Long post, so I apologize.
TL; DR – Forgetful, brain fog, unsure if possible ADHD situation.
A bit of background: I’m a 26 year old male with a beautiful, loving wife and three rambunctious children. I was an only child growing up, didn’t socialize a ton, and was raised by a cop (cop mentality until I was in high school, when he actually became a cop). So I was basically raised to be paranoid about everyone and everything, keep my head on a swivel, and taught how to best maim or kill people because “home-defense”. Also, they were religious nuts, so I had a lot of issues with self-worth and self-esteem. After all, I couldn’t bring myself to believe their stuff, so what good was trying if I was going to burn in a lake of fire, regardless? Apologies, still a bit salty about it. Anyway, I never had a problem with school. Loved reading massive novels, art, great grades, awesome with tests, etc. Around sophomore year, I believe, is when things started to go downhill.
I didn’t care as much about school and wanted to just do what I thought was fun (typical teenager, right?). Slept through many a math class, would wake up at the end, ace the worksheet, and go on with my day. Pumped out English papers because I liked to write. I still like to. I don’t do it, but I like to. Post-school, I had (barely) qualified for the local A+ program, which gave me two free years of community college. Awesome! Except about a month or two into my first semester, I couldn’t do it. I had no motivation and didn’t do anything for the classes, even the one class I actually enjoyed – philosophy. It happened to be the only class I didn’t get an F in, although it was still a D. The rest of the semester, I went to school and promptly set up camp in the cafeteria to play MTG with my friends for the entire day while they rotated in and out between classes and empty periods. Come the end of the semester, I never returned.
Fast forward a few years to late 2014 and I meet my wife. When we began dating, I had been on some sort of anti-depressant from my ancient GP back in the college days, and I ditched the meds. To my delight, there were no repercussions, as I don’t think they were the right meds in the first place. Continue on into our relationship and I have developed an intense, and I mean INTENSE, brain fog. That’s the best way I can describe it. I just found this group today, and some of these descriptions are spot on, like snapshots of my brain or my day-to-day life. I CONSTANTLY forget basic things, like hygiene, cleanliness, important dates or names, and pretty much everything possible. We’ve been at our current apartment for a year and a half, and I still have yet to reliably stick to a morning routine. As I told my wife, it’s like if I don’t have her standing right there telling me something needs to be done, I won’t notice it’s there. It’s not fair to her, that I forget everything. It falls to her when I forget something before I go to work. Even having nearly an hour to just clean up, get dressed, get my lunch ready, and leave, I hit my snooze on all five of my alarms, drag myself out of bed, sit on the couch in a stupor for half an hour, and then rush to get ready and leave after digging through the laundry I forgot to do. Which, subsequently, results in no lunch, no preparedness, and ultimately a terrible start to a terrible day.
To add insult to injury, I am a 911 dispatcher. I have been since I was 20 and it’s been my only professional occupation as an adult. We work twelve hour shifts, 0700-1900, but only work seven out of fourteen days per pay period. The days off are a saving grace. My scatterbrain helps when we have multiple things going on at once, but during calls or conversations, simple information slips out of my mind with terrible ease, and I forget things I know how to do and have been doing for years. With current circumstances, my wife is laid off of her job, and is stuck at home with the kids, who can be quite a handful, so it’s much more apparent how forgetful and brain-fogged I am now.
For years, it seems to be getting worse. I walk right out the door in the morning barely ready and forgetting the trash bags right by the door, forgetting to switch laundry over or forgetting to start it at all. I try to do multiple things, but even with a pre-written list, I start one thing, remember something I have to do for something else, do that so I won’t forget, forget what I was doing before, start something else, get distracted, hear the television, spend the next hour watching The Office, forget the episode I just watched, go back to cleaning what I started three hours prior, stop mid-task when I remember I was supposed to do dishes, take an hour and a half to do a basic amount of dishes…the cycle never ends. Recently, my wife mentioned it almost sounded like ADD, which after a cursory glance at Google is apparently under the ADHD banner of conditions. I’ve been told in the past by a few friends and coworkers that I might have it, but I never really listened because of the thought that I was never hyper and whatnot.
I am constantly sore without having done anything, sleep like shit (diagnosed sleep apnea, treated for the last year, mild improvement, but still never feel rested, but at least I don’t fall asleep driving anymore), can’t focus on anything, even things I love like my Warhammer hobby and even video games, can’t keep tasks straight, disorganized as a human can be, can’t remember even important things like numbers, dates, plans…does this sound like a valid case for ADHD? I’m currently on Fluoxetine (Prozac) for job-related PTSD and anxiety, and so far, it’s only seemed to help with the irritation. I don’t get super mad at stupid things like a did two months ago, but nothing else has changed, and I need it to. I’d love to exercise or be productive around the house or otherwise function like a normal human being, but it seems impossible.
I have an appointment scheduled with my doctor to ask about it in a few days because I honestly feel like I’m losing my damn mind…I’m at the end of my rope, mentally, and I’m desperately trying to figure out why it feels like my cognition and functionality is spiraling downward and out of control. For me, for my wife, for my kids.
Just wanted to see if maybe my situation struck a chord with anyone that might have some input. Thanks!