New Issue!

Spring 2017 Issue ADDitude magazine Read the 'ADHD Therapies That Work' issue now!

The New ADDitude Forums Are Live!

Reach our full community by posting to ADDitude's discussion forums here

ADHD Adults

Need Help with life again

I have ADHD and severe depression. I suffered a stroke a year ago, and wished i had not lived now. Since immigrating to the USA, I have been really depressed. I want to move baack home but my wife wants to stay here, where she is from.
    I have no idea how to apply for any kind of assistance either I have made a full recovery but I dont want to go back to my old profession, and what I want to do, I am over quallified for. I have applied to a few places, and they all ask why I want to take a demotion. I have one option left, and then I am done.


Does your wife know that the US is so bad for you you wish you had not lived? if my beloved was so upset over where we lived, I’d pack ASAP.

Posted by Gadfly on Aug 30, 2014 at 9:43pm

She does, I told her I was leaving. It’s not that the US is terrible, it’s not, I grew up in Europe and feel that I don’t fit in.  My kids are here and it would be very tough to leave them. I would never use them as pawns. Going back home is not so simple, i have assets here which have legal implications if I leave.

Posted by Isp75016 on Aug 30, 2014 at 9:55pm

This is a difficult situation. I imagine your wife might not want to move either. Have you tried antidepressants? Therapy?  Are there others from your country you can connect with?

Suicide is never the answer. I’ve felt suicidal too. I struggle with depression and self-worth almost every day. There are days I wish I wasn’t alive. 

Our family was devastated when my uncle committed suicide at the age 29. Thus, for the sake of my family, I will never take my life.

Posted by ylt222 on Aug 30, 2014 at 9:55pm

I feel so alone, I never lived in the country where I was born, and lived everywhere else. Connecting with people is so difficult. I tried ant-depressants before and cannot tolerate the side effects. ADHD medication did help, and will try again now that I have found a psychiatrist. My new GP ( former GP retired) refused to prescribe my meds when I was seeing a psychologist.  I have one friend who is in a similar situation as me. He grew up as a child in Michigan but has lived in several countries as an adult. He is frail and not long for this world.  He feels just as isolated as I do.

Posted by Isp75016 on Aug 30, 2014 at 9:57pm

You’re not alone.  You are not a failure.  Anyone questioning your application for positions you are overqualified for is ignorant. 
There are so many highly qualified people who have been unemployed since 2008…this has been a devastating blow to our sense of self, but we need to turn off our unrealistic expectations and just find a dumb job to see us through the next few months until we can network ourselves to finding a more appropriate/interesting job. 

In short…this is temporary.  It is not your future. 

You’re stronger and more resilient than you know.  You can do this!!!

Posted by Louis Wellmeier on Aug 30, 2014 at 10:01pm

Being a stranger in a strange land doesn’t mean the strange land is terrible but being a stranger there can be. True even going from one part of the US to another.

You might find this useful.
Sapolsky’s videos—do wish I could get a transcript to speed read through but he is always entertaining as well as educating, gave me some better understanding on how stress and depression plus genetics tie together.

He had some info on low norepinephrine and psychomotor retardation and depression. People who are very depressed are often low in NE and ADD uses up a lot of that. the psychomotor retardation—slow moving, slow thinking, is also linked with low NE. People seldom commit suicide at that point. But if NE goes up again and they get enough energy to act on their misery that is when they may attempt suicide.

I’m also the survivor of a loved one’s suicide, don’t go there please! I do understand live being such a burden that it is not truly living but existing in misery.

And your stroke alone is enough to account for much of the physical and mental stress depleting life of truly living. Check your adrenal function, saliva testing for cortisol and dhea and possibly check with a doctor for low thyroid function and if adjusting meds to boost NE might help.

Posted by Gadfly on Aug 30, 2014 at 10:12pm

Thanks for all the advice,I really appreciate it. The irony is, I used to treat those with depression and other mental illnesses. It’s difficult to seek help when it’s you that needs help.
    I did so much better before being diagnosed with ADHD and I function like someone who has never had a stroke.  Some people don’t believe me because I have no physical deficits and I am in my 40s

Posted by Isp75016 on Aug 30, 2014 at 10:33pm

It is hard to go from one who helped to being helped. And there are some thorns that we can pull out ourselves and some we can’t reach to get a grip on. Even if you know that you have had ADHD lifelong and that you are the same as you have always been, the dx changes how we perceive ourselves. The only thing that changed was the dx, what we know about ourselves.

For me it was a relief to know that my quirks were not due to being lazy, crazy or stupid but that something truly was atypical and has at times been a physiological reason for my mental, emotional and physical state. And a burden I can now cope with in better ways.

Do not underestimate the physical stress and long term recovery and the toll it can impose on the bodymind. Have you checked your thyroid and adrenal function? Those slowed me way down for 2 years yet it may have been my body’s way of insisting I slow down to give myself time to rebuild myself after my life was shattered.

One morning in the darkest part of that time I woke up not wanting to keep breathing. But some part of me was not ready to stop. I made a conscious decision that if I was going to keep breathing I was damn well going to make life truly living and worth the next breath. I had been told by a very good counselor to start being thankful for what I had. At that moment I wasn’t thankful to be alive but could be grateful for the friends who were helping me through this, the counselor, the medication that had finally helped me sleep a few hours that night and eat something without puking it back up. Even though it was the worst time of my life, I knew that around the world many people would gladly trade places with me so what the F was I really whining about. Yes, what had happened was traumatic, but I was physically unharmed, safe, had food, shelter, financial resources, friends—loved ones are the greatest riches of all, was overall healthy and had choices.

I started to make notes and tack them up where I had to see them. Bright colors, a few words with the names of those I was grateful for, and things I wanted to manifest when I rebuilt my life. The attitude of gratitude was a big tool in picking myself up, patching myself together with chewing gum, duct tape, barbed wire, baling twine and bandages on top.

The hardest part that I did not know of at that time for my AD/HD brain was that my routine, my structure, my anchoring points were shattered. Adrift and with nothing to focus on. I had just enough routine with having to care for my animals to force me to get up. I had to find a few simple things to focus on and accomplish each day. And opportunities started to appear, more choices. I set a goal to move across country. I did so but where I landed first wasn’t right. It served to show me what I needed next. After living in a remote rural for almost 20 years, a big city was too much. The next goal was also a stepping stone, a small town that at first was safe but as I started to heal was too small and boring. I moved to where I live now expecting only to stay the winter before moving back west near some friends and the non profit they were setting up. And instead found my plans again changing as I found my sweetheart, found that this mid sized town had the quality of life we both wanted and we built a life together that is better than we ever imagined.

I came through the dark time with many harsh but important life lessons. I had examples from others who had harsh experiences but came through not becoming harsh. They didn’t quit, didn’t whine, didn’t blame, shame or continually complain. Neither victims nor perpetrators. They may have ongoing physical pain or limitations, some are poor, some quite comfortable but all came through with compassion, souls and sanity intact and work to make their corner of the world a better place. Each spoke of a time they made a choice. They had seen others with harsh experiences become something they did not want to become, broken, forever victims and martyrs, some bitter, some cold and empty—the walking dead. and some arrogant hey Your pain isn’t anything compared to mine so what the F are you complaining about! I had some good role models to learn from.

You have been wounded in bodymind and spirit. I suspect that you can come out of your dark time and become better than ever at returning to your work. It may be in a way you do not yet imagine, the opportunity may not have manifested yet. But when you come through the darkness into your own light again, you can say with a truth you never had before to those wounded who want your help, yes, it is possible for I have done it. My way may not be your way, but it is possible. And that may help their light rekindle. Your own truth will help them see their truth.

I can not repay many people who I owe a debt to. I can only try to pay forward with interest.

Your abilities are needed. If finances permit volunteer work at all, there are many people who desperately need help and have no where to get it.

My partner is a combat veteran. No PTSD but some of his army buddies are involved with vets and PTSD work. I’ve passed on a lot of info on how I helped myself physically through the stress and deal with the neurotransmitter imbalances I was beginning to suspect I had. I pass on the info I love reading on neurology, hormones, amino acids and neurotransmitters, diet, various types of exercise, and such. Counseling alone often is not enough when the physiology is out of balance but the physical alone is not enough either when the psyche still has holes in it. To fix a flat tire you need to patch the hole and pump up the air.

Find something to focus on. Your AD/HD needs that. It doesn’t matter how often that changes if it serves to get you to something you didn’t know about to want or is better than you could imagine.

I’ve been shattered and didn’t want to live. And am very grateful I am alive and appreciate my life more than I ever did. I have a far better understanding of people than I did before. Most of all myself.

What can you in truth be grateful for right now?

Posted by Gadfly on Aug 31, 2014 at 2:46am

Thanks for your info on the open course at Stanford. I’m interested in who tested you for adrenal function, cortisol and NE?

Posted by Steph65 on Aug 31, 2014 at 2:47pm

Saliva testing is easy. several labs do it. I got my tests at about the lowest cost through canary club—free to join. I think but might be .com
A few states require a doc to order and get results but most do not. A 4X test will do morning cortisol, dhea and dhea-s and then 3 other cortisol tests.
The current status of neurotransmitter testing offered by many labs and clinicians now appears of very limited use. What is in the urine in a one time test doesn’t reflect much in what is being used by the brain or what part of the brain. I’ve found online symptom checking to be more useful. The book ‘the mood cure’ has some good info on symptoms and using amino acids to help alter neurotransmitters.

I stumbled on the NE boosting when a virus hit my blood pressure hard. Started to get bad symptoms of POTS, pulse racing when I stood and BP spike then plummet causing pulse to surge to get blood to the brain. I read a mention of Olive Leaf Extract helping with this and chronic fatigue. and some info on chronic fatigue include references to NE transporter enzyme issues. I thought the OLE might help fight off the virus if it was still in my system as it has some antiviral properties. But the first dose gave me such a boost within an hour that I suspected something else was the benefit not killing off the virus. A quick web check turned up that it can boost NE effects. Tyrosine as a precursor to NE and DA helped me a bit but is not enough to prevent the need for Adderall. I have some other symptoms related to POTS—often triggered by a virus and often with NE transporter enzyme issues that point to such a problem with me. Extra tyrosine won’t help beyond ensuring I get enough for my body to make a good store. But with transporter deficiency, it can’t get to receptors effectively.

The only NT testing that appears to truly reflect what is being used by the brain requires cerebral spinal fluid draw. no thanks! had one spinal tap and don’t want another!

Low cortisol will slow down the thyroid which in turn slows down brain function. plus menopause lowering estrogen made my symptoms worse. balancing my adrenal function, thyroid as well as sex hormones helped a great deal but when I had done all the diet, amino acids, exercise, keep toxins out, balance hormones, all helped but still left me knowing I could be better. Adderall helps a great deal but may not be ideal for me. Not been on it long and with my next med check will discuss other options.

Posted by Gadfly on Aug 31, 2014 at 3:42pm

i can relate to all exept having a stroke.i would guess no doctor wants to prescibe ADD stimulants for you for fear of provoking another stroke. that if its the case, scares the s—t out of me cause i also have ADD and depression,and im antidepresant resistant. in such case’s stimulants are FDA aproved as a depression for not enjoying the self proclaimed greatest country on earth, you dont have to be from europe to feel that way. from a spirtual standpoint this is the worst country on earth… you are not alone

Posted by tomkat24 on Sep 02, 2014 at 6:03pm

I can relate to so much of what you are going through. I moved to Across the country when my husband retired 12 years ago. We live out in the country without access to hardly anything except through the internet. I can tell you from watching my husband recover from his stroke that it does get better. He has slowly improved over the years & he did not really work at it. Also, there is no real rehab here. I am very isolated here & have always wanted to move back to where we came from. My husband & finances will always prohibit that happening. I got so depressed that I was suicidal. Luckily, I found a psychiatrist about an hour away who I have seen for 2 years. The antidepressant helped some but he recently put me on Concertante for ADD.  This has helped me more than anything. It’s like I have “awakened.” Now the problem is the dealing with the realization about how this affected my whole life.  All of the poor, impulsive decisions that I have made in my life that landed me in rural Arkansas.  I am reading a lot about ADD & how to cope with it & how to let go of past mistakes. Also that even at 62 I can hopefully make the rest of my life better. This is hard to do on your own as you know. As everyone else has said & if it is available, get all of the help & support that you can. I wish that I had some resources here but I don’t. It really does sound like you need a good psychiatrist to help you with medications if at all possible.

Posted by jkm62 on Sep 10, 2014 at 5:40pm

Join the New ADDitude Forums

ADDConnect is shutting down on July 31.
To continue sharing and receiving support from the ADDitude community, visit our new discussion forums.

Search the ADDConnect Group Discussions