ADHD and Tiredness

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    • #47694

      I got diagnosed with ADD as an adult and it explain alot of my issues but there is one that I still find discouraging that is my lack of energy and luster. It seems at all my life even when I was young I never had alot of energy and I still struggle on a daily basis with this forcing myself half the time to even leave the house or bed for that matter. Does anyone else have this same problem? And how have you delt or treated it? I’m so tired of being tired.

    • #47703

      I have the same issue. I could sleep ten hours and still be beat. I have joint problems to they can’t figure out.

      • #50395

        Have you had a sleep test done? I have been tired since I was a teenager, and many years later, I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism and severe depression/anxiety. Even more recently I had a sleep test done and I now have a CPAP machine which has saved my life. When I go without it, I can barely stay awake the next day. I believe everyone who is tired or lacking energy should have a thyroid test and I sleep test.
        I should also add that my thyroid meds help a lot too. I am still tired at times, but I am not sure if it is a side effect of my anti-depressants.

        • This reply was modified 4 years, 3 months ago by Sarah812. Reason: To add more details
      • #50912

        Bandgirl, have you been tested for Lyme by a Lyme specialist? I had the same issues
        and sound out two months ago that I had late stage Lyme. The fact that you have joint issues on top of being tired all the time tells me that Lyme might be behind what you’re experiencing. Not sure where you live, but it’s worth the trip to a Lyme specialist who will perform the screening tests for Lyme that other doctors might miss. Good luck to you. None of this is easy.

      • #51195

        Band girl, I joined just so I could offer you some info. Are you double jointed? I have Ehlers-Danlos and ADHD and there is some science that correlates EDS with ADHD because it is a collagen disorder and collagen is part of the brain. Something like 33% of people with EDS also have ADHD and most docs are totally ignorant to EDS/Ehlers-Danlos. Hope this helps. I went 8 years undiagnosed. 2 MRI’s half dozen docs failed it. Tracey

    • #47704

      I am unsure how to deal with it. I’m still pushing for sleep study.

    • #47729

      I struggle with exhaustion and the double whammy of having an ADD mind in an exhausted body, where I need to be doing a lot to keep my brain focused but only have a few good hours of energy in the day. I’m currently in the process of looking st a new diagnosis for me of Chronic Fatigue Disorder as this would explain my bad joints and irritable bowel too (anoungst other things). Without the energy to focus my thoughts on a valuable task I find my generalised anxiety and depression become much worse. I’m not sure what to do to improve my energy but am trying very small amounts of excsercise (walking, swimming, stretching) in the hope that I can build my physical strength. I came across the term ‘spoons’ which is a word for depleatable energy and it’s been really useful as a way to communicate my situation to the people around me who otherwise are frustratingly ignorant to the limitations of chronic exhaustion as well as to my doctors who so far have never heard of the term. Trying to eat well is very important too obviously but the energy that I use up cooking can make that seem kind of counter productive. I’m just taking it every day as it comes just now.

    • #47858
      Penny Williams

      Sleep disorders are somewhat common with ADHD, so it may be wise to investigate that possibility:

      What If Sleep Apnea Is to Blame?

      Falling asleep, staying asleep, or getting restful sleep are also common problems for those with ADHD:

      Wired, Tired, & Sleep Deprived

      And, not being able to get out of bed could be a symptom of depression:

      What is Depression?

      ADDitude Community Moderator, Author & Mentor on Parenting ADHD, Mom to teen w/ ADHD, LDs, and autism

      • #52099

        Thank you, Penny. I want to read about depression because it has been hitting me on a regular basis.

      • #66746

        You sound the same as me – was diagnosed privately with A D h D but NHS has diagnosed ME or CFS – also comorbid conditions – low mood (anti depressants don’t help) have had salmonella and Compylobactor twice now waiting to see consultant as scan showed abnormalities in bowel – was due for a colonoscopy and biopsies to be taken but was sent home from hospital as soon as they discovered the Compylobactor – now have to wait for another appointment to see consultant. Also have alcohol and substance dependence (prescribed meds) hate waking up in mornings feel so awfull can hardly climb stairs or get out of bath etc etc Have gone from a size 8 to a size 14. I try to walk everyday and do some housework but life just seems one long struggle with the odd good day.

    • #50219

      I think that a lot of people including myself, had depression when we were young and it manifested as a lack of energy. It’s difficult to remember back so far, but I did have a general feeling of malaise and apathy that continues to this day. My Mother was very much that way. She was lethargic, depressed, moody, couldn’t complete some tasks, and ran late most of the time. I believe that depression led to my anxiety. I had a feeling of not quite being able to keep up with people or events. A feeling of not being in the loop of things or left behind, which made me nervous.

      Anxiety often runs in the background, almost unnoticed if you’ve had it for long enough periods. It can be draining and obviously energy depleting.
      Generalized anxiety can cause physical symptoms, such as muscle tension or pain, headaches, nausea, and trembling. If you tend to worry a lot, that’s a good indication of anxiety. If you’ve been able to suppress it most of the time, you can even fool yourself into believing that it’s not a problem because it feels so normal.

      Francesca, please read this.

      Stress, Anxiety, and Irritable Bowel Syndrome

      It’s not entirely clear how stress, anxiety, and irritable bowel syndrome are related — or which one comes first — but studies show they can happen together.

      When a doctor talks to people with this digestive disorder, “what you find is that about 60% of IBS patients will meet the criteria for one or more psychiatric disorders,” says Edward Blanchard, PhD, professor of psychology at the State University of New York at Albany.

      The most common mental ailment people with irritable bowel syndrome have is generalized anxiety disorder, Blanchard says. He thinks more than 60% of IBS patients with a psychiatric illness have that type of anxiety. Another 20% have depression, and the rest have other disorders.

      Regardless of whether they have irritable bowel syndrome, people with anxiety tend to worry greatly about issues such as health, money, or careers. Other symptoms include upset stomach, trembling, muscle aches, insomnia, dizziness, and irritability.

      There are several theories about the connection between IBS, stress, and anxiety:

      Although psychological problems like anxiety don’t cause irritable bowel syndrome, people with the digestive disorder may be more sensitive to emotional troubles.
      Stress and anxiety may make the mind more aware of spasms in the colon.
      IBS may be triggered by the immune system, which is affected by stress.

    • #50396

      I had/have this issue, and it seems to be linked to the hypoglycemia/low blood pressure/asthma combo I’ve inherited, which needs careful management. Everybody is different, however, so I suggest reading this book about the brain/body connection, which was a goldmine of information for me: “Why Isn’t My Brain Working?: A revolutionary understanding of brain decline and effective strategies to recover your brain’s health” (

      • #50399

        Sounds like an interesting book!

      • #52100

        I need to send this to my brother. He was recently hospitalized with a hole in his intestine!! They couldn’t tell him why, but I know he has ADHD and a lot of anxiety.

    • #50405

      Are you on any medication for the ADHD? My doctor put me on antidepressant in my early 20s for anxiety & slight depression. Twenty years later & still on meds.

      This winter was the most difficult despite still being on meds. More meds than ever actually. So tired. Fatigued. Depressed. My iron was severely low. I am not a very good writer, so bear with me.

      I come from a family with a lot of anxiety, stomach issues, depression, headaches, sleep issues, IBS, chronic fatigue, colitis. It’s late, so I’ll just say to Google. nutritional weight & wellness, Minneapolis Minnesota. They have free podcasts.

      I just finished the 12 week weight loss class. This week I noticed the bottle of Ibuprofen in the cabinet. I haven’t had a headache in months. I always thought people into g.f. anti sugar diets were a bit off, but I tell you what….I haven’t felt this good in years. (When I’m writing this it almost feels like a scam. I promise it’s not.) So I don’t know if my increased energy is due to the iron increase, better diet or the ADHD meds my doc started a month ago. I’ll let you know how it goes.

      • This reply was modified 4 years, 3 months ago by Sawence. Reason: Typos
    • #50409

      I am the smell way. I could lye in bed all day and sleep. However I have found that if I make myself get up and take my extended release Adderall and then go back to bed for an hour or two I will have energy and the motivation to get up and get things done. The hardest part is getting up to take the pill so I put it on my nightstand with some water so I just have to turn over.
      I hope this helps you, it sucks but it’s good to hear I’m not the only one who has troubles with this.

    • #50412

      I can totally believe that diet makes a difference, because eating low carb and keeping my hypoglycemia in control definitely helps my concentration (and I’m the queen of spacey-ness). I used to think supplements were a scam, and then I realized that the Ginger capsules I tried for motion sickness made my brain fog diminish drastically. I couldn’t believe it, tried on and off. It’s like magic. That’s what got me interested in the brain/body chemistry which led me to the book I mentioned above.

    • #52101

      I got this link in my email from ADDitude. I can’t tell you how much I relate and how hard it is. I’m 65 and it really makes me feel old, unhappy, and depressed. I seem to go through periods where I actually feel pretty good, but it never lasts. I tell myself that I’ll just enjoy it when I’m feeling upbeat and understand that when I’m tired and can’t do anything that it won’t last.

      I have a friend who is younger than me, but not in great shape. Still, she gets so much done and never seems to be tired (although she has RLS and her medication can make her tired). Recently she told me she was depressed and that it NEVER happens to her. I’m depressed on a regular basis and it’s so debilitating. I’m never sure if I’m depressed because I’m tired or I’m tired because I’m depressed!

      What makes me more aware of it is I have a wonderful life! I have the best husband ever. I have good friends. I live in the country with horses and dogs. I’m an artist and I’m good at it. I have loads of interests. But I will have periods where I’m struggling. To be honest, I just came out of a depression today. I had a great day, and I’ve been so happy. But I know it won’t last and that is so frustrating. For the past week I struggled to keep going, and all I thought about was how tired I was.

      I have no good answers, and I’m sorry about that. But I’m so glad you posted because it actually helps to know I’m not alone.

      • #52159

        Ginger? What kind do you take? And how much? I will check into that!

    • #52111

      Stop reading on the internet. The more you read about ‘depression’, ‘stress’, ‘IBS’ and other BS, you will keep attaching it in your universe.

      Here’s the easiest way to get out of fatigue:

      1. Give up coffee and start having Tea.
      2. Sleep at 9PM and wake up at 5AM.
      3. Exercise.
      4. Do not watch porn.
      5. Eat RAW food along with your meals (50% salads)
      6. Always have protein in all your meals – eggs, chicken, mutton, beef – nothing fried, just pan cooked.
      7. Stop drinking alcohol.
      8. Drink water 30 minutes BEFORE meals and 2.5 hours AFTER meals. Drink water as if its opium. Its the only thing that will digest food and throw out all your toxins and shove it out of your system.

      Stop complaining and start doing.

      • This reply was modified 4 years, 2 months ago by vineetmodi.
      • This reply was modified 4 years, 2 months ago by Penny Williams.
    • #52182

      Go to your Dr. and get blood tests done. This is a simple way to rule out obvious causes of fatigue. Especially check to see if you are deficient in vit. B12 and vit. D. Both are extremely important for mental wellness. I just happen to have mine done and I’m deficient in vit D- even though i have young children, live in Cali, and am outside all the time, 1/2 without sunsceen. Hope that helps. Get it checked out!

      • #52496

        I actually do most of the things you’re talking about vineetmodi, and I’m wondering if you have ADD/ADHD or live with someone who does? You sound annoyed, so I’m guessing you might be dealing with another person who has this problem. I understand what you mean about looking through the internet and finding symptoms that seem to fit. However, I also think your solution, while worthwhile, probably isn’t going to work for a lot of people here because you are talking about being disciplined. That in itself can be a problem.

        I think most of us know we need good sleep, shouldn’t abuse alcohol/drugs, eat right, exercise, etc. But there’s more to it than that. Something is out of whack because no one wants to feel this way. Even though I take good care of myself, I still go through periods where I’m tired for days until the fog finally lifts for no particular reason.

        I’ve also seen therapists, doctors, had tests, tried various medications, and it can still be a struggle. My life isn’t horrible, and most of the time I manage pretty well. If you have ADD/ADHD and this is working for you, then kudos. Maybe someone else will either follow your guidelines or incorporate some of the ideas, and find they help.

    • #52465
      Miss. Conduct

      I’m 39 and after a decade of my PCP telling me how much benefit from the right meds – I began one year ago this month. Night and Day!! I’m so grateful for my new lease on life I could cry in happy delight. I have noticed if I don’t take my meds on the weekend, I’m basically useless and right back to being in my own way. I didn’t realize how (cringe, I detest this word) “lazy” I was? Generally disinterested..? So absolutely, you are not alone 🙂

      • #52492

        That’s fantastic. I keep reading in ADDitude that the right meds can help a lot. I’m taking a very low dose of generic Adderall because it make me feel like I’ve had too much caffeine if I’m not careful. However, it isn’t consistently helpful either. I think this is one of the hardest parts of ADHD. Everyone assumes you have all kinds of energy, when a lot of times you are really worn out. Was this the first time you took medication or did it take some trial and error?

    • #52554

      I’m 59, female and work in IT as user support. I thought I was was a great worker until I was passed over for a promotion. I’m tired all the time, I take thyroid, cholesterol, anxiety and ADD medications. During my meeting to explain why I was denied I was told 1. It takes me longer to close tickets. 2. I ask too many questions I should already know the answer to. And 3. I don’t take any leadership roles. Just making it through the day is a win for me…

    • #59103

      I was just recently told I probably have adhd by my neurologist who treats me for my epilepsy. Recently we suffered a miscarriage and it sent me down into a spiral of anxiety and depression, it wouldn’t be an issue but it totally destroyed my coping mechanisms for what I call my wierd ways. Well, at least I thought they were coping mechanisms. A few home truths have been made aware to me, like for example at40 yrs of age I still have not learned to drive, I want to and have tried but unfortunately I get distracted by everything around me, quite scary for those in the car with me! I lose everything, I plan to put my house keys and wallet in a place where I will remember but between that somebody interrupts me and then, well they could end up anywhere. My desk looks like a bomb has gone off, you walk into our bedroom and you can see where I live. My work is really suffering right now, I started a new job, a large part involves me finding my own analytics, not good, and then when I am given projects I procrastinate. I usually love the stress, well for the most part, until I have had enough and walk away, however now because of what happened recently I have become overwhelmed. I am taking celexa which has helped my anxiety but it isn’t helping the other stuff, I have tried some supplements like aniracetam and adrafinil, which seem to give something like a caffeine hit but overall it’s limited. So my neuropsych visit is now two months away, $850 deductible from insurance and another couple of hundred dollars out of pockets expenses, the visit will be 7.5 to 8 hrs apparently. My problem is I am used to me, never known anything different, will this make a difference to my life? I don’t know what to think, I’m almost tempted to cancel but I know my family is being pretty insistent. I am exhausted all the time, getting to sleep is a nightmare, my thoughts keep going on and on, it takes me 1, 2, 3 hours to fall asleep, then it’s time to wake up, did I sleep, doesn’t feel like it!

      • This reply was modified 4 years ago by b_page25.
      • #59105

        I can certainly understand your skepticism and any reluctance. But can you go up a few comments and read ‘Miss Conduct’s’ entry? That is how it was for my son and our daughter. What if you spent the money, time and effort to try medication and it really did make a significant impact on your life? I have been scatterbrained all my life, but the busier our life gets (with 4 children), the more I struggle to keep up. I recently went on meds and it has helped in ways I hadn’t expected. I don’t notice a huge difference in the way I feel, but I get to the end of the day and my laundry is all done. What a novelty. (42 years old)

        • This reply was modified 4 years ago by Sawence.
        • This reply was modified 4 years ago by Sawence. Reason: Typos
    • #67636

      Same boat! I noticed that when I don’t take meds I am completely lethargic. This really scares me because I don’t want to become dependent on “uppers” to have the energy that I’m naturally supposed to have. In my younger years (now 37), I had tons of energy and I could really endure lots of physical and mental stimuli. Now, not so much. These days? work eats me, the daily grind eats me, and I don’t seem to be emerging stronger because of it.

      This is why I went back to a Psychiatrist and was very specific about getting on medication with more weight. I was previously on Strattera and it did very little compared to the new meds. I was lucky to find a doc who saw right through my desperation and prescribed (amphetamine 7.5mg 2x a day). After taking them for 2 weeks – whoa! It’s almost like these meds have given me a new lease on life. BUT now I have to deal with possible intoxication and withdrawal? I don’t expect to have the type of vigorous energy I had at 25 or even 30, but I would at least like to sustain a significant amount of energy on my own – you know in case I can’t get a prescription right away, or heck in case I want to go on a med holiday to restore my mind, body, and soul! By the way I’m someone who eats healthy (most times), not big on exercise but I do walk back and forth a lot (the ADD), and I have no problems with sleep – in fact I can sleep uninterrupted upwards 10-12 hours. In fact if ever I get less than 8 hours, I’ll be dragging myself the whole day. I would love to know what happened? I have a few theories though:

      1. Are the symptoms of ADHD emphasized as you age?
      2. Is the tiredness a result of a history of narcotics to self-medicate (not that I knew that at the time)?
      3. Are the meds offsetting the natural production of energy when I’m off them? iow are the meds “robbing” me of my natural disposition?

      I need to figure this out because I don’t want to mess up my system pumping all these chemicals in, that are inadvertedly harming my system. I have no problems discontinuing the meds if that’s the case, but it’ll be hard being that they have truly diminished, or rather enhanced my ADHD.

      Thanks for listening, and apologies for the fragmented thoughts. 🙂

      • This reply was modified 3 years, 10 months ago by Bita.
      • This reply was modified 3 years, 10 months ago by Bita.
      • This reply was modified 3 years, 10 months ago by Bita.
      • This reply was modified 3 years, 10 months ago by Penny Williams.
    • #67645

      I just got another notification of a recent post here, and I cannot locate it!!

      But, here’s my update. I started on 5 ml generic Adderall, and that didn’t do much. Then I was upped to 7.5 which helped initially, but not for long. Now I’ve been on 10 for a couple of months, and that seems to be what I needed. I’m feeling a lot better and getting plenty of sleep besides.

      Finally, I’m getting through the entire day without feeling exhausted or overhyped. I’m rarely depressed, although I still notice that bad weather gets to me. I think that’s mainly because we have two dogs and horses, which means I have to go out even when it’s dark, dreary AND raining!! I’m also not ready for it to be winter again.

      The notification I got was from someone who was concerned about taking medication for too long, I believe. She is on 7.5 ml, and that is a very low dose. I know that eventually meds need to be adjusted, but I’m not going to worry about it. My brother was on drugs for 15 years and did fine. Unfortunately, he had to quit because of unrelated intestinal problems. I honestly don’t know how he manages because he has a job that involves a lot of physical labor.

      There are occasional nights when I have trouble sleeping, but who knows why. I don’t worry about it, and one thing that helps me is listening to an audiobook or podcast on a low volume. That keeps me from going over things in my mind that continue to keep me awake. I usually doze off in 15 minutes or so.

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