My anxiety, depression cycles.. have they been adhd in disguise? Reluctant to get a diagnosis



New member
Sep 14, 2018
My anxiety, depression cycles.. have they been adhd in disguise? Reluctant to get a diagnosis

I suck at writing, and grammar etc so I apologise in advanced TL:DR at bottom

I'm sorry if this is breaking any rules and I truly intend to really write my heart out here with everything I've read and how it it correlates to my story/life.

What lead me here? well it's sort of a complicated one I suppose, I can't remember exactly what part of this year I started reading into ADHD but when I did it fascinated me because of how much certain perspectives of it truly matched so much of me and my past life. I've always had questions about my self, very big questions ever since I left school (15) as something never really felt right. It was an age where I would start questioning things about life and myself and the answers never seemed to be there so I just kept on doing what I always had done. More years went by still more and more I was wondering "am I normal? do others think the way i do? feel the way I do?"

I'm now 23 and after talking to someone with ADHD (not about it directly) they really made me question the possibility if I'm the same and have it.

What lead me to initially start feeding into this?

Well I'm going to link some articles below on things I've read that I believe really do sound like they're coming from my own head in a well written way.

(these are not in order of when I found them)

[Text] Sometimes extreme motivational problems can be caused by adult ADHD : GetMotivated
I stumbled upon this one a few days ago and to break it down referencing points from it I'd like to elaborate below.

"ADHD also has high comorbidity with depression, anxiety and relationship problems. It can lead to trouble holding down jobs, poor organisation, losing things frequently and general frustration. A lot of people with ADHD just think they're useless lazy bastards who are squandering all the opportunities life has given them, but this isn't true. It's hard as fuck."

Let's start with depression: I had low self esteem and more so low confidence when I finished school and when I hit 17 I had 2 extremely bad experiences with a brother passing away and another thing that threw me into a hole when combined with the above 2 present issues. I pretty much just became a full blown introvert for 2 years until I managed to climb out of the hole and really pull my social life back together. During that period I was depressed quite a lot throughout the whole period with some ups and some big downs. Depression ever since then for me from 19-23 has been a battle of what can I do as a person to make me feel better with what I have available? the last year I've made probably the biggest leap in terms of health in my whole life due to what I believe is me spending the last few years truly trying to figure me out as a person. Depression always felt like it came in cycles of ups and downs over periods of months and I could always feel the downs coming before they really ramped up.

anxiety is something I honestly have suffered with for probably as long as depression. In a single week I would probably have an anxious feeling inside for a few hours minimum about 85-90% of the time. I'm most anxious when I haven't eaten or have time schedules to meet and have arrangements/tasks with timers. My answer for anxiety for the last 3-4 years has been self medicating with cannabis. Weed pretty much takes away all my anxiety, it stops my head from overthinking a huge amount and with my own perseverance really can help me focus on my work.

poor organisation, I have never been employed in my life. I've always found ways to make money and support my life style which eventually lead me to starting my own business about 4 years ago which became pretty succesful and led to me being able to live completely of me being self employed. My work desk at home is often very cluttered, I try cleaning it up but after a week or so again it's just back to square one with 90% of work items that need to be put away or organized, I often start tasks and complete about 30-50% of them before just walking away and leaving them for days or even weeks very often for no real reason. My parents often tell me I'm terrible with organisation and it's something I've struggled with my whole life.

losing things frequently, was having this conversation with my friend yesterday after reading this a few days prior. I was talking about the possibility of me having it and what I had been reading and when I talked about this one in particular he said to me that it was probably one of the biggest things I do whenever I visit his place or I'm out. I will think that I've lost my keys, card or money etc and I will panic and search everything I have on my only to find it in my pocket that I checked about 5-10 minutes later. I very often lose these things at home too unless they're right in my face (even then sometimes I overlook them).

general frustration, this one is pretty vague but frustration is something I commonly find myself dealing with in events that seem either very unlucky, illogical or irritating. Such as being put on hold with customer support, listening to someone say a long winded point or question that I know they're going to say. Having events out of my control happen that directly effect my mood or an outcome in a negative way. Being nagged to do simple things around the house etc etc.

Underachieving expected grade reports I underachieved in practically every single expected grade I had in school, my reports from the first to last year slowly declined year on year from what I was expected. And I was always told by teachers if I put my head down and focused that I had so much potential

the above is my summary for that particular post

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) - Symptoms - NHS
having a short attention span and being easily distracted, this is probably one of the biggest things I've struggled with my entire teenager and adult life and effects me multiple times a day pretty much every single day. Games I used to love playing bore me completely within 20-30 minutes, I sit down and watching tv or a film whilst eating food and when I'm done I just want to turn it off after 10 minutes and do something else. If I watch guide videos on youtube on how to do something I extremely struggle to take in what they're saying usually and just want to turn the video off, I can randomly just pause the video and go do something else like browse reddit etc. I usually have up to 50 google chrome tabs open within about 6-10 hours of using the pc where I just stop whatever I'm doing on a webpage and open up a new tab to look for something else to read or watch. I can have open like 10+ tabs of reddit alone.

Screenshot - 9152cdaa26b989f7ada2f23d49616200 - Gyazo and example of this after 3 hours of me properly being at this pc
being unable to stick to tasks that are tedious or time-consuming. I work with a lot of data entry in my job and it's something I really struggle with to the point of me just literally smoking a joint before doing it so that I can concentrate. If i'm doing data entry for 1 hour to 3 hours, after the first hour I will start considerably slowing down and having a brain drain, I'll start pausing more and more often and the repetitive hand movements will start becoming extremely noticeable in my head to the point of me feeding into it so much that I have to have a break. My most underachieved part of my college course was data entry for database management in an 8 subject diploma.

having difficulty organising tasks, if I have 4-5 things that I need to do in a night but aren't something that have to be done I'll think logically what I should prioritize and by the time I'm done thinking about what I should do first I'm already tabbed out looking at something else and 20 minutes later I'm back to thinking about what I was going to start in the first place and even then I can do the exact same thing zone out and do something else or I'll inefficiently start the first activity and probably do about 2 out of 5 things in a night when I believe most people could quite easily do 5/5 things and have time to spare potentially.

excessive talking, I really really really love talking but not in that way people hate (i think) I usually talk an extreme amount when I'm interacting with close friends. I'm usually the one leading conversation or talking about all sorts of topic etc and I like to talk about things quite in depth to the point where I can multiple hour long conversations with someone in person or over a game through comms.

interrupting conversations, I usually interrupting conversation when I know what they're going to say, have a relevant point that I want to add even though they aren't finished saying what they want to say or very oftenly replying before someones finished there part of a conversation just to speed things up. It's something I noticed a ton when I Read up this symptom

being unable to sit still, especially in calm or quiet surroundings, honestly not to sure about this one, I find it really comfortable to tap my root foot fast when I'm sat at my pc concentrating, even more so when high from weed.

sleep problems – finding it difficult to get to sleep at night, and having irregular sleeping patterns, I haven't really ever much felt trouble falling asleep. My trouble with sleeping has always been since my adult life because of the freedom the absurd sleeping patterns that I seem to like and my body too. For instance I went to bed like 3-4 months ago at 7am after getting rid of this sleeping pattern prior and 3-4 months later I've been sleeping at 6-7 am again and getting up at like 3:30pm-4:30 pm. I really don't function at all before 11am it feels like and for years I've always been up from 2am to even as late as mid day. I had this period where I would sleep 10:30 am - 1 pm at one of my worst points.

here are some points I experience often but one expand upon if some obvious ones are left out they should be above and expanded upon in some sort of way.

continually starting new tasks before finishing old ones

inability to focus or prioritise

mood swings, irritability and a quick temper

obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) – a condition that causes obsessive thoughts and compulsive behaviour
I stumbled across this article today

Hyper-Sexuality, Sex Addiction & ADHD | Psychology Today UK

since about 16-17 my sexual desire went through the roof and I would and still do masturbate multiple times a day and have tried so hard to curb it and I would personaly classify it as an addiction to masturbation but not pornography, I'm addicted to the climax feeling not what I'm watching ever. This is actually something I researched years ago because I thought my over masturbation made me lose the ability to have ambition, motivation and and sort of drive etc.

"DHD disrupts a person’s ability to manage her behavior or to act with future consequences in mind. That’s why kids with ADHD are at their worst when they must complete tasks that have no immediate payoff. Goal-directed, future-oriented behavior demands that a person be able to motivate herself internally. This ability is described as willpower, self-discipline, ambition, persistence, determination, or drive. ADHD disrupts this mental mechanism, leaving those with the disorder “low on fuel” in motivating behavior toward future rewards."

Ever since I even became aware of these things on a more serious level, like thinking about what I want to do in future, having ambition to meet goals in future and the drive to push for them. None.. I've never ever really had any ambition, drive or motivation to do anything since I left school and more so college. It is actually the reason why I ended up making a business, I just needed to support myself because of the things above taking me no where. I started self studying for a certification but had no capacity to fufill it to the finish line. I've never known what I truly wanted to do ever prior to business, I couldn't even think about it. I would have conversations with my mum about it and she was supportive and told me I'd find something eventually which I never did. I've watched inspirational videos, read inspirational quotes etc and I've just never got anything from them.

I don't plan my life more usually more than a week ahead if that, the only thing I look out for in the future is items that are released for my business. That's literally it.

"Physical and mental health problems. The symptoms of ADHD can contribute to a variety of health problems, including compulsive eating, substance abuse, anxiety, chronic stress and tension, and low self-esteem. You may also run into trouble due to neglecting important check-ups, skipping doctor appointments, ignoring medical instructions, and forgetting to take vital medications."

bolded the ones that effect me in that quote

My mum stopped making health appointments for me when we moved to another school and I was realistically old enough in college to make all the appointments myself like dentist, health checkups etc but I've not done anything of them my entire adult life. I don't pay any attention to health checkups even though I actively think about doing them. Especially the dentist. my eating has always been a big struggle for me, especially with my depression. I have these extreme patterns of compulsive eating, especially sugary stuff to the point where I binge on things and then get sick of them and stop eating it.. only to do it again a week or so later. Dieting has been an extreme struggle for me but something I've been actively trying to do for 3 years. I eat for the pleasure of it not because I'm hungry. I often eat a ton of sugary stuff and regret it after.

"Work and financial difficulties. Adults with ADHD often experience career difficulties and feel a strong sense of underachievement. You may have trouble keeping a job, following corporate rules, meeting deadlines, and sticking to a 9-to-5 routine. Managing finances may also be a problem: you may struggle with unpaid bills, lost paperwork, late fees, or debt due to impulsive spending"

I feel bad when my business doesn't do well in a month and makes me want to give up and my self worth tanks, I used to struggle really badly in school to follow all the rules. I personally believe I did a whole lot better in college because of the relaxed rules and more personal attention. It was actually the first time I got a good report.

Relationship problems. The symptoms of ADHD can put a strain on your work, love, and family relationships. You may be fed up with constant nagging from loved ones to tidy up, listen more closely, or get organized. Those close to you, on the other hand, may feel hurt and resentful over your perceived “irresponsibility” or “insensitivity.”

Ended up having an argument with my parents about this one as it kept bothering me so much the more I tried the more they would find something to nag about that I hadn't done until I told them it was making me feel bad and they stopped doing it anywhere near as much.

This is the part that I'm worried about and makes me reluctant to go get a diagnosis, from what I've read it's a lengthy process, you have to bring proof and stuff of how it's effected your life and you need to prove how it disrupted your childhood. I don't remember my childhood that well so I can't remember if or what major problems I had back then. I was never a self reflective person until my early adulthood and didn't pay attention to differences in me than others. However what I do remember from my late school life was that I complete and utterly sucked at exams, I would often have to read some questions multiple times to even understand them and even then I couldn't always, I have problems with self doubt if I'm doing something correct so i would ask friends or the teacher to confirm I was. a lot of my behavioural problems in school were linked to just talking when the teacher was and I believe now that I look back on it could have been connected with the fact that honestly, I really really struggle to take things in when being spoken to in a general manor on how or what to do for work. I would rarely do work (unless I enjoyed it) until the teacher had come over and had a one on one talk with me on what and how to do something. I was always a hands on learner personally.

I did have to do some anger management in school for a few extreme anger outbursts but I personally felt that was overblown reaction to one thing I did at the time.

My ultimate fear in life is being bored and not being able to do anything about it. As the years go on I find it harder and harder to entertain myself, I've been self medicating with weed for 4 years on and off and luckily I dont have any addictive traits to the substance and have been able to stop every time without any negative effects other than being moody for a few days. It's helped treat my anxiety but it comes back when I don't smoke. Weed also amplifies some of the talked about problems above like, excessive talking, compulsive eating, fidgetting like tapping feet excessively. I day dream very often, I can just start randomly staring at my screen mid work and start thinking of random stuff. I have the weirdest thoughts in my head that I just feel 99% of people wouldn't even think about, I think out weird scenarios that don't really have any purpose. I'm addicted to reading things on reddit to the point where if I have nothing to read it sort of stresses me out not being able to process new information.

TL:DR been reading more and more into ADHD and all the widespread problems, have been linking the dots and discovered just how much of adhd explains and matches my life. afraid I can't prove if I have adhd to a psycologist or doctor (whoever diagnosis it) and makes me reluctant to even try and even a little sad. Not sure even if I did get diagnosed with it how I'd feel about taking medication because of the side effects. If even a single person reads all of this and replies I thank you so much, it's extremely long winded but been a massive thought and problem in my life since I started truly thinking about the way I am and all my problems


Well-known member
Jan 5, 2011
:welcome: to the forum. I'm afraid I couldn't read all that - my brain isn't up to it. I hope you find the forum supportive and a good place to be.


Well-known member
Aug 27, 2018
It certainly sounds like you have ADHD and depression. You said you self medicate with marijuana. Many people do this. Not sure if this is the best remedy for your long-term mental health. You really need to meet with a psychiatrist and explain your symptoms. You have done quite well to be able to come up with an idea for a business, obtain clients, and run the business. So, you are not really dysfunctional.

You really need to overcome your fears and seek psychiatric help. Your case is quite complex. Attention deficit, anxiety, and depression. A lot of SSRI's like Zoloft, Paxil, Celexa can help with Generalized Anxiety Disorder. Maybe this would be a good starting point for you. Maybe using one of these medications rather than smoking weed would be beneficial. The weed may be having other adverse effects upon you, as you mentioned.

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