Concentration test at https://www.cognitivedrugresearch.com/CPM taken one hour after 10mg methylphenidate. I thought I would score much higher. Meh.
Also, I firmly believe my picture recognition accuracy was 100%, so I’m not sure how the score is not higher there.

Concentration test at https://www.cognitivedrugresearch.com/CPM taken one hour after 10mg methylphenidate. I thought I would score much higher. Meh.

Also, I firmly believe my picture recognition accuracy was 100%, so I’m not sure how the score is not higher there.

Revelations, Chapter Two

Yesterday, I was finally diagnosed with ADHD, OCD and depression. The OCD diagnosis is interesting because I don’t really fit the profile and I have a lot of overlap with ASD, but because the compulsions come and go, I don’t fit the ASD profile either. The psych said ‘deal with one thing at a time’ and I agree. The ADHD was the main problem and I start taking methylphenidate tomorrow. It’s interesting to be taking medication which will likely change my personality. It’s like someone trying to take away an old, battered but much loved t-shirt and give me a shiny new one. Will I lose the things that people like about me as well as the things they don’t? Will I no longer be spontaneous and funny and say outspoken things? Will I still, at the heart of it all, be ME? Only time will tell I suppose.

Revelations, Chapter One

I took the plunge and asked my Mum to fill in the ‘informant’ questionnaire for my psych appointment later today. As it turns out it was an amazing revelation. I found out that my Mum was diagnosed with bipolar eight years ago after spending much of her life on tranquilisers for mood swings and other biploar behaviour. I found out that I didn’t talk until I was two years old and only when I could form sentences. I found out that I didn’t mix with other children when I started school, but would walk around and around the edge of the playground. I found out that my Mum’s GP recommended he prescribe sedatives for me at under a year old because I didn’t sleep (until I was 5 it turns out - my Mum refused the prescription).

My Mum also gave me my school reports from 7 to 16. Reading them was heartbreaking and I cried my eyes out, alone on the sofa at 3am. I very rarely cry (another revelation is that I didn’t cry as a child, unless I’d hurt myself). Almost every report said I was lazy, disruptive, or not fulfilling my potential. My Mum apparently spent years trying to get help for me, but no-one would listen. The reports have ADHD written all over them.

This, apparently, is the mourning phase, where I say ‘WHY did no-one help me?! How different would my life have been if I had been diagnosed back then?’. It doesn’t help me much to know this is normal. My life has been robbed from me in so many ways.

The Appointment

…is on Monday. I am relieved, scared and anxious at the same time. I am mortally afraid that the psych will dismiss me from her office telling me there is nothing wrong, that it’s simply stress at work, that I’m making it up for sympathy. If that happens, I don’t know what I will do. This appointment is my event horizon. I can’t see beyond it, but I’m rushing toward it. I will either come out whole and be free or I will be crushed.

Snap. And he’s back.

Wooooooooooooohhooooooooooo! This morning everything is different. Everything is good again! Everything is full of potential! The Lines have gone; well, that’s an overstatement, I suppose you could say someone turned the volume down. I waited for the familiar mental and physical tensing as I tested them and there was none. It was like walking on air! I had a spring in my step all the way to work. Not only that, but I can touch door handles again, I can step on steps which have a handrail post on them, I can touch lift buttons and handrails and I’m not touching my fingers when I walk. I have no aversion to strangers touching me on the tube any more. I bowled into the office with a smile on my face and greeted everyone with the normal-me swagger, i.e. overly loud and overly cheerful. I still like to have things arranged in a grid on my desk, but that’s fine, that never goes away.

This time, I know when I snapped in, and when I snapped out. I snapped in on Wednesday 29th December 2010 and snapped out today, Monday 7th March 2011. Wow. That’s three months and one week of my life. So low at the start I couldn’t face getting out of bed and so batshit at the end of it I was barely in touch with real life. Now, if I could stop procrastinating about doing everything I can get back to taking over the world.

Oops

This is my second evening this week of self-medication through getting absolutely shit-faced. It started off very badly when my train left London 15 minutes late and arrived 20 minutes late, then despite my needing to be home 25 minutes earlier because the missus had to be at a PTA meeting, I was in the local Tesco buying a bottle of wine because the one remaining bottle at home was clearly not enough. So, I’m still hyper as fuck and I raced home despite being completely unable to focus on the road or the other users thereof. I bowled in, did a tag with the wife in the driveway as she dashed out of the house and she asked me if I could make the kids lunches. Fuck. That is precisely the last thing I can do. I’ve been thinking all day how I’m going to get home and get shit-faced, now there’s this RESPONSIBILITY. My face sinks so obviously that she spots it through my motorbike helmet. I get in, eat a very small but extremely delicious pizza the kids made the night before and take my newly purchased bottle of wine and a special glass (the only remaining one from a set, taken from the back of the cupboard) upstairs. I have no idea why I’m using this glass. I put the kids to bed over an exceedingly extended period and my daughter tells me that daddies are supposed to laze about on beds with children and tickle their backs so I do this and feel that I have fulfilled my duties with honours. I rub some cream on my youngest son who has eczema, put them all to bed except the eldest who’s eleven and I decide that he should watch a Come Fly With Me, which he enjoys very much. By the time this finishes - 25 minutes after his bedtime - I have drunk over half a bottle of wine and decide that we should watch Highlander, one of my favourite films of all time. I have not yet made the lunches my wife asked me to make and nor am I currently capable of doing so and nor, indeed, am I heading into any state of being capable. I expect her to be home quite late and firmly believe that my eldest and I can watch Highlander without fear of being in trouble for it, despite the fact that it will finish probably two hours or so after his bedtime. Unfortunately, my missus arrives home about two hours earlier than I expected and she is CROSS. I want to curl up and protect my happy head form her crossness, but that would look odd and I can’t have her or my son see that I’m already CRAZY. So she goes away briefly then returns with a glass to share some wine with me, and I have a bit of an OH DEAR moment when she goes to pour some but finds that I’ve actually drunk the whole bottle already, despite the fact that she only left two hours ago and I’ve spent at least half an hour of that putting he kids to bed. She storms off to the bedroom with her laptop and really poor mobile broadband (because I managed to fuck up the broadband, although technically it wasn’t my actual fault, I still, somehow, haven’t sorted it out yet) and I tell my eldest he needs to go to bed and he gives me a hug because I’m the cool dad who lets him stay up late and then I affix the screw top from the wine bottle to my left eye, and don one of the kid’s school jumpers as a hat and drum on my thigh and chest for 20 minutes solidly. I realise this is not what one would generally refer to as ‘normal’ and I wonder if I’m actually mad, or if I’m just trying it on like one tries on clothes in a clothes shop. I am unable to decide. I drink more wine, affix the bottle cap to my nose and wrap the arms of the jumper under my chin and I believe I look rather like Lawrence of Arabia. I should go to bed. Tomorrow is mufty day at work and despite the fact that I should maintain some level of professional decorum, I will undoubtedly bowl into work looking like an extra-hairy Russell Brand, only considerably less good looking. 

Hyper Hyper

This is ridiculous. I can’t stop fidgeting. I have so much nervous energy which, if I could put it to good use, would allow me to TAKE OVER THE WORLD!!! I’m clicking, finger-tapping, foot-tapping, leg-bobbing and typing at 100 miles an hour. I can’t concentrate on anything for more than 30 seconds, with the exception of a flurry of wild activity looking up, extrapolating and writing up some ADHD statistics in reply to a post on the AADD UK forums, after which I had a massive hyperfocus high. I tried to cling onto it with coffee. It didn’t work. I’m dreading the journey home because I’m too wired to sit on a train and I have no all-engrossing book to keep the jitters at bay. I’m not looking forward to being home, because I’ll sit there struggling to contain it and we have visitors. I shouldn’t have skived off of my run today. I really needed it. Too late now. Hold onto your hats, it could be a wild ride this evening. 

He shoots, he scores…

Psych Central ADHD Screening Quiz
Score: 95
Notes: Less than 25 is ‘No ADHD likely’, greater than 70 is ‘You may have Adult ADHD’

Harvard/WHO Adult ADHD Self-Report Scale (ASRS v1.1)
Part A: 6/6
Part B:  8/12
Notes: 4 or more in Part A indicates symptoms highly consistent with ADHD

Autism Research Centre Autism Quotient Test
Score: 34/50 
Notes: 17 is average for a man, greater than 32 indicates a very high probability of autism. Aspies generally score around 35. 

Goldberg Bipolar Spectrum Screening Questionnaire
Score: 43/60
Notes: Greater than 25 indicates bipolar disorder


Psych Central OCD Screening Quiz
Score: 14
Notes: 12+ 
(the highest bracket) indicates ‘OCD likely’  

Hyper

Last week was so bad that this week I’ve been completely unable to do anything at work. I guess it’s like a pendulum where it gets pulled so far one way it must go the same distance the other way. The problem is that after the horrific stress of last week, doing nothing apart from being basically a full-time resident on the AADD UK forums has left me with waaaaaay too much energy and by last night I was mega-hyper. I rode my bike home at ridiculous speeds, overtaking everything. I realised during this one-man Moto GP, in a moment of supreme clarity, that what I needed was to get absolutely shit-faced (and cook curry). So I’m hopping around the kitchen like Zebedee making curry and pouring wine down my neck like it’s going out of fashion. The curry was quite good, which was a surprise as I’m crap at making curry. I sat on the sofa with the wife, sharing my wine, jiggling, fidgeting, talking at 100 miles per hour and asking her to repeat everything as it just wasn’t going in first time around. I suspect this may have been annoying, but she didn’t show it, much to her credit. Well after she’d gone to bed, I finished off the second bottle and the mission was a success: I had slowed down enough to sleep. This whole thing was such a roaring success I’m going to do it all over again tonight. I realise this could be construed as corroborating my last psych’s opinion that I’m an alcoholic, but it’s clearly an excellent medicinal plan.

Get a handle on it

I seem to be unable to touch door handles right now, which is weird. I have taken to wearing gloves to and from work and also my faithful hoodie with long sleeves which I wear permanently around the (already too hot) office so I can pull down the sleeves to open doors. Doors at home are okay, but I suppose that’s not wholly surprising. I also can’t have anyone’s stuff touching me now, including bags and other accessories, which makes standing on the tube a somewhat uncomfortable exercise in contortion. My tics are quite bad too, the return (? did it go away, or did I just stop noticing it for a while) of my wrist-turning-tic now accompanies my permanently resident neck-stretching-tic. The vibrating went away for a while, but feels like it’s on the verge of returning. On the upside, I seem to have stopped touching my fingers while I walk. Mostly.