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ADD/ADHD & anxiety (one medication to treat both issues?)

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

My son was recently diagnosed with anxiety and ADD/ADHD (we aren't exactly sure which he falls under)


We will be meeting with the doctor next month to talk about medication options, but I was wondering if there was any medication that really helped your child with both issues?


I'd really like to be prepared for that next appointment--doing my homework!


post #2 of 13

Wellbutrin can be effective for both ADHD and anxiety.  However it caused my blood pressure to rise.  I found that adderal makes my anxiety worse.  I've known other that it doesn't have any effect on their anxiety.  It's really a very individual thing.  What works for one will not work for another.  I take vyvanse 30mg and half lowest dose of buspar (a very old anxiety med) which my old shrink told me wasn't even a therapeutic level which is nonsense because it works for me.


I will say that many doctors will prescribe SSRI's and SRNI's for anxiety.  Now, this is just my personal experience but I think it's crazy to take anti-depressants when you only have anxiety.  SSRIs and SRNIs made my anxiety 100x worse and after playing drug roulette for months  I finally put my foot down and demanded the buspar.  I've been fine every since :)

post #3 of 13

Yes, Wellbutrin is a good choice.  Ive been on it before, it doesn't have near the amt of side effects that some of the SSRIs and SNRIs have and can treat both.  I've taken it for anxiety and tit helped but it also made my mind move very sluggishly(I don't have ADHD) and it was just too slow for me.

post #4 of 13
Originally Posted by Chalex View Post

My son was recently diagnosed with anxiety and ADD/ADHD (we aren't exactly sure which he falls under)


We will be meeting with the doctor next month to talk about medication options, but I was wondering if there was any medication that really helped your child with both issues?


Anxiety can be a symptom of the ADHD. My ds' second ADHD medication (Vyvanse) seemed to alleviate much of his anxiety.



Based on the above symptoms listed in its Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, the American Psychiatric Association has identified three subtypes of ADHD

1. ADHD, Combined Type: Both inattention and hyperactivity-impulsivity symptoms

2.ADHD, Predominantly Inattentive Type: Inattention, but not enough (at least 6 out of 9) hyperactivity-impulsivity symptoms

3. ADHD, Predominantly Hyperactive-Impulsive Type: Hyperactivity-impulsivity, but not enough (at least 6 out of 9) inattention symptoms

post #5 of 13
Thread Starter 

Thank you for the replies!


I can't believe all the side effects to these ADHD meds.  Poor kids.


It's so hard to decide whether to go ahead with medication...

post #6 of 13

Side effects are scary, but my son only has the loss of appetite.  Without meds, he was starting to get very poor self esteem, so we take the loss of appetite of the crappy self esteem.

post #7 of 13

DD1 barely ate her first week of being medicated. It slowly got better that first month and now she eats normally, she was never a huge eater before. No other side effects though and the effects have been amazing, I feel like have a different child. I resisted meds for WAY too long, eventually it got to where she was crying and saying she just wanted to be "normal", I figured we had nothing to lose at that point, we'd try a month and see how it was going. My biggest regret is that I did not do this sooner. DD1 takes Zoloft since she does not have ADHD, just anxiety. But interestingly, she is dyslexic and works with an academic language therapist before school 4 days a week, she had worked with DD1 for years. DD1 has never had a focus issue but after she had been on Zoloft for about 2 weeks, her therapist called to ask what the heck was going on because DD1 was doing so much better retaining  info. Now the therapist jokes that she can tell the exact minute the meds kick in, if we miss a dose, she notices and calls me on it!


DH has both anxiety and ADHD, Adderal works very well for him to treat both.

post #8 of 13

I think it might depend on what is primary and what is secondary.  Uncontrolled ADHD can lead to anxiety, and so sometimes treating the ADHD is enough.  I've seen this work with some kids I've worked with.  However, there are some kids, like my son, where this doesn't work.  We treated for ADHD first, with more than one type of medication tried, with the initial assumption that the anxiety caused the ADHD.  We had only one med that helped with the anxiety somewhat, which was in his case Straterra. He had terrible anxiety on Adderol. When he was treated instead for anxiety primarily, he ended up with not only less anxiety and OCD/tic type symptoms, but also has had less ADHD type symptoms than with any of the ADHD meds.  It might take time to sort out what is the primary and what is the secondary issue.  In our case, he is on an SSRI, and I get what SpottedFox was saying about antidepressants not being the ticket for anxiety with her, but they do really work for some people.  There's no fast answer, it can take trial and error and time to figure these things out.

post #9 of 13

Wow, I am so glad to have found this post. We are now trying to figure out if we need to begin meds. or not. It is really not an easy decision. My son is ADHD/Inattentive type, he has tics (off and on), sensory issues (sometimes), some LD and really severe Anxiety - mainly separation.


We were prescribed Zoloft last year, but did not try it since he was newly diagnosed and we were basically too uneducated about it all. And he was being home-schooled by that time anyway. It seems like Strattera would be a good choice from what SpottedFox has said or possibly Adderal.  I would love to hear an update from Chalex to see if your son has started meds and if it worked - pros/cons.  I know different meds affect people differently but it is so helpful and makes it a bit less stressful when you can hear from other understanding people.  

post #10 of 13
Thread Starter 

Hi CleoS,


We have not started medication.   Our doctor had given us a 'suggested reading' about anxiety...geez, can't find the title at the moment...but basically we are trying to treat his anxiety first.  I didn't enroll him in any summer camps or lessons and I'm hoping he'll feel ok with having one classmate over to play before Christmas!


We recently moved to the country and my DS is going to a new school.   He's in a smaller class (18 kids) and his teacher seems to truly want to help him feel comfortable.  I can see he feels at ease with her, thankfully.  Now, the hard classroom work hasn't started so I'm not sure if we'll have the 'attention' issues coming into play soon.  Last year was dreadful.


My DD has also started school this year, so I'm sure that will ease some of the anxiety too.  (they are best friends, even though there is a 3.5 year age difference)


I think in October he's start seeing an Occupational Therapist again within the school...and I'm planning to be more involved in the school this year, although this is hard with still having a toddler at home.


Little steps, little steps!

post #11 of 13

I see this is an older thread being updated, but I wanted to chime in and say when my son started meds (Concerta) for the ADHD, his anxiety also decreased as he became able to handle the classroom setting.

post #12 of 13

That is great Chalex. We have pretty much exhausted all other options now and read every book under the sun on anxiety, adhd and parenting so we are doing our research on the next step. I hope this works for you. It would be such a relief! We also take it day by day and don't take anything for granted. Little steps is the way to go.


Thanks also VBMama, we have heard that too but we are just not sure which to tackle first as for meds. - anxiety or adhd. We have had differing opinions from the psychologists, psychiatrist and our family doc :-/

post #13 of 13

My DS has multiple diagnoses ADHD, SLD reading and writing (dyslexic), Generalized Anxiety Disorder, PDD NOS, Speech Language Impairment with Expressive Receptive Language anyway Vyvanse seems to work best with the fewest side effects for him. Concerta caused a lot of negative side effects. Good luck figuring it out, just remember it is going to take some trial and error. I hate feeling like I am treating my kid like an experiment but it really is the only way to figure out what is going to work.

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