Natural Anxiety with ADD causing social phobia - Social Anxiety Forum
 
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 11-20-2014, 11:19 AM Thread Starter
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Natural Anxiety with ADD causing social phobia


I have been struggling with Social anxiety for the majority of my life, and have been able to cope with it to some degree due to what I think is my ADD masking the anxiety and vice versa. I recently lost my job due to my anxiety, inattentiveness, and maybe just being tired of dealing with it. I've also become distant with my girlfriend with whom I'm living with, as all I want to do is talk about this problem and what I feel when we're trying to be social/normal. I can barely be social in any manner on my own in daily situations, and constantly feel like I need someone to drag me out to do simple things. I do always feel as though people are staring at and analyzing me, and I overanalyze simple social interactions unless I am completely ignorant of the situation or moving at 100 miles an hour, since I feel others are doing so most of the time around me. I always feel more comfortable at night getting out, because I know it's dark and there is less opportunity to be exposed. My parents had always told me when I felt as though others were staring it was because they were "jealous". Daily, I wake up with intense anxiety about my attention and memory problem I know will come about once I am taking full advantage of the day and being active. I usually fall back asleep to get through it, and usually takes me until around 2 or 3 pm to accept this and get active. My biggest problem is, my appearance always feels as though it clashes with my mentality, and I can sense when others with me see it or feel it. I've had people approach me before and you can sense they are surprised or confused once I start trying to speak or relate. It's as though my body won't accept my mind's ADD, and it's a constantly repeating daily when I wake. I feel more comfortable and happy when I am being inattentive and impulsive, though my memory really struggles and awareness of other's feelings is gone. I do blame this on my parents constantly when I feel stuck in the middle. My father is a highly functioning type A personality who has learned to cope with his family trouble with anxiety, and I feel he has used it as a tool in daily interaction to motivate himself. His family is stimulated more by sports, partying, and intense story-telling, and really become anxious and unresponsive or ignorant to deeper things. My mother is also type A, maybe a confused type B, whose family has a history of ADD and impulsivity as a lifestyle in which they live. They are only really stimulated by creativity and unique thoughts/ideas, more complex conversations, and naturally are ignorant to things that don't stimulate their attention in this manner. She has kind of lived obliviously, and made it work. They divorced when I was a teenager, due to what I think is an incredible sense of anxiety they caused each other. I did not have a rough upbringing, but always knew something was off. They never agreed, and could never talk about important things without arguing, and tried to push my brother and I in different directions. Always felt like I was jumping in between excessively different worlds talking to either of them, and going to family events on either side. Both of them were so pushy, we had no choice but to just sit silently in the background in both worlds, and create our own outside of it. It has created this inability to accept the way I might naturally think. Feels bipolar almost. But, when I acknowledge my impulses, parts of the day feel ok, although something eating me inside is telling me something is off, and I get anxious quickly. This has caused me to find a comfort zone that I know is consistent at home, alone, when I can manage the anxiety to be inattentive without being analyzed, and act out in my own space until I am forced to be social. It's as though I'm pressing a restart button daily to find myself. All progress I might make the day before finding myself seems to disappear when I wake. Just wish it was one problem or the other....
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 11-20-2014, 11:41 AM
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Hey dude, just saying I can relate. Kinda struggled with the block of text though, but I'll throw in my throughts.

My story...well, I have 3 younger siblings, and two of them are on the Autistic/Aspergers spectrum and have been diagnosed officially. My mother always suspected that as a child I suffered from ADD/ADHD but it wasn't as publicised 10 15 years ago (26 now) and she wasn't as involved in it reading the literature back then. But she can see the similarities between me as a child and them. She's had to fight to get my sisters diagnosed even now. My teachers also suspected it, or the signs were there at least (you should read my school reports - I was out my seat like 75% of the time as a kid!). Super smart, but never focused/studied and would always get feedback like ''98% on test, top percent in country - IMAGINE IF YOU STUDIED!!''. I was actually pretty extroverted too as a kid until I found weed and hit about 16. Class clown, had no real concept of what was correct or not and would just disrupt classes for the ''lols''.

I identify with 90% or more of Adult ADD/ADHD symptoms now. Never been medicated for it, but I've seen a lot of people having the connection between ADD/ADHD > SA. Someone even said that Adderall of all things, or other various ADD/ADHD meds actually cured or alleviated their anxieties. I'm not actually THAT bad - I suffer from major BDD too but my anxieties feel...different from others in some respects on here. I can still function in certain situations - whereas others I can't. I also have a girlfriend I live with - and I'm distant with her too. I spend about 80/20 split in my own company despite the fact she's in the next room doing her own thing. Probably more actually. Like 90/10. Not sure why she puts up with me as she could get someone pretty incredible, but after 7 years she still bugs me daily about marriage so there's that. Not that I want too.

I also identify with your creative comment & I cannot stand just small talk. Put me in a room with a musician (I actually spoke to the Synth player of a pretty big band, naming no names) and it was like flowing perfect conversation to the point he wanted to work on some electronic music together. The oldest of my younger sisters is ridiculously talented at signing, I mean her vocal range is outstanding and she can hit the whistle register no worries but is pretty socially retarded. My other sister is fantastic at drawing and funnily enough I produce instrumentals and it's really the only time I'm happy - alone, in front of my MIDI keyboard and about 50,000 worth of Virtual Instruments I...acquired. So I see that connection.

But back to the symptoms...I suffer from it all. I don't know about you, but my timekeeping is appalling - if I have 10 minutes, it feels like I have an hour. I have like 16 tabs open right now, a game, music, and music production software firing between 3/4 different projects on that alone. I suck at organization - which was fun being a Trainee Accountant and when I started in a Admin type job. Quit all that. I don't ''listen'' to people either - especially with instructions. I hear them, but I don't hear them if that makes sense and I never clarify like exactly what they want/said. I can't relax, I have trouble starting and finishing tasks too. Lots of things. Hilariously, I'm self proclaimed ''smart'' - actually me & a fellow student had meetings to get me on the right track in school - he's at Cambridge Uni doing Cancer research now. I'm dead end job hunting after being fired from 4 jobs as a result of these symptoms.

Hell, just the symptoms directly contribute to my anxiety BECAUSE they put me in certain situations as a result of them. Like my timekeeping. I'd need to catch a train to my accounting classes as part of my Job role when I was Accounting and if I was late I hated all eyes being on me. So I just went home on the next train. Got found out - asked to leave with a good reference. ****ed myself over just because my timekeeping sucked. That's just one example...

Endure and Survive.
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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 11-20-2014, 12:16 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the reply man. I think my anxiety has superseded my ADD, since I've learned to live that way. I feel pretty similarly to you in those job situations, but when they hit usually, I'll have to sit there and overfocus to the point where I can actually process what needs to happen. It's jumping from being social to productive and active to inactive thats really tough for me. I'll approach one situation with such anxiety and get through it satisfied with the result, then forget where I'm driving or going, or what to do next, and get frustrated. My memory is the WORST. Think I've forgotten some enjoyable moments in my life due to that.

I was pretty similar in school too, almost always got good grades, but lashed out unexpectedly and strangely in class for laughs. I think I've gotten to ignore the things that truly bring me enjoyment in becoming an adult, and the result has given me so much anxiety that I've become a recluse. Never really pursued my own dreams because I was never really given the opportunity. But, now that I have it, it's alien to me, and hard to embrace and do normal things at the same time.

I do need to identify some of my creativity, but it's tough for me since I was taught to sort of ignore and lived that way to this point. I'm hoping to get back into some of the appreciation for music I used to have, but I don't feel like I was given the makeup to fully embrace that lifestyle socially. Hopefully, i can find a passion like you have and forget the rest. I still crave social interaction, just knowing what the result is once I'm in it bugs me out. My girlfriend tries to understand it, but it's difficult for someone with none of these symptoms, who has a normal job that they enjoy to some degree, and feels like they can be themselves mostly everywhere or put themselves in social situations where they feel they can. Thanks for the response NumeroUno
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 11-20-2014, 12:44 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NumeroUno View Post
My story...well, I have 3 younger siblings, and two of them are on the Autistic/Aspergers spectrum and have been diagnosed officially. My mother always suspected that as a child I suffered from ADD/ADHD but it wasn't as publicised 10 15 years ago (26 now) and she wasn't as involved in it reading the literature back then. But she can see the similarities between me as a child and them. She's had to fight to get my sisters diagnosed even now. My teachers also suspected it, or the signs were there at least (you should read my school reports - I was out my seat like 75% of the time as a kid!).

That's great that your mother acknowledged it too. I think my mother always suspected it in my brother and I since she had it and we were so quiet until adolescence, but my father is ignorant of these sorts of problems unless he can relate. I think this forced us to bury it as a problem and just deal. Always chalks it up to, "oh you're just stressed out or overworked" now. Now that I'm getting help he's taking it seriously and willing to contribute, which is great. But, it's very hard for me to acknowledge the problem daily and try to move forward since I've spent my life ignoring it. Kind of become my nature.
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