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About Douglas Cootey – Author of ADDaboy!

My name is Douglas and I’ve been diagnosed with ADHD for ages. I was ADHD before the Space Age, then during the Computer Age, and now in Old Age. I missed being diagnosed with Minimal Brain Dysfunction when that was all the rage, but did score Hyperkinetic in the 70s, which was not nearly as exciting or cool as being telekinetic.

Surprisingly, I was a good student, but by high school I had grown tired of not fitting into society very well. I grew tired of the mocking peers and disapproving teachers, disciplinary grades, and the unending drudgery of homework. I grew angry. In college, I floundered and sought help with my ADHD and Depression, but when an ADHD medication gave me a rare side-effect of a motor tic disorder instead of helping me, I slipped into a deeper depression—even suicidal ideation. I dropped out of life and It wasn't me!gave up.

By my late-twenties, however, I learned an important truth: being angry and depressed wasn’t any fun. Thank Heaven for ADHD-bred boredom. Medications were off limits to me, but Cognitive Behavior Therapy wasn’t. I started the long process of changing the way I thought in order to lift myself out of the darkness. After ten years, I even managed to like myself. I also learned how to manage myself and my ADHD in order to fulfill my duties as a full-time dad. Life was good.

Five years ago, I began blogging about my escapades with ADHD and Depression on A Splintered Mind. Co-morbid conditions make for fun times and gave me plenty to write about. Now I’m blogging for HealthyPlace and hope to lift the spirits of other adults with ADHD who find this whole disability thing a pain in the neck. Adult ADHD can be discouraging, but sometimes the only thing we can change in our lives is our attitude. I have found a positive attitude—even in the face of failure and disaster—helps me cope with the ADHD idiosyncrasies better. I am able to manage my ADHD and laugh at myself instead of beating myself up as I used to do.

And if nothing I write is of use to you, at least we can have a good laugh. I goof up so often, my life is a sitcom.

7 thoughts on “About Douglas Cootey – Author of ADDaboy!”

  1. Hi Douglas. I have ADD, mood disorder, which the MD might think it’s borderline Bipolar 2 vs mood disorder. It’s a fine line he says. My bipolar 2 presents as hypomania with an emphasis on depression. So the depression is worse. I also have anxiety and OCD. I label everything so I don’t have to list the 50 different things I feel. I’m a nurse. I have a back injury. A couple of herniated discs. I am stuck in my head. I like to call my ADHD, attention deficit headcase disorder. I’ve been socially inept for as long as I remember. My parents didn’t help any. I was always picked on. Then in teenage years I started looking pretty good and got more attention. So I ran with that, but was still “weird”. I went to a junior college to start, where I totally shut down. I didn’t make any friends or date much. I slept a lot b/c college was overwhelming. I would skip some classes and sleep in my car b/c I was so tired. I would schedule my classes around my 2 soaps, because I could really lose myself in them. I always mentally wake up around 2pm. If I didn’t have school or work, I was at home sleeping. I was dazed and confused without the drugs. Then I got into nursing school and managed to get my license, which I really don’t understand how that happened. I still feel like a fraud, like someone’s going to figure me out someday. Like you, I’m good at a lot of things, but I transfer to different departments a lot b/c I get bored, so I’m a jack of all trades and master of none. I feel like I’ve fooled them all because how could I be focused enough to be a nurse, have a great career? I’m broken, chaotic, inept, frenetic. Managers have told me this. My communication skills are poor. I’m too intense. So then I have to tell them I have ADD so they don’t think I’m doing this on purpose and being disrespectful. So then I feel tainted. Like I’m always going to be watched and will have to perform perfectly. All of this is so depressing. I always question myself; What am I doing here? What is my life worth? I wouldn’t be missed. I’m not part of society. Nobody needs me, so why am I here? When I get depressed , my OCD is in high gear. And my energy level goes way down. I don’t sleep well. When I finally get to sleep it’s about 3 or 4am and then I’ll sleep most of the day, which makes me anxious when I wake up and makes my back pain worse. I am OCD with food. I forget that I’m eating something. I gained weight also, so I can’t even count on my looks anymore. I’m 41 y/o now. Who else would want me. My current boyfriend of 5 years is supportive and tries, but I think I might be settling because I think no one else could deal with me. I don’t know if I’m capable of Love. I don’t even like myself. I’m so annoying to myself. I’m bored all the time, but have become extremely lazy since I know that whatever I decide to do will not be finished or it will be over too soon and I think it’s not really worth it. I get set into that laziness and it’s a real effort to do anything. I know the medicine for my diagnosis is exercise, but I always have this dreadful feeling of leaving the house. I guess I’ve given up and don’t care about anything. Eating healthy and exercising is so boring, but it didn’t use to be. So I’m confused and not sure what to do. I think I need to be in therapy, but so far I’m smarter than all the psychologists I’ve seen and it’s boring. I’ve met some kooky therapists. It’s annoying to have to keep looking for a good therapist. I’m over the “talking” thing. I wish I could have a life coach, but it’s too expensive. I feel like I need to be in an interactive therapy as opposed to talking about things. I would go to meetings or seminars, but don’t know of any in San Diego. I also have no one here on the West Coast except for my boyfriend. I know people but not comfortable enough with them to be close. No family here. I would love to be near my sister and her kids, but my boyfriend can’t leave San Diego because of his work. So I really don’t have a support system either. I feel like I’m just wasting away and don’t know how to get out of this slump. I was laid off of my research job, but am still with the same hospital trying to transfer to another area of nursing. This is very stressful because I only have 2 weeks to find a position here. So I’m extremely stressed and bored, which is a disaster for me and people with ADD and depression. Did you ever feel like this? If so, how did you get out of it? I enjoyed listening to your stories. I wish I knew of a place to go in person to talk to people like you and me. I will continue to listen to your stories.

  2. Hi Doug, I think I finally find somebody I can identify with. I have depression, well, my psychiatrist says it is really a disthimia, and I think I also have ADD. By the way, I´m rigth now in the moodies. I promise I´ll contact you later.

    1. Nice to meet you, javier. Sorry to hear you’re down in the dumps. When that happens to me I try to find things that will balance the chemicals in my mind. I have a list of things I pull from: going for a walk, exercise, changing the scenery with a drive, music, etc. I hope you have a list of your own to lift yourself up by.

  3. Pavila ~ Thank you for the kind welcome. I’m looking forward to making a fool of myself in bigger and better ways here. Haha!

    Eva ~ Very nicely said. Good luck with your new endeavor. I’m sure your boy will benefit greatly from having his own personal ADHD Coach.

  4. I find this blog heartening and full of hope. Recently, my therapist suggested Cognitive Behavior Therapy as a cure for my anxiety and depression. CDT is something I’ve tried before with pretty good results, but it’s also something I somehow managed to forget about and only use sporadically. This time around I need to make it stick.

    Thanks for writing and sharing your experiences, reading about them really helps.

  5. Great job Doug. I think anyone who faces challenges and still can laugh at themselves and not take it so seriously is a person who will enjoy life. I, blissfully unaware of the eye rolling and whispering in HS (thank goodness) fared well enough to want to continue academics and continue into college after getting married and working a bit of course. As soon as I got pregnant, the college-career dream deal was off. Saved by the baby! I did try to go back to college and finish my Nursing degree but met with many obstacles, of which, although tenacious, I gave up to move my family out of state and try for another baby. Baby 2 and 3 came back to back. Baby 2 was diagnosed at 6 with ADHD and we medicated him and that was that. After almost loosing my 11 yr. old son to suicide, I took his ADHD DX to a different level of awareness and how it impacted his world and the family. I run a Parent and Adult Support GRoup for CHADD and it has brought me to realize that despite all of the set backs and discouragement ADHD caused it is also what brought me through to the other side. I plan on training for ADHD Certified Coach this year. Thanks for your inspirational words and letting everyone know it’s ok to have ADHD.
    ADHD is not the liability in your life, it’s the ignorance of others that is.

  6. Hello Douglas, I’m a big fan of your blogs. I’m so glad to see you now here, at HealthyPlace.com. Thank you for sharing your life with us. You are awesome!

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