View Full Version : Anxiety/Insomnia Issues and Medications

06-08-11, 02:43 PM
Well, I'm on 15 mg Dex Spansule in the morning, now I have no afternoon med because IR Dex was making me anxious/unable to sleep. Well since I was a kid I've had anxiety/slight depersonalization/insomnia. It hasn't been straight up insomnia all the time, just periods of it, like I'll have bad insomnia for a month, then pretty much normal sleep for 2 months (even when I'm not having bad insomnia it takes me much longer to fall asleep than an average person, like an hour-to an hour and a half once I'm in bed); a cycle. Anyway, since I got put on stimulants for ADD, I've rarely had trouble sleeping, except for when I was on IR dexedrine. It's funny, stimulants cause insomnia for most people, that was one of my main "frights" about going on stimulant medication for ADD. I'm on brand name Dex Spansule which is incredibly smooth, however lately (month and a half or so) I've been getting anxious/having insomnia again. I actually get it worse on days when I don't take my Dexedrine. I'm averaging about 2 hours of sleep a night; I go through my days incredibly depersonalized and anxious. I'm prescribed 50 mg of Vistaril to be taken at night, my psychiatrist prescribed me this just in case, because I told her that I occaisionally have insomnia. I didn't tell her I've had bouts of insomnia all my life.

I really want to talk to my psychiatrist about this, explain my history of anxiety and insomnia, and see what would work best in treating it. Even though Dexedrine has changed my life for the better, and as I've said, actually causes me to have less anxiety/insomnia than not taking it, I will tell her that I'm willing to get taken off of it just so I can get my insomnia/anxiety treated, because that is taking more of a toll on my life than living with just ADD does. I expect that she will try to put me on an SSRI for anxiety. I will refuse. I was on Lexapro a few years ago as a teen and hated it, it wasn't effective for my anxiety and made me feel like a zombie, very depersonalized. I understand that my insomnia is a result of my anxiety, so I think I should get the anxiety treated instead of just gettting put on sleeping pills.

The problem is, I'm young, barely of legal age, so that may cause her to not effectively treat my anxiety/insomnia. I know that benzodiazepines are the most effective medications for anxiety/insomnia, well other than barbiturates, but those aren't really used anymore, I also know about the rebound effect and how addictive they are, but I do want to try them for anxiety. I know I'm going to have to "work my way up" and try many other medications before I can try a benzodiazepine. I'm actually prescribed a sleeping pill as I've already said, but lately, taking 2 or even 3 isn't very effective, it maybe helps me get 3 hours of sleep instead of 2. Should I tell her that taking even 3 of my Vistaril barely helps? I know I totally sound like a drug-seeker, wanting to try benzos, but I know that a lot of people are prescribed them and that they do work. Also, I have a good relationship with my doctor but she may already be a little suspicious of me, because I actually know what I'm talking about. It's funny, psychiatrists think you're a drug seeker because you don't blindly accept whatever they give you, haha...

So, my questions are, should I try to get my anxiety and insomnia treated, even if it means giving up my Dexedrine, which helps me a lot? Should I want to get prescribed a benzodiazepine, but try out every other anxiety/insomnia med before I try one? Do benzodiazepines sometimes not even work for anxiety and insomnia, and when they don't, are you s*** out of luck or what?

06-08-11, 03:15 PM
You do need to talk to your doc about this. If the Dexedrine works for you and if your insomnia is worse on the days you've not taken it, then the culprit is probably not Dexedrine. Getting off of Dexedrine may not even work into a treatment for you.

Some people actually take Adderall about an hour before they go to bed. It helps them fall asleep. Their brains slow down and quiet down. There was a thread here recently (within the past 2 days) that talked about sleep and Adderall. I recently took my IR booster about an hour before bed and it was the best sleep I've had in a while. But then again, I can easily take a nap while taking my XR or IR.

Be upfront with your doc about your insomnia. Tell him/her how much Dexedrine has helped you, how well it works for you and how you really don't want to get off of it if you can help it. Vistaril is sometimes used for anxiety, but it's an antihistamine and a rather old one at that. It's also used to treat motion sickness and alcohol withdrawal and causes drowsiness. Benadryl can do that as well. However, I'm sure your doc chose it because it doesn't have the propensity for abuse, addiction or dependence the other medications have. So, given your age, he/she wanted to give you something 'safer' than the newer generation medications out today.

Buspirone is a medication used to treat anxiety and it has shown no potential for addiction or dependency. That might be an option for you. I don't know if there are interactions between Dexedrine and Buspirone, though.

Talk to your doctor openly and honestly about what's going on. Your doctor can't work with you if he/she doesn't have all of the information needed to find an effective treatment. You might have to switch stimulants, so it's important to keep an open mind and ask your doctor questions. Remember, If you aren't getting a good night's sleep, the stimulant isn't working to it's full potential anyway.