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Jumpin' on the ADD + BP Bandwagon - Adderal Take Me Away


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Well, as of today the pdoc has me starting a trial of Adderal to see if it helps my concentration and ability to accomplish tasks. She is thinking that ADD may be the cause of my depressions due to inability to complete tasks or concentrate. She notes that ADD and Bipolar are often associated.

Frankly before I even was dx with anything 3 years ago I had strong suspicions that I might be ADD, but chalked up most of the symptoms to a life long habbit of being lazy and unorganized. Lots of things were building 3 years ago, stress, bipolar/depression, but my last year working I'll bet I didn't accomplish anything at work for my employer on better than 1 day out of three, and my last month I think I only accomplished two tasks. My one saving grace has always been the ability to achieve herioc tasks under deadline, something I actually sorta enjoy.

I've never brought up the topic with her, because first the "depression", then bipolar and anxiety have been such obstacles that I didn't feel it appropriate. 8 Weeks into my Cymbalat trial for anxiety, last month she asked about my classes. Upon relating my difficulty concentrating and her asking me about college and childhood, she whipped out an ADHD checklist and started firing questions. I was able to answer a strong lifelong yes to almost the entire second half of the checklist. Huh!

I'm tapering off Lamictal by 50% over two weeks, and supposed to start Adderal XR 20mg once I'm off it, so as not to confuse symptoms. However, I have gone cold turkey off Lamictal numerous times (no seizures, thank you) and know it isnt' any real problem. On the other hand, I'm getting buried in my college classes due to difficulty organizing and studying, probably bombed my first electronics exam and the learning curve is just getting steeper. I can't afford to lose my grip any further on the subject matter.

Sooo, I took my first Adderal cap this morning. Wow. Four hours later I'm sitting here alert, calm, just a smidgeon of extra energy, but not feeling speedy at all. I can't quite believe it. Blood levels should be peaking in the next hour or two, so we'll see if I get any annoying side effects. I have worse side effects from having a large coffee, and though Sudafed often has helped me focus and give me enough boost to tackle tasks, it kicks my ass with nervousness, palpitations and general speedy feeling.

I've been review the ADHD/ADD forum, and in light of what the pdoc discussed with me, and now the my bipolar is under much better control, I'm seeing scads of comments and stories where I am just nodding my head in agreement. "Yep, me too!"

Well, the next few days will be telling.

a.m.

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Good luck, and welcome, I guess ;)

I used to think my problems were depression, anxiety and then ADD in terms of severity, but the more I learn about what's going on in my head, the more it seems like the ADD comes first and leads to the anxiety and then the depression.

When I started Adderall XR, I started at 5mg and didn't notice any drastic differences, but the one thing I did notice is that I wasn't bumping into things as often. Without Adderall, it's like I have blinders on and I can only see what's directly in front of me. That's not a major thing, but it's annoying and it doesn't help social anxiety. It wasn't until I was tapered up to 20mg that it started having a positive effect on my work habits. I hope it works as well for you.

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Welcome, I was dx with ADHD about 6 months ago. I was also dx with a slight mood disorder. We took care of the adhd first with adderall xr and now I'm titrating up on lamictal for the mood disorder. I've been very happy with the adderall and its capability of controlling those issues. I've been on lamictal for 4 weeks now... I'm not sure how this is gonna work. I'm having up n downs for sure. I just hope it levels out and I'm happier again.

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they've known i've been bp forever, but always, like for you, chalked up the ADD (inattentive) symptoms to BP.

but the more i read about ADD and with my family history of ADD and BP going together, i pressed the issue with my treatment team. they gave me this lengthy eval and decided to RX strattera, which was like popping pez. then the adderall XR trials. first we started at 5, then went up from there. now i take 30. i'd like to take more, but they won't let me. it is probably unsafe or something, i don't know.'

at any rate, you'll notice that you'll be able to complete things that you previously would have just left unfinished, like that book you were reading or those clothes you were folding. you may get more done in a day and be able to focus and be a better student. i wish i had had adderall when i was in college- getting good grades with bp at a lib arts school wasn't so easy without it. i'd just stare into space when i was supposed to be studying. class??? that consisted of art in my notebook ;)

i think you'll do amazingly well. good luck with it. many of your symptoms should go away. i can say from experience that it kicks in quickly- there isn't that waiting period that there is with other drugs.

and why is your pdoc stopping lamictal just because you're starting adderall? adderall will help with those attention symptoms. lamictal obviously is not. i cannot see a good reason to do this, but hey, i'm not the pdoc. i just went into a huge mania when i went off of my lamictal and remember it so well that i would never tell someone to get off of it :)

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My pdoc believe all my what-I-thought-was BP symptoms are really ADD, even the cycling, etc. He did want me to stay on the Tegretol which is all I can take for mood swings, but the Adderall is the ticket. He just clicked off all the symproms I had and said ADD people had and did all these things--who knew? Not me!

As I told him, no wonder I liked speed so much (back in the day)--and no wonder I always reacted totally differenlty to it than my friends did. No super mania, no crazed paranoia, no addiction, no cleaning the baseboards at 2 AM. Just focused and alert and functioning.

I wish you good results with Adderall--I personally think its a good thing for me, combined with a couple of AD's and the Tegretol.

china

P.S. Weird thing when I tried to titrate down to go off the Wellbutrin--at pdoc's suggestion. The minute the WB levels got low, the Adderal made me so nauseous I could not see. Upped the WB, nausea gone. Didn't take Add. when WB levels now, no nausea. He says I am the most peculiar patient, pharmacologically, he has ever had. No reason this should have happened, but boy did it.

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Thank you all so much for you comments and encouragement.

I took the adderall three days, yesterday took a holiday and today and trying it again. My classes are evening ones, quite long, from 3 - 4 hours. I could feel the med kicking in and out through the afternoon, but especially duing the evening.

I've managed to get a number of mundane things done, like dishes, cleaning off the kitchen table, and most especially,...

*** I actually sat down and did a two hour homework assignment (actually an overdue one that I'm not even going to get credit for) without getting anxious and spending two hours wandering around the house agonizing about it. ***** This is a stunning realizaiton this morning. Holy cow. maybe I'm not just a lazy fuck after all.

a.m.

[edit]

The pdoc is taking me off the lamictal for a couple reasons. First is that "you are getting to be on too many medications". I've been pretty stable for a while, and the Cymbalta has had a dramatic effect reducing my anxiety. She is thinking that if the Adderall XR is effective in improving my productivity, reducing my anxiety, that she may then put me on Strattera, which is an SNRI like Cymbalta, and is also effective for ADHD like Adderall, and drop the latter two. Again, one working theory she has is that I am Bipolar, but aslo ADHD and that the ADHD is the root of much of my extreme anxiety and ultimately depression.

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[edit]

The pdoc is taking me off the lamictal for a couple reasons. First is that "you are getting to be on too many medications". I've been pretty stable for a while, and the Cymbalta has had a dramatic effect reducing my anxiety. She is thinking that if the Adderall XR is effective in improving my productivity, reducing my anxiety, that she may then put me on Strattera, which is an SNRI like Cymbalta, and is also effective for ADHD like Adderall, and drop the latter two.

Strattera is an SNRI, but Cymbalta is a multiple reuptake inhibitor, working on both serotonin and noradrenaline.

And unlike Adderall, neither of them promote dopamine release.So, it may not provide the same benefit that you receive

from Cymbalta + Adderall, even while hitting the neurotransmitter they have in common and avoiding the systems

more likely to wreck a Bipolar person's day.

It would be a heck of a lot easier getting refills than Adderall, so that's a guaranteed benefit.

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Strattera isn't really effective for primary ADD symptoms in most cases. It's best used as an adjunct for specific issues. It's not a replacement for stimulants.

Also, cymbalta discontinuation can be destabilizing to the extreme.

It's likely the serotonic activity of cymbalta that is most responsible for it's anti-anxiety activity anyway. I've never heard of Strattera helping with that. Often people who have anxiety problems to begin with can't take an ADD med without first being on something for anxiety. If you take away everything that's helping with anxiety and keep the ADD med you could end up with anxiety worse than you had to begin with.

What's the problem with being on too many meds? Better that than having too many untreated symptoms.

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Hey AM, good for you!

I'm soooo jealous. No Adderall here yet, so I chomp Ritalin.

What a wonderful feeling to be able to accomplish things! I was reading recently that a lot of folks enjoy the adrenaline rush of a deadline, and for ADD folks, it's like our way of medicating ourselves to get stuff done.

lily (who worked all day yesterday, was up til 3am with another job, then up again at 6am for another day of work. Nice feeling of accomplishment! Nice bags under the eyes, too!)

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If the Addderall is working for you--and it sounds like it is--you are taking a leap backward with the Strattera. At least, thats what my experience has been. I went thru the Starattera, then I think Concerta, which is supposed to be Ritalin without the "bad stuff". Neither really did the trick for me, till we switched to Adderall. I take 30 mgs. twice a day--not the extended stuff, I even get the generic, and have NO PROBLEMS getting the script filled every moth. I DO have to have a new script every month, but I see the pdoc for the meds every month anyway.

I take a base dose of Klonopin - 1 mg. twice a day--to keep the anxiety at bay. But for the ADD stuff, Adderall is the ticket. Strattera just won't cut it--I don't think.

Hope I am wrong for your sake--

Let us know whats happening--

china who likes being able to function and "pay attention in class" which she never did, ever--

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Focalin, not Concerta, is the methyphenidate isomer you're thinking of CC.

the Starattera, then I think Concerta, which is supposed to be Ritalin without the "bad stuff". Neither really did the trick for me, till we switched to Adderall. I take 30
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Thanks--the one thing I seem to have lost (age? Drugs? Prescribed meds? Brain farts? Being just screwed up in the head?) is the NAMES of things and people--weird, but very noticible in the last year or so--

But that why we have our dear VE--and we love you for it!!

china the---who did I say I was????

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Interesting - dd constantly says she thinks she's ADD. I keep saying she was fine before...but I guess it could be co-everything else.

Well, as of today the pdoc has me starting a trial of Adderal to see if it helps my concentration and ability to accomplish tasks. She is thinking that ADD may be the cause of my depressions due to inability to complete tasks or concentrate. She notes that ADD and Bipolar are often associated.

Frankly before I even was dx with anything 3 years ago I had strong suspicions that I might be ADD, but chalked up most of the symptoms to a life long habbit of being lazy and unorganized. Lots of things were building 3 years ago, stress, bipolar/depression, but my last year working I'll bet I didn't accomplish anything at work for my employer on better than 1 day out of three, and my last month I think I only accomplished two tasks. My one saving grace has always been the ability to achieve herioc tasks under deadline, something I actually sorta enjoy.

I've never brought up the topic with her, because first the "depression", then bipolar and anxiety have been such obstacles that I didn't feel it appropriate. 8 Weeks into my Cymbalat trial for anxiety, last month she asked about my classes. Upon relating my difficulty concentrating and her asking me about college and childhood, she whipped out an ADHD checklist and started firing questions. I was able to answer a strong lifelong yes to almost the entire second half of the checklist. Huh!

I'm tapering off Lamictal by 50% over two weeks, and supposed to start Adderal XR 20mg once I'm off it, so as not to confuse symptoms. However, I have gone cold turkey off Lamictal numerous times (no seizures, thank you) and know it isnt' any real problem. On the other hand, I'm getting buried in my college classes due to difficulty organizing and studying, probably bombed my first electronics exam and the learning curve is just getting steeper. I can't afford to lose my grip any further on the subject matter.

Sooo, I took my first Adderal cap this morning. Wow. Four hours later I'm sitting here alert, calm, just a smidgeon of extra energy, but not feeling speedy at all. I can't quite believe it. Blood levels should be peaking in the next hour or two, so we'll see if I get any annoying side effects. I have worse side effects from having a large coffee, and though Sudafed often has helped me focus and give me enough boost to tackle tasks, it kicks my ass with nervousness, palpitations and general speedy feeling.

I've been review the ADHD/ADD forum, and in light of what the pdoc discussed with me, and now the my bipolar is under much better control, I'm seeing scads of comments and stories where I am just nodding my head in agreement. "Yep, me too!"

Well, the next few days will be telling.

a.m.

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Guest Guest_christina_*

You need to read the book "the Da Vinci Method"...the part were you talked about work and being great at heroic tasks but struggled otherwise...totally in this book...it is for a certain personality type that usually also has ADD ...read it...good luck

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Air Marshall, good luck with the adderall. I know it made a HELL of a difference for me. I started w/ 10mg then upped it to 20mg. It sure does feel great to get the work done like never before. What I wasn't aware of was that I somewhat planned life around taking the drug in order to do work, and got stuck with some nasty depression which even the adderall can't shake now. The adderrall really took away ALL of my anxiety and replaced it with clean, focused confidence... Now I'm taking just prozac and seroquel to sleep and the combo is totally shit for ADD.

College is tough. I'm in it too... Adderall is great. And so is feeling good. Its hard to deal with not feeling good though, in the aftermath of such quintessential humanly-beyond-human perfection.

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