View Full Version : Adderall & Bipolar vs. ADHD or both?


MacMan
08-22-15, 04:09 PM
I'm in an outpatient group therapy program. I was told by the psych A.P.N there multiple times that she thought I had bipolar. She kept wanting me to read a book called "bipolar child." At the end of last year I quit Adderall & Klonopin cold turkey after being on them both for 6 years. I had a lot of strange spiritual experiences at the beginning of this year. I went through a withdrawal hell and feel like I found myself. My life has always been a mess. No steady job ever and I'm 30. Lifelong social withdrawal and isolation. Lots of stuff.

So she's planted it in my mind that I could be bipolar and the thought hasn't gone away. She started me on Latuda for depression which has helped tremendously in my ability to get up in the morning. She wouldn't prescribe me a stimulant for ADHD (just Strattera which was horrible) so I switched to a new psych. I'm now back on just Adderall XR and Latuda.

My Adderall dosage is so low compared to what I was on and so inaffective I am beginning to take more than I'm supposed to. I'm prescribed 1 25mg XR in the morning. I used to be on 90mg IR daily before I quit. I'm finding at the very least I need to take 2 (some days together..other days a part). I'm finding 3 is the most effective. It gives me full days coverage. I know i shouldn't be doing this so I am going to see my psych again this week (2 weeks early) and let her know the 25mg is no where near what I think i need.

I'm trying to figure out a couple of things.
#1 - Am I bipolar and ADD and is Adderall the only thing that seems to help? If so where does ADD begin and bipolar begin? Adderall does make me feel weird emotionally.

#2 Should my current 25mg be all I need? If so why does it not help. It makes me to tired calm and lazy to get anything done. Am I taking the extra Adderall because I genuinely need it (which I believe is true) or is this what someone addicted to Adderall does (I don't think I am...but I def. see the caution I should use). Also if Im bipolar shouldn't adderall make me manic? Or is the Latuda helping with that? Ahhh...so many questions on my mind.

Pilgrim
08-22-15, 04:51 PM
I'm ADD not Bipolar so I can't help much with the first.
I've read that you can't have Bipolar and not have ADD, this I believe to be true.

The interesting question , for me , is the second. Firstly ,and I'm guessing, starting you off on a small dose will help with the tolerance issue. I think the trick here is to have the least you possibly can everyday. From what I can gather Adderall just lifts your mood overall. A general better feeling of wellness perhaps. I wouldn't say your addicted purely, you like the overall effect to much. I'm not over this whole issue completely. Keep your dose steady and take the prescribed amount.
Also talk to your Psyciatrist intimately about how you feel, it can't hurt.
To further, the Adderall is actually calming you down, not throwing you into mania. This is the way I understand it.
There's a couple of others here (Sarah) who know a bit more than me. Hope it helps

MacMan
08-22-15, 05:24 PM
I'm ADD not Bipolar so I can't help much with the first.
I've read that you can't have Bipolar and not have ADD, this I believe to be true.

The interesting question , for me , is the second. Firstly ,and I'm guessing, starting you off on a small dose will help with the tolerance issue. I think the trick here is to have the least you possibly can everyday. From what I can gather Adderall just lifts your mood overall. A general better feeling of wellness perhaps. I wouldn't say your addicted purely, you like the overall effect to much. I'm not over this whole issue completely. Keep your dose steady and take the prescribed amount.
Also talk to your Psyciatrist intimately about how you feel, it can't hurt.
To further, the Adderall is actually calming you down, not throwing you into mania. This is the way I understand it.
There's a couple of others here (Sarah) who know a bit more than me. Hope it helps

I've never heard anyone say that about bipolar and adhd. Going to read more about the connection. I hear what you are saying about the tolerance issues. When I take an Adderall (like I took one a couple of hours ago) I can do things like write forum posts and read. When I'm off it I just don't have to energy to do anything but sit and watch TV, sleep, or listen to music. Thats my life off Adderall.

One thing I don't like that's happening is I seem to be more content being isolated (which is something I can't do anymore) while on Adderall. Its not that I don't want to socialize. Its more like being able to focus and do things is meeting my need in such a way it consumes more of my time...I have to remember to continue to be somewhat social and not so obsessed about working and being productive 24/7

Pilgrim
08-22-15, 07:02 PM
Your exactly right, you have to seek that balance. Still this is sometimes hard for me, I guess when things where really hard for me I didn't know what was best for me. I've sort of worked that out now. Just recently in my last job the demands were unreasonable ,so when I made a error you'd have thought I killed the cat. So I turned to my boss and was very calm but I gave her my take on this situation. Before I would have been beside myself with worry. Not now.
What you described regarding your life on Adderall, I'm largely the same on Dexamphetamine. As long as I'm up for work I'm happy.
One note on isolation, I don't think it's a bad thing. Invitro on this forum said;' when I was depressed all I wanted to do was be around other people, and all I want to do now is be on my own'.
One thing I still struggle with is reintegrating myself in society, I just have a few friends and go to work that's it.

sarahsweets
08-23-15, 06:30 AM
So she's planted it in my mind that I could be bipolar and the thought hasn't gone away.
What did she say that makes you think you are bipolar?
My Adderall dosage is so low compared to what I was on and so inaffective I am beginning to take more than I'm supposed to. I'm prescribed 1 25mg XR in the morning. I used to be on 90mg IR daily before I quit. I'm finding at the very least I need to take 2 (some days together..other days a part). I'm finding 3 is the most effective. It gives me full days coverage. I know i shouldn't be doing this so I am going to see my psych again this week (2 weeks early) and let her know the 25mg is no where near what I think i need.
Well of course you know that as a long term solution, dosing on your own isnt going to go over well. Going from 25mg to 75mg is a huge jump and above the daily recommended max-although I do not believe those recommended max's are always the best for everyone. Either way, handling meds like this on your own can be a slippery slope.

I'm trying to figure out a couple of things.
#1 - Am I bipolar and ADD and is Adderall the only thing that seems to help? If so where does ADD begin and bipolar begin? Adderall does make me feel weird emotionally.

#2 Should my current 25mg be all I need? If so why does it not help. It makes me to tired calm and lazy to get anything done. Am I taking the extra Adderall because I genuinely need it (which I believe is true) or is this what someone addicted to Adderall does (I don't think I am...but I def. see the caution I should use). Also if Im bipolar shouldn't adderall make me manic? Or is the Latuda helping with that? Ahhh...so many questions on my mind.

Not everyone who is bipolar can expect mania from stimulants. I wrote a post in the bipolar section about mania, you should check it out. I dont necessarily think you are addicted to adderall-yet but handling the meds on your own can lead you down the wrong path. What symptoms did the first doctor say you had that would lead her to think you were bipolar?