ADD Meds for adults.... your experiences/thoughts? - Mothering Forums

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Old 09-12-2008, 11:59 AM - Thread Starter
 
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For years and years people have told me to look into the possibility of having ADD. I never took it seriously. I suppose I took it more as a joke and was blind to the fact that I might have actually been effecting people with my symptoms. Anyway, when I was 17 I was diagnosed with depression/anxiety and have sense been on A TON of meds to help manage it...some helped a little bit and some didn't help at all - but none had relieved the bigger issues...(which I'll touch on next.) I guess maybe I was an ignorant patient...I just took the diagnosis and claimed it rather that really looking at it from the outside-in. I feel silly for that now.

Well my life has been overloaded with big events that cause more stress and more anxiety over this past year. I have had my meds increased (Lexapro now...though like I said -I've been on at least 20-30 over the 13 years), but have gotten little relief/change.

I had to go on an unexpected trip last weekend and while preparing for it I lost it... I couldn't priotize tasks, I was annoyed and impatient, I was overwhelmed, everything I started I didn't finish. By the time DH got home I was in tears. He said to me again...."you need to go to the doctor and talk about ADD."

So over this past week I've been thinking about it...and I talked to my family more about it and they all agree. I went to a website with adult symptoms and it pegged me...all but one described me. DH said he'd looked into it before for me, and knew I matched the diagnosis...but didn't want to hurt my feelings. (sheesh, way to go with communication!)

I think I was mis-diagnosed as a teenager... my Mom thinks it's been an issue since I began schooling at age 5.

I have an appointment Monday to talk about it with my doc...

I'm telling you Mamas all of this because I want to go to the appointment with confidence and knowledge. I thought maybe discussing ADD in adults here with those of you with experience would help educate me.

(Whew, that was winded....thanks for reading through.)

Becca ~Mama to 3 (DD - 1/3/02) (DD - 2/16/04) (DS - 8/11/05)
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Old 09-12-2008, 12:02 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Here's the main website I referred to:

http://www.helpguide.org/mental/adhd...t_symptoms.htm

All of those symptoms describe me except for excessive messiness. I'm actually the opposite...overly neat and organized. It gives me a sense of control...the only sense of control.

Becca ~Mama to 3 (DD - 1/3/02) (DD - 2/16/04) (DS - 8/11/05)
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Old 09-12-2008, 01:14 PM
 
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I was diagnosed with Adult ADD and took meds (Adderall) for it for five years. This was on top of ten years of taking multiple antidepressants.

Just like the antidepressant meds, the ADD meds brought temporary relief of some symptoms. However, they also brought new symptoms (side effects) that had to be dealt with, sometimes by other Rx meds that led to other nasty side effects... a vicious cycle.

In the long run I found out that the reason I had depression symptoms and ADD symptoms was because I had an autoimmune thyroid disease and food allergies and chemical intolerances. I am working on healing all of those and have not taken any medications now for almost 4 years.

I think there are many, many people who fit the "Adult ADD checklist." But I no longer believe it is a valid diagnosis for most of those people. I think it is a symptom, not a cause.

Drastically changing my diet brought far more change--and lasting change--than being on antidepressants and ADD meds. A great place to start is to read the book The Mood Cure by Julia Ross. There are many alternative ways to treat the kind of symptoms you have, instead of meds that alter your brain chemistry.
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Old 09-12-2008, 02:14 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you so much for sharing your story WildIris. :

I would really love to look into the book, but I can't read because I can't focus...I haven't read a book in about 18 years. I read the same lines over and over. I didn't complete college in part because I was so behind in all classes that involved reading.

Becca ~Mama to 3 (DD - 1/3/02) (DD - 2/16/04) (DS - 8/11/05)
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Old 09-12-2008, 03:00 PM
 
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I used to have that issue, too (couldn't concentrate enough to read), so I understand. Maybe your DH or a friend could read it for you and tell you the information?

I also remember being where you're at right now, really feeling like I'd finally found the answer to all my problems and wanting that diagnosis and that pill to fix it. And it did help in the short term, but ultimately created more problems for me.

I wish you all the best. I hope you find what you need.

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Old 09-12-2008, 03:08 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Yep, that's exactly it... I feel like any possibility of help (whether in the form of a pill or otherwise) could be the answer. I thinks that's why I let them diagnos me so quickly with depression and anxiety disorder. I thought a diganosis could help solve my problems....of course it didn't.

I would really love to finish college...I'd really love to carry on a conversation with friends and family without tuning them out by accident...I'd really love to be better about remembering things - even the little thing - but especially the bigger things...I'd really love to finish the things I start and to not feel like a failure all the time.

My DD's special needs teacher started ADD meds as an adult and they have helped her to do those things..... she's one of the many people who suggested the possibility of me having it... I guess I just want it to work for me like it did for her.

Anyway.... as vulnerable as I feel typing this all on a public forum... it does help to share. Thank you for your responses WildIris....I truly appreciate every perspective on the matter.

Becca ~Mama to 3 (DD - 1/3/02) (DD - 2/16/04) (DS - 8/11/05)
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Old 09-12-2008, 07:57 PM
 
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Well you know what, maybe the meds will be the right thing for you. Everyone is different. You probably will notice a big difference in the beginning. I did--even though it didn't last, it helped me for awhile. It was just in that my case there were other (bigger) underlying issues that came up later, KWIM? But meds may be the right thing for you for this time. I will hope and believe for you that you will figure it out!

I don't know if you've ever seen the Amen Clinic website but it has a lot of great info on ADD. Here's a link to one article on natural treatments including diet. (If you scroll down almost to the bottom of the page, there's a "summary" -- so you don't have to read the whole thing.)
http://amenclinic.com/ac/articles_de...p?articleID=10
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Old 09-13-2008, 10:23 PM
 
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I take Strattera and I love it!!!

But I do have other major mental health issues beyond add and gut health issues from child hood. Both feel like a losing battle sometimes but I just keep hanging on and each time something seems to help I look at the whole picture and make the best decision I can. I go through phases of horrible systemic yeast, food intolerances, liver overload, cleanse, eat the right food when I figure out what bugs me, then I have a good phase. I keep working on my mental health actively, always eat as whole foods as I can mange financially avoid sugars etc. My food tolerances change every couple of years, sometimes I gain some back or just lose more. I would love to have some magic health fairy come and sprinkle me with magic fairy dust and be , just basically healthy! not have weird stuff all the time.

Heather, mama to Harriet, Crispin, in with Tom and 2
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Old 09-13-2008, 10:27 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I take Strattera and I love it!!!
Would you mind telling me if it was your PCP or a Psych who prescribed it?

Becca ~Mama to 3 (DD - 1/3/02) (DD - 2/16/04) (DS - 8/11/05)
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Old 09-13-2008, 10:27 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Well you know what, maybe the meds will be the right thing for you. Everyone is different. You probably will notice a big difference in the beginning. I did--even though it didn't last, it helped me for awhile. It was just in that my case there were other (bigger) underlying issues that came up later, KWIM? But meds may be the right thing for you for this time. I will hope and believe for you that you will figure it out!

I don't know if you've ever seen the Amen Clinic website but it has a lot of great info on ADD. Here's a link to one article on natural treatments including diet. (If you scroll down almost to the bottom of the page, there's a "summary" -- so you don't have to read the whole thing.)
http://amenclinic.com/ac/articles_de...p?articleID=10
Thank you so much for your support, Mama... I'll update the thread after my appointment Monday.

Becca ~Mama to 3 (DD - 1/3/02) (DD - 2/16/04) (DS - 8/11/05)
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Old 09-14-2008, 12:46 AM
 
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I started taking Concerta about 5 months ago and it's made a HUGE difference in my life! I can't say enough good things about it. I have a lot less anger now because I'm not trying to keep track of all my scattered thoughts. I've also experience a burst of creativity. Being able to focus and prioritize has enabled me to work on art projects and even open an etsy store.

Good luck with your journey!

Gazing furtively at you from under my siggie!
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Old 09-14-2008, 09:49 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Oh, wow... that's like a dream.come.true, savannah... I hope I am a fortunate as you!

I'd really lile to know if you and Heather got your prescription from your PCP's or a Psych? My appointment tomorrow is with my PCP and I'm afriad I should have just gone straight to a Psych.

Becca ~Mama to 3 (DD - 1/3/02) (DD - 2/16/04) (DS - 8/11/05)
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Old 09-14-2008, 12:15 PM
 
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Originally Posted by MamaRBH View Post
Would you mind telling me if it was your PCP or a Psych who prescribed it?
It was a hospital psych, I was inpatient at the time. It is newer, and a non-stimulant add med. I believe it has a longer half life than the other meds and stays in your system more smoothly than the others that wear off quickly. This is especially helpful since I am bipolar also. My community mental health psychs have ranged from 'didn't you know that's a stimulant' to 'why are you taking that' to 'I'm glad it helps' sigh. I wish I had a consistent doc, but I do the best with what I have available. My personal opinion is family care docs usually know even less and unless they are special, I don't think they should do much beyond beginning a treatment for depression, and if it works great, beyond that I believe they should refer out. I went misdiagnosed for many many years and my life would have been much more productive and happy had I gotten proper treatment earlier. YMMV

Heather, mama to Harriet, Crispin, in with Tom and 2
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Old 09-15-2008, 01:34 PM
 
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Subbing. MamaRBH, thanks for sharing your experiences...I'm going to see my doc about this next week. I'm actually looking forward to it...the thought of being able to "get rid" of all these issues (exactly the ones you described) just thrills me to no end. Soooooo tired of dealing with it all, it's so frustrating.
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Old 09-15-2008, 02:37 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I hear ya, Crystal.... and I'm glad the thread can be of encouragement to you, too.

My appointment is in an hour - I'll be back to update upon return.

Becca ~Mama to 3 (DD - 1/3/02) (DD - 2/16/04) (DS - 8/11/05)
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Old 09-15-2008, 03:11 PM
 
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Good luck with the appointment! I'm thinking of you today and hope all goes well. I'll check back later for your update.
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Old 09-15-2008, 05:22 PM
 
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I'm on Ritalin 10 mg 3x/day. It doesn't work well for me. I'd like to try something long acting but can't find a generic and I don't have at least $100 a prescription just laying around.
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Old 09-15-2008, 06:43 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Well my PCP screened me and said I screened "very positive" for ADD. (duh!)

Then she told me she doesn't initiate ADD meds...but she is able to sustain them once the prescription is given by a Psych.

So I made a Psych appointment for 10/2 - which seems far away.... but so does 9pm tonight, so you know........

Becca ~Mama to 3 (DD - 1/3/02) (DD - 2/16/04) (DS - 8/11/05)
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Old 09-15-2008, 06:45 PM
 
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Hah. Yeah, I've done a bunch of self-assessments and score "very high" too...I don't know if my doc can script out meds or if a psych has to do it. Oh well, at least the balls' rolling now, right?

What kind of screening/test did your doc do?
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Old 09-15-2008, 06:52 PM
 
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Hang in there! I had to wait a couple months for my first psych appt. It's really hard to wait, but then you get there and most often you are suddenly talking with someone who can respond to you in such a way that you almost feel like you are normal - for your condition, and here, this will help you function with everyone else. It can be such a relief. It's like waiting for sex, or a graduation or something. The closer it gets the more the anticipation builds, then you get what you have been looking forward to.

Heather, mama to Harriet, Crispin, in with Tom and 2
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Old 09-15-2008, 07:07 PM - Thread Starter
 
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LOL... thanks for the giggle.

Crystal - the screening was a cheesy questionaire.....

Becca ~Mama to 3 (DD - 1/3/02) (DD - 2/16/04) (DS - 8/11/05)
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Old 09-18-2008, 01:23 PM
 
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Anyone know the pros/cons of using a stimulant vs. a norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor? Has anyone tried both and prefered one type of medication over the other?
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Old 09-19-2008, 02:51 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I've read about them here and there on different websites... unfortunetly, I can't find one website that really lays it out well.

I'd suggest poking around through google searches until you get your hands on your doctor.

Did you get your appointment scheduled?

Becca ~Mama to 3 (DD - 1/3/02) (DD - 2/16/04) (DS - 8/11/05)
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Old 09-19-2008, 12:44 PM
 
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Yep, it's for next Friday.
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Old 10-01-2008, 10:59 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Yep, it's for next Friday.
How did it go????

My Psych appointment is tomorrow. I have been weaning myself off Lexapro since it was given to me for depression, and I'm not depressed... But I am experiencing anger and a total lack of patience....a general lack of joy...assuming it's the Lexapro withdrawal symptoms. I'm so glad my appointment is tomorrow and hoe she can help me make sense of things.

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Old 10-01-2008, 08:39 PM
 
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Eek that doesn't sound like fun. Well, my doc started me on Stattera long-acting...I've been on it since Saturday. I notice it, for sure. It makes me feel a little strange, but I notice that it slows me down a bit. I'm neither thinking nor moving as quickly as I usually do. I'm a little more aware of what I'm doing and also a little more able to stop myself from flitting around getting very little accomplished...easier to focus. We'll see. I'm meeting with her again next week for a follow-up.
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Old 10-02-2008, 07:11 PM
 
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I was diagnosed initially by my PCP (a nurse practioner who I loved, and would put up against ANY MD anytime re medical knowledge ) and then by a psychologist (PhD.)

I've been on Adderall for a while now and I function much better on it. My energy levels/functioning have evened out (I used to be very all or nothing - I was at 100 miles an hour or completely overwhelmed and shut down.) I found out that there was a very high co-morbidity between anxiety and ADD (basically, my brain lacks a "filter" - for lack of a better word - and I get overstimulated and anxious pretty easily.) Since med treatment, my panic attacks are almost gone and I'm just plain dealing much better.

I'm on Effexor XR and Adderall. Lexapro (on it initially 'cause I was nursing) made me feel really detached.

We're trying Straterra now (I don't want to be on Adderall long-term - I like the effect, but it's an amphetamine and I want to switch it up), but I can't get past the nausea within an hour or so after I take it (low dose starting) - side note, how did those of you having success deal with that? Was it an issue??

Mama to DS (8) and DD (7) Aristotle was not Belgian. The central message of Buddhism is not "Every man for himself." And the London Underground is not a political movement.

 

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Old 10-02-2008, 07:23 PM
 
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I had nausea for at least a week, and was up to ok by about two. For me, it was worth it! I love Strattera and it really helps me!

Also, I started it while I was inpatient, and they upped me to 40 mg 2x a day by 8 days

Heather, mama to Harriet, Crispin, in with Tom and 2
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Old 10-02-2008, 07:25 PM
 
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I started the Strattera last weekend...I haven't had any nausea though...the only uncomfortable effect is that about 3-4 hours after taking it I get kinda hard/irregular heartbeats for about 1/2 hr...it's not painful but it feels weird. I can get a little light-headed feeling too sometimes.
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Old 10-02-2008, 07:29 PM
 
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Are you guys on a stimulant med in combination, or just the straterra? As I said, I like the adderall effects, but I'm concerned about long-term use.

Sorry, OP, to hijack your post.

Mama to DS (8) and DD (7) Aristotle was not Belgian. The central message of Buddhism is not "Every man for himself." And the London Underground is not a political movement.

 

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