Depression and ADHD

Hey guys. Sorry if I haven’t updated my blog for some time, what with PSHS being so demanding with requirements. I’ve been diagnosed with depression, and it isn’t a walk in the park, but i think I’m getting a bit better. It’s been vicious, and my friends and my parents know that too well. Self-harm, purging, crying spells, and, well, you get the idea. I was (or maybe I still am?) self-destructive. I’ve gotten over the self-harm, and purging, but my crying spells and suicidal thoughts come often still.

Being a student diagnosed with ADHD and depression is twice as hard as being a normal student. It takes a lot of effort to start on requirements, and finish them, as you will not see the point in finishing it because you will still fail. You don’t really care about your personal appearance. Your friends may also be annoyed with your behaviour, and call you “emo”. (Yes, I’ve been called that by my best friend). You feel ashamed for all the negative thoughts in your mind because they’re like a painful truth, even if it doesn’t seem like it to others. (“Oh Garrett, why are you still entertaining these thoughts?”, said one dormer). You absolutely cannot stand noise and need to be in a quiet place, which will never be granted because that damn disruptive classmate of yours just won’t shut up. You listen to emotional music every time you need a pick-me-up, which means belting out “Bring Me To Life” in the bathroom. Negative criticism about you hurts more than it should.

There are nights where you feel the need to cry into your pillow. Every time you take your anti-depressants, you feel numb. You don’t get excited over stuff that you love to do. Your poker face becomes a mask; it hides your sadness. Your grades are slowly dropping, yet you can’t find the will to even care about them anymore. Sometimes, you wonder if you have bipolar disorder because sometimes, your ADHD makes you hyperactive and make you look like you’re bouncing off the walls, but then depression strikes, and you suddenly become lethargic and quiet.This is how it feels like to be depressed and have ADHD as a student.

I’ve been diagnosed with it in the late 2015, and so far, my coping method is sleeping. The first one was cutting, then crying. I’ve also had body image issues.

My best friend, Andrew Mallari, was my rock. He supported me during the good times, and the bad times. He also got mad at me sometimes, yes, but he always apologized because he felt the consequences (which was me having another crying spell in the bathroom, and suicidal thoughts for being a bad friend). During the times I didn’t eat lunch, he nagged me to eat lunch. Now, he keeps waking me up every time I sleep in school.

It isn’t anyone’s fault for my depression. I have to remind myself that over and over. Sometimes, though, I fantasize about everyone rejoicing over my death. I know it’s wrong, and that no one will ever be happy if I killed myself, but I get blinded by twisted fantasies of me jumping over the bridge, shooting myself with a revolver, drowning, then it all disappears and I’m back to normal. That was how it usually happened.

I always get reminded by people though how much they mean to me. One time, I chatted with Andrew a way to die without hurting anyone and he said that wouldn’t work. He also said he would demand Hades to let me go. Mom always reminds me of how much I mean to her.

Everyday, I’m one day closer to dying. Sometimes, I use that knowledge to wait for that day, other days, it’s an encouragement to get up and do something. I just hope I use it more often as the latter.

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Short story continuation

Caleb couldn’t remember exactly why he cut himself with scissors that Monday night 2 weeks ago. 10 marks on his left arm that disappeared after 2 weeks. All he knew was that everyone had a sympathetic/worried reaction, with him promising he wouldn’t do it again.

All he could remember was him thinking about all the negative comments about him said by TJ that seemed to be on repeat every night. Mom got so worried. Maybe that was why she gave him The Science of Happiness. Why she made sure to ask how was he feeling. She wouldn’t like it if she found out what was happening in school.

It started with Caleb having to take Concerta again this week. TJ knew already, because Caleb’s mom texted him about his situation. Maybe he had hopes that his talking would be under control that weren’t met. That could explain why he said offhand, “Why doesn’t his Concerta seem to work?” Ouch. That hurt. It works. You just don’t see it, because I’m alone.  Then you’ve got Leo asking, “Why you’ve got to be so depressed and sh*t like that?” I’m sorry. It’s my medicine. And I’m not depressed, thank you very much..  Plus the fact that he couldn’t be with mom on her birthday. Ouch. All those things could explain why his feet rushed him inside the bathroom. Why he felt relief after hitting his head on the wall. Why, for some reason, the pain on his head calmed him down. That was during the morning. Leo found out that moment when Caleb confessed what he did. He really couldn’t keep anything a secret, could he? He appreciated Leo’s efforts in cheering him up. This was one of the only things in school that make him happy.

Lunchtime. He did the same thing, except he yelled to himself all his thoughts. Too loud, in fact, that TJ overheard what he said. He confronted Caleb later, telling him, “Stop being depressed!”

He wished he could easily; stop hitting yourself on the head and smile a lot. But he couldn’t. At least, not the easy way. Hitting his head on the bathroom walls was how he coped with the pain. Not physical pain, more of emotional. Like a safety valve.

On Wednesday, Caleb went through the bathroom ordeal again, except that:

  1. Leo caught him during the morning. Caleb’s reason was because he cursed himself for forgetting that the people who failed their long test in Math already had a failing tentative grade, and were lamenting about it.
  2. TJ and Callie caught him during lunchtime. Caleb felt lonely and couldn’t reason with his heart that at least 16 people cared about him.

Leo was totally convinced Caleb was depressed. He forced him to go to the guidance counsellor.

“You’re depressed!”

“I am not depressed, Leo!”

“Yeah right. Then what’s with the head-banging on the walls?”

“It’s how I cope with the pain of feeling lonely and isolated.”

“I’ve got more reasons on why I’m a social outcast.”

“Then why not you go to the guidance counsellor?”

“Mine’s just petty, yours is worse, depression and sh*t like that.”

“I’m not depressed. It’s the medicine. Although I did do the cutting before I took it.”

“So you mean that the medicine amplified your feelings of sadness?”

“I guess so.”

“Ok, you really need to go to the guidance counsellor.”

“Ugh, fine.”

And to the guidance counsellor they went, with the guidance counsellor listening to the whole story and trying to give alternatives to hitting his head on the wall, like writing, because what Caleb did is self-harm, and not only he will get hurt, his loved ones too will.

As he went back to the classroom, Caleb decided to write what happened, as suggested. He did need to update his blog, after all. While listening to Leo explain all the instances that serve as proof that people hate him, knowing that the truth was, not everyone hated him. He was living proof.

The best moments this day, though, was when he heard Leo sing. It was very rare, because he never sung in public. He didn’t interrupt, for fear of the song stopping mid-way.

On Thursday, what made him stop the habit was seeing Leo look depressed. He rushed to the bathroom after trying to get Ishi’s attention about their music practicals and failing to do so.  Caleb followed to be sure. He saw him inside the locked stall, just inside. He stayed for a while and asked, “Leo? Are you in there?” Leo opened the door, and Caleb saw his sad face for the first time. Let’s just say, it broke him.

It turns out he had enough of being ignored by friends. Caleb listened to him, ignoring TJ’s advice of talking to everyone. Besides, he didn’t talk to Leo. The whole day, he was always with Leo, making sure he didn’t feel ignored. Maybe that was why he told me he was a social outcast. He listened to all the things he said, ignoring the heaviness in his heart when he said, “I don’t think that I’m better out of the picture. I am already out of the picture.”

“But you always talk to other classmates.”

“Only about jokes and brain teasers. Other than that, I’m always ignored by everyone.”

“Really? What about me?”

“Except you, of course. I mean other people.”

“Leo, not everyone ignores you. You have people who care about you, even if you don’t see them.”

“Give me 20 people that care about me. Aside from you and my relatives.”

“…”

“See?”

Their conversation wasn’t always sad, though. Sometimes, they would talk about happy stuff, like their fandoms, jokes in school, and brain teasers. Leo even helped Caleb review for ValEd.

That night, when Mom called, Caleb told her everything. Mom said, “You should stick with Leo. You have lots in common, and plus, I think he needs you.”

The rest of the call was a blur. All Caleb could remember were two things:

  1. Mom said Leo needed him.
  2. The holiday was moved to Sept. 25, their Scholar’s Night.

That night too, Camelot told TJ and Caleb everything he researched about depression. Leo wasn’t the only one totally convinced about Caleb being depressed.

On Friday, Leo and Caleb talked about what happened yesterday. Caleb asked, “I’m not sure whether I need you, or you need me, and- “

“That’s true.”

“Do you still think I’m depressed?”

“Yeah.”

“Is it because I’m more quiet than usual?”

“Yeah.”

They were interrupted when they saw their teacher coming. They rushed to their classroom in time.

English was fun, ComSci was like the Oracle prophesizing the scariest news: the periodic examination. During their Integrated Science Period that turned into free time, Caleb typed what happened so far. He was pleasantly surprised when he learnt that Tiger wrote a fanfic before.

Lunch was a disaster. TJ made Tiger lose her appetite by making her focus on the earthworm under the bench. At first, Caleb was alone. Then, Tiger joined, then TJ, lastly Sonic. The four discussed about the irony of Caleb’s ADHD.

Math was ok. Students who didn’t recite that much were forced to discuss their answers in the quiz in front of the class. Narcissus replaced Porky, seeing that she was struggling with words.

The Filipino Long Test was not as hard as Caleb expected. The only hard part was the songs of the pre-colonial Filipinos.

The weekdays officially ended with Caleb and his parents sleeping in dad’s condominium for the visit to the psychologist the next day.

Short story continuation

Caleb couldn’t remember exactly why he cut himself with scissors that Monday night 2 weeks ago. 10 marks on his left arm that disappeared after 2 weeks. All he knew was that everyone had a sympathetic/worried reaction, with him promising he wouldn’t do it again.

All he could remember was him thinking about all the negative comments about him said by TJ that seemed to be on repeat every night. Mom got so worried. Maybe that was why she gave him The Science of Happiness. Why she made sure to ask how was he feeling. She wouldn’t like it if she found out what was happening in school.

It started with Caleb having to take Concerta again this week. TJ knew already, because Caleb’s mom texted him about his situation. Maybe he had hopes that his talking would be under control that weren’t met. That could explain why he said offhand, “Why doesn’t his Concerta seem to work?” Ouch. That hurt. It works. You just don’t see it, because I’m alone.  Then you’ve got Leo asking, “Why you’ve got to be so depressed and sh*t like that?” I’m sorry. It’s my medicine. And I’m not depressed, thank you very much..  Plus the fact that he couldn’t be with mom on her birthday. Ouch. All those things could explain why his feet rushed him inside the bathroom. Why he felt relief after hitting his head on the wall. Why, for some reason, the pain on his head calmed him down. That was during the morning. Leo found out that moment when Caleb confessed what he did. He really couldn’t keep anything a secret, could he? He appreciated Leo’s efforts in cheering him up. This was one of the only things in school that make him happy.

Lunchtime. He did the same thing, except he yelled to himself all his thoughts. Too loud, in fact, that TJ overheard what he said. He confronted Caleb later, telling him, “Stop being depressed!”

He wished he could easily; stop hitting yourself on the head and smile a lot. But he couldn’t. At least, not the easy way. Hitting his head on the bathroom walls was how he coped with the pain. Not physical pain, more of emotional. Like a safety valve.

On Wednesday, Caleb went through the bathroom ordeal again, except that:

  1. Leo caught him during the morning. Caleb’s reason was because he cursed himself for forgetting that the people who failed their long test in Math already had a failing tentative grade, and were lamenting about it.
  2. TJ and Callie caught him during lunchtime. Caleb felt lonely and couldn’t reason with his heart that at least 16 people cared about him.

Leo was totally convinced Caleb was depressed. He forced him to go to the guidance counsellor.

“You’re depressed!”

“I am not depressed, Leo!”

“Yeah right. Then what’s with the head-banging on the walls?”

“It’s how I cope with the pain of feeling lonely and isolated.”

“I’ve got more reasons on why I’m a social outcast.”

“Then why not you go to the guidance counsellor?”

“Mine’s just petty, yours is worse, depression and sh*t like that.”

“I’m not depressed. It’s the medicine. Although I did do the cutting before I took it.”

“So you mean that the medicine amplified your feelings of sadness?”

“I guess so.”

“Ok, you really need to go to the guidance counsellor.”

“Ugh, fine.”

And to the guidance counsellor they went, with the guidance counsellor listening to the whole story and trying to give alternatives to hitting his head on the wall, like writing, because what Caleb did is self-harm, and not only he will get hurt, his loved ones too will.

As he went back to the classroom, Caleb decided to write what happened, as suggested. He did need to update his blog, after all. While listening to Leo explain all the instances that serve as proof that people hate him, knowing that the truth was, not everyone hated him. He was living proof.

The best moments this day, though, was when he heard Leo sing. It was very rare, because he never sung in public. He didn’t interrupt, for fear of the song stopping mid-way.

On Thursday, what made him stop the habit was seeing Leo look depressed. He rushed to the bathroom after trying to get Ishi’s attention about their music practicals and failing to do so.  Caleb followed to be sure. He saw him inside the locked stall, just inside. He stayed for a while and asked, “Leo? Are you in there?” Leo opened the door, and Caleb saw his sad face for the first time. Let’s just say, it broke him.

It turns out he had enough of being ignored by friends. Caleb listened to him, ignoring TJ’s advice of talking to everyone. Besides, he didn’t talk to Leo. The whole day, he was always with Leo, making sure he didn’t feel ignored. Maybe that was why he told me he was a social outcast. He listened to all the things he said, ignoring the heaviness in his heart when he said, “I don’t think that I’m better out of the picture. I am already out of the picture.”

“But you always talk to other classmates.”

“Only about jokes and brain teasers. Other than that, I’m always ignored by everyone.”

“Really? What about me?”

“Except you, of course. I mean other people.”

“Leo, not everyone ignores you. You have people who care about you, even if you don’t see them.”

“Give me 20 people that care about me. Aside from you and my relatives.”

“…”

“See?”

Their conversation wasn’t always sad, though. Sometimes, they would talk about happy stuff, like their fandoms, jokes in school, and brain teasers. Leo even helped Caleb review for ValEd.

That night, when Mom called, Caleb told her everything. Mom said, “You should stick with Leo. You have lots in common, and plus, I think he needs you.”

The rest of the call was a blur. All Caleb could remember were two things:

  1. Mom said Leo needed him.
  2. The holiday was moved to Sept. 25, their Scholar’s Night.

That night too, Camelot told TJ and Caleb everything he researched about depression. Leo wasn’t the only one totally convinced about Caleb being depressed.

On Friday, Leo and Caleb talked about what happened yesterday. Caleb asked, “I’m not sure whether I need you, or you need me, and- “

“That’s true.”

“Do you still think I’m depressed?”

“Yeah.”

“Is it because I’m more quiet than usual?”

“Yeah.”

They were interrupted when they saw their teacher coming. They rushed to their classroom in time.

English was fun, ComSci was like the Oracle prophesizing the scariest news: the periodic examination. During their Integrated Science Period that turned into free time, Caleb typed what happened so far. He was pleasantly surprised when he learnt that Tiger wrote a fanfic before.

Lunch was a disaster. TJ made Tiger lose her appetite by making her focus on the earthworm under the bench. At first, Caleb was alone. Then, Tiger joined, then TJ, lastly Sonic. The four discussed about the irony of Caleb’s ADHD.

Math was ok. Students who didn’t recite that much were forced to discuss their answers in the quiz in front of the class. Narcissus replaced Porky, seeing that she was struggling with words.

The Filipino Long Test was not as hard as Caleb expected. The only hard part was the songs of the pre-colonial Filipinos.

The weekdays officially ended with Caleb and his parents sleeping in dad’s condominium for the visit to the psychologist the next day.

Percy Jackson, ADHD, and the love of books

I think I’m becoming a fanboy of Percy Jackson and the Olympians and Heroes of Olympus. I search IG and Safari/Chrome for head canons, fan art, and photos of Percabeth, my favorite ship. I also read fanfiction. Is this normal? 

One possible explanation for my obsession with Percy Jackson is because he has ADHD, just like me. He understands the burden of having it. So do all demigods. Rick Riordan explained that he made all the demigods have ADHD and dyslexia as a way to respect all people with ADHD and dyslexia. So when Grover says that having ADHD is great because those are his battle reflexes, I said “Score one for ADHD!!”. 
I see a bit of myself in Leo Valdez. He’s annoying, has lots of energy, and his primary emotion is humor. He also feels single all the time. I see myself in Hazel sometimes because she has lots to learn and feels as if she was out of time, which she was. I think, in the real world, Piper, Annabeth, and Percy have an edge. Piper’s charmspeak can convince cashiers to give her a discount. Percy can control storms. Annabeth’s wisdom, well, might get her a good job. 
Books are not just books. They allow people to escape reality for a while and enter their world, if only briefly, to enjoy. This is something all fan girls, bookworms, authors, and fanboys know. They can inspire you, calm you, break you, make you laugh, bite your nails in suspense, and they will always hold a charm no gadget can ever replace. Sometimes, they can make you cry. Just like this line by Timmy Turner’s dad, “Sticks and stones may break your bones, but words will leave psychological wounds that will never heal.” But then, they can also make you laugh, fall in love with fictional characters, well, that’s a book for you. 

What are your favorite books? This question can be very hard to answer. 

ADHD: Puberty, Different Worries and the Search for a Normal Life

I drafted this post on yellow pad paper, while I thought of what to write. My brain declared what I wrote.

I’m diagnosed with ADHD. I’m about to enter my puberty stage, where acne starts getting worse,  I need to take a shower at night because I stink. Friendship issues become more complicated (I wish someone would give advice on how to resolve friendship issues). How do I cope? Well, for me, I  become: the introvert, the guide counselor, the audience, the stand-up comedian, the news reporter, and the nerd. In our class, you have to adapt to the latest fads.

Anyway, here are the things I have to worry about:

I worry about talking too much, and finding social cues that will determine whether I will talk or keep quiet.

I worry about submitting requirements most of the time, which lowers my grades.

I worry about being able to focus on my studying, because I easily get distracted.

Enough of the worries, let me tell you what things I can do:

I can understand almost any topic in class.

I am a bookworm, which means words come to me easily.

I love Math with its numbers, letters, and operations.

Let me tell you something: A brain with ADHD craves a lot of stimuli, which is easily found in social media, and other favorite things. That stimuli distracts us from something b-o-r-i-n-g to something FUN.

I try my best to be normal, just like everyone else. Every day, though, I still have to take Concerta once. (I’ll wean off them soon). Which means: “You’re not everyone”, my mom said. Sometimes, life rears its ugly head, leaving me in tears. Still, it also shows its beautiful side, and I am filled with joy. Regardless of your condition, life has a lot of ups and downs for all of us. It’s up to ourselves to decide what to do with it.

ADHD

I have ADHD. My behavioral development doctor said so. I felt like, this explains almost everything. Why I kept losing my pencils in grade 1, why I kept getting into mischief, why I was talkative and why it was hard to control, things like that.
Because of that, the doctor prescribed Concerta (Methylphenidate) for me. ADHD cannot be cured, but it can be controlled. I was okay with what the doctor says. What I didn’t like about the medicine was that it was too expensive. Mom and dad tried to reassure me, but I wasn’t that swayed, since I was considerate about other people. I didn’t want my parents to pay for the super expensive medicine that costs Php 250 per tablet!
With the medicine, I had to say goodbye to the times when I would talk and talk and feel good about it. I had to say goodbye to the times when I would act crazy just for fun. The medicine was expected to control my impulsivity.
I felt different. I was not as talkative as before, I wasn’t so impulsive, I began having friends, things like that. Teachers began to like me (I’m not boastful). My mom and dad began to notice improvements.
Yet there were times when I look back to my old self; happy, jolly, carefree, talkative, that was slowly vanishing from me. My BF Soleil started to miss my chatty old self. My old habits, especially being late because of books, reading during classes, were vanishing.
When I read a book and there was an essay written by a woman who shares my old habits, I suddenly realized that most of her habits were my old habits too! She was a bookworm like me.
Now, I have a decision. I have two selfs: my old self and my new self. Should I go back to my old self that I loved to be? I know that teachers won’t like it, but I want to do it. I wanted to show that this is who I am, and there’s no changing it. I am tired of my new self.