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Erynn Brook Dec 15
I’ve had a lot of questions asking for more info on this part so I’d love to give it a whirl and see if I can provide some answers!
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Erynn Brook Dec 15
Replying to @ErynnBrook
So for how ADHD can look like depression and anxiety? Well it’s usually cyclical. In my case it was working on a lot of projects at once to the point of getting overwhelmed (looks like anxiety) and then crashing and being unable to do anything for months (looks like depression)
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Erynn Brook
Because of how dopamine works in ADHD brains (dopamine is your reward center, your yay I did the thing neurotransmitter), we don’t really feel a sense of accomplishment when completing something.
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Erynn Brook Dec 15
Replying to @ErynnBrook
So the day after all those big projects there’s no “Ahh, I did many things.” It’s more like “Fuck me I could’ve done better if I wasn’t so damn disorganized.” Neuro-transmitter wise, I mean.
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Erynn Brook Dec 15
Replying to @ErynnBrook
I thought I had chronic depression for about a decade. That cleared up once we started treating and managing my ADHD. Now I know that depression and anxiety type feelings are signs that I’m not managing my ADHD properly.
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Erynn Brook Dec 15
Replying to @ErynnBrook
For sensory processing disorders well there’s a lot of overlap between them and ADHD and it’s possible to have both. But a lot of ADHD folks mention auditory processing issues as well. Things like if everything is the same volume you can’t pick things out.
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Erynn Brook Dec 15
Replying to @ErynnBrook
For personality disorders, my research isn’t scientific by any means but I’ve talked to quite a few people who were diagnosed borderline or bipolar but were actually ADHD. This comes from the emotional side effects of ADHD not being recognized by many professionals.
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Erynn Brook Dec 15
Replying to @ErynnBrook
Thyroid issues! This one is interesting because the symptoms are almost identical. In fact in some cases they just treat for either thyroid or ADHD and see what works. The brain fog is particularly tricky to assign to one thing or another.
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Erynn Brook Dec 15
Replying to @ErynnBrook
A good doctor should check your thyroid levels before medicating you for ADHD. I had mine checked a few times throughout the process and I think I had one abnormal reading and a bunch of normals? So it’s tricky.
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Erynn Brook Dec 15
Replying to @ErynnBrook
For OCD, undiagnosed ADHD doesn’t exactly look like actual OCD. It looks like the social idea of OCD. It’s probably closer to obsessive personality disorder in looks, but it’s basically learned coping mechanisms.
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Erynn Brook Dec 15
Replying to @ErynnBrook
Things like “a place for every thing and every thing in its place” and actual discomfort and emotional jittery-ness if things aren’t in their right place. It comes from a lifetime of living with stuff flying out of your head.
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Erynn Brook Dec 15
Replying to @ErynnBrook
If anyone has a mum like my mum, who is definitely the undiagnosed ADHD bearer in my family, you might recognize this obsessive focus on organizing things and creating systems and getting frustrated when everyone else doesn’t follow them.
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Erynn Brook Dec 15
Replying to @ErynnBrook
The “undiagnosed ADHD as narcissism” is similar to the OCD thing, it’s not like actual narcissism, it’s like the social idea of narcissism. It looks like... social dominance.
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Erynn Brook Dec 15
Replying to @ErynnBrook
It’s a coping mechanism. Basically when you’re the center of attention, you can control the amount of stimulus around you, to an extent. You can stop people from having side conversations, you can get people to laugh at the same time so it’s less overwhelming.
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Erynn Brook Dec 15
Replying to @ErynnBrook
It looks like, the little kid at their parents’ party demanding that everyone stop talking and watch them do a cartwheel. Too much noise, can’t process all of it, how can I get it to stop.
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Erynn Brook Dec 15
Replying to @ErynnBrook
Take charge, change the topic, tell a story, tell a long joke, bad impulse control, too much stimulus = make it about me and I can control this chaos.
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Erynn Brook Dec 15
Replying to @ErynnBrook
Of course this means that over time you’re developing bad listening habits and bad communication habits and it’s possible that after a while you’ve closed off things like “other people’s feelings”. Similar to the “a place for everything” part. It’s like mental control systems.
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Erynn Brook Dec 15
Replying to @ErynnBrook
It’s like other people’s feelings don’t go in this place, so change the subject and don’t deal with this fluff. It’s not narcissism because they’ll sometimes be the best listeners and most caring people ever. But try to talk at the wrong time and you get stonewalled.
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Erynn Brook Dec 15
Replying to @ErynnBrook
So I hope that helps for people. A lot of it is combinations of generations dealing with undiagnosed ADHD and developing coping mechanisms that worked or didn’t work. A lot of us ADHD folks probably experienced emotional abuse growing up, often from the ADHD parent.
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Erynn Brook Dec 15
Replying to @ErynnBrook
Yes there are definitely environmental factors, like untreated ADHD and addiction, risk taking behavior, all that, which can make our coping mechanisms not so great.
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