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Stimulants and anxiety?


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So I need something to help me stay awake during the day, I believe I suffer from Excessive Daytime Sleepiness. But my pdoc is worried it'll increase my anxiety.

Please tell me about your experience.:)

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The stimulant may help you stay awake, but it certainly won't reduce your need for sleep. A sleep study is the best way to go here.

As for your question, yes, stimulants are well known to cause or contribute to anxiety. For me, it feels like I need to keep doing things constantly, and keep my attention completely occupied with something, or I'll feel like shit. However, my anxiety about communication and social situations goes way down.

Raising your dose too high can make the anxiety problem much worse. You'd need to find the right point on the bell curve to balance wakefulness with anxiety. You also might want to consider Provigil and Nuvigil, which I think are less likely to make you anxious.

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I can only speak to my own experience. I used to suffer from a delayed sleep phase for about 5 years. It was awful. My family doctor prescribed Adderall 10mgs so that I could stay awake during the day (because I was starting nursing school). It increased my agitation/anxiety level for the first hour, but then it leveled off to a more focused pace. However, meds do react differently in everybody. I tend to be high strung, I'm surprised it never increased my rage/edginess to be quite honest. But then, I do have some concentration issues that the Adderall honed in on and most likely balanced out. I miss the focus it gave me, but my new Pdoc fears it will increase my anxiety if I go back on it. My anxiety is way up these days. But my sleep issues are now in 'remission".

I never could afford the sleep study. I do think they are wonderful evaluation tools if we can afford them. Hopefully, one day that will change in your situation.

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All I can recommend is coffee. I don't think a stimulant is appropriate when the probably is most likely a sleep disorder. Not that a stimulant wouldn't keep you awake, it probably would. It just wouldn't fix the problem. You're much better off fixing the problem than just treating the symptoms.

:) You might be right, I'll certainly be giving coffee a try before I try a prescription. It's helped alright in the past, but never when I need it to. I'm starting to think I need to chug a Red Bull at 5am so I can be up by 8am or so.

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  • 2 weeks later...

"As for your question, yes, stimulants are well known to cause or contribute to anxiety. For me, it feels like I need to keep doing things constantly, and keep my attention completely occupied with something, or I'll feel like shit."

I completely agree, it's the exact same for me.

It's up to the individual to decide which is worse; not being productive or being productive and anxious.

I think ADD/ADHD medication may not be the proper route... if you're having sleep issues, but if you are set on trying them out then go for it.

Obviously start with a low dose and only take as much as you need.

Side effects may differ from person to person so it just depends on what will work for you.

If they don't work for you, you can always discontinue their use :)

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I get a lot of anxiety on adderall.. and on wellbutrin (before it poops out on me). Dexedrine is a little easier on anxiety for me, maybe its a NE thing that makes me anxious? But it doesnt energize me as much. Never taken methylphenidate so I cant comment on that. Provigil is probably good for wakefulness without making you anxious.

I suffer from chronic fatigue, probably from depression. Despite all the stimulating meds I take im always exhausted. Been going to the gym every night for a couple months now trying to help the fatigue but its not working. I might look into provigil out of desperation. I like adderall but the anxiety and the energy/mood swings suck.

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You're probably better off with something like provigil, than with a traditional stim. It is actually prescribed for excessive daytime sleepiness, or whatever it's called. I think it tends to elicit anxiety significantly less often than stims do.

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