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Recently diagnosed ADHD


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Hi! I posted in the intros but I think my question would be better here.

I'm late 20s, married (to an ADHD partner), and trying to figure out my own issues. I've been on anti-anxiety meds since I was in middle school, but have never really felt "okay" other than the meds take the edge off. I've been on Effexor (150mg) for the last 10 years or so, and I feel like it does nothing except keep me from going entirely insane.

My original diagnosis was Anxiety/agoraphobia, but that was way back in the early 90s, (and I was 11 or so), so I don't know how accurate it is/was. I have always had horrible racing thoughts, they've never gone away. I feel lie the majority of my day/energy/emotion/strength is spent trying to stop the hamster wheel of anxiety/thoughts in my head. I can slow it down momentarily if I get all my ducks in a row (which is something of a magic trick to figure out exactly WHAT will be the right combo), but it quickly kicks itself off again and I'm back to square one.

My husband and I have been attending marital counseling and the psychologist suggested I read a book re:ADHD to help with my husband's issues, but I found that most of the topics/issues described in the book felt like they were talking about the story of my life! I have coped in life by being hypervigilant with notes/lists to remember things, and I am a bit obsessive about them, which is how I keep myself from forgetting everything.

I talked to my doctor and she recommended trying a stimulant (Concerta). I started last week, and while I can feel a HUGE difference in my focusing ability and the racing thoughts, it's almost having an opposite effect on my moods/anxiety. I'm able to focus and get work done, which before was like pulling teeth and took me 5x longer than it should, which is awesome, but my mood keep swinging up and down. The initial attention focusing is in 1-2 hours after the dose, but by about 4-5 hours after I take the meds my mood really starts to fluctuate and I go from okay to horrible feeling and back again in seconds.

I am still on the effexor, but she also gave me some cymbalta to switch to if I need.

I'm wondering if anyone has had similar experiences with stimulants/anxiety and what (if anything) I can do? Thanks!

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It sounds like you may be crashing to me. You could try Metadate. It's pretty much the same thing.. just has a different dispersal rate.

If you still have issues with the Ritalin class, you could try Vyvanse (an Adderall derivative that's longer acting). If that still doesn't work, Strattera is a non stimulant that is used for ADHD. So you wouldn't run into the same issues as the amphetamines.

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I can't take stimulants without also taking something else, at least an SSRI to take the edge off. I can't take methylphenidate based stimulants like concerta either. Concerta and Metadate both as sustained release methylphenidate formulations, the same thing that's in Ritalin. Amphetimine based stimulants are an entirely different creature to me. While Adderal formulations are kind of dirty, I really like Dexidrine and Vyvanse. After trying a methylphenidate based stimulant and not tolerating it, I'd generaly think trying an amphetamine based would be the best way to go. From there you can decide which of the two flavors you like best and fine tune it with different formulations of the drug. Vyvanse is the mildest stimulant I've taken in terms of anxiety and side effects. My pdoc gave me a trial and I'm going to be switching to it full time once I finish my taxes and find out if I can get on patient assistance for it or not.

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some folks just seem to loathe what the ritalin derivatives do to their mood and, like ve says, do much better on the adderall type drugs.

For me, I do best on provigil even though that's the "weakest" ADHD med, and isn't even really marketed for that. But my mood is so much better on it...

Keep trying different things until you find the stim that works for you, the good news is, you really do have some diffeerent options here.

Strattera is one of those "love it or hate it" drugs, but those who love it, love it dearly.

Best of luck!

Anna

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