• All donations and upgrades are manually verified and approved within 24hrs.
  • Upgrades are ongoing. Learn how to save your bookmarked posts.

ADHD PTSD and ADHD

Thread starter #1
Hi.

I've been in remission with PTSD (if you can call it that?); and I'm not having flashbacks, very little anxiety, I'm sleeping well (if I manage to go to bed, that is!) , I'm not having nightmares and I don't dissociate. So that is really good, and I'm happy about that. Even though I know my complex PTSD is not "gone"; I CAN be triggered, but it happens very seldom these days; and I'm on top of all of that; dealing with those moments very well.

BUT.. I've had a lot of problems with concentration (I know it can be a symptom of PTSD), some executive functions, impulsivity and I can't read books much; I struggle in school with both concentration, sitting still and reading. I can only listen to books; if I do something at the same time; and I'm always (ALWAYS) far behind in schedule. I lose things, I struggle hard to not miss appointments and stuff. And I've been thinking it looks a lot like ADHD. But then I always thought that it was connected to my PTSD and possibly some brain damage from the severe abuse in childhood. And that it wasn't important to sort out. Only try to deal with. I also thought I knew pretty well what ADHD was. (But reading more about ADHD makes me realize I didn't know that much about it; nor much about how the brain with ADHD functions.)

But since I was sick in what probably was covid-19 this spring I finally got on top of my food-disorder/overeating and overall bad eating-habits: since I was desperate to get well. I'm planning on sticking to these healthy eating-habit now for life. BUT: then I've noticed I'm really hyperactive all of the time. ALL of the time. I can't sit still, or rest, or wind down, unless I'm sleeping or get stuck in surfing the web/in the smartphone. It's really bad, and I'm not coping really well with it. And I remember that I've been like this my whole life; only I think I masked it by overeating, using substances or wasn't as bothered by it when I was deep down in my depressions (since they "calmed me down"; dampened me). But now after the depressions are gone and I have healed so much from the PTSD I struggle even worse with this.

It's like being a racehorse in a starting box, but there is no race and I never get to run; and I wish so much I could direct the energy into doing good things; but I'm so scattered and "all over the place" or losing concentration or motivation 90% of the time; so it's pretty useless. I use 80% of my energy to just manage my impulses; so that I don't talk to much, or interrupt (I do anyway more than I'd like to) or move too much. And it makes me so tired. (But not calm.)

Is there someone else who have gotten both diagnosis or can relate? And have you gotten help with both or just one? I wish I could get help without needing another diagnosis, but here in Sweden you really can't. They need those letters on the paper to do anything. I don't want medication (I'm already taking a high dose of fish-oil and prime-rose-oil and want to go the natural way) : I'm only trying to figure out ways of making my life more manageable. So that I can stop being so stressed out all the time, and achieving so little.
 
#3
I think @Friday is the best authority on a dual diagnosis. (Hope it's ok to say.)

There is a lot of info online, barring injury or chemo because it's developmental there would be expected to be consistency with the struggles throughout your lifetime, though many improve and the hyperactive portion if applicable can go underground/ thoughts. And then there's with hyperactive features, inattentive, or a combo. And as childhood trauma can mimic it would need to be teased apart. Becasue in the vast majority of cases it is genetic you would likely recognize it in other family member(s). There is a lot of info out there on it's effects on executive functioning (including time blindness and emotional regulation, impulsivity, etc). A lot of comorbidities like anxiety, depression, dyslexia, dysgraphia etc can piggyback, and it can really go undiagnosed in girls.

It's badly named as it's not a deficit of attention but an abundance- on other things. William (?) Barkely, Ned Hallowell, William Dobson, etc have a lot of info. The 1st book I was recommended was "You mean I'm not lazy, crazy or stupid?!" My sister said to an ex-fiance, 'her motor ran on a different speed'. Hallowell says a Ferrari brain with bicycle brakes. There are lots of podcasts and webinars, like ADDMag and TotallyADD.

Good luck to you. 🤗
 
Last edited:
Thread starter #5
Becasue in the vast majority of cases it is genetic you would likely recognize it in other family member(s). There is a lot of info out there on it's effects on executive functioning (including time blindness and emotional regulation, impulsivity, etc). A lot of comorbidities like anxiety, depression, dyslexia, dysgraphia etc can piggyback, and it can really go undiagnosed in girls
Check on all of that. My mother is the "posterboy" for ADHD. I think I've over-read = read too much info. Crashed hard.. but I'm really so desperate to find something that helps. Havent really so far. (Not with the hyperactivity.) The hyperactivity is hellish, and PTSD-anxiety on top of it really takes it toll on me. 😖 But thank you.
 
#6
I find cPTSD is an umbrella for all theses other disorders which for me once diagnosed was just a matter of doctor shopping if I wanted something. I’m not saying they aren’t there or real. Mostly because I was undiagnosed so long probably but it’s old news now for me. I have all the symptoms and life for me is very much like you describe. “Like a racehorse in a starting box” is a beautiful analogy for hyper vigilance which is anxiety. I think it’s good you want to stay off meds. I use pot for my anxiety it works really well as far as feeling better but when I feel better, I don’t feel like racing anymore. I never felt like it. That leaves me with an athletes supply of energy, and if I don’t find a release for it, I’ll burn up. Sex helps with that. So I’m a burnout sex addict, which doesn’t leave a lot of room for functionality. It’s better than suicidal depression though, by a long shot. For me personally it’s better than pills too. I’m not opposed to them in the beginning for stability but after that I avoid them because I like pills .
 
Thread starter #8
“Like a racehorse in a starting box” is a beautiful analogy for hyper vigilance which is anxiety.
I know hyper viligance, but its different from this. The hyper vigilance has its focus on outwards threats, and is "a protection" against being abused again. I dealt with enough trauma in therapy to not be bothered with that fear much now. This is an energy inside moving outwards, not with an outward focus but instead actually making me less focused on what could potentially be dangerous= more raw energy which I can not direct and impulsivity in every direction. My thoughts are scattered and interupt them self. I sort of miss hypervigilance since it kept me alert and able to focus more (adrenalin always "helps" with the hyperactivity).

I use pot for my anxiety it works really well as far as feeling better but when I feel better, I don’t feel like racing anymore
I can't use addictive substances, since I'm born with the genes to get addicted to them. And I won't end 16 years of sobriety/being clean now. But I really get that it helps you. I've really been longing for drugs a lot lately.
 
Thread starter #9
Where is your attention being drawn to when you notice this happening? Is it going towards your thoughts? Is it a problem with bringing your attention to external things because your thoughts are drawn to your internal?
Yes to all above. It's thoughts and impulses interrupting my attention on whatever is in front of me. Or on what I'm doing. And then another thought and another impuls... and I'm constantly being interrupted by new thoughts and impulses.

thoughts on the inside but impulses directed to doing things- and I stop what I do and then move and start something else. Its so bad I can't even pray.. and its been going on so long = since I quit sugar and overeating 9 weeks ago, that I'm actually panicking.. I want stillness inside and being able to rest and pray. But the only time I manage to have some sort of break is when I sleep.

Before quitting with sugar and overeating I had a hard time focusing and sitting still and rarely was able to rest, but now its a lot worse and really hellish.
 
#10
being able to rest and pray.
Perhaps you can add in steps to achieve this goal, since sitting still and concentration has been a challenge for a while.

For example, if the goal is ultimately be able to sit still and let thoughts come and go, or concentrate on a particular thing for a particular length of time - what about starting smaller, easier?

Like, going for a walk, somewhere quiet. Set a timer maybe - walk 10 minutes in one direction, then turn around and walk back.

You'd still be 'doiing something', but you'd be surrounded by calm things to constantly bring your attention back to, and by walking away from things, you take away the ability to act impulsively. All you can really do is walk home again...

Seems to me that this is an achievable goal - you just need to take smaller steps to get there perhaps?

Re the diet? A couple of months without sugar is a big big change for your body and mind. It's likely still adjusting to that (refined sugar? Talk about addictive substances, right!?). Give yourself kudos for what you've achieved (it's a massive accomplishment), and more time for your body to adjust:)
 
Thread starter #11
Re the diet? A couple of months without sugar is a big big change for your body and mind. It's likely still adjusting to that (refined sugar? Talk about addictive substances, right!?). Give yourself kudos for what you've achieved (it's a massive accomplishment), and more time for your body to adjust:)
Thank you. Maybe it is still adjusting. I really hope it gets better with time.

About sitting still. I have done so for an hour every day for years in prayer(I think it's good for me to spend the time being there with God even uf my mind is scattered), but its not "quiet" or calm inside even one second nowadays. Neither when I'm walking. When I'm working out hard it can be less difficult because then the anxiety lessens for a bit. But my body cant cope with working out more than 3-4 times each weeks (also being physically fit gives me even more energy the other time of the day..🙄).

Thank you for your kindness.
 
#12
One thing that I noticed when I was working on this stuff was to practice tying into breathing; No idea if it will be helpful to you at all but my shaman suggested that during good times I practice breathing to a slow count of 5. 5 in and 5 out. I notice when I count my breaths slowly enough I can't think. I am too busy focusing on my breath. :-)

After some time it becomes automatic that when I want to soothe myself or calm my thoughts bouncing around, I have that control by switching to my 5/5 breathing. It takes some time to setup and practice but it I have found it to be really worthwhile.

I hope that may be of some help to you.
 
Top Bottom