Dr. Umesh Jain
is now exclusively responsible
for TotallyADD.com
and its content
Dr. Umesh Jain is now exclusively responsible for TotallyADD.com and its content

The Forums Forums Emotional Journey Is It Just Me? getting drained from being around people

  • This topic has 8 replies, 1 voice, and was last updated 10 years ago by Anonymous.
Viewing 9 posts - 1 through 9 (of 9 total)
  • Author
  • Shadow Nexus
    #89653 |

    I like to know i’m not the only one. Here, online, my thoughts flow like water. No non-verbals, appearance, or any other communication issues in-person. I get into an in-person conversation. It doesn’t take long for me to get really drained and need quiet isolation for hours at time. How many other of you are like this? I’d like to hear your stories.


    I’m kind of the opposite. When I lived and worked at the theatre in St. Andrews Scotland – which was a dream, and wonderful old, SMALL town – I found I had to go into Dundee, the nearest city, to get the same “urban energy” that infused me. The dirt, smells, honking, line-ups, foul language all FED me somehow. And yet, I long to have my own cottage up north -alone. Sometimes I find that being around lots of good energy also sends me skyrocketing into hyperness, which I guess also translates into being “loud”

    Q- can you be in a room and stay if there’s no people or noise – ie, a waiting room, or an office?

    I wonder if I’m the only one who needs that “background noise/sound” to prove I’m not invisible?


    I’m a receptionist at a doctor’s office so nine hours of my day is spent in CONSTANT INTERACTION with other people. I can get home and not talk to another living soul (aside from my furry roommates) until I start again the next morning and be ‘okay’ with it. I have gone entire weekends with only exchanging pleasantries with my neighbors and not really talking to anyone else, and again, being totally okay with it.

    Of course, I do get grief for this behavior. I can e-mail and text you until my fingers cramp up, but to get on the phone and talk to you, for more than a few minutes? Torture. I have lost friends and had relatives send me these melodramatic e-mails asking what it was that they ‘did’ for me to not talk to them. I have explained at great length that because my job requires constant talking on the phone, and we’re a very small office so I’m not like “Pam” from “The Office”, just transferring calls and taking messages. I take messages, but I also provide clinical advice, give test results, do some handholding and light counseling, and that’s just with the patients! The tasks I must do for my doc to make sure we run like a well oiled machine is enough to send my brain shooting out of my left ear from time to time. My brain is tired and I am okay with a little peace and quiet.

    I’ve always been a bit ‘unreliable’ about the phone, but I’ve made a point in trying to at least return calls that I intentionally ignore when I don’t want to talk. I find that the thing that really insults my nearest and dearest is that they get no response from me, and it seems as though they don’t matter. A lot of my whole behavior modification for my ADHD as well as my bipolar disorder has been to “Golden Rule” a lot. I find that I did a lot of things innocently, but they sent a message of self absorbtion and flat out rudeness. Being considered lazy and inconsiderate sucks and instead of screaming at the top of my lungs “IT’S NOT ME!!!” I decided to start small and return calls. I still have friends and family members who go waaaay overboard wtih CONSTANT contact, and if I feel ‘smothered’ or like they are “up my a@#” which happens A LOT, I try to find the most sensitive and polite way to explain to them that sometimes I simply don’t feel like talking. It’s not them, it is literally ME. I find that if I give a little, I get a lot more in return.


    Yes, I often feel this way. I avoid large group situations, and find that I have to psych myself up for even meeting a friend for a cup of coffee. I’m usually good one-on-one for about 2-1/2 hours, and then I start to feel depleted. When I’ve had a lot of social contact, I can become exhausted and need a lot of time alone to get back to feeling normal – like one meeting a day, and I’m done until the next day. I don’t like having people too close to me in physical space. I have a pretty low stimulation threshold in general. I don’t listen to music because it grates on my nerves, for example. When I’m at my best, I’m usually by myself or at home where my family is around but not in the same room, or when it’s just a couple of us at a time. Luckily I work in a small office environment where I am generally alone at my desk and it is quiet. There are times when I feel so irritable because of noise and activity around me that it’s very hard to be civil.


    Like Steffie101, I also have a job where I am actively talking and interacting with people all day long. I found the best way to transition to home life is to commute by bicycle. I am completely alone and focused on the road and my exercise. If I drive home, even if the radio is off, I do not experience the same amount of relief and break from auditory overload. I am very lucky in that I work by myself in a private office and do not need to interact with anyone other than my clients. I also have total control over background noise, such as the radio. Some days it helps my work flow, other days I cannot function with any additional input. I don’t function well at large parties, nor can I carry on a conversation in a loud environment (music or multiple conversations). Since I started taking medication, I am able to function quite well, even in the evening when I am no longer under the “influence”. If I forget to take my afternoon dose, it causes me to stumble and sets up a pattern that I am unable to speak. I am totally unable to even get the words out of my mouth that I am unable to speak and this has cause so much drama and pain with family and friends because they think I am giving them the “SILENT TREATMENT”. They don’t understand why I am able to talk some days and then not be able to talk the next day. No one seems to understand how I can talk all day to clients, but not “care enough” to talk with the important people in my life. As with any ADHD symptoms, my friends/family take my behaviors personally, even when it has nothing to do with them.


    The bike commute sounds wonderful! I’ve actually been contemplating that. I didn’t get my driver’s license until I was 23 (due to attention issues, imagine that!) and I rode my bike everywhere. I did feel more centered, even calmer. I chalked it up to endorphins. Last week I walked to my gym prior to working out and realized when I got home that again, I felt ‘calmer’. It was just me and the walk and my walkman with a mixtape that I had made (yes, mixtape!)

    The taking it personal aspect of it is always the toughest part of it all. I realized now that I’m so over beating myself up after I’ve done my ‘best’ that if someone doesn’t ‘get’ it, it’s always been more about THEM then about ME anyway, so maybe if they are out of my life it’s for the best. Most of my friends and family who have been ‘offended’ by my lack of contact were the ones that were far more ‘me,me,me’ than anything, and at first, I chalked it up to them being so needy that it exhausted me. In reality I’m surrounded by ‘need machines’ at my job and my tolerance for them is usually pretty much DONE by the time I get home. As we ‘speak’ my doc is interrupting my lunch to ask me questions about her charts. THIS IS WHAT I WORK WITH DAILY. I don’t even get an hour for lunch. Need need need. I’m more Popeye than ‘doormat’ now, instead of beating myself up I just say “I am what I am.” I try to grow and learn for ME, not because I feel bullied by people who just needed another fan club member to listen to EVERY LITTLE THING.

    My theory is I try to understand it and make peace with it, and again, just do the best that I can. I know that people don’t like to be flat out ignored, as I don’t like to be either. I also know that some people find it as yet another ‘excuse’ from me for behavior they may not like, but as I get older, and my support system continues to grow and change, I find that I gravitate towards people who are more than happy to just ‘get’ me and not try to ‘change’ me.

    Ironically, I do better in groups or crowds than one on one, unless I’m with someone I’m incredibly close to. I think that I get nervous in more personal situations where in crowds for the most part, you aren’t connecting with a specific person. But not LARGE crowds, don’t get me started on LARGE CROWDS…


    I was thinking about this topic today, so glad I found this post.

    As I am learning to manage my symptoms, working with an ADD coach, and meds (adderal XR), I am becoming more aware of what is happening with me in different situations, and how I react. For instance, I really need to have people in my life. I have a strong drive to be social, be in daily contact with people, to expand my social circle. But, unmanaged ADD makes it difficult for me to get out of my head, my apartment, which makes it horrible on both sides.

    On the other hand, in social situations, I find that I reach a point where I need to step away from the group. 15 minutes is enough usually. It just becomes too much at some point, tiring, and overwhelming. I really enjoy and need to be interacting with people, but I reach a limit where I just want to get away! If it is a larger crowd, of course more difficult.

    What is nice is that as I recognize these traits, I can take them for what they are, rather than berate myself, or get overly anxious (usually). For instance, if I have long business meetings, I can only hyperfocus for so long (maybe 2-3 hours), but after that I disconnect. I have learned to make a reason to take a break every hour or so. Walk away from the meeting, possibly do pushups if possible, to re-energize.

    My 2 cents, still a work in progress…


    sdwa comes close to describing me……………..

    I could NEVER EVER live in a city, even small towns are often too much. I hate crowds, I avoid “sales” at large stores.

    I hate large family get-togethers and try to avoid them.

    I get “burned out” quickly.


    WoW! I just found this frum and always thought it was just me and that I was weird, but other people feel this way too!

Viewing 9 posts - 1 through 9 (of 9 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.