I feel both relieved and wronged for having such a difficult life trying to stay afloat on Zoloft and all kinds of anxiety meds. How might I deal with? : ADHD


TLDR: My life has been a mixed bag of success and hardships (I mention some here and left out the intimate ones); I think I may have ADHD like my son; I feel better now to have a name for all my shit but feel upset and wasted for not having been diagnosed earlier.

This is my first post here and I’ve gone over the rules and wiki but didn’t find this topic in the common questions section. It’s a vent but advice is appreciated.

Background: I’ve always been a high achiever since grade school. School always came easy to me, especially subjects I love. My parents adopted me from their child (so I’m biologically their grandchild) and looking back, for not knowing a lot about disorders, they actually had a pretty regular routine set for me until high school. They knew my bio mother had bipolar and so they never pressured me at all. I did all of the pressure & high expectations stuff on my own. I wanted to be the first in my family to go to college. I did, I moved to the US for college.

Fast forward to junior year in college, things started to get really hard. Granted I lost 3 family members within 3yrs leading up to that year but never slowed down with school and work. I started seeing a therapist because I was starting to get all anxious and cry before some of my classes to the point of losing my will to live. She recommended I see a psychiatrist after a few sessions and from there, I was officially diagnosed with depression and general anxiety disorder. I’ve been on meds since then (2011).

I struggled until I failed my senior year and wanted to give up on life. I took a break, had a son, and being a mom motivated me to get my shit together and finish my undergrad. The school board gave me a chance and actually covered for my extra year in which a salvaged a bit of my damaged grades. It was difficult to get simple things done on time but I made a lot of “self hacks” to get me through each day. Like putting my school bag in front of the door so I don’t forget it, write lists, etc.

Fast forward a few years, I returned to my home country, landed a a good consulting job, and since then had climbed up the latter and am now the youngest C executive in my country. I was also accepted to some top masters programs, even with my undergrad semester of F (good GRE and experience I guess), enrolled in a blended one, an ivy-ish, and screwed it up within the first 2 weeks and dropped out even though I read all the materials. I just couldn’t handle the other cohort stuff.

Anyway, it has been hell. The depression and anxiety have been my constant and I struggle internally to get things done each day. Even though people think I’m doing great work, I secretly know I do things last minute and even half assed sometimes. I’m able to survive better at my current position because I delegate a lot of work and was given an assistant who gets to schedule my life.

Just this year, a team of specialists from the U.S. came to our country (our local healthcare system sucks) and followed up with my son who’s on the spectrum (ASD). My heart sunk when they ran some tests & school observations and diagnosed him with ADHD. Anyway, so for the past few months, I’ve been trying to learn more about ADHD for my son. Then COVID19 hit and all of a sudden I have to prepare and lead my org in our response. I actually do a good job in crisis management but this time, I couldn’t shut off my brain. I work and research and plan almost every waking hour of the day and sleep for only 3-4hrs until our safety officer told me to go home and sleep. And then it dawned on me, a lot of what I’ve learned about ADHD, my anxiety, trich, depression, binge eating, impulsively finishing off people’s sentences (although I’ve had to learned to control and be conscious and present in conversations), and my latest challenge of having a hard time to shut off my brain to the point of crying and taking a bunch of Benadryl with with my anxiety meds to fall asleep—I might just have ADHD too. Hence, I joined this sub recently to lurk.

So I’ve been trying to read up on adult ADHD and it’s difficult because I’ve overcome some of the inattention, outbursts, forgetfulness, etc with life hacks, apps, alarms, etc. But I feel so shitty the past week and am afraid of spiraling down into another major depression episode. I’m trying to seek professional help but it’s tricky. So I don’t know whether I should at least be happy that now there’s a word for all the madness and hardship that’s been my secret life or to be pissed for being misdiagnosed and given the wrong treatment all these years with all kinds of SSRIs and benzos. Does anyone have a similar experience of feeling like a imposter for seemingly doing well but having to work hard at getting yourself to do the smallest stuff? Or hitting home runs at work but can’t remember other simple tasks at home and work?

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