As a child, like many others, I was diagnosed with ADD at the time and once I was older it morphed into ADHD. Over the years I have made jokes about it as a means to save face in awkward situations to explain my behavior. Having the label of ADHD was easy to use as a get out of jail for my behavior, but I wasn’t able to to lump it all together.
A couple of years ago, I was having some issues that needed help to work through. Lucky for me, while asking for the heIp things didn’t go very well. The therapist quickly ushered me next door to meet with a psychiatrist, who prescribed some depression medicine. With this medication I was able to start seeing episodes in my past more clearly than before and a lot of it was not pleasant.
Jumping ahead, the doctor later took my off of the anti-depressants and put me on a mood stabilizer and anti-anxiety medicine which worked phenomenally. My mood swings were less severe and I was able to weather difficult situations better than ever (Still a far cry from where I would like for it to be).
In the past 3 years, my anxiety has become more and more severe to the point that I was having chest pains and unable to take full breaths during stressful situations. One incident that I use as a frame of reference is a red-eye flight that I took to go see my family. I stayed up all night to make sure that I was tired and could sleep on the plane. Just to make sure I would sleep, I took 2 Ambiens. I think for “normal” people, sleep would have been unavoidable but not for me. I was wide awake all the way through the night. Now with the anti-anxiety medicine all of those troubles are in my rear view.
It might sound like everything would be cool, but I am not that lucky. For the last 18 months I have been dealing with urges that I am unable to ignore. Nothing perverse, just issues with my muscles. Even as I write this, I feel an overwhelming urge to flex my left bicep. It is not isolated to my arm, but I have these urges with all of my muscles.
I brought this up to my doctor and he recognized it very quickly. He said that I have “OCD” symptoms! This didn’t make sense to me, because I don’t wash my hands a hundred times or open and close a door over and over. Turns out that those are just some of the symptoms of OCD. The things that I repeat are just not that apparent.
Now that I look back, I can see things that I have done in the past that fit that mold. As someone who prides himself on being relatively intelligent, it really bothers me that I cannot control these urges (which in turn makes it worse). Intellectually I realize that the things that go on in my head do not make sense, but I am unable to turn my thoughts away.
I told myself that I was not going to write anything personal on here, but I feel like it is something that I need to do. I don’t talk about this with many people, because I am ashamed of this even though I know that it is not my fault. I feel better after writing this, but let’s see if I leave it up 🙂