Try Medicine to Determine if ADHD ?

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    • #120008

      Hello, I have put some “background” below, but basically I have a doctors appointment tomorrow. She is suggesting I try Abilify (I have had OCD since age 38, and generally an anxious, sensitive person all my life). I am afraid of side effects of Abilify, dependence, and possibly weight gain. She suggested before that she thinks I have ADHD (that it is the underlying cause of the anxiety) I don’t really want to go on any medicine long term. I was on sertraline (Zoloft an SSRI) years ago, before menopause, and it was horrible weaning off it). I want to establish “if I have ADHD”. Is there an ADHD medicine that I could try for a day or a few days… to see if it (hopefully instantly) helps my “adhd symptoms” … especially my ability to focus on task? I read an article where a man (who his wife thought was adhd but had refused medicine) tried one day a Ritalin pill from his ADHD wife. He said his brain was suddenly “quiet” that day and his focus improved … making him realize “they were right” …

      I am in my mid-fifies and almost 2 years into menopause. I have had increasing difficulty during perimenopause /menopause with what I think are / were ADHD symptoms. After much research, I think I may have been ADHD all along when I review my life history. I also get migraines since perimenopause (for which I take zomig at onset) I have suffered with some anxiety / being sensitive all my life. I am not on any anxiety medication now (it became increasingly difficult to focus / stay awake when I was taking sertraline / Zoloft … so it weaned me off.. and same if I take 5HTP. I seem less anxious, in general, and less energy, since menopause. I still have OCD though. The “ADHD” difficulties I have (that have increased since menopause ) include … that it is very hard to pay attention to ordinary, boring, routine things (kinda feels like I am dying inside when nothing exciting). I am frequently “in my head” daydreaming, creating or ruminating about puzzles/ problems of my life), getting stuck hyper-focusing on very interesting things/ projects (such that I cannot follow the daily routines I try to establish), short term memory issues, long term memory issues, sensitive, emotional regulation issues, poor at organizing, prioritizing, tasks lists at mile long (and getting longer) and I avoid them or don’t “remember they exist /their importance. I do things in rammy, last minute fashion … procrastinating till the pressure helps me focus. I tend to add drama to my life / shake things up (again to avoid that feeling that I am mentally “dying” inside … it is a weird feeling… almost like in my throat sometimes). Needless to say my life has always been a mess (which I seem to find easier than boredom).
      Any advice appreciated ! I have never posted on a forum before btw. As you can see I waited until the last minute re what do I say to my doctor ? lol

    • #120044
      Penny Williams

      It’s just not that simple to get a true ADHD diagnosis. Abilify is NOT one of the first-choice medications to treat ADHD. In fact, it’s often a last resort unless there are additional mood and aggression issues. If this is not a psych or a specialist in ADHD, I’d seek another doctor to discuss these medications with.

      A Patient’s Primer on the Stimulant Medications Used to Treat ADHD

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

    • #120664

      Thanks Penny. Your post was helpful. She had me fill out an ADHD questionaire and prescribed Adderal XR 10 mg. In trying to research this med there are sites saying that people develop tolerance to it, then have to get higher and higher dosage … that dopamin receptors “down regulate” in response to the med… making one more deficient in the end (worse off than if they had never started it). One site I read said not to take it more than once a week for this reason ! Is this true that everyone develops tolerance? It seems to me that if this was the norm that no one would have had success taking Adderall XR long term (at same dose) … and there are people that do take it that way ?

    • #120670

      Hi Mia, I’ve taken the same low dosage of non-XR Adderall for a number of years, and have
      never felt any need to increase the dosage. I don’t know over what length of time the extended
      release version dissipates the medicine, but I would think it wouldn’t be more than 24 hrs.

      • This reply was modified 2 years, 7 months ago by Dizzy.
    • #120700

      Hi, thanks for replying. From what I understand the XR version lasts 8 – 12 hours depending on metabolism. That is very good to know you have not had to increase the dosage.

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