A Dopamine Kick (Another ADHD Podcast)

46. ADHD Post Diagnosis Thoughts (A Rollercoaster of Emotions)

October 16, 2022 Sparky and Shell
A Dopamine Kick (Another ADHD Podcast)
46. ADHD Post Diagnosis Thoughts (A Rollercoaster of Emotions)
A Dopamine Kick (Another ADHD Podcast) +
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Show Notes Transcript

A deep dive into the rollercoaster of emotions that is the first week post assessment. We sit down at 5am for a spontaneous episode, where we’ve been awake night to question Shell on how she feels post ADHD diagnosis. It’s a little bit of an emotional one this week!

List of symptoms, diagnostic criteria and further information:

See you next week for another episode of shenanigans! 

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Unknown Speaker 0:

00 okay welcome to dopamine kick, your weekly dose of positivity, where your host, Sparky and shell join us each week as we have changed your habits to tackle fears and challenge your mindset.

Sparky 0:

28 Let's get to it

Unknown Speaker 0:

31 Hello everyone and welcome to episode 46 of a dopamine kick. Today we're going to be talking about post ADHD diagnosis and what that feels like. No,

Sparky 0:

44 there is a little bit of context to this episode we are recording at five in the morning. And that's because shell and I am awake. I don't know why I can't sleep and shower message me about 3am a thing, basically stressing about her medication. Obviously, as you know, if you've listened to last week's episode, you'll know that she was going to start her medication soon. So we've had that whole drama this week about Michelle

Unknown Speaker 1:

15 spent a week a long week

Sparky 1:

17 at the Blue show was just like, oh, you know, why don't we do an episode and we were like, You know what, we're both up. We both can't sleep. Thoughts are whirling through our head. This is probably the best time for us to record an episode so it looks a little bit like sleepy or a little bit half soaked. That's the reason why

Unknown Speaker 1:

34 we've been up and stressing and talking for three hours. So we might as well just do it on the mic and maybe someone will benefit.

Sparky 1:

42 So we thought we'd get into this episode and talk about what it's like to be diagnosed with ADHD and what it feels like afterwards. So obviously those of you who have been listening know that I haven't had an official diagnosis yet, but shell has and that's came with a few things that we feel that it'd be great to talk about on the podcast because it can be a bit of a whirlwind of emotion Kearney.

Unknown Speaker 2:

04 It has been Yeah, really have said, I'm not it's not something I expected. I went into the assessment, sort of 99% Sure I had ADHD, you know, I pay for a private assessment. I wouldn't have done that. If I wasn't reasonably certain that I had it. And I needed to help. But having it confirmed, you know, I just thought it'd be like a formality. I just thought it would feel like you know, now you've got a piece of paper that confirms what you already know. And it has just not been like that. At all. Like it's just absolutely hit me like a tonne of bricks. I can't think about anything else. I can't focus on anything. I've just been cycling through so many emotions that I didn't I didn't think I was going to have I thought the commitment had already been made, if that makes sense. Yeah. So I kind of think about it like, I think I believe I've said this before on the podcast when they got married, you know the month before my wedding and the month after nothing really changed. For me I had this piece of paper to say that I was married. But you know, nothing had changed how I felt about my husband, we already lived together. We already had a shared bank account. You know, it was just a piece of paper. That you know the actual commitment came when we decided to move in together that felt like more of an upheaval. And I thought it would be the same for this I thought the initial commitment was reading about the symptoms, realising I had it and like working in assessment. I didn't think that getting diagnosed would would mess with my head. Yeah.

Sparky 3:

47 It's it's one of those things, isn't it? Because like we were talking about it just a while ago. How sometimes you feel well, you've got mixed emotions. It's it's like should I should I really be feeling this bad about it is this you know, how, how are you meant to feel when you are officially diagnosed? Like you said, it just seems like oh, it's just going to be a piece of paper where you say Oh, well there you go. You've got ADHD, but then the spiral the emotions happen afterwards. So what are your emotions at the moment?

Unknown Speaker 4:

21 Um, so initially, I was positive. You know, when we recorded our last episode, it was less than 24 hours after I was diagnosed and probably for these first three, four hours, it was quite positive, I was relieved. Everything, you know, started making more sense in my life, I generally felt quite happy. And then gradually that has changed and I felt quite shocked at certain points. I don't that's really bizarre. I don't know why I would be shocked but that's how I feel like almost like I wasn't expecting this. Angry how so angry. Like I can I can accept that. When I was younger, awareness about ADHD was not that great, especially in in girls. So I don't you know, I don't blame my parents or my teachers for missing it. You know, I think that that's perfectly reasonable. But I had I can think of between the ages of nine and 25 at least five incidences where I saw professionals who should have spotted this so I was assessed for dyslexia multiple times to ensure that I could still have additional support at school and exams. I've seen psychiatrist when I was struggling with my mental health. I've even been in a psychiatric hospital. And none of these people ever even suggested to me that I had ADHD. I can't believe that black professionals who were trained in spotting and diagnosing this and had other patients who had ADHD couldn't see it in me when, especially when I was younger, I fitted the criteria perfectly perfectly. There's nothing on there that I wasn't like 100% for so that makes me feel so angry and then and then with that, I guess I stopped to feel a bit emotional now. Sorry, I didn't think I was gonna do this. I feel almost like sorrow and regret for how different my life might have been. If I'd have known that about I had this if I'd been getting help and support rather than just feeling like I was always different.

Sparky 6:

43 Now I can I can identify with that as well. I think it you you almost mourn for the life that you you. You don't have or that you could have

Unknown Speaker 6:

53 had Yeah. And I feel I feel bad as well where I look back and now things are reasonably stable, chaotic but stable. But definitely when I look back, there's been there's been people that I've heard there's been times when I've behaved so badly and in such a toxic way and I just couldn't see it at the time. And now I look back with a fresh lens and I had a brain disorder. I had an undiagnosed brain disorder. And if I was if I'd have known that and if I was being helped and being supportive, I probably wouldn't have behaved like that. And I probably wouldn't have heard those people. That feels really, really bad.

Sparky 7:

37 Yeah, I also identify with that as well. So I can kind of understand what you mean on that level because you look back at things and you think, oh god why? You know why did I behave that way? Why would I do this? And you can't help shake that feeling of I can't even explain the feeling and really, it's almost like you go into yourself and you overthink it and you look back at that situation and even though it happened like a really long time ago, it's still as fresh in your brain as it as it is, as it was back then. Yeah. Now, because now you're looking at looking at it from a different perspective. And it's almost like you're shocked or you're feeling some level of anxiety about it because you're like, oh my god, I can't believe it. So you know, all the things that you're saying. I completely understand it. I identify with them as one and I don't have formal diagnosis. So I don't know at this point like what's going on with me, but I mean, just from your perspective there when he was talking about the anger and not being assessed on I mean, I said this on the podcast before did not. Why did no one ever tell us? But I guess it's mental health is so complex. And that's the problem. It's each trying to isolate and the thing is, yeah, if you're not self aware, if you're not aware, I mean, now we are a bit more aware because we're hyper focusing on that. But if you're not self aware at the time, it can be very difficult to even explain that these things affect your daily life too much like I didn't realise how much my concentration is actually affected. Day to day until I've actually realised if that makes sense before I knew I struggled. But I didn't put it down to focus. I put it down to something else. So anytime I saw somebody and I was trying to explain my symptoms, it came out in a completely different way. Yeah. Whereas now I would say it's this or it's nice, whereas I wasn't aware of that before. Well, I'm I'm hoping that that gives you some hope. Things aren't all like just doom and gloom in that in that sort of way that I can't explain what I'm trying to say I know what I'm trying to explain just just not coming out.

Unknown Speaker 9:

51 I know I do understand because I do I do. I'm not all negative. I've had times when I'm still very positive about it. About the diagnosis.

Sparky 10:

01 Oh, yeah. Well, you Well, we know you're positive about it, because we've literally just laughed our whole way through these podcasts, all of our problems and all of our issues. So we know we can ever joke or laugh about it and we like to do that. But you know, it's okay to it's okay to also feel like things aren't okay to you know, the saying it's okay not to be okay. And I think it's really important for the people that

Unknown Speaker 10:

23 are listening, but that's so hard. That's so hard to do, isn't it though like I say that all the time and I I believe that for other people and I you know, if my friends or family is struggling then I would always want to support them and I don't I wouldn't sort of look down on them but but then when it's myself it's

Sparky 10:

41 so different. Yeah, because because it's you

Unknown Speaker 10:

45 can't Yeah, can't can't forgive it and myself, but it

Sparky 10:

48 is it is definitely okay not to be okay. And this, this podcast is a place that you can talk about it and hopefully help and inspire other people as well. People that are listening to this may identify with what you're going through at the moment. If you do identify with what we're talking about at the moment. Please, please reach out to us. It's really important. We'd love to hear from you. We'd love to get some messages, see how you're doing or if you've been through this What helped you because stories like this are so important to help people who are being freshly diagnosed and and moving forward with their journey.

Unknown Speaker 11:

25 It definitely isn't all bad. Like I the overwhelming feeling is one of positivity. It's just the bad thoughts just sort of almost flashing. But there's so there are so many good things that I could talk about as well. So you know, i i feel like i i finally belong somewhere. But when I talk to you and listen to other people with ADHD in their, you know, talking about their struggles and things that they've done, I just finally feel like I found my tribe, which I think keeps saying this I keep keep saying that. But it's just so important. Like I don't feel I don't feel different anymore. My mind is my mind is not very coherent because we've been up since 3am, talking, stressing and then I just suddenly said, why don't we just take this to the microphone and don't really think through the fact that I've not had any sleep and I can't form coherent thoughts.

Sparky 12:

25 It's part as part as part of having ADHD I suppose. Just at that impulsivity, oh joining record. Okay, really, if

Unknown Speaker 12:

34 you want to. That's the problem, isn't it? Because we both have ADHD there's no one to send check. Exactly. There's a third house you would be like, Guys, why are you even?

Sparky 12:

47 What is going on? But it's that impulsivity, isn't it like I was saying to you the other day? The policeman story I don't Should I explain the policeman story like I thought the policeman story was really good. Yeah, I love the policeman story. You should I'm not going to take credit for this because I did hear it on another podcast, which I will link in the description below if you want to check that out. So basically, this came from somebody else I believe I think he's just been passed down. I think it's a book originally is isn't that maybe it is from a book and maybe I'll maybe only I think I think she I think she quoted it from my book. Although I am struggling to remember. I can remember can you remember? Okay,

Unknown Speaker 13:

30 save the day I loved I'd like told I've told so many people. So what she described is that you imagine the brain like a crossroads really busy set of crossroads. With lots of traffic flowing through and the traffic lights have broken. And so there's a policeman there and he's like, right, you come come forward. You know, wait, you Okay, your turn now, me sort of regulating everything consider the traffic still able to flow really quickly through a neurotypical brain and then in a brain with ADHD, that policeman is gone. is either asleep on a break, just not paying attention.

Sparky 14:

14 Do you think our policeman was asleep tonight? Yeah,

Unknown Speaker 14:

17 I think so. And what that means is if you imagine that the cars are like thoughts, and like impulsive thoughts, they're all just pushing in and like overtaking each other and it's just chaos and when one pushes through, there's there's nothing there to say. No, hang on. You just wait this time for another thought to come through. It's just all absolute carnage which I loved I love because when you first told me about the policeman theory, the first thing I said is, when I try and describe my the inside of my brain to people, I always describe it as a bit of a nice reference. But Lord of the Rings were the scenes where they sweep over Mordor and it's like the fires everywhere and the crumbling of mountains and the lava

Sparky 15:

09 it's just like, absolute carnage.

Unknown Speaker 15:

11 Yeah, absolutely.

Sparky 15:

13 Everywhere. I love it. I do love the police analogy because it explains it so perfectly. How well how your brain is really and how that impulsivity just does not stop. I actually think at one point in this in this podcast series, I'm going to write down my daily thought process and then kind of tally in a story because honestly, some of the days that I've had invoice if I actually sat down and described what was going on minute by minute, I think. I think unless you've got ADHD, I don't think you'd really understand. Yeah, some people might be able to

Unknown Speaker 15:

53 probably anyone with ADHD would be like that's just a normal.

Sparky 16:

01 So just going back to the conversation because we got a little bit distracted. I wanted to just ask you about like, do you feel like emotionally as well, there's also a downside to because I know you mentioned before that you felt a little bit empty. So I just wanted to get a bit more clarity on, on on

Unknown Speaker 16:

21 I'm sort of cycling at the moment between, you know, positive and shark negative or the negative emotions, but there's definitely periods of time as well that I just feel completely empty, like no emotion whatsoever. And the way I described it to you is if you imagine a, like a house, from like a like a from a horror film is what kind of what I'm thinking, imagine a house and like the TVs but all the lights are on and the TV's on and the TV blaring. But the front door is just like flapping in the breeze and there's nobody in the house. That's kind of how it feels like everything's still switched on and firing and my mind still racing, nothing slows down. But there's no one home I've just empty this though. There's nothing there. So I feel like that quite a lot. I think that that is emotional dysregulation possibly. Yeah. But yeah, I find myself I can't predict when that's going to happen and I can't bring myself out of it. I seem to just snap out to that. I can't control when that when that happens. I find that quite scary to be honest. I would rather feel angry and sorry for guilt or those sorts of things. I'd rather feel those because I think they're rational emotions to have. Yeah. It unnerves me when I when I get the empty feeling because then I just feel like I'd like some sort of psychopath or something like I should have. Nobody should just not have an emotion. for long periods of time.

Sparky 18:

01 I can 100% say that you know psychopaths shall say don't want to.

Unknown Speaker 18:

06 That's that's a bold statement

Sparky 18:

12 Honestly, I really need you to understand me on this you are not a psychopath. Sorry, I'm just laughing now because it's like 6am in the morning so just a quick update on how you feeling about the medication as well because I know that last episode, you said you were starting meds and obviously there's been a bit of drama with the medication in the fact that you know haven't been able to get them on time and pharmacy rules and things like that. How are you feeling now about the medication are you feeling like you still want to try them? Are you are you feeling a little bit? You know, you think he maybe not the meds

Unknown Speaker 18:

53 have just been just to complete drama on that. Oh, so the actual process of getting them has been fine. I've dramatised it and I know that you've had to put up with a lot of messages for me this week. And the poor pharmacy has also had a lot of calls and messages. But really all of that stems from the fact that I didn't know their process and so it was quite unrealistic about the timeframe that it would take for medication to arrive.

Sparky 19:

24 I think I mentioned this in episode one. Just quickly go off topic just one thing that just literally just impounded into my mind is me saying in the first ever episode of a dopamine kick is when shall get something kind of mind. It's like all guns blazing. It's like rare, rare, rare. And then you were like, some people would think that is a bad thing. And then I'm like no, no, no, that's a great quality to have. And now looking back, I still think it's great quality to have by the way, I still think it's an ADHD superpower. Looking back, it's like that was pinnacle, the pinnacle time. The moment

Unknown Speaker 19:

59 I'm pretty sure that the pharmacy does not not regard this as a superpower.

Sparky 20:

07 Anyway, carry on I cut you off got destroyed.

Unknown Speaker 20:

10 So it started because my psychiatrist Oh in when he was talking about looking at the follow ups. He made a comment about you know, so if we say that you start in the middle of next week, then your follow up will be two weeks from that. And what he was probably doing was just saying that sort of, you know, to give me an idea of timeframes Africa. I took that very gospel literally. Yeah, I was convinced that that meant that's been the meant would arrive and that was not a realistic timeframe. So they still haven't arrived. And they're not going to arrive until the middle of next week. So it's fine. There hasn't actually been any delays or holdups. I've just felt like there were because I'm going to get the medication a week later than that unrealistic expectation except for myself. But in this timeframe I have gone from and I don't know if I probably would have done this anyway. If the meds had arrived, but I thought I just probably would have done it faster. But basically the closer it gets to me being able to take the medication, the more I'm like, Oh God, do I want to take this medication. And it's just it's just freaking me out like the thought that I guess. Two parts really? Firstly, its speed.

Sparky 21:

27 There when you say load, it's

Unknown Speaker 21:

31 I know it's like, ethically licenced in a week and I know that I've looked into all that how it works and everything like that, but it's speed like the thought that you know, I am someone I've always tried very hard throughout my life never to get addicted to anything. Like I'm so I'm so anal about it. I don't drink more than two caffeinated drinks in a day. Because caffeine is addictive. And now I'm going to start on daily feeds. That just blows my mind that How have things escalated to that level so quickly. So there's definitely a lot of negative connotations about the drug and the type of jerk that it is. By the way for anyone who didn't listen last last episode, this lisdexamfetamine that I'm taking it's not literally like speed off the streets. Not just go around a street corner type of thing. And then I think the second part is because I have a barrier and I don't know where it comes from. Maybe it's social influences, but I definitely have a barrier around taking any sort of medication for mental health. So I've been on things like kind of depressants in the past and I've always just stopped taking them because I've always got to a point where I'd be like No, I don't want this in my life. I date I don't take medication. This isn't right. I should be all natural. But as you know, as I discussed with you earlier in the weeks like it's completely hypocritical because you know when I'm in pain, a pop anything, you know, anything the doctor gives me I've had back pain quite a lot throughout my life. And if any medication the doctor gives me I don't even read the datasheet I don't even look at side effects is going to help with my discomfort. Take it straight and you know it's you know what, the funniest thing is though, and I do have to mention this, you Yvette you prescribe medication.

Sparky 23:

29 I know I don't have any problems with medication normally, like it's just because it's a medication from my mind or is it because it's target in the mind and and you've got some level of anxiety around what's he going to do to your mind? Maybe? Yeah, yeah, I do identify with that. Because like you said about the antidepressants. I felt that before like, oh, I don't want to get deep to tears. I don't want to do this or don't want to do that. But on the flip side, I'm like getting into drugs. Like I just I just think to myself, like if there's something that's gonna make me feel better, I don't care. I'll have it every day. Just Just give it to me because I need it. I sounded like a bit of a druggie now but I am very much I very much do have an addictive personality. So I can easily try to resist something. Just the feeling, the feeling just pops into my mind more and more and more. And, you know, yeah, I mean, luckily I've never got addicted to anything that badly that I'm like, you know, it's ruined. My whole life. Actually, just a quick Interesting fact here. Did you know that country country is a country that contrary to the popular belief that your mind only sees the positive in every single statement that you make?

Unknown Speaker 24:

50 I had heard that because I've heard that on my finance stuff. So if you if you say things like I if you say things like I don't want to be poor then your brain hears I didn't hear that don't ya? Just his be poor? I've definitely heard that I'm like finance. Yeah.

Sparky 25:

09 Or I don't want to eat that cake or I don't want to eat that junk foods you're more likely to do it and obviously as the podcast is centred around, you know, dopamine and dopamine kick. It's a really good theory. I'll explain it a little bit better in another episode, because it's it's such a fascinating thing and I've gone off topic again.

Unknown Speaker 25:

28 I'm sorry.

Sparky 25:

29 What was she saying?

Unknown Speaker 25:

31 It's very early. We're talking about meds. meds, meds. Yes.

Sparky 25:

37 So on the addictive one, and you're not so this is going to turn out great.

Unknown Speaker 25:

42 I think I could be though, like I think that's where my obsession with not being addicted to anything comes from is because I think I do have an addictive personality. And if I let myself get near that spiral, I won't be able to come out. So that's my fear. And then also like I'm saying this with all this bravery like oh, maybe I won't take the meds. I don't have the meds in my possession right. Now. When they are when they're in your position Exactly. When they're sitting in the house. I don't know that. I'm going to be like, Oh, no, I'm not going to take it. I don't think I can take it. I'm probably going to be like

Sparky 26:

18 sniffing them. I don't know. I just know what I'm like. I have to make a joke out of Yeah. And I have to laugh at your expense because that's just what I've got to do

Unknown Speaker 26:

28 it I feel like as well like I've been so needy this week that I just have to take it because I've had you ever but like oh it was already a waste. We go back through spark you know as messages this week, it's like, one moment I be like can't wait to get this medicine so excited. So much better. And then literally the next breath I'm like, I'm not gonna I'm gonna what what's changed?

Sparky 27:

00 I keep saying I'm not watching what? What's going on? What's changed? It's like, One minute you're like, yeah, yeah, it's gonna be great. I'm gonna I'm gonna live my best life and then next minute, it's like, I can't do this anymore. I can't. I can't I'm so scared.

Unknown Speaker 27:

15 You'll be like, you know it's okay because of this is an ad right? I'm gonna take the meds.

Sparky 27:

23 And then, I don't know if you have slightly psychotic read in the back of the leaflet and I'm reading all the information and I'm like, oh, no, no, we're going we're spiralling now.

Unknown Speaker 27:

32 spiralling. Jamie is absolutely sick of me. Like I know you've had it bad this week, but you don't live with me. I think I've got to a stage with Jamie. Where when these meds arrive? I think if I don't take them, he's gonna like slip them in a drink. It's gonna force them Daniel, I think yeah, I think he's just so sick of it. That like not taking them is not the best option. I think I'm gonna have to at least try what I'm probably like the next time we record or maybe the time after, depending on when they arrive. I'll come on the podcast and ovulate so taking the meds and this is what it feels like. I don't know. My I can't keep how I feel about the medication for longer than about 10 minutes in my mind before I change my mind they go on to something else. And that is literally what everything is like in my mind right now. I can't I can't hold an emotion. I can't be angry at something for longer than about 10 minutes before I swap on to the next emotion. Everything that I'm doing is just constantly flickering.

Sparky 28:

31 So if you do feel that you do anybody that's listening to the podcast before, I should have just said that beforehand. But if you do feel that you do experience anything that we've talked or talking about anything that we've talked about in today's episode, please please consider getting an assessment. There is an assessment criteria. We'll pop it in the show notes below. You can also do online assessments as well. We'll put some of those in the show notes below. Below. I can't talk tonight, this morning. And just check some of those out and just have a look and see what sort of scores you get. Now keep in mind that if you do get a high score, it doesn't necessarily mean you have ADHD. So don't go panicking. But we would encourage you to go and see your GP and explain your symptoms to them and you may need to get a referral to see a psychiatrist to explain further.

Unknown Speaker 29:

26 Thank you so much for listening to my emotional rambling.

Sparky 29:

31 Do you feel better?

Unknown Speaker 29:

32 I do actually feel better. That's I don't know how long that I don't know how long it

Sparky 29:

38 took in about 10 minutes.

Unknown Speaker 29:

42 Yeah 10 minutes.

Sparky 29:

43 Okay, guys, thanks for listening. And we'll see you next time for another episode. Okay, bye. All right, that's everything this week guys, but if you want to carry on with the conversation, join us over on our social media platforms are on all the major channels and our handle is at a dopamine kick.

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