View Full Version : stimulant meds and aspergers


hexueli
06-01-14, 12:56 AM
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Iím currently in the process of being diagnosed with ADHD, my psychiatrist says that she would have diagnosed me on the spot but itís policy to also get interviewed by a psychologist, take the TOVA and MMPI tests (I go to a large academic institution, so stimulant drug seeking is common), so Iím currently waiting to do all that fun stuff.

One unexpected thing that came up was that she also thinks that I may have Aspergerís, which I wasnít expecting at all. Since then I took the aspie quiz and got a 146 on the aspie side, 94 NT. With the Ritvo test, I met the threshold for a possible Aspergers diagnosisÖwith some areas being comfortably in the aspergers domain and some being lower but still above threshold, and with the Baron Cohen AQ test, I did not meet the threshold of 32Ö I hovered around 24-26 (I took it a few times), which is still higher than average NT scoresÖ.I seem to be in a no manís land between Aspie and NT.

Most peopleís scores Iíve seen online seem to have a good correlation between all three tests. The thing is, there are certain things about Aspergerís I definitely can identify with. Like coming to the realization that I do work off of a script when I interact with peopleÖa script mostly learned from trial and error and watching TV, also having obsessions with thingsÖwhen younger it was things like Garfield books, dog breeds, and TV shows, when I hit the teenage years I would have secret obsessions on guys, which I occasionally still have but I try to suppress it because itís just plain makes me feel icky. But other things I do not identify with at allÖlike not being able to understand sarcasm, which I can understand quite well, or being obsessed with small detailsÖIím a big picture type of gal.

My psychiatrist wants to see how I do on stimulants. If Aspergerís encompasses all symptoms of ADHD as Iíve read, why arenít people with just Aspergerís taking stimulants? If I do have Aspergerís and ADHD would stimulants exacerbate the symptoms of the Aspergerís? Do people diagnosed with both usually take stimulants?

Flia
06-01-14, 02:41 AM
Stimulants simply don't help ASD symptoms.

jakylangelo
06-02-14, 03:33 PM
I have a question myself... How does the MMPI-2 help with the diagnosis of ADHD? My psych had me take one(which did NOT bode well with me, i have alot of trouble with reading, due to having to read the same question 2-3 times to absorb the question, aside from the fact I had to have help and it took me almost 3 hours to complete the 370 question test) and I am waiting for the next appointment... I would like ANY info on this, because I am very concerned. THANK YOU ALL!

liveandletdie
07-06-14, 03:47 AM
They had me take that as well I guess to rule out other alternatives besides autism/aspergers (why I asked to see a neuro psych)....which came back non conclusive other than chronic depression/dysthemia so I guess they could do it for the same reason of diagnosing adhd but seems like a bit of a waste of time either way to me....maybe it is just standard procedure for a lot of neuro-psychs to do this first

On the stimulant medication....I stim more, I get more obsessed with my interests, so can increase some things and decrease others....I wouldn't go as far as to say stimulants can't help autism....many things could help some or a few symptoms but none will fix or solve the issues.

Flia
07-06-14, 06:42 AM
ADH can mask some ASD symptoms, and ASD can mask some ADHD symptoms.

Routines aren't so obvious if you also have impulsiveness, the deep concentrating on special interest becomes milder with the inability to concentrate.

When I tried stimulants my ASD traits got sooo much more obvious and annoying (since I'm not really used to it), so I gave up after a few days.
I feel that I need both to compensate both.

autiegirl1980
09-13-14, 04:18 AM
It depends on the person, I would think, just like I have seen plenty with ADD that don't take any stimulant meds because they don't help.

I suppose it would depend on what you are looking to help by adding meds, and which part is the culprit, more or less, for the issue.

I am diagnosed with both ADHD and autism and cannot always tell which quirks are from which as a lot of them overlap.

But I can make a list of quirks and flaws (for lack of a better word) and figure out what the problems are and what to work on and go from there.

My focus is atrocious... I like things very neat and orderly in general... Love routines, rules, exact times for things, etc, much like many of you. But I cannot focus well enough to keep up with it all, and in turn I melt down when things don't go exactly as planned. So that was a huge one since it impacts me so horribly. I can do nothing for the rest of the day if plans change... Even if it only shifts by five minutes. My plans are my rules for the day and if that changes, it feels like my whole world just fell apart.

"I will never get back those five minutes lost and now we are late. We will get back five minutes late and dinner won't be on time... Then bed time won't... Etc.". Then "bam!" I am useless for the day and not only that, but I am also hiding in a room so that nothing new can go wrong while I panic and cry over the lost five minutes.

Anyway, I was put on Adderall XR 10 mg, and it does okay for the most part, because it helps me refocus so I can be just a little more okay with changes in plans and focus well enough to get things around the house done.

But things like that have been impacting me so negatively for so long that something had to give.

Of course the issues are still there. It didn't fix anything. But it helps so I can cope better.
My stims are a bit worse and I seem to have more trouble with textures and lighting and such, but I will take that over a full blown meltdown any day just cuz my daughter decided to wait until the last minute to show me the papers for the book casita that starts in an hour...

Now instead of a meltdown right there on the spot, I can panic and tasks the paper outside, take a few deep breaths, and look over the plans for tonight to see if there is time.

So it definitely helps me a lot. But I wasn't looking for help to stop my hand flapping, either.

fracturedstory
09-13-14, 08:23 AM
While some symptoms of ADHD and autism overlap they may be happening in different parts of the brain. I've looked really closely at my ADHD symptoms and compared them to my autistic ones. People with autism only really have problems focusing on things they don't want to focus on, or there might be a sensory or processing issue. For me, I definitely need a med to help me focus on pretty much every topic. On meds I can still choose to not focus on something because I don't want to, but it did make me work on my empathy skills and made me want to talk to people.
So basically the symptoms are not exactly the same; they are manifested in different ways. You can't give everyone with autism stimulants because they may not have the same neurochemical issue as those with ADHD and so the stimulants won't help and may give serious side effects. People with autism are usually sensitive to medication. I had to take a very low dosage that pretty much felt like an average dose in someone else.

I get obsessions with guys too btw. I've just learned to live with it. On anti-depressants I don't feel so icky about it.

autiegirl1980
09-13-14, 02:55 PM
Definitely agree on the trouble focusing on things you just don't want to. Did great in 3 classes in h.s... The rest didn't matter how hard I tried. I just couldn't take anything in, lol. I was lucky I knew where the classroom was and my teacher, 'cuz everything else was lost.

autiegirl1980
09-13-14, 03:31 PM
To fracturedstory: I tend to have days when it manifests way differently on different days, too.

I have some days where things happen rather impulsively, then I get overstimulated and start having issues, lol.

It definitely would not help everyone, so not intending it to be advice for all or anything.

I am just a stay at home mom, now, so need the help with just day to day things. Kiddos tend to bring a ton of unexpected things home from school, and I have to be able to cope somehow without flipping out, lol. Since my son is also an Aspie, he and I would be fine getting nothing accomplished, talking to no one and just becoming hermits.

But my daughter is Prob ADHD as well and needs me "here" instead of in my own little world. :)

However, if I was trying to finish college I don't know if the meds would help really. I can't see it doing much aside from keeping me from falling asleep in class and maybe sorta helping take notes or something. But I can't see it helping me comprehend or take in the info at all.

It's a rough one to balance, but for now they help with immediate things that I need to be able to handle, so it's good.

I am very fortunate that my kiddos are not embarrassed by my stims and quirks. They think it makes me interesting and fun, lol. So to others, I look like a weirdo when my hands get to flapping in the store, but at least I am a somewhat productive weirdo at home. :)

fracturedstory
09-13-14, 08:41 PM
The meds did help me process more information and block out sensory distractions. Actually one little thing that happened when I walked down the street on meds vs off meds still makes me laugh. Off meds I usually can't block out extra stimuli, so much it looks like objects are moving around. When I was on meds I said I could 'see in a straight line.' I was just processing the most important part of stimuli, plus I was finally walking in a straight line. Making eye contact was no problem too.

ToInfinity
07-22-15, 08:44 AM
Hope someone can relate to my experience. I was on dexamphetamine, it didn't work until when lexapro was added wow I felt really connected. I was more sociable, I could really read social cues and felt more invited from people. I was able to really feel emotional, to cry, it feels like your focus is finally not projected inwards because you can finally pick up cues. My reading was a lot better as well. My executive functioning, the prefrontal cortex is finally working. I was more welcoming and vice versa. I felt like my anxiety was gone!

Until a stressor hit me that I couldn't manage and my mood has plummeted, now I'm trying to work out how to get back to that state.

4rch0n4n6313
07-28-15, 11:43 PM
It depends on the person, I would think, just like I have seen plenty with ADD that don't take any stimulant meds because they don't help.

I suppose it would depend on what you are looking to help by adding meds, and which part is the culprit, more or less, for the issue.

I am diagnosed with both ADHD and autism and cannot always tell which quirks are from which as a lot of them overlap.

But I can make a list of quirks and flaws (for lack of a better word) and figure out what the problems are and what to work on and go from there.

My focus is atrocious... I like things very neat and orderly in general... Love routines, rules, exact times for things, etc, much like many of you. But I cannot focus well enough to keep up with it all, and in turn I melt down when things don't go exactly as planned. So that was a huge one since it impacts me so horribly. I can do nothing for the rest of the day if plans change... Even if it only shifts by five minutes. My plans are my rules for the day and if that changes, it feels like my whole world just fell apart.

"I will never get back those five minutes lost and now we are late. We will get back five minutes late and dinner won't be on time... Then bed time won't... Etc.". Then "bam!" I am useless for the day and not only that, but I am also hiding in a room so that nothing new can go wrong while I panic and cry over the lost five minutes.

Anyway, I was put on Adderall XR 10 mg, and it does okay for the most part, because it helps me refocus so I can be just a little more okay with changes in plans and focus well enough to get things around the house done.

But things like that have been impacting me so negatively for so long that something had to give.

Of course the issues are still there. It didn't fix anything. But it helps so I can cope better.
My stims are a bit worse and I seem to have more trouble with textures and lighting and such, but I will take that over a full blown meltdown any day just cuz my daughter decided to wait until the last minute to show me the papers for the book casita that starts in an hour...

Now instead of a meltdown right there on the spot, I can panic and tasks the paper outside, take a few deep breaths, and look over the plans for tonight to see if there is time.

So it definitely helps me a lot. But I wasn't looking for help to stop my hand flapping, either.

I have been diagnosed with Aspergers and ADD. That means I can organize the crap out of everything down to the last minute...but I cant maintain it. The hyper-focus thing is bizarre to say the least..I mean I obsess over things so much that I cant pay attention to anything else and its very difficult to shift my attention. I take adderall, which...helps me sometimes, but not so much other times. The whole thing is really confusing and I really feel like giving up. Its like I have two different personalities. Im organized and meticulous one day and impulsive and muddle brained the next.

Every job I have ever had says I lack consistency. They dont know what to expect from me. Even though my expectations of myself stay at the same level, Im only capable of meeting them...maybe one week out of the month..and dont let me get started on how PMS almost completely negates any effect the Adderall would have otherwise had...

Sorry for venting..I guess Im looking for the silver lining, because I havent found anything that makes me...consistent yet..and I dont want to settle for being less than me at my best....

BellaVita
07-29-15, 12:18 AM
I have been diagnosed with Aspergers and ADD. That means I can organize the crap out of everything down to the last minute...but I cant maintain it. The hyper-focus thing is bizarre to say the least..I mean I obsess over things so much that I cant pay attention to anything else and its very difficult to shift my attention. I take adderall, which...helps me sometimes, but not so much other times. The whole thing is really confusing and I really feel like giving up. Its like I have two different personalities. Im organized and meticulous one day and impulsive and muddle brained the next.

Every job I have ever had says I lack consistency. They dont know what to expect from me. Even though my expectations of myself stay at the same level, Im only capable of meeting them...maybe one week out of the month..and dont let me get started on how PMS almost completely negates any effect the Adderall would have otherwise had...

Sorry for venting..I guess Im looking for the silver lining, because I havent found anything that makes me...consistent yet..and I dont want to settle for being less than me at my best....

I'm the same way with lack of consistency.

I will do really well and organize and plan to the detail, and sometimes I'm able to follow-through with the plans and sometimes I'm not able.

Usually the not being able to follow-through is because I have sensory overload/mental overload so I either meltdown or shutdown.

It really sucks especially when others expect consistency or try to force me to be consistent - I can't be no matter how hard I try.

sarahsweets
07-29-15, 05:35 AM
I have been diagnosed with Aspergers and ADD. That means I can organize the crap out of everything down to the last minute...but I cant maintain it. The hyper-focus thing is bizarre to say the least..I mean I obsess over things so much that I cant pay attention to anything else and its very difficult to shift my attention. I take adderall, which...helps me sometimes, but not so much other times. The whole thing is really confusing and I really feel like giving up. Its like I have two different personalities. Im organized and meticulous one day and impulsive and muddle brained the next.

Every job I have ever had says I lack consistency. They dont know what to expect from me. Even though my expectations of myself stay at the same level, Im only capable of meeting them...maybe one week out of the month..and dont let me get started on how PMS almost completely negates any effect the Adderall would have otherwise had...

Sorry for venting..I guess Im looking for the silver lining, because I havent found anything that makes me...consistent yet..and I dont want to settle for being less than me at my best....

What other as symptoms do you have? From what you described, it sounds very much like adhd.

4rch0n4n6313
07-29-15, 03:01 PM
What other as symptoms do you have? From what you described, it sounds very much like adhd.

My mom popped the weird ticks out of me when I was young. I remember her telling me, straighten your face. If she was annoyed she would pop me, so I have become more self aware because of that. When I am excited about something all that goes out the window...She also taught me how to make eye contact. She would force me to look her in the eyes, and look other people in the eyes when I m talking to them.

I dont read social ques very well, I am perceived to be an arrogant know it all with an answer for everything (except how to keep track of my own stuff). I dont really show emotion when I am alone...If its just me by myself, it is very rare that I will have an emotional response, though I will note that such and such should make me feel xyz. When I was in treatment as a 14 year old, they would often ask me how I felt...I told them I didnt feel anything. They thought i was being somber, but the reality was...I didnt have any feelings. Nothing was going on to make me happy or sad either way, so I was just neutral.

Also my emotions are rather simplistic, though my tumultuous life has definitely added depth to them I would not otherwise have had.

I analyze people. I have an extra sensory perception, that is more like a mild case of ones circulation being cut off, its this weird kind of disconnected empathy. Its only in regard to how people feel about me. When someone is going through something, I have learned enough to know (kinda) what to say. I go through the motions, because I dont like it that other people suffer, because then they make me suffer in some way. (crap rolls downhill). Its sounds altruistic but its really not.

I am really good at initiating conversations. I am a Leo, born to be a social butterfly, and when I am up to it Im pretty good at it. But I have learned that I am like a strong medication...Im best ingested in small doses. The reason being I love to converse on very intense topics..I dont talk about other people..I really have no interest in that, and I usually dont know who is being talked about anyway. I dont small talk. If its not about something powerful or controversial...I exit the conversation as quickly as i can.

I love to dance...and Im good at it...When I go to clubs to dance, I always dance by myself. I hate it when people want to dance with me, because I have no Idea what I am supposed to do, and it becomes very stressful for me. I fake it, until they eventually loose interest because they are not receiving whatever it was they thought they were going to from me.

the other thing is I hate being touched. My mother used to make me give her hugs all the time. So I tend to hug people when I meet them. As time wears on I revert to my comfort zone and there is less and less physical touching going on, because that is the norm for me. I have to remind myself to hug my children constantly.

I think very logically. I have trouble translating ideas like "right and wrong" into an actionable belief set. Simply because life is so dynamic that situations do not always permit one to do what is morally right, and one must instead do what is thought to be institutionally correct. Throw that in with the fact that rules are allowed to be bent for different reasons, which I am sure normal people get when that is appropriate and when its not. I only break rules when its the right thing to do, but I always get in trouble.

That brings me to my next symptom, I hyper-focus, I cant focus on more than one life thing at a time. Everything else goes by the wayside as I become obsessed with whatever it is that has my attention. It is very difficult to get a different thought to break through threshold.

I have no friends..I would like friends...but I dont have time for them.

My husband is a PTSD TBI Veteran, so he doesnt mind that I am emotionally distant, cause he is like that too. Our relationship (the emotional) is awesome because there is always allot of humor. We fight about stuff, but then we start analyzing the conversation and right around the same time both of us start laughing at how ridiculous it all is.

There's more but Im afraid I have written entirely too much as it is...

4rch0n4n6313
07-29-15, 03:05 PM
And thank you for reaching out btw...! :)

Adenosine
02-02-16, 11:36 PM
My psychiatrist wants to see how I do on stimulants. If Asperger’s encompasses all symptoms of ADHD as I’ve read, why aren’t people with just Asperger’s taking stimulants? If I do have Asperger’s and ADHD would stimulants exacerbate the symptoms of the Asperger’s? Do people diagnosed with both usually take stimulants?For whatever reason, the old edition of the DSM did not allow ADHD to be diagnosed alongside any sort of autistic disorder, of which Asperger's is one form. The new version does, but it only came out in 2013, and I imagine many people are still running around without a cross-diagnosis who should probably receive one. I was personally held up until a few months before my seventeenth birthday, even though the organizational issues were handily worse than any of my other autistic traits.

Stimulants could help with the attentional issues, and possibly even with some of the social withdrawal*, but they can also aggravate symptoms like anxiety and facial tics. From a personal perspective, Vyvanse makes me somewhat more sociable and much more organized, but the active ingredient of Ritalin makes me feel like I drank too much Monster.

* While only approved for ADHD and narcolepsy, most stimulants have somewhat of a pro-social and confidence-boosting effect, though they can also go in the opposite direction.

Cyllya
02-03-16, 04:53 PM
I've got a quick GP diagnosis of ADHD and a self-diagnosis of (mild) ASD.

My traits:
brain fog, can't focus (even on things I'm interested in)
easily lose my train of thought in the middle of something
executive dysfunction including "autistic inertia"
hypersensitivity
social anxiety
some kind of communication problem where people tend to only get the gist of what I say
small difficulty understanding speech
difficulty retaining verbal information
I used to be a complete moron socially, but I have obtained a lot of book smarts about social skills--this might be what they refer to as "following scripts"?
sometimes people get weird first impressions of me
a lot of repetitive motor movements (stimming)
clumsy
fondness for consistency, e.g. eat the same lunch every day for months at a time--I don't like surprises. I don't like spontaneity when it's caused by other people
no impulsiveness, actually very inhibited
not hyperactive, unless you count the stimming
I recently won a trip to Vegas, and my first thought was to be disappointed and stressed.
gastrointestinal problems
difficulty sleeping


I take stimulants, and it improves the first two items on that list. It makes the last two items worse. The rest seem unaffected.

wonderboy
02-13-16, 03:24 PM
Stimulants simply don't help ASD symptoms.


They can help in a case by case basis. With "classical autism" I would definitively agree that stimulants are not appropriate at all.

With respect to individuals with ASD, efficacy can vary.

There is a profound paucity of literature in this specific area.

Stimulants are known to cause "Punding" - meaningless behaviors that can have manic-type qualities. These "stereotyped" behaviors can resemble (invariably) symptoms which may be similar to those suffering OCD..


I can never understand psychiatrists..who prescribe stimulants.. to OCD patients

BellaVita
02-13-16, 10:08 PM
They can help in a case by case basis. With "classical autism" I would definitively agree that stimulants are not appropriate at all.

With respect to individuals with ASD, efficacy can vary.

There is a profound paucity of literature in this specific area.

Stimulants are known to cause "Punding" - meaningless behaviors that can have manic-type qualities. These "stereotyped" behaviors can resemble (invariably) symptoms which may be similar to those suffering OCD..


I can never understand psychiatrists..who prescribe stimulants.. to OCD patients

What do you define as "classical autism"? An autistic who really enjoys classical music?

Many OCD sufferers do just fine on stimulants - for example the member Greyhound1 takes (is it dex?) stimulants for his ADHD but he also has OCD.

Adenosine
02-14-16, 12:49 AM
I have been diagnosed with Aspergers and ADD. That means I can organize the crap out of everything down to the last minute...but I cant maintain it. The hyper-focus thing is bizarre to say the least..I mean I obsess over things so much that I cant pay attention to anything else and its very difficult to shift my attention. I take adderall, which...helps me sometimes, but not so much other times. The whole thing is really confusing and I really feel like giving up. Its like I have two different personalities. Im organized and meticulous one day and impulsive and muddle brained the next.

Every job I have ever had says I lack consistency. They dont know what to expect from me. Even though my expectations of myself stay at the same level, Im only capable of meeting them...maybe one week out of the month..and dont let me get started on how PMS almost completely negates any effect the Adderall would have otherwise had...

Sorry for venting..I guess Im looking for the silver lining, because I havent found anything that makes me...consistent yet..and I dont want to settle for being less than me at my best....And there lies the fundamental contradiction of autism. It gives the mind strong inclinations toward order and detail, but it proceeds to bury them under some of the most pervasive deficits in all of psychiatry. The executive symptoms not only constrain the potential noticed by Hans Asperger, they directly oppose it.

I recall that there are some relatively normal individuals with minor autistic traits—often relatives of people with the actual disorder. I wonder how well they function.