Just found this great forum and wanted to share my story to see if it resonates and welcome advice.
I think my story will be familiar. I am reasonably smart which means I could get through school by cramming and last minute assignments. After school I went to college (UK) and almost dropped out just before the end of final year. I was pushed to stay on and achieved the highest grade of any student.
I went away to University, won awards for some of my work, but again by the 3rd year I was struggling with what I assumed was severe procrastination. I just couldn’t do anything, even pay a bill which is a 2 minute job with Internet banking. I ended up dropping out of University in my final year as I didn’t have (nor seek) support.
I was fortunate to get a good job through a friend who knew my skills, and again after about 2 years of excellent work it just started to collapse. I started to think I was simply destined to work 2 years at a time.
I’ve always started many projects, had many great ideas, but never finished them. It was the story of my life. I tried various anti-procrastination aids, books, mediation, but nothing stuck.
I came across an article about adult ADHD and I seemed to tick all the boxes. My GP was pretty open about it and referred me, a psychiatrist diagnosed me with ADD and I started meds. These seemed to help in short term bursts, and often helped dig me out of holes where I felt paralyzed. I hate taking meds but it was the first time something I tried actually seemed to help.
I didn’t like the side effects (feeling totally drained and brain dead after it wore off). So after some years I stopped taking them and asked for another consultation to see if any new meds were now available. That psychiatrist said I didn’t have ADHD, so stopped my meds. He suggested I had depression. Since I didn’t have any depressive thoughts (like my life is so crap) and I was blessed with a great wife, great job, great physical health - I thought that was nonsense.
However I soon fell into the abyss once again. At the time I worked for a startup. I played a significant role in building the company and was considered one of the core employees with a great track record. The 2-year thing hit and I just couldn’t bring myself to get out of bed, slept 12 hours a day, lied about progress etc.
I finally conceded and saw my GP about depression, was evaluated and prescribed some meds (Citalopram). These did have a significant effect, and it felt like I was “normal” with no big lows or major highs. I informed my CEO about my struggles, and that I was now on medication. I guess it was too late, a week later he fired me.
I really felt like I let my wife down, and that I should have recognized the problem earlier and dealt with it. But that is what is so crippling about mental illness I think, it stops you from acting rationally.
Now I have an even better job, with better management and I really don’t want to lose it. It is a few months in and already I’ve had an episode where I just couldn’t do anything, and work piled up. I just stare at the wall and feel numb. So I think the meds aren’t working as well as they should, or my problem isn’t just depression.
Greg’s talk was enlightening. This is the first time I’ve written about my situation and felt like I need to make dealing with my issue a priority in my life.