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Middle Aged ADD

Hi. I just read through these posts and wanted to share my experience with ADD in hopes that it will be of some help. I have had attention difficulties and sleep problems as long as I can remember, but was not diagnosed with ADD until I was middle-aged. Even after diagnosis, I have been hesitant about exploring ADD meds because of not wanting to go through the process of determining the right kind and dose.

I was diagnosed with GAD before being diagnosed with ADD. I have tried different anti-anxiety meds over the years with varying degrees of effectiveness and side effects. In addition, I have struggled with finding ways to help myself get good quality sleep at night, including trying different meds for that.

After much trial and error, my current regimen is working fairly well for me. I take 30-45mg Buspar (2-3 times a day) to help me manage my anxiety. It took a while to find something that helps and does not produce bad side effects, and this is working the best for me at this time.

What I especially wanted to share, though, is my medication to help me sleep better. I tried several different meds, and some just didn’t work, and some had intolerable side effects, although I sometimes didn’t know if the side effects were from the meds or just my anxiety kicking in. Anyway, one doctor I was seeing worked closely with me to try and help me figure out how to get some sleep. She came across a mood stabilizer called Remeron (mirtazapine), which is also used in lower doses to help promote better sleep.

I have been using mirtazapine for some time now, and it is the best sleep aid I have ever tried. It allows me to get 6 or even 7 hours of sleep, and also has improved the quality of my sleep. One thing I especially noticed was the return of healthy dreaming, which I had lost at one point because I could never get to that stage of sleeping. Mirtazapine also does not knock me out or make me feel groggy the next day. Rather than putting me to sleep, it more allows me to fall asleep and remain asleep long enough to feel refreshed.

I still have some nights that are better than others, but using mirtazapine has definitely helped. From my understanding, you have to keep the dose fairly low, however, otherwise the mood-improving properties are still effective, but you can lose the sleep-enhancing effects. So far, so good, and I have been using it for over 2 years now.

Another recent discover that helps me is a natural herbal tea from Lifestyle Awareness, called “Serene Slumber”. It has several natural ingredients that do not interfer or react badly with Buspar or Remeron, and it actually relaxes me. I have tried other teas that just don’t do anything for me, but this one is very effective. Again, it doesn’t knock me out, just makes it easier to sleep.

Sorry this is so long. I hope it is helpful.