posted August 24th 2018 2:23 PM

So far I'm still holding up fine with my current dosage. It is true that the world is a much different place than it was even just ten years ago, and we are surrounded by instant gratification in all forms, and that probably does play a role in how we develop mentally.

I do have the option to take a second dose during the day if I choose to, but I haven't dug into that just yet. There are some days where I definitely feel like I get drained super fast, even with the first dose, but it really depends on what the day holds. Social gatherings and what not really take a toll on me, so I might try taking a second 10mg dose on days where I have a lot going on, but I am keeping a very vigilant watch on my doage -- though my doctor does not seem concerned. He was actually surprised that I saw a result on just 10mg to begin with.

I posted a quick update on what's been going on in my life. I've been super, duper busy so I just haven't done much with the ole blog, but things have been going really well. I'm able to work on things and do things that I always knew were possible, but I just could not navigate through the mental fog. The ability to actually focus on things without the feeling of immense dread or the need to run away has enabled me to be the person I've always wanted to be.

Again thanks for the comments, everyone. I super appreciate everyone really digging into this post, and I hope it's helped people that also struggle with this kind of stuff.

Also hey Archie!! Long time! Hope you're doing swell.
Posted September 28th 2018 1:24 PM
Archie B
Archie B
I'm doing well. I'm about to go through a medication change in the hopes of not hearing voices while I attend online college for my bachelors degree. I have a pretty easy life- who knew that people could make it so difficult.(I blame society)

Do you ever find that people are purposely ruining your concentration?
Posted September 29th 2018 10:11 AM
Best of luck with the medication. Finding the right combination of medications and other things can be tricky, so I hope it all goes well for you.

I don't think I really ever encounter anyone trying to purposely ruin my concentration. I'm pretty active about removing "toxic" people from my life, so if I felt like someone was purposely trying to sabotage me in some way I probably would not maintain any sort of contact with them for very long.
Posted October 1st 2018 12:40 PM
Archie B
Archie B
Thanks for the support. I guess people would say that I'm out of touch with reality, but I see peoples lips move as they say very odd and creepy things and I hear people telepathically harass me every day for years, and remember incidenses stretching all the way back to high school. I just don't belong around these people.

Are you finding it easier to exercise now with your Improved concentration? How much would you say that your productivity has increased?
Posted October 4th 2018 5:08 PM
Yeah, that sounds pretty rough to deal with. Reality is also a tough term to describe since so much of it is subjective to your own experiences, you know? I hope you're able to get support when navigating your own mental health. I can't say I've experienced anything like that.

Exercise does come way, way easier to me with the ability to focus. I have a little elliptical machine that I use for a somewhat daily routine. Before starting on medication I could only do about a mile or two before getting exhausted. Now I'm able to do 10+ miles in a single session on it without an issue. I no longer feel the mental fatigue of trying to stay interested in the exercise.

My productivity is pretty astronomical right now compared to what it was 6 months ago. I designed a card game for PAX West this year, and I'm working hard on Meat Boy Forever every day, and I still find time for my hobbies (tabletop RPGs, and drawing.)
Posted October 18th 2018 9:49 PM
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