OCD On My Left, ADD On My Right

by Bill Brenner on January 16, 2012

It’s been an interesting month in mental disorder awareness. In taking steps to nip wintertime depression in the bud, I’ve learned that OCD isn’t my only mental defect.

Mood music:

It appears that as OCD messes with one side of my brain, Attention Deficit Disorder is toying with the other side. This little epiphany happened when I visited the nurse who helps me manage my regimen of medication.

She asked a lot of questions she usually doesn’t ask about my focus of late. I noted that while I still have frequent OCD moments — particularly if I’m knee-deep in a work project or tackling a list of chores at home — I also seem to be having trouble concentrating a lot. One recent day in work, for example, it took all the strength I had to focus on the work at hand.

That almost never happens. But this time, doing the work was painful. It gave me a migraine. If I hated what I do that would be normal. But I love what I do. Meanwhile, at home, I’d stand in the kitchen, oblivious to the fact that I was standing right where Erin was working on dinner. I would try to give her a hug or shoulder rub while she was in the middle of a task — almost as if I had one foot in this dimension and another foot in some other world.

There’s more to it, but those are a couple good examples.

Looking back on my life, it all makes sense. The OCD-ADD push and pull has always been there to some degree. As a kid I would go into OCD mode, organizing my Hot Wheels and Star Wars action figures just so. Then I’d go the other way and have a hell of a time trying to focus on simple homework assignments or chores around the house.

The Prozac nurse tells me it’s actually typical for someone to go back and forth with these disorders. OCD and ADD operate on the same mental plain. Both spark anxiety (I used to be crippled by anxiety, but that’s not an issue today) and mood swings. Both are effected by the time of year, amount of daylight vs. darkness, etc.

The image that comes to mind is two-face, that villain in Batman with the split personality.

So now I have Wellbutrin to go with the Prozac to balance things out.

Funny how life works. You learn something new about yourself, and then discover it’s not really new at all.

God clearly has a sense of humor.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

colleen miles January 16, 2012 at 6:38 am

If you have one disorder…more are sure to follow. Alphabet soup really.
My son is , ocd, add , bipolar and also has seasonal depression but tends to happen in the fall and spring. Im jealous of the mania, like watching a super hero!

Diane June 13, 2012 at 8:11 pm

Come on Bill…you have been my rock when times get tough…you are stronger than you know.
Here for you always,
Love Diane (mom forever 2u)

Diane June 13, 2012 at 8:12 pm

Come on Bill….you are stronger than you know…you have been my rock when times have been tough with your Dad…be proud. I am here for you always…xo mom 2 u
Diane

Diane June 13, 2012 at 8:24 pm

Whenever I see you I am grateful for you…
Glad you have entered my life….proud I have gotten to to be your step mom//mom and grateful for Erin ….so grateful for the boys and to be accepted…..tough year it was…you made it easier…

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