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ADHD Adults

Depression or BMD?

I know you all can’t officially give me a diagnosis (that’s what my doctor’s for), but I feel as though all my previous doctors have missed something. During therapy when I was younger, nothing ever came out of it. Therapy recently has done nothing except get my doctor to prescribe me antidepressants (which have not worked). If you have seen my other post you know that I am seeing a new doctor who I actually really like. However, she’s just a psychiatrist and doesn’t really help with the therapy aspect which is fine by me.  When I was 12 or so I entered a deep depression that I haven’t been able to fully shake for the past 12 years. I don’t have manic episodes but I do have episodes where I get extremely depressed (almost suicidal but I would never act on it) and then once I shake it I’m back to “normal”. I’m just thinking there has to be more to my depression. I feel crazy most of the time because my depression seems to come out of nowhere for no reason and having ADD I can’t really sort out my thoughts correctly so my thoughts are literally running around in circles inside of my head.

I guess an example would be I’ve done A LOT of crappy things in my life. I feel extremely guilty about all of it, yet sometimes I know there is nothing I can do to change the past so I try to just make my future better. Other times however (when I’m extremely depressed) I wallow in the past, get eaten up by guilt, have no hope for the future, and since there is no light at the end of the tunnel I think I would be better off not being alive (I’ve NEVER acted on my thoughts).

Also is extreme guilt a symptom of ADD, Depression, or BMD?


I’m a recovering alcoholic . You’ve probably heard of the 12 steps? But did you know about half of them , steps 4-9 have a lot to do with getting rid of past guilt and resentments and the 10th step is largely about not letting such emotions build up today. Why would the most successful addiction support group on the planet spend so much effort on guilt? Because guilt can kill. Much , if not all of this is best done with the guidance of a sponsor.
However there are many spin offs that address various issues and addictions you might want to check and see if one of them might be for you

Posted by donttread on Mar 06, 2014 at 4:19am

Oh wow, thanks! I’ll check around for something.

Posted by _ashlynnicole on Mar 06, 2014 at 7:58am

You might also. Want to consider the possibility of a hormone imbalance too .

Posted by ctm1 on Mar 06, 2014 at 9:47am

One of the best (most helpful) ways I’ve heard for defining guilt vs shame goes something like this:
When you feel guilty you know you’ve done something “bad”; when you feel shame you ARE something “bad.”

With feelings of guilt, there is a clear separation between you, the person, and you, the actor—a person who merely committed some misdeed, error, blunder, or wrong; a person who made a bad choice; a person who made a mistake.

One can even cognitively extend this to say “a person who committed a series of wrongs.”  Up to a point, that is.  I think we’ve all got some critical mass of mistakes or bad choices we can make before we slip over the edge and start defining ourselves as the sum of all of our mistakes and bad choices.  The minute we do that we are turning guilt into SHAME.

One of the things that will make someone even more prone to doing that (converting guilt into shame) is someone who has been “defined” this way by other people. 

From your other post: “Yeah, my mom tries to make me feel like I don’t love her as much as I’m supposed to and she thinks I can basically change all my problems. I love her so much (she adopted me when she was single and got married to my dad 5 years later). But her constant criticism hurts our relationship and she doesn’t realize it.”

Plus you say that you and your daughter have had to move back home; I’m willing to bet that so much of this toxic shame is coming from that dysfunctional relationship right there! 

You love her (and you know you love her) BUT she lays guilt trips on you for not loving her ENOUGH (or not the way you SHOULD).  You say she thinks you can just change all your problems (you know you can’t, and I bet you know that if you could just change them all you would); therefore, that means she is basically minimizing and denying your experience and your reality…which is the same as minimizing your feelings.  You also say that she criticizes you a lot.

From my distanced point of view (and correct me if you think I’ve got this all wrong) these are all the subtle elements of emotional abuse.  If not quite that extreme, it is certainly not a healthy relationship.  Not having a healthy relationship with your own (adoptive) mother leaves you with no good role model as to how to be a “good” mother to your daughter.  Living in what sounds like, at least a borderline emotionally abusive environment, also makes people start numbing their emotions just to be able to survive.  It also eats away at your self-esteem.  It can leave you filled with toxic shame, and a sense of perpetual failure. 

Just some guesses based on what you’ve written so far.

Posted by BC on Mar 06, 2014 at 10:26am

Manic Depression aka Bi-polar Disorder, sometimes presents as a situation where you are depressed and then not depressed.  It is called “hypo-mania” because you do not get so far “out there” that you are doing irresponsible things.  You might ask your psychiatrist about that.

Another writer mentioned that your daughter is giving you a bad time about the turn of events.  You need to remind her that the situation is only temporary and that she is no happier or sadder about it than you are.  If you could change things immediately you would do so.  For now, this is how it is. 

While talk therapy can help you understand this, it is not a cure.  Depression most often needs treatment.  If you also have ADD, then your doctor should be working with you on that.

Posted by Dianne in the Desert on Mar 07, 2014 at 2:28am

Diane: HER daughter isn’t the one giving her a hard time about anything—that is her mom who is, just FYI.

Posted by BC on Mar 07, 2014 at 2:41am

A blog post that I think you’ll like:

Posted by BC on Mar 07, 2014 at 7:36pm

• Another one is: “Self-Esteem for ADHD Adults: My New, Improved, Happy Guilt-Free Life”

• Here’s a link to a very short (5 min) video on how to get rid of what is called the Guilt-Shame Spiral.  It outlines 3 steps, and I hope you’ll note that you’ve already started working on all three!

Posted by BC on Mar 07, 2014 at 7:44pm

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