August 16, 2017 at 4:00 pm #57638
hello everyone,im new to the forums,so please be patient with me!! Anyways, i saw a temporary dr.at my mental health clinic 2 weeks ago,and she said she bets i have adhd,but wants me to check out this site, i have thought this for years but have givin up on doctors taking me seriously,now i see this amazing doctor whos only there for a couple of more weeks (i do get to see her in the morning one more time though) and will have to see the regular dr,iam going to ask temp dr.to please put her diagnosis and why in my chart,because i am also diagnosed w/ depression and anxiety . i have been diagnoses with different depression types since i was 18! whenever id bring up the adhd possibility they would say either,lets deal with that after we get the depression under control,or, we dont deal with that because people get addicted to the meds, (geez…) i do ok on my current meds,but not really lol,does that make sence? im not crying all of the time,or horribly sad 24/7 ,but like temp dr said, i could have too much serotonin, one med is 200 mg zoloft. i have been on soo many diffrent anti depressents,and im honestly scared to try something new,i swear i have more bad experiances with meds then good. anyway, is there anyone here with a similar story? would love to chat with you!
August 19, 2017 at 9:07 pm #58381andyrooParticipant
I was diagnosed 5 years ago (age 40), 2 years of trying different meds with bad results and the realisation of learning all about ADHD as an adult, penny dropping experience of discovery of your past problems to say the least but in a good way, i embrace it now as there are so many positives that go with it but meds need to be managed well and am on the lowest dose possible but not for everyone. Always happy to chat…..
August 20, 2017 at 3:13 pm #58404
Ty for your reply, glad I’m not alone!
August 20, 2017 at 11:45 am #58389catherineashleyharpistParticipant
I was in a very similar place. Long term low level depression and anxiety (I had had very bad moments with it when younger but now mostly just low level, always humming under the surface, occasionally rearing it’s ugly head). Classic ADHD Inattentive symptoms. I’ve been to so many GPs, psychologists, counsellors, I even started seeing a life coach to work out why the hell the smallest things in life are so incredibly difficult for me. I have been on half a dozen different antidepressants and several anti-anxiety meds. All the health professionals said it was just depression, or anxiety, or PTSD etc etc… Finally, after doing a LOT of my own reading and research (because nothing I had tried had worked) it clicked that there was a very real possibility of ADHD. My GP and my psychologist wouldn’t take me seriously and dismissed the idea when I brought it up and I could tell they probably thought I was making it up to get meds (which I found pretty offensive). Finally I went to see a psychiatrist, who properly diagnosed me as Bipolar II and ADHD Inattentive type. It was pretty overwhelming, but ultimately great to know what I was dealing with. So now I’m on Bipolar meds, which have made a massive difference in my life (much more than any antidepressants or other meds I have ever tried), and I’ve recently started ADHD meds. I’m not sure if I’ll take them forever, but so far it’s really helping. Equally helpful has been researching information and coping methods for what’s happening in my brain, so I’m not just relying on the meds to do all the work.
So, if you’re worried your regular doctor won’t be super helpful, see if you can get a referral to a psychiatrist. They are much better equipped to diagnose ADHD, and the only ones who prescribe meds for it, if that’s what you’re looking for.
August 20, 2017 at 3:21 pm #58406
Wow, sounds pretty similar to my situation.my psychiatrist is the one who just diagnosed me with adhd, my primary Dr. Is totally separate, he just told me to use my best judgement when it comes to meds, I’m on the bipolar med lamictal, and it has worked so much better then other antidepressants, Dr. Wants to put me on adderall, and said she would work with me untill I get meds straitened out. I totally relate to add, and now that I have a diagnosis I have relief, but I also have so many other emotions, like wishing I could have been diagnosed when I was much younger, how different things could have been. But I can fix now at least.
August 21, 2017 at 10:11 am #58413
August 20, 2017 at 12:51 pm #58402
Many adults, especially women, are misdiagnosed with depression and/or anxiety and struggle for many, many years. Both can be a product of undiagnosed/untreated ADHD.
Keep going in the direction of ADHD if it makes sense to you and your doctor.
ADDitude Community Moderator, Author & Mentor on Parenting ADHD, Mom to teen w/ ADHD, LDs, and autism
August 23, 2017 at 6:40 am #58621dburke805Participant
I know the feeling of finally getting the right diagnosis. Years and years of doctors – how did they all miss it?
I was 30 years old and unemployed. I thought I was too old to go to school. I thought my life was ruined. I thought I ruined my life by the choices I made.
As a kid, I had good grades until high school, and then everyone else seemed to understand things so much quicker than me. It was frustrating… I ended up dropping out of high school with a few weeks left to go in my senior year. Doctors said I was depressed and I had anxiety. I was prescribed Xanax, and my tolerance only grew over the years. My choice for the next 15 years was to self medicate with alcohol as well (which only made things worse… much worse). I never once took more Xanax than I was supposed to take because my anxiety was so bad that I wouldn’t know what to do if I ran out. But, I did drink… a lot. Mostly because of how depressing it was to feel how I felt. It seemed to make sense at the time.
My lucky break was meeting a woman who is now my fiancee. She gave me a reason (more like 100) to get my life together – I knew I needed to quit drinking and go to school. Turns out she had ten years of sobriety herself, and recently stabilized on the right meds. Anyways, Sept 29 will be three years for me without drinking. Honestly, not drinking was not that difficult for me; learning how to do things like socialize was much more difficult. Two or three months of sobriety went by, and I had thoughts that were all over the place, I couldn’t stay on task, you know.. all of the typical ADHD indicators. I NEVER thought I could have ADHD. Never crossed my mind. I knew I had anxiety, everyone did. That much was obvious. Only after trying about seven combinations of meds, did my psychiatrist come to the conclusion that it was ADHD.
It’s overwhelming, it’s confusing, I can’t help but wonder how it was missed by so many teachers as a kid. The good news is that there are medications which have allowed me to regain control of my life.
That was when I was 31. Here I am today at 33; I start at the university here next week. I got in as an engineering major after doing pretty well in community college the past two years.
I only recently discovered I had ADHD about a year and a half ago. Unfortunately, ADHD usually goes hand-in-hand (comorbidity) with other things like depression, anxiety, or bi-polar disorder. It turns out that I have been more recently (last week) diagnosed with all of the above… oh, and PTSD.
I used to be the person that would want a diagnosis, any diagnosis… I knew something was wrong, but I couldn’t quite pin-point it. This summer (after months of feeling down and flat out worthless), at the advice of a mentor, I got a second opinion from a top psychiatrist in the area. Expensive? Absolutely. Worth it? Well, I can’t put a price tag on my mental health.
So to put that all together, that’s ADHD, PTSD, bi-polar II, major depressive disorder, and social anxiety.
They’re all labels, but they don’t define me. What those labels do is allow for my psychiatrist to prescribe a combination of medications which balance out my brain chemistry.
It gets better, and you’re not alone. Sometimes it takes a while. You asked us to be patient with you, and I am certain that you’ll meet a bunch of people that will not only be patient, but allow you to find some peace in knowing that there’s other people out there too that share the same discomforts.
I noticed you said “I can fix now at least.” I didn’t have that mentality at first, so I’m glad you can see it that way.
Keep your head up… you’ve got this.
August 23, 2017 at 7:55 am #58623
Congratulations on your accomplishments and thank you for your reply, i have also been diagnosed with bipolar 2 ,depression and anxiety. I was on xanax for over 10 years,and like you,never took more then prescribed,but it sure is nice to be off of them and relise that i dont have to be on them. I have a fear of adhd meds though,since i do have depression and anxiety ,im afraid that they will get worse, ive talked to a hand full of people about the dr. wanting to try me on adderall,and everyone had the same response, “oh no,dont take adderall” that can make you nervous lol. their reasoning for that is because they have seen people get addicted,and also they i guess have read the side effects,although i appreciate their worry for me, they only know what they have seen from whomever they saw become addicted to it,or whatever,but that doesnt make me any less nervous about it.
I go to the dr. today to give her the questionairs i had to have close friends/husband fill out,and i will talk to her more,i will also talk to my therapist. another med she thought about was wellbrutrin, which i have been on 2 seperate times for depression,and dont particulary want to try again.
August 23, 2017 at 10:44 am #58634
It’s true that stimulant medications to treat ADHD can increase anxiety. However, that is not a given for everyone.
Often, those with troublesome, long-term anxiety and/or depression find that both get a lot better when their ADHD is treated. Untreated ADHD can cause a great deal of anxiety and depression.
Adderall is an amphetamine-based stimulant. There are also methylphenidate-based stimulants (Ritalin, Concerta, etc…). While I don’t think there’s any scientific evidence of this, I do see a lot of folks say the amphetamines increase anxiety more than methylphenidates. And it seems methylphenidates are more difficult to abuse and become addicted.
The only way you’ll know if ADHD medication can improve your life is to try it. You can always stop if the side effects outweigh the benefits.
ADDitude Community Moderator, Author & Mentor on Parenting ADHD, Mom to teen w/ ADHD, LDs, and autism
August 24, 2017 at 8:57 am #58771
thank you adhd momma for your help, the articles do help!
August 29, 2017 at 8:14 am #59109
Hello ALL, I picked up my adderall ir 20mg yesterday and plan on starting today,per the dr’s order i will be breaking it in half and only taking half of a 20mg tablet for the first 3 days. nervous about starting,but will update.
August 31, 2017 at 8:27 am #59380
update: I took the adderall at about 10:15 am 2 days ago, i got a bit jittery but not hyper,felt dull,but focused,and was able to focus on getting a couple of things done. i didnt have stories or conversations playing in my head like usual,which was nice. but i was able to think, i think i made myself nervous before i even took it because i was worried about side effects,and i was the only one home,that probably contributed to the nervousness . i actaully did sleep well that night,i didnt wake up remembering everything that i dreamed.I did not take it yesterday,thought about taking it today to see if it still gives me the same side efects,but then ive also thought about throwing them in the trash.
September 1, 2017 at 3:57 pm #59631amb1974Participant
I was diagnosed with ADHD at 39, and had been diagnosed previously to that with anxiety and depression. One thing I’ve learned from trying countless medications is that medication is not for everyone. You really have to find what is best for you. Your doctor can certainly help you with the process (and you should absolutely consult one when seeking advice on meds), but ultimately you will have to find the answer for yourself, and that means you will have a long and possibly painful process ahead of you of trial and error. Let me clarify that it’s not impossible to manage your symptoms. What I’m saying is that you have to be willing to put in the time and effort to do it. That’s the only way you can succeed, is by observing yourself and how you react to things, and ultimately knowing if something is working for you (or not). You have to practice awareness! I wish you the best of luck.
September 1, 2017 at 7:44 pm #59640
Thank you for your reply,I have also tried countless meds,and I hate the process. I have been keeping journals since my adhd diagnosis,havn’t done that since I was first diagnosed with depression and anxiety myself many years ago,was put on anti phycotics way too early in life which i no longer take. i see the dr. again in a couple of weeks, ofcourse i wish we could get the adhd med right on the first try,but from experiance i know that to not be the case.
- This reply was modified 3 years, 6 months ago by wowimnotcrazy.
September 7, 2017 at 6:23 pm #firstname.lastname@example.orgParticipant
Hi, I was incompletely diagnosed with Anxiety and Depression Disorder in my early 40’s, I am 60 right now. The good news for me is I also began working with therapists during my 40’s the bad news was at around 50 my symptoms began to get worse. My response was to change doctors. As I stated earlier my diagnosis was incomplete so I do not fault the doctor. After trying a couple of new doctors I found one that wanted to try a complete battery of written assessment tests. Once the results were available I was diagnosed with ADHD, Anxiety and low level Tourettes syndrome. What my doctor did not tell me immediately was my diagnosis included Bipolar Disorder II. There is a longer story behind behind the why of not disclosing the Bipolar diagnosis to me in the early portion of my therapy. During the last 9 years I have had very good success personally with Vyvanse. Even though it is expensive it is effective for me. Included in the medications was Stavzor which is also a medication used for Bipolar Disorder. Let me share a some of my medication experiences. A few years into the ADHD medications I tried Adderall in order to reduce cost. I found that I became much edgier during this trial so I returned to Vyvanse after 60 days.
Stavzor “became” Depakote and for about 6 years it was very effective. Then I began to notice my emotions became chronically flat so my doctor switched me to Oxcarbazapine which has been working well. Then a year ago I noticed my depressive episodes were deepening so my doctor added a Venlafaxine variant which has been working well.
I continue working with either therapists or life coaches to help deal with my personal issues. Fortunately for me I am able to be very steady on low doses of the Bipolar and Depression medications. When I have tried lower doses of my ADHD medications then my ADHD symptoms come right back to a level where it is disruptive on a daily level. A BIG silver lining for me is living without chronic anxiety for about 6-7 years now with only very occasional low level anxiety. To give you the scope before treatment my anxiety level was always moderate to high with a good week being measured as “only” 1-2 panic attacks. At this point of my life I have occasional low to moderate anxiety and I cannot recall my last panic attack.
My continued work with therapists has also greatly diminished my state of chronic anger. Dealing with anger is tricky so be prepared for a long duration if your anger is similar to mine. Also be prepared to make life style and priority changes to your life in your search for inner peace.
For me it was a choice, deal with my disorders or let them deal with me.
September 7, 2017 at 7:07 pm #60042gpetersonParticipant
It seems that every decade or so the literature rediscovers that ADHD into adulthood exists.
Most psychiatrists are not very familiar with ADHD. Some might be freaked out by the idea of prescribing a Schedule II medication that they are not all that familiar with.
You might want to consider trying to get an appointment with someone who has been trained in child psychiatry. They would be familiar with the diagnosis and with the medication.
September 8, 2017 at 12:45 am #60087hshalmeParticipant
Your story is also my own. I was diagnosed last year at age 36 with ADHD after being in medicine since I was 19 for depression and anxiety. I have tried different medicines. The hugest thing is how bright the world seems now! I’m not just a flighty mess that never gets anything done… Allthe articles and tips in this magazine are so helpful. Keep your chin up!
September 8, 2017 at 7:59 am #60095
Thank you all for your replies,the world does seem brighter knowing the reason behind how i am,I have found that the adhd med really calms my mind without making me a zombie,
im not spacing out,or replaying conversations ect in my head,which also helps with the anxiety because im not thinking of 100 diffrent things mostly not good things ,and that is very nice,my primary doctor is also approving of the adhd med that my head dr.put me on,which is good to have my 2 doctors,and my therapist on the same page.
September 8, 2017 at 2:06 pm #60172mvwparkerParticipant
Hi… I was diagnosed with ADD 5 years ago at 46 which has given me a lot of clarity which I won’t get into. We used TOVA for the diagnosis which works well and is inexpensive which can be used if there’s any question of ADD. Running multiple TOVA tests, which there is not extra charge for, can zero in on the most effective dosage. I paid $400 for this working with a counselor that my Dr referred me to.
New insurance required I meet with a psychologist who suggested we trouble shoot my life long depression which had gotten pretty bad again. What we found out recently was that doubling the dose of Adderall from 15mg to 30 wiped away the depression I’ve experienced my entire life and I’ve been sleeping better. I couldn’t believe it. I held off on emailing the psychologist I was working with for 3 days to be sure that it worked. That was April 2017. I find my ADD is now better treated and the depression is pretty much completely gone.
Most anti-depressants have never worked for me. It seems that my resolution is using re-uptake inhibitors which many anti-depressants are not. Currently 30 mg Adderall x 2 per day and 300 XL Wellbutrine in the morning.
Life is good and I feel like I can now go on vacation and relax and enjoy myself which has been impossible until now. I can spend hours now complete projects like cleaning the garage that was not possible before. I didn’t know how debilitating my depression has been until it could be controlled.
I find that maintaining a good balance of sleep, exercise, reduced stress and a good diet, give me the best chance to improve my outcome each day and when my symptoms spike, I’ve found that 1 or more of the 4 are not in balance so I focus on getting back in balance again .
September 8, 2017 at 2:10 pm #60173mvwparkerParticipant
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