View Full Version : Stimulants working foe ADHD, but for sensory/anxiety...

10-11-11, 04:05 AM
Hi all,

I'm 40 and finally got properly assessed/diagnosed by a renowned psychiatrist (had previously just tried seemingly random medications for various guesses from regular family MD for about 10 yrs). He had me (mis)diagnosed with depression, OCD, and agoraphobia. We tried, Paxil, Zoloft, Lexapro (increased anxiety!), Cymbalta, Effexor, wellbutrin... No luck. All that happened was reduced physical energy. But I still obsessed and suffered with my phobias and sensory overload / inability to tune out sounds.

Insomnia (Ambien) and panic disorder (Xanax) he got right though.

Anyway, after some exhausting weeks of intense testing and diagnosis, it turns out I actuall have Aspergers Syndome (ill be damned), ADHD (had no idea), panic disorder, and severe sensory processing disorder (sounds and smells) + really high IQ. (>145).

Psychiatrist put me on Vyvanse 70mg/day + 10 mg aderall booster as needed for long days. Tremendous difference in focus and lowered chaos/anxiety during the day. I'm a peaceful, efficiency machine now... And I'm feeling really good overall - except, I still have severe sensory issues. I can't tune out sounds, i obsess over smells, and I hate crowds etc.

The only thing that ever helps for those things are Xanax.
But can't go around taking Xanax on a daily basis, can I? I'd fry my brain, yes?

I read about some med called Buspar that sounded promising. Non-addictive, wont turn me in to a memory loss zombie like xanax eventually will, and you don't build tolerance...?

Anyone think that would be something to try with the stimulants to mellow out my sensory obsessions and anxiety?

Anyonenhave any stimulant/Buspar combo stories to share?

La Sleepy
12-12-11, 03:57 PM
I was on Buspar with my regular ADD, depression, anxiety meds. It did have some helpful effects. I think it would be different in each case, as I couldn't even explain how I felt on Buspar. It worked sometimes, and other times I felt nothing at all.

12-12-11, 04:14 PM
I basically have the same issue . Every ssri or snri I take works for the anxiety but I cannot think or do anything at all. The only one that was the easiest was prozac and that was only because it built up slower. Once I got to a steady state on prozac I was a slug and had no motivation just like all the other ssri's. I too will grab a thought and repeat it over and over till I'm blue in the face. It blows , totally not cool. The only thing that I can come close to tolerating is tenex or intuniv. It is sedating at the start, but atleast I can work and think straight on it and I don't feel like a complete fool on it.

12-12-11, 05:47 PM
I take 3 mgs of Klonopin every day for severe GAD; and my brain isn't fried.

I have a friend whose takes Klonopin every weekdy and has been for like... 10 years? ... and he's smart as hell.

You can take Xanax daily. It won't "fry your brain". That's anti-benzo BS.

La Sleepy
12-12-11, 06:47 PM
I totally missed the part about the benzos being harmful. I also take 3 mgs of klonapin a day, and I have for a really long time. It's certainly better, for me, than when I was on 3 mgs of xanex a day because klonapin/clonapin stays in your system longer, I believe it has a very long half life, so you don't suddenly find yourself thinking "I need another pill." And that's really important to me. Benzos in general seem to have a terrible reputation, but it's just like all your other medications for ADD, panic disorder, and so on, if you need them, you need them. If they work for you, they often continue to work for you, and at the same dose, for years and years.....and years.

01-24-12, 04:09 PM
i too feel sensory overload with sounds. not exaggerating when i say it has caused me a lot of problems in my life, and people just don't understand. it's like when i'm overloaded with a sound, my brain literally freezes and cannot think. it doesn't have to be something loud either; it can just be a sound that is irritating, like gum smacking. i also have had some issues with touch, like the seams of my socks bother me (have had that since i was a kid). i hate it when the pockets of pants don't lie flat inside the pants, typically don't like too layer clothes because it feels like too much and too bunchy (if that makes any sense).

smells have never bothered me, but they induce a lot of memories for me. like if i smell a certain thing, it will remind me of a specific time in my life and memories associated with it. sometimes if a perfume reminds me of a time of my life that i don't want to think about, i don't want to wear that perfume anymore even though it smells good.

anyway, does anyone know a good med combination for ADD and anxiety that does NOT cause weight gain? i'm not sure if the anxiety is a result of the ADD or if I just have both. the anxiety usually only tends to show it's face when i'm in social situations i don't feel comfortable in, mainly dating situations. i think because i've had a lot of bad experiences with dating and relationships, i am now scared of those situations because i don't want to be hurt anymore, and so i feel anxiety about it.

the reason i am concerned about weight gain is because in the past my doc prescribed me paxil, which i took for almost 2 yrs and it caused me to put on weight and weigh more than i've ever weighed. i've been off paxil for 9 months and the weight is just now starting to come off. i've waited so long and worked hard trying to get the weight off and can't bear the thought of it coming back because of another med.

i've heard so many different things--i should be taking a stimulant for my ADD and that will help with the anxiety, i shouldn't be taking a stimulant because it will make my anxiety worse, i should be taking both a stimulant and an antidepressant (which i don't want to go on because they are commonly associated with weight gain).

currently, i am not taking anything for my ADD and it sucks. i would like to take something that helps with my sensory overload of sounds because they cause me extreme distraction, and infact, can make my skin crawl and just paralyze me. the only med i currently have in my possession is xanax for anxiety. i take it on an as needed basis as i was only prescribed 30 1-mg pills for a 6 month period.

if anyone has found a successful medication combination for ADD and anxiety that does NOT cause weight gain, PLEASE let me know!

01-24-12, 08:14 PM
Buspar is a reasonable option to help with anxiety, but from (not personal experience) what I've been told from others, it really isn't very effective/helpful. Some even say it doesn't really seem to do anything.

La Sleepy
01-26-12, 12:09 AM
I have some of the same problems you have, MrPurpleSky, with the sensory stuff about clothing, (which is really extreme with me) and not so much with sound but I can't take a lot of loud noise going on, ever. I also relate to your weight gain concerns. I don't know why you aren't on any good medication, but I would think any doctor would have suggested stimulants and an maybe some others. Look at the list of meds under Known_guy, and learn from that.....there are good doctors out there (I don't have one like that, but would really greatly benefit from it.)

Having PRNs, like I did back in the eighties, like those would make my life immensely better. But I'm on dexedrine and clonapin and gabapentin, and some other misc stuff....and I'm grateful that I've been able to go back on these after losing my doctor at one point and being too hopeless to try and find another. It's hard to know what might cause weight gain....I know they often don't warn you about the ones that cause it, and people differ so much.....good luck!!!

01-26-12, 12:37 AM
By the way, how is Gabapentin working out for you? I've been meaning to try out some alternative to Klonopin (or any other benzodiazepine) because there are things I dislike about it. At one point or another my psychiatrist (and I) have brought up Gabapentin... I have heard positive things about it, especially for social anxiety in particular?

01-26-12, 08:50 AM
By the way, how is Gabapentin working out for you? I've been meaning to try out some alternative to Klonopin (or any other benzodiazepine) because there are things I dislike about it. At one point or another my psychiatrist (and I) have brought up Gabapentin... I have heard positive things about it, especially for social anxiety in particular?

Gabapentin isn't indicated for anxiety, is it? I know gabapentin's successor pregabalin (Lyrica) is indicated for anxiety (at least here in Europe) and I've only heard good things about it, but haven't really run into anyone around here who has tried it. I'm going to ask my doctor about it when I see him on Monday.

La Sleepy
01-26-12, 02:18 PM
By the way, how is Gabapentin working out for you? I've been meaning to try out some alternative to Klonopin (or any other benzodiazepine) because there are things I dislike about it. At one point or another my psychiatrist (and I) have brought up Gabapentin... I have heard positive things about it, especially for social anxiety in particular?

I'm so happy that you asked that question, and specifically about the clonazepam part. The clinic I go to has rotated doctors since I had the one really good one, Dr. Z, so I felt like I hit the jackpot once withhim, and I'll keep hoping to find another good doctor like that, but I asked him about getting something to help me with my anxiety and he asked me if I was thinking of the benzos or something else. I'm on 3 mg of clonazepam a day, and have been for years, and benzos are good at what they do, but I said "something else." And he suggested Gabapentin, he may have called it Neurontin. I agreed to try it.

He put me on 300 mg three times a day. It began to help me a lot. I don't want to go into all the great things it's done for me because it wouldn't be fair. I have very strange reactions to so many drugs.....

Eventually I looked online for info, I found some article by someone who seemed to be in the medical profession that compared 1000 mgs of gabapentin to 5 mgs of clonazepam. This was really interesting to me because I had felt so little need to take my clonazepam since I had begun the gaba.

So I'll just say that if your doc has brought it up, you would definitely definitely want to try this drug yourself. I'm now on 400 mg three times a day and still using less clonazepam. I think that for some people it might be a very very helpful drug. I ran out of it for several days and although I didn't crave it, or even really think about it, I was incredibly tense, moody, irritable, and unhappy. (i.e. my husband and my son were noticing that my disposition was completely different....)

Around here we call it "Yo Gabba Gabba Pentin" so maybe that will help you understand how much it helps me. (Yo Gabba Gabba is a kids tv show, in case you don't have a 2 yr old at your house like I do.)

So I would say that Yo Gabba Gabba Pentin should be given a try, and I hope it works for you as well as it did for me, for :) both of the people who mentioned it right here!

La Sleepy
01-26-12, 02:26 PM
Oops, need to add that Yo Gabba Gabba Pentin does have weight gain as a possible listed side effect, and that's why I didn't suggest it for MrPurpleSky. Also, I've had to work out harder and adjust my diet since being on it, because it doesn't CAUSE the weight gain for me (like the old tricyclics used to do to me) it really just caused me to be extremely happy about whatever activity I was involved in, and if eating was that activity, my whole being was suddenly very into eating. Thus the four pounds I gained. YMMV

01-26-12, 08:14 PM
Cool, thanks for the info! Weight gain wouldn't really be something I should be concerned about - if anything I usually am borderline healthy/underweight anyway.

Does Gabapentin cause/have any memory/amnesia effects?

La Sleepy
01-26-12, 08:55 PM
Gabba can make you a little loopy. It's not like benzos, as in "I'm mellow I want to sleep" but it's going to cause a haze of sorts for some people at some doses. It's a strange drug....they say (online sources) that they don't know exactly the mechanism that makes it work, and it's main use was neuropathy pain (if I have that word right) so it's an off label use as an anti-anxiety.

One thing they didn't tell me was how incredibly long it takes to take effect (it can take 3 hours sometimes) and how long it lasts (very very long.) I would say that if the Gabba gives you any kind of a pink cloud, it might make you tune out stuff, and I know I appeared loopy and dizzy on some days. Also, your walk might be unsteady....poor balance. And blurry vision. But you have so many stimulants as PRNs (never seen that before, I'm in awe) you might not feel it the way I did. The side effects wear off with daily use and it becomes just a big yellow mellow pill.

01-27-12, 04:41 PM
For kids with sensory problems they recommend OT. How about OT for adults?