View Full Version : I thought my issue was serotonine but now I fear I might have ADD

01-28-12, 02:05 PM
Hello everyone,

I hope you can help me or give me an advice. I also apologize for my long post.

I recently read a book from Dr.Amen called "change your brain change your life" where he talks about some of his patients and their problems and among them there are also patients who had ADD and who did poor in school and messed up their marriages and lifes and they didn't even know that it was ADD. Some of their stories reminded me of myself and my own struggles and I really worry now that I might also have ADD.

I already know for a fact that I have depression,anxiety and also OCD thought patterns. This is an absolute fact because I have been struggling with this almost since I was a child. So I have basically always felt like something isn't right with me and I thought that it's most likely a serotonine imbalance which causes all these issues. I thought if I take a SSRI then this might solve my problems and make me feel normal again and not have all these hindering symptoms. But I already tried Citalopram at 20mg per day and it did nothing for me. I didn't feel any better it only made me tired and it wasn't a real solution which is why I got off it. Currently I am not taking anything and also not sure if I should try another SSRI or another antidepressant. I also tried St John's Wort and it also didn't work. :(

What's really dragging me down right now is this thought that maybe I do not only have depression,anxiety,ocd but also something like ADD? What if my life could have turned out much better if I was normal and didn't have these mental struggles and hinderances? This thought really drags me down.

How exactly do you notice wether you have ADD?
I'm not hyperactive and I have no problem with sitting for longer periods. But what I have is that often times I have a problem concentrating and I also quickly forget things.

For example I hardly remember anything of the stuff I learned a few years ago. It's like I learn it and then I directly forget it again. I don't know if this is normal. It's really depressing somehow. Other people cannot afford this. Imagine you're a doctor and you learn something in med school and then simply forget it again this would be a catastrophe.
And it's not only the case with stuff I learned many years ago. Even articles and books which I read weeks or months ago don't really stay in my memory and then it's basically as if I had never read them.
I simply don't understand how do really knowledgeable people like historians for example memorize all this stuff? To me it is really a riddle how professors for example memorize all the information they need in order to do their jobs. It's really intimidating somehow. To me it almost seems as if they aren't human and have a much bigger mental capacity.
I couldn't even memorize all this information. When I think about what I learned in school then I basically remember none of it. I don't remember any math or chemistry or history. It's like everything is gone it's as if I had never even dealt with it in the first place.

What I also have is that my thinking often seems like glue and I have to think about something again and again and even when I think that I finally settled it and understood it then the next time I think about it the same thing starts all over again. This doesn't seem normal to me.

I also hate reading things or having to study. I do best in those classes where I just listen to the teacher, write down what he says and then memorize everything I wrote down. But when I have to read articles and books on my own and decide for myself what's important and what's not important then I end up writing down everything out of fear that this fact might be important. It's really a torture. I sit in front of a 20 page article and my summary is half as long as the article itself! I know that I cannot even learn everything I wrote down but I still cannot stop writing stuff down out of fear that I might be missing something important. I end up doing way too much work and taking way too many notes which I cannot even learn in the end. :(

I also have a low stress tolerance and when I go to the mall for example and when I'm surrounded by many impressions I have trouble focussing it's almost like a tunnel view. I cannot focus on people around me and only focus on the goods which I see in a store. Or when I'm in a store which has lots of fascinating stuff then I almost feel high and it's like my mind is totally upset and this feeling may last for several hours.

Or what is also very hindering is that I absolutely cannot focus and study during the day because of distractions. Even the presence of other people annoys me and makes it almost impossible for me to study. That is why I can only study at night. During the day there are simply far too many other distractions or other things I could do. I could never sit down during the day and for example read in a book for a few hours. I can only do this at night when I have the necessary "peace" to do this but even then I have to be very careful not to do other things like watching TV.

Or another thing which I have is that when I watch TV and there are various things running at the same time which are all interesting then I cannot simply decide what to watch and I keep switching channels back and forth. Most days I go to bed late at night and am totally depressed and disappointed and think why didn't I spend my day doing something useful, why wasn't I able to plan my day in a senseful way and instead end up wasting most of the time and this happens all the time. I want to do it better but then I always get caught up doing something else and not doing what I should be doing.
For me it would be the absolutely best to try to stay focused and calm during the day and to avoid the internet and the TV because they distract me so much.
I also watch home shopping channels and most of the time when I tune in I see something which interests me and then I go online and try to research it and totally get caught up in this. I really feel kind of powerless towards myself. I feel like I needed a coach to tell me what to do and what not do to because if I am left with myself I usually do everything wrong. I desire peace and quiet in order to stay calm and focused and I think about doing it better the next day but then I get up and do the same mistakes again and again. I always thought that my issue is a lack of serotonine and that this is why I have such a hard time managing my day and staying calm but I'm not so sure anymore.
I already tried celexa and it didn't really work for me. But I do have depression and anxiety, too. This is a fact. I struggle a lot with depression and anxiety. I just worry what if I also have something else besides depression and anxiety? I feel like something is inhibiting me and my ability to function normally. :(

01-28-12, 06:42 PM
I can totally relate to that.
I thought I had a depression. I was without energy the whole day, couldn't remember stuff I read, felt spacey/zoned out etc. I also felt very anxious in social situations to the point I just mostly avoided going out unless I had to.

I had a doctor prescribe me Prozac (which gave me terrible nightmares), then he switched me to Zoloft, and later Wellbutrin. None of the meds did anything positive for me, it had mostly a lot of negative side effects (teeth grinding for example).

When I told this to my new family doctor, he said that he thinks that I am not depressed. He said that there is a medication, Ritalin, that he used to prescribe to hyperactive children (ADHD) that it would calm them down, but children who had the opposite problem (ADD (or I guess now called ADHD-Inattentive)) it would help them to function normally.

So he gave me a prescription for Ritalin and it really helped me to have more energy during the day to accomplish things and relieve from the social anxiety. However, it had some side effects. I felt heart palpitations during the day (like my heart is sometime putting in an extra strong beat) and also some low level general anxiety few hours after taking the pill.

After telling him that, he switched me to Adderal and it has been a godsend.

It gives me energy, I remember things and even my social anxiety is gone. I am being the person I always wished to be when I was down and depressed - smart, social, productive. Before, I knew I could do it, that it was all somewhere in me, but I just couldn't access it. I just didn't have the energy, the motivation and procrastination always got in my way.

I will see if Adderall will help a little with my my other issue - DSPS (Delayed sleep phase syndrome). Basically, I am most productive at night and go to bed between 2-5am, and then sleep regular 8-9 hours until 11-3pm. I am not sure if it is caused by my ADD or if ADD is causing me to stay up late, but reading on it suggests that it is also dopamine related.

01-30-12, 01:06 PM

the problem is that I absolutely do have depression and anxiety.
This is a fact. It's not that I only think I am depressed and in reality it's something else. I do have depression.

The question is wether I also have something besides depression.

But let's say I should have depression and ADD then I have no clue if getting on an SRRI + Ritalin/Adderal would be a good thing to do. The side effects of the SSRI already scare me and Ritalin has even bigger side effects.
And I also have heart rhythm disorders pretty frequently. I have skipped beats pretty often and sometimes the heart beats really weird and I cannot tell what it is. I really don't know if I could even take something against ADD. :(

01-31-12, 08:01 PM
Only a psychiatrist can fully asses what exactly is going on. Let me however say a few things that I found by doing my own research and also what my personal experience is:

Fact: A person with ADD/ADHD is six times more likely to have another psychiatric or learning disorder than most other people. ADD/ADHD usually overlaps with other disorders.

Fact: When you are under high stress it's normal that your memory doesn't work as it should.

Fact and my experience as well: Your depression might be a result of your ADD. Because of your perceived "failures and shortcomings" - poor memory, irritated by others, hyperfocus (surfing internet), low stress tolerance, this can all lead to poor self image, low self-esteem and also depression.

Regarding your heart, have you had it checked? Do you have a heart disease or you only think you have one? If you only think you have one, it might be just your stress and anxiety causing that. I had it too. Heart palpitations, my heart giving "an extra beat". EKG checkup showed that nothing is wrong with my heart.

Have you heard about panic attacks? People think they are having heart attack but they don't. It's just psychological. It's a scary experience, but not life threatening. All caused by stress and anxiety.

If SSRI's didn't do anything for you, try a different group of medicine. Maybe Adderall or Ritalin. Or benzos. Your psychiatrist will help you find the best combination for you.

I personally would take side effects of Adderall over sidefects of Prozac any day.

Sometimes just knowing what is "wrong" with you can be a huge relief. I would highly recommend you checking your symptoms with a psychiatrist or someone who specializes in ADD/ADHD.

I wish you feel better soon.

02-23-17, 08:23 PM
Can have both my son has both Bp and ADHD both many have both these I have met