Diagnosed last year, just started meds last week…but not working…

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Diagnosed last year, just started meds last week…but not working… 2018-05-14T16:58:18+00:00

The Forums Forums I Just Found Out! Diagnosed last year, just started meds last week…but not working…

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  • #130019

    mjnottelinu
    Participant
    Post count: 3

    Hello all!

    I’ve suspected I’ve had ADHD for a long time, but it wasn’t until last year I got diagnosed. I had anxiety about seeking meds because my brother said they are basically meth and can do damage to your heart, but things are so bad at work with my inattention that I decided to seek meds finally. I have read a lot about the meds making a night and day difference in people, but I’m not feeling it. In fact, I just feel the physical effects, but I just feel my anxiety getting worse. The other day my anxiety got so bad, and a few hours after taking my second dose, I got really tired and depressed. They prescribed me generic Adderall

    My mom thinks I don’t have ADHD because I don’t get tired when I drink coffee, and she says that people with ADHD typically get more tired with caffeine. Is that true?

    I’ve struggled so long with not being able to focus on things, even when I really really want to, and my therapist and doctor seem to think I’m ADHD as well, but maybe I’m not if things aren’t working for me… 🙁

    For context, I’m 30, and I’ve had problems with focus most my life, but it really started to affect my life half way through my first year of high school. My mom used to joke that I had it bc I could never sit still and often would do things with my hands without realizing (mess with/tear up paper, and stuff like that), but we didn’t have the money to actually do a diagnose something like that. It really started to affect me as a teen when I went from a nearly straight A student in jr high with moderate effort to “C’s get degrees” in high school with a ton of effort. I just couldn’t focus in class or get my homework done because of lack of focus.

    I used to pull all nighters all the time in college, but it was never me being extra studious. It was literally just getting basic stuff done. Assignments or readings that would take most people around an hour would take me several hours — some times days if the class was particularly rough, or I had zero interest in it. I just could never focus on anything for more than 5 minutes.

    I always just chocked it up to lack of will power, but even for fun things I really want to focus on, like studying languages or doing crafts, I just can’t. It really sucks! I was really hoping this diagnosis would be a life changer, but so far, I feel worse 🙁

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    #130054

    marians78
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    Post count: 3

    Hi. Do not despair. I got diagnosed 3 months ago and I’m 40….Meds have made a huge difference. However everybody is different and ADHD quite commonly can be associated with other mental disorders (anxiety/depression/ eating disorders etc). It, therefore, takes a while to find the right drug or drug combination. My short experience is that Concerta used to improve my focus for a price of severe anxiety. I would literary start my day with Concerta and herbal tea for a good night sleep and had to continue with calming tea throughout the day.
    Concerta has got 25% of short acting drug –for immediate effect (which starts within ~30 min and wears off within 2 hrs) and 75% of slow release (which kicks in after ~2 hrs from taking and lasts up to 12 hrs). I am absolutely sure my body did not like that 25% short acting component, as I used to be the most anxious within 0.5-3 hrs from taking the drug.
    I’m now on Elvanse. Elvanse is 100% slow release. It kicks in within 2 hrs and works up to 14 hrs. It is much better for me. I am focused and relaxed.

    Coming back to you, I am not surprised that you have been feeling anxious when taking Addrenal (which is the short-acting stimulant) 3 times a day!!!

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    #130055

    mjnottelinu
    Participant
    Post count: 3

    Thanks for your insight! 😀

    I only take it two times a day, though.If I took it 3 times a day, I think I would never sleep! I’m already having insomnia problems with just the 2 times a day. I’ve been taking the weekends to take a break from the pills so I can actually get some sleep.

    • This reply was modified 2 years, 2 months ago by mjnottelinu.
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    #130153

    sdwa
    Participant
    Post count: 363

    I’ve had similar issues with not being able to focus when I want, reading the same paragraph over and over and not getting anything out of it, taking three times longer than anyone else to accomplish the same things….

    Coffee doesn’t make me tired, it just doesn’t keep me from sleeping. Coca-Cola, on the other hand, will keep me up all night and sharp as a tack, so maybe it depends on the amount of caffeine. If I felt hyper and couldn’t relax, a little coffee might mellow me out.

    Getting the meds right can take time. Also, what works for a while might change. Ideally, you have a doctor who will work with you to get the right balance. I tried the short-acting stuff, which was unpleasant. Now I use the “extended release” form of methylphenidate. I take Concerta. For a couple of years I was on 36 mg, but it got to be too much and made me cranky, so now I only take 27 mg. Medication alone doesn’t seem to give me the results it used to – I need cardio exercise, and I need to avoid sugar. I need to keep my environment in ways that support me.

    How a particular drug affects you may not be the best indicator of whether or not you have ADHD. Your symptoms sound familiar to me…but I also have issues with depression and anxiety, which could conceivably limit the ability to concentrate. For me, it’s been a lifelong inability to focus when I want, unless having a truly great time – then the inability to stop focusing on that thing – trouble with switching gears, going from one task to another, one place to another. One of my classics is to put something down and forget where I put it, and run around the house like a nut looking for something I literally had in my hand TWO MINUTES AGO AND NOW I CAN’T FIND IT…oh, but wait, it’s still in my hand. Things like that. Not making progress on a project unless there is a looming deadline. Wasting hours goofing around on the internet without realizing it, sort of like what I’m doing right now. Fluttering from one activity to another like a butterfly going from one random flower to another. This is good for creativity, but bad for organizing and executing long-term plans. Being the first person to know if a garbage can tips over in an alleyway four blocks from my house. Not remembering anyone’s name, ever, unless I see it in writing. Not remembering that I went to a movie, or who I went with. On the plus side, I can see the same movie more than once and still enjoy it.

    It just takes some experimentation to get the medication and all other management tools and techniques lined up in a way that helps. It took me a long time to learn to recognize what was working and what wasn’t. I kind of had to become a scientist of my own life.

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    #130188

    sugarintheskye
    Participant
    Post count: 2

    I only just got the diagnosis (well, about 4 months ago, after breaking down in my GP’s office ^^; that’s how long it took me to get an appointment at both a neuropsychologist and a neurologist) and took my first pill this morning. I’m definitely not feeling my best, either!

    But.
    I don’t know about yours, but my doctor immediately mentioned that certain side effects were to be expected during the first few days. She mentioned an increased heart rate, headaches, loss of appetite and bouts of sadness as possible issues I might experience. She told me to keep an eye on these things, and that if they persisted after a week or two max, to contact her again. And probably stop taking it.

    Today, I have felt the higher heart rate (which as someone who HAS anxiety, feels sorta like that), threw half my lunch away (I normally eat a lot), and have a persistent headache.

    I just noticed your post is from 2 weeks ago – I wonder if your symptoms calmed down?

    I’m a 26yo woman on off-brand/generic methylphenidate, slow release, 36g.

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    #130202

    mjnottelinu
    Participant
    Post count: 3

    How a particular drug affects you may not be the best indicator of whether or not you have ADHD. Your symptoms sound familiar to me…but I also have issues with depression and anxiety, which could conceivably limit the ability to concentrate. For me, it’s been a lifelong inability to focus when I want, unless having a truly great time – then the inability to stop focusing on that thing – trouble with switching gears, going from one task to another, one place to another. One of my classics is to put something down and forget where I put it, and run around the house like a nut looking for something I literally had in my hand TWO MINUTES AGO AND NOW I CAN’T FIND IT…oh, but wait, it’s still in my hand. Things like that. Not making progress on a project unless there is a looming deadline. Wasting hours goofing around on the internet without realizing it, sort of like what I’m doing right now. Fluttering from one activity to another like a butterfly going from one random flower to another. This is good for creativity, but bad for organizing and executing long-term plans. Being the first person to know if a garbage can tips over in an alleyway four blocks from my house. Not remembering anyone’s name, ever, unless I see it in writing. Not remembering that I went to a movie, or who I went with. On the plus side, I can see the same movie more than once and still enjoy it.

    This sounds a lot like me. I also suffer from extreme anxiety as well as depression. I really think that taking a stimulant like adderall is not working for me, after 3 weeks of taking it. At first it was super increasing my anxiety, and while that has subsided a little, I am still not able to focus. I’m also experiencing an increase of my facial tick and continue to feel my heart beating hard and fast. The only benefit I’m seeing from this med is the appetite suppressant. That’s been nice, haha, though that effect has subsided a little.

    But ya, overall, I’m definitely thinking adderall is not for me, but I worry whether any medication will be right. I have my follow up appointment next week, so I’ll be discussing it with my NP.

    Thank you everyone who has commented so far! It’s good to hear different perspectives, and I’ll keep ya’ll updated on what happens next.

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