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I Feel Like I'm Losing My Mind

by Dan
(Afghanistan)

Currently I am deployed to Afghanistan with the army. My platoon is full of lazy, critical, self-loathing people that are in the mindset that if things don't go their way, it's wrong. I have only been with this platoon for about 6 months now and that's long enough. To me, the way they do things just does not make any freakin' sense.

Favoritism also has a major roll in this as well. I try to step up and get things done...take action to show that I am capable of being a leader. Most of the time my ideas get shot down or pushed to the side. It doesn't help that I've always felt like I've had anger problems, but this is just bringing out the worst in me.


I've also been diagnosed with adult ADD and take Adderall for this. The medicine helps a little but not enough. I am at the point to where I can't do the simplest tasks because I'm in the mindset of "what the fuck is the point? You don't help me out so the hell with you."

My anger gets so intense that I start to get tunnel vision and just want to yell and scream and break things. I've done the yelling and screaming portion and am getting ever so close to the breaking and throwing things stage. Everyone keeps telling me that I need to learn how to control it.

I've tried so hard and so many times to explain that when I get like this, I can't control it. They don't understand me when I say this. People look at me like I have six heads. It's not as simple as people think. I can't just flip a damn switch and make everything ok...this frustrates me even further. "You just gotta do it..and deal with it."

This is what I'm always hearing... "We really don't give a shit how you feel...do what you're told to do and don't argue with us or there will be consequences. You really shouldn't even bother trying because we're just gonna push you to the side and not take your thoughts or ideas or feelings seriously."

I hate the fact that this is the way I think but I can't control it or change it right now. My actions also reflect upon my performance here. I know I can do my job and I know I can do it well but my anger is hindering me from doing this. It's a vicious circle that I can't seem to find the exit for.

My questions are as follows: What can I do out here considering options are very limited. Are there meds that I can request that would help me? Would there be anyone out here that would be qualified enough for me to talk to? Is there a way for me alone to better determine what causes me to be so angry? Are there any techniques that work especially well for people in my situation? Will these feelings ever go away? and last but not least..how much of a factor does my ADD play into this? Thank you for what ever help you can provide for me.

Response from Dr. DeFoore

Hello Dan, and thanks for telling your story here. I can tell you're a smart guy, and you just want things to be better in your life. I respect how you went from talking about others and their problems to focusing on your own.

Fortunately, when you make some headway in dealing with your anger, the shortcomings of those around you won't bother you as much--you still won't like what you don't like, you'll just handle your anger better.

I am not a medical doctor, and can't give medical advice. I will say that I've seen many of my clients deal with their ADD and their anger without medication--some find that the medication actually makes their problems worse. Read this page on adult attention deficit disorder to learn more about how you can deal with this on your own.

I suggest you use all of the exercises described and linked on this FAQ page. It will take discipline to use the techniques and follow through, but if you set your mind to it, you can do it.

Believe in yourself, Dan. Make up your mind to use these techniques to heal your anger and develop good skills for communication going forward.

I hope this is helpful to you.

And thank you for your service to our country.

My very best to you,

Dr. DeFoore

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