View Full Version : Traditional ADHD meds failed, SSRIs failed, What next?

09-09-16, 02:10 AM
I was diagnosed with inattentive ADHD (no hyperactivity), mild OCD and generalized anxiety disorder about 10 years ago and it has been a life long struggle. Over the last 10 years I've sought psychotic treatment, having been on most of the typical ADHD meds - the stimulants, guanfacine, straterra, most of the SSRIs for OCD except Paxil, Wellbutrin, Cymbalta, Buspar, Klonopin etc. Nothing has worked consistently, though I have had temporary glimpses into what it's like to be able to concentrate and process information fluidly. These temporary states occurred with: clomipramine, Luvox, buspar, Klonopin and adderall.

Anyway, I have a psychiatrist appointment coming up today and I'm wondering what I might try next? Any suggestions? I read some folks had success with metadoxine, anything else? My doctor doesn't seem to have any idea as to what to do next. I've been to many docs who "run out" of ideas.

My main problem is I have trouble decoding information - written or spoken, the meaning doesn't always come to me. This is even worse in unstructured and unfamiliar contexts.

Any ideas are appreciated. Thanks.

09-09-16, 05:19 PM
I think it depends on why those meds didn't work for you and what where the side effects. Sometimes side effects can be treated with different medication. For example, it's pretty common to use a stimulant with an anti-anxiety med.

It's also possible that you have another disorder, like dyslexia or sensory processing disorder which can't be treated with medication (yet).

09-09-16, 09:39 PM
It could be that you didn't find the right dose before moving on to a different med. For some people it takes finding the right combination of meds.

It may be that you actually have something else going on ... thyroid issues for example ... that mimic adhd.

Some people have found Omega 3 fish oil supplements helpful.

I tried some of my granddaughter's Adderall once - she stopped taking it - and it didn't do any more for me that the Omega 3 does. I've been taking fish oil for 12 years.

09-12-16, 03:53 AM
You could be one of thousands of people with a gene relating to the processing of folic acid in the body (MTHFR), which basically means the enzymes in your body that would normally convert folic acid into folinic acid and l-methylfolate aren't working correctly which results in your brain having access to only small amounts of folate. There's a medical food on the market in the US called "Deplin" and you should ask your Dr about it if nothing has worked so far. It's basically just 7.5mg of activated folate that you are supposed to take with your medication.

"Conclusions: Results show that in a naturalistic setting, patients managed with l-methylfolate achieved statistically significant improvements in self-reported depression symptoms and functioning and greater satisfaction with their medication treatment."
Source (

"Adjunctive folinic acid reduced depressive symptoms in patients who were partially responsive or nonresponsive to a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor."
Source (

About the MTHFR gene (

Supplementation of activated b-vitamins, omega 3, magnesium (citrate), zinc, alpha lipoic acid, l-tyrosine, etc. could also help.

09-12-16, 09:53 AM
The side effects of medication eventually outweighed the benefits for me, big time. I was diagnosed with IBS, insomnia, nervous stomach, severe anxiety, severe depression, severe adhd, and "some kind of personality disorder they just couldn't quite narrow down", as if I may get one named after me or something.

This was a result of seeing two psychiatrists, at least 5 therapists, my general practitioner, and a few other specialists along the way. I wasn't impressed with the lot, especially after enduring the suffering their so called solutions brought about.

They all totally ignored childhood and early adult abuse that had been thoroughly shared with them. PTSD isn't typically treated with meds, so I assume they receive no financial kick backs when diagnosing that particular issue. Grrrrrrrr

I was initially prescribed vyvanse at the full maximum dose (holy s*** what a bad experience), along with several anti-depressants that I eventually lost track of, a sleeping pill, and later was switched to adderall, which was the most helpful, albeit for a short period of time.

I didn't try all of the medications available, but I don't think my body would have taken kindly to continuing the crap shoot of trying yet another one. I've learned how sensitive I am to substances and experienced much discomfort as a result of ignoring nutritional and environmental aspects while seeking the right med. I learned how little doctors are actually trained in the nutritional and environmental aspects, as well. That's quite concerning, to me.

I use(d) a combination of nutritional intake (eliminated all meat, dairy, eggs, caffeine, alcohol, and most grains), neuroptimal neurofeedback (have my own machine), acupuncture, chiropractor (Gonstead technique), two master herbalists, an iridologist, massage therapy, reiki and other energy work, purposeful daily movement through dancing, hula-hooping, jumping on the mini-trampoline, yoga postures, and spending time in nature as therapeutic tools to help me get through my days.

I live in a community that embraces bartering, which makes much of it possible since I had to resign from my f/t job to maintain my health, otherwise, I'd likely still be suffering greatly. The side effects of all of the above have proven to be much more user friendly for my specific biological make-up and tolerance.

I wish you much luck in your pursuits of finding your healing grooves. It's a jungle out there.

09-13-16, 03:10 PM
There are other classes of medications, and for those of us with ADD, SSRI's apparently have less benefit for greater risk because our mood issues are more dopamine related than serotonin.

I'd also go back to the drawing board and maybe ask for clarification on the diagnosis. There are a lot of things that can contribute to what you're dealing with, as well as many different illnesses and traits that can look a lot like ADD.

Basically, if what you have isn't what you've been diagnosed with, odds are the treatments aren't going to hit the bull's eye.

The only thing I can think of medication-wise that you didn't mention in the mix was a mood stabiliser. It might help with the OCD and has been shown to be helpful for some of the folks for whom the normal ADD meds haven't been helpful.

I'd also consider how you can change your environment, your situation, and your routine to adapt a bit to what you're living with. Have you tried physical activities (e.g. yoga, cycling, sports); were they beneficial? Is it something you could expand on?

Are there parts of your day to day life that are particularly challenging or stressful? Could you delegate some of these or trade tasks with someone else to help minimise these moments in your day?

09-21-16, 12:17 AM
I've just figured out (I hope) why, for me, meds seemed to work very sporadically...

I have always had a very tough time waking up in the morning along with all the other concentration issues. About a week or two before starting ADHD meds, over a year ago, I was able to get up every morning...early enough to make my wife coffee and drop the kids off at the bus stop, maybe get a chore or two accomplished here and there...this was huge, but short lived. I started adderall soon after and everything was hit or miss from then on. Tried extended release, immediate release, vyvanse, guanfacine, Dexedrine...nothing seemed to 'work'.

For the past few months I've been obsessed about getting to the bottom of my problems, but it's so hard when one can't think can have your solution in your face and not know it....anyway, over the past month or two I've tried a lot of supplements to try and help neurotransmitter production. "Maybe my system is hampered somewhere along the line" so I started reading and reading some more, anything related to whatever I just read...any word I didn't know, I would look it up...most of it went in one ear and out the other so to speak. I could barely concentrate and I took a downturn in the last couple of months it seems. Zero motivation, a little depressed, some of the supplements made me angry ( I didn't know which ones because I started to take them all, together).

I explained to my wife that I'm sure something helped on some days but not during other days...I felt like an infant trying to put together a million piece puzzle. She suggested I take one at a time and try to see which one helps, then maybe add another later on, way later. What a novel idea, right? I mean who else could've thought of that.

The first one I tried was the same supplement I tried the couple of weeks before my very first dose of adderall, zink gluconate. For the past three days I've felt the best I've felt in a very long time!! This is the same feeling I've had in the past, except this time I was paying attention. This feeling that I'm breaking the chains, a sort of freedom from whatever is bogging me down!

Adderall finally helps me with concentration, task completion, organization, making appointments, cleaning up!! It feels great!! This weekend I started cleaning up my garage, changed my car oil (been due for a while now, I won't be specific it embarrasses me), same thing with car brakes and rotors, all done!!

I'm not sure why zinc helps, I would assume I'm deficient. now I've got to try to figure out what's causing the deficiency. Diet, malabsorption, genetics?? I don't know yet but I feel confident I'll figure it out...plans moving forward are to have gene testing for myself and both of my daughters, hopefully there will be some clues there.

My wife never really tried to help me figure my problem out directly but her never ending support and ridiculously obvious suggestion at just the right time to do things the logical way is what got me here, more than all the reading I've done....weeks and weeks worth (maybe months)!!

Find a good doctor that understands body chemistry, neurotransmitters and genetics...all three are bound together but a lot of doctors out there can't even begin to make the connections. Like others mentioned, there may be another underlying issue...

Supplements I've tried in the past month or two, with no real ability to keep track of progress, positive and/or negative results due to lack of concentration, brain fog etc....

NALT (tyrosine)
Fish oil
B complex
B complex with methyl folate (methyl B complete)
Zinc Picollinate with copper
Vit D3
Vit b6
Alpha GPC
Flax seed oil
Zinc gluconate

It was a ridiculous and desperate month or two....I'm currently only taking zinc gluconate and don't plan on taking anything else until I finish this bottle

09-21-16, 09:13 AM
Yes, anyone can miss the obvious, especially someone with brain fog.

For me, it's been fish oil, Omega 3, that made a difference.

I was actually taking it for hormonal reasons, and when I found that I could write a whole paragraph without stopping to remember the word I wanted to use, I decided to keep taking it.

09-21-16, 10:24 AM
It's so simple sometimes it seems sinister!

But simple is better than over complicated...

09-21-16, 10:33 AM
Obsessive ADD, another suggestion is to get someone to help you out, someone close to you to help you follow through if you need it. I know I wouldn't be able to follow my own advice if it were solely up to me. That wasn't because I was physically/mentally incapable, but making the right connections when something is out of wack is hard and a loved one that's "normal" may be able to help.