View Full Version : Anxiety And ADHD


EsotericNonsens
02-04-14, 04:39 PM
I was diagnosed with ADHD in elementary school but have never been on medication. Lately I've been having really bad issues with anxiety and depression and I feel as if it's making my ADHD worse and I'm not sure what to do about it. How am I suppose to get laundry and dishes done when I don't really have the desire or motivation to do anything? I mean I've always had some issues with housework but previously I would be able to get myself into a cleaning mode where I would just walk around the house doing basic chores that needed to be done and that doesn't seam to happen anymore. I'm having issues focusing at work too now. I've tried using caffeine for that but I'm not sure how much it helps. Right now caffeine seams to just make me jittery which feeds back into my anxiety. I have things I do to help with the ADHD like making lists and putting my thoughts in writing but most of these technicians require that I have a desire to get something done which I seam to be lacking right now.

Has anyone else experienced Anxiety or Depression making ADHD worse, and if so do you have any coping mechanisms?

Lunacie
02-04-14, 05:00 PM
I was diagnosed with ADHD in elementary school but have never been on medication.

Lately I've been having really bad issues with anxiety and depression and I feel as if it's making my ADHD worse and I'm not sure what to do about it. How am I suppose to get laundry and dishes done when I don't really have the desire or motivation to do anything?

I mean I've always had some issues with housework but previously I would be able to get myself into a cleaning mode where I would just walk around the house doing basic chores that needed to be done and that doesn't seam to happen anymore.

I'm having issues focusing at work too now. I've tried using caffeine for that but I'm not sure how much it helps. Right now caffeine seams to just make me jittery which feeds back into my anxiety.

I have things I do to help with the ADHD like making lists and putting my thoughts in writing but most of these technicians require that I have a desire to get something done which I seam to be lacking right now.

Has anyone else experienced Anxiety or Depression making ADHD worse, and if so do you have any coping mechanisms?

Yes, I have comorbid anxiety and depression with my ADHD.

My adult daughter finally pushed me into seeing a therapist and then a psychiatrist

and finally taking an antidepressant. What a difference that made!

I'm still not motivated to do housework as often as I should be, but when it doesn't get done

I'm not as anxious and depressed about it. :giggle:

I've seen people saying that taking stimulant meds helps with all of this.

Why don't you take meds? Would it be possible to give meds a trial?

EsotericNonsens
02-04-14, 06:40 PM
Yes, I have comorbid anxiety and depression with my ADHD.

Why don't you take meds? Would it be possible to give meds a trial?

Well I'm already taking medication for anxiety and depression. I still have bad days and good days and I appear to currently be in a bad day.

One of the reasons I'm not taking ADHD meds is that I wasn't taking ADHD meds before I started getting anxiety attacks, so I figure I shouldn't need them now. The other reason is that I work as a software developer. When I was in collage I didn't want to take ADHD meds because I was afraid I might loose something intellectually when I started taking them. But at this time I might end up taking ADHD medication anyways because I feel as if I have already lost whatever I was afraid of loosing before.

GullibleSkeptic
02-05-14, 01:51 AM
Caffeine does not help, in fact, it may only exacerbate your ADHD symptoms. Thinking of caffeine as lighting up your whole brain, making you a more hyper version of your normal self. Most pharmaceuticals intended to treat Attention Deficit disorders will light up one of the brain. However, due to hyperfocus, this may also be detrimental to ADHD since you can get stuck doing the wrong thing and then you cannot break out of it.

I have ADHD triggered anxiety as well and medications do not really help in the long run. I would recommend not consuming or limiting caffeine intake from now on. Also, switching my diet to include "brain foods" such as foods containing omega fatty acids has really helped. Also, taking supplements that support dopamine and/or serotonin production might also be good.

I have not really tried these, but I would also experiment with behavioral therapy or personal coping mechanisms such as mantras or meditation.

Hope this helps and good luck!

sarahsweets
02-05-14, 05:39 AM
meds are really worth considering. I know you say you had these problems without needing meds but really sometimes needing them can come later. I really needed them as a kid but no one in my life understood the diagnosis but I know I would have done better. In college I thought the suffering I went through was something I deserved, not something that I could treat.10 years ago I started stimulants and it was the best thing I ever did. I have GAD too among other things and take medication for it, but the adhd meds help with alot of the anxiety as well.

Fuzzy12
02-05-14, 05:44 AM
I've never had a huge problem with anxiety till fairly recently and till the depression kicked in. Both anxiety and depression can give rise to some symptoms which are similar to ADHD and I'm sure that they exacerbate ADHD symptoms as well. In particular, depression robs me off the energy and the motivation to deal with any ADHD symptoms and anxiety just makes my brain go crazy and completely non functional.

Untreated ADHD symptoms can cause depression or anxiety too (or make them worse).

Meds might help. It's worth giving them a shot.

finallyfound10
02-06-14, 12:44 PM
I also have depression and anxiety. It's a tough road for us, for sure. Meds help a lot! Give it a try! There are lots of options for us. Also, therapy can be SO helpful!! I've gotten so much better on meds and going to therapy.

Good luck!

Tmoney
02-06-14, 01:36 PM
I was diagnosed with AD(H)D at 6 years old. It wasn't until later in life that I realized I had depression as well.

When you have AD(H)D one of the things you realise instantly is that you are clearly different than all the other children. (in my case extremely different)

So it causes insecurity, isolation, diminished social skills. It's no wonder we have anxiety and depression!

did you know that 80% of people diagnosed AD(H)D have 1 other disorder! 55% have 2 other disorders.

So does depression and anxiety make it worse, there is no doubt.

I currently take Welbutrin which helps with helpsthe AD(H)D, but mostly it helps with depression and anxiety.

I went many years unmedicated thinking I could control it on my own.
I was wrong. Although I post a lot abut diet, exercise and discipline, the meds make it possible.

outofdenial1972
02-15-14, 09:09 AM
You sound just like me; My lack of motivation is really increasing as I get older. I have made to decision to stop being disappointed in myself and try medication for the ADD. I feel like it is a circle of: unfocused leads to chaos which leads to disorganization which leads to feelings of stress which leads to fear which leads to depression and anxiety, which leads to lack of motivation....

Does that sound about right?

Shurl102
02-15-14, 04:41 PM
My lack of motivation gives me anxiety, then that brings me down. I was on Vyvanse for 4 years, it helped me extremely at work, I got things done and i felt confident & more social. However, it started increasing my anxiety and I became really depressed, so I had to stop it, but we added more meds for depression. The meds made me gain weight & now I feel horrible. I'm stuck. Just started Straterra the other day. The first day was hell. Yesterday no too bad, but today no motivation, then in comes the anxiety, then the hopeless feeling. All I can do is sit, read & watch tv. I don't feel like doing anything when i have this anxiety. When will this cycle end?

FoxGlove
02-20-14, 05:41 AM
I suffer from major depression and panic attacks caused by triggered anxieties and general agoraphobia.
I have tried up to 6 different anti-depressants over a 4 year period. Then took a break for a year.
Now I am being treated with simple Prozac and taking Klodropin in half tabs through out the day depending on how I feel.
Well, this didn't quite cover all of my issues. So I brought up my history of having been diagnosed for ADD a couple times.
My prescriber (who works along side with my psychiatrist) had an interesting theory that if I take ADD medicine (Adderal) that it would help me feel better by merely the fact that I could think more clearly, focus better, not forget things as much, prioritize goals better, accomplish more things, etc... and that it would hopefully result in me having a higher self esteem and more confidence in myself.
Most certainly, all of my ADD issues have dramatically decreased... and has notably made me feel less depressed and worrisome because I can conduct my life more smoothly and be more self sufficient and reliable. My significant other of 6 years shared with me that I look more peaceful, and also said that it makes me look prettier too!
In conclusion, the combo of meds have given me the ability to love myself more and in turn be able to express more love those around me.

I hope my story helps give you some insight or any ideas.
-Hugs-

Muddygrl
06-06-14, 10:26 AM
if ADD untreated can cause depression but yet depression and anxiety can look like ADD how do you know what you actually have and what to use to treat it?

Ack.

I have been battling depression for the last couple of years. I was on an antidepressant for a while and it helped some, for a while, then it got worse, then I went off of it because I felt like it made me gain weight and not "feel" anything. Anyway, I feel better now, but have rapidly changing moods and no motivation to do anything. I also have a hard time being motivated and staying focused when I do a task or get hyperfocus.

fracturedstory
06-13-14, 02:45 AM
In my experience on stimulants they didn't decrease any intelligence but actually made me seem much smarter, because I could finally focus and get projects done.

I used to have a lot of anxiety about not doing tasks fast enough, so I would do them to calm my anxiety, but now I only get that a bit and though on anti-d's I still don't feel motivated to do the work, and despite a lack of anxiety, I can still get those tasks done.

Asylum
06-17-14, 10:18 PM
Anxiety is horrible, its one of those things you have to have experienced yourself to know just how it affects your life. Cut down on the caffine, as others have suggested. As for the lack of motivation, I find keeping myself busy and productive helps anxiety, so don't stop pushing yourself.
I can't suggest anything about the lack of focus at work, but try exersize, its really does help overall. Also, have you tried st john's wort? I've had some pretty good responses from that short-term (I can't take it long term)
I really hope your anxiety gets better.

Tmoney
06-18-14, 07:57 AM
Yes! It is my diagnosis and the story of my life!
AD(H)D, Anxiety, Depression.

I refused medicine in my teens and 20's. But as my life started spinning out of control, i decided to start taking the meds seriously. Changed my life completely.
The meds didn't necessarily cure me, but it gave me the mental energy and focus so I could start to do the things I needed to do to get my life back on track!
Just as important is that I became disciplined and serious about my disorders.
Educated myself on all my disorders.
Take my med everyday.
Exercise regularly.
Diet is clean and healthy.
Consistent quality sleep.
Reading and participating on this forum really helps me!

These things are a must for me. i need complete focus and energy everyday to stay healthy and happy.

'Remember, happiness is a way of travel, not a destination!"
~Roy Goodman

Elexon
07-20-14, 10:00 PM
Music! and keeping distracted are my ways of coping. Music to match the current mood or counter it helps a lot. Even keeping distracted just 5 minutes or longer depending on how bad the anxiety or depression is at that moment.

releko
07-30-14, 04:01 PM
The other reason is that I work as a software developer. When I was in collage I didn't want to take ADHD meds because I was afraid I might loose something intellectually when I started taking them. But at this time I might end up taking ADHD medication anyways because I feel as if I have already lost whatever I was afraid of loosing before.

I'm a front-end developer with GAD & ADHD. Getting on Adderall has helped me focus tremendously. I have gained more knowledge in my field now since I can focus. Please don't ever think that taking something to help you will make you lose intelligence.

Darkneko
07-31-14, 03:44 AM
Meds are worth considering at least as a trial. I was depressed and anxious all the time but now on Ritalin I'm close to normal. I think the ADD was a major trigger for the depression and anxiety. Its easy to start thinking you are worthless and stupid when you struggle with school and no cause was found when I was younger. Another part was the struggle to make friends because its hard to pick up social cues and crack the code of human interaction. I'm not saying it will be a cure for everything but now at least I know why and can work through my issues with enough awareness to actually solve it. Also now I know that poeple did not dislike me but I just could not really tell so I can now take action for that. Learning social skills will be an important step. Thats how meds have been helping in my situation.

Mrs Hmmz
10-03-14, 06:12 AM
The way I see it, untreated ADHD almost inevitably leads to anxiety &/or depression, because it's just so hard living your life like that. I find it pretty amazing that I haven't developed depression myself, I think I'm just really lucky that I'm not prone to getting stuck in that cycle of depression; that doesn't mean I'm not frequently miserable, I'm just so distractible I forget how unhappy I am from one minute to the next ;)

But the longer my ADHD has gone on untreated, the more I have developed anxiety in various parts of my life - I only recently recognised that was what it was as I often use distraction as a coping mechanism, so my anxiety is often expressed as avoidance (e.g. procrastination, finding ways to get out of doing things I find difficult, reducing the commitments in my life to a bare minimum, spending lots of time doing mindless things when I should be doing things that make me anxious, etc) but then when I'm stretched I go into panic mode and the stress gets too much to bear. I recently saw a therapist who pointed out how anxious my body language was most of the time, something I was completely unaware of!

I am only untreated because I couldn't get referred for an assessment for years hence didn't have a diagnosis - thankfully I've just FINALLY been diagnosed and will hopefully be on meds soon. Personally I've looked into the whole idea of whether people "lose" something on meds and it seems there is no reason to think you would if you are on the correct medication & dose - most people report being able to make better use of their strengths on medication - the cases where people seem to be worse off on medication usually turn out to be either the wrong medication/dose or the wrong diagnosis. So it really is worth seriously considering going on meds.

You say you're already on medication for the anxiety & depression, which seems a little bit "back to front" to me - the anxiety & depression probably wouldn't be as bad if you had the ADHD under control. And it's not like you are averse to the idea of being medicated!! It just seems like you're being medicated for the wrong thing, iykwim. Also some people take both ADHD meds AND anxiety/depression meds, so that's a possibility if you still need it.

SpaceCase12
10-25-14, 02:09 PM
The only serious depression I've experienced was a side effect of the anti-depressant that I tried taking to treat my ADHD (super ironic right?). It was awful, and I can't imagine how you must feel experiencing that chronically:( It's a very dark and scary place:(

However, I do have social anxiety co-morbid with my ADHD. My aunt taught me a way to cope with it. It's more of a state-of-mind or philosophy so I'll try to articulate it the best I can.

When I'm experiencing my anxious episodes I see the world in a "narrow perspective", that is, everything is affecting me, I'm internalizing it all, and I feel the need to please everyone else but myself. This is a self-destructive place to be.

I've found that I can shift this perspective to a different, "broader view", that is, coming out of my inner-self, opening up to people, and learning about them/empathizing with them. It's a happier place for me. Here, I don't have manifesting thoughts about how inadequate I am or how I negatively impact other people's lives with my inattentive nature.

Because really, we are all here, we are all "inadequate", AND we are all just trying to get through with, more or less, equal internal battles to fight. We can either fixate on our own battles or help others win theirs, thus, increasing our own levels of self efficacy.

That was super cheesy and probably made no sense. But I thought it's "an idea worth spreading" haha
Chelsea

guckling
11-08-14, 12:39 PM
I've been on adderall xr 20 mg for about 13 years, and never had problems with anxiety/depression until about 6 months ago. I don't think I can blame my adderall because I had no problems on it before, but I must say I feel like my add symptoms were amplified with the anxiety/depression (am now taking zoloft which has helped)

scribblecard
12-19-14, 08:13 AM
What the OP describes here is exactly what's been happening to me for the last two years. Uni suddenly got very stressful and everything became difficult to manage.

In the end, I did end up taking meds, and it's made a world of difference, but before that, I had a two-step coping mechanism that involved writing:

Step #1:
Find a quiet place to nap and while doing that, take a very good look at all the 'trains'/'loops' of thought and figure out what was recurring.

Step #2:
Set my timer to ten minutes and type out (I can keep up with my head this way and record a thought before it has a chance to morph into something else) every single thought coming to the front of my head. It can be anything from worries to cravings....whatever pops up, really.

I typically clocked in around 50 thoughts or so. Obviously, these just have to be a sentence long or even just a phrase. They don't even need to make sense because I know this is just for me.

Then I'll take a break once ten minutes are up, and return to the document and look over everything. This way, I know exactly what I need to prioritize and then I end up hyper focusing for a good 30-40 minutes on the thing I need to get done.

emom63
12-27-14, 12:31 AM
Throughout high school and college, my family thought I probably had ADHD but I refused to be evaluated. Throughout my entire adult life, I have suffered from varying degrees of depression (which I did get treatment for) and generalized anxiety (never received treatment for GAD). These issues affected my relationships and probably contributed to my divorce.

After my divorce, I went back to school to obtain a second degree and became an RN. I got my dream job at a huge hospital in labor and delivery. Once out on the floor near the end of my training, I discovered I literally could not function in that environment. I was overwhelmed, could not prioritize or focus, and my mind would go blank in the OR because so much was coming at me all at once that I literally could not act. I also would talk wayyy too much, share too much information about how freaked out I was (understandably, this definitely did not endear me to many of my coworkers). My preceptor could not figure out why I was having problems, because I could tell her exactly what I needed to be doing and when I needed to do it but then once in the situation, I would fall apart and stand there like a deer in the headlights, totally paralyzed because I couldn't act.

I decided to seek help and was diagnosed with ADHD Inattentive type. I started on Concerta 54mg once a day. Concerta did not work, and I ended up resigning from my dream job because I was going to be off orientation soon and I knew it would be a disaster if I stayed. After quitting, I started to take Vyvanse 50mg once daily and have been taking it for almost 7 months. This med has been a life saver for me. I am actually able to initiate doing the things I need to do instead of thinking about it all day…being able to actually start something is HUGE!!! It also takes much less time to do a task such as cleaning the kitchen or doing laundry. At this time, I am working as a home health nurse, which is a much better fit for me. I am able to manage my day in an organized way, and I am able to get my paperwork done in a timely manner when I take my meds (If I run out, it is not a good thing). My anxiety is reduced when I take my medication, I no longer suffer from depression, and my confidence and self esteem are improving every day.

I really believe that the right medication can really help, and therapy in conjunction with the meds helps even more.

I hope this helps. I am very careful when recommending medication, but in my case, meds are necessary. They might be helpful for you too, but you need to discuss with your doctor to find what might work for your case.

Lauralight
03-08-15, 02:17 PM
I read about histamine problems and anxiety, and I learned I can take flush free niacin to bleed out histamie and it will decrease inner tension. It really works. I take the cheap stuff in 1/2 doses biting a pill in half like 3x per day even if I get flushing. It really helps. *Flushing from 1/2 pill indicates plenty of histamine in your system..
Apparently you should only flush from a full pill.