View Full Version : A Girl Who Needs to Vent...

11-04-06, 09:27 AM
...and no one to vent to!

It looks like there are a lot of great resources out in Eastern Mass... but I live in what is known as "the Happy Valley" in Western Mass and the closest support group is 45 minutes away. Not so easy to get to when you're a full time college student with very little gas money.

Okay, so I think I'm just going to tell my story from the beginning... because I feel as though I have to explain myself. Does anyone else find themselves feeling the need to explain their "situation" to everyone around them? I feel complicated and it's exhausting.

It's 7:00 on a Saturday morning. Usually I'd be sleeping in, but I didn't even attempt to go to bed until about 3 AM, and then when I did I could not fall asleep.

I'm going through some big changes right now. I am 24 years old and have never been "officially" diagnosed with a specific type of learning disability. I've struggled in school through out my entire life, but somehow was able to get by and fool everyone... except my parents. On top of this I also suffered from severe clinical depression, which made the situation much more difficult to deal with. My parents started having me assessed as a young teenager and kept pursuing testing within the school system until I was 17, the same time that I was seriously looking at colleges. Finally when my mother (ironically a Special Ed teacher of over twenty years) was sick of being told that I was smart and just not a good test taker she brought me to a retired friend of hers that was an expert in the field of AD/HD. After spending several hours with this wonderful woman in her home where she treated me with the utmost respect, she compiled a very lengthy report stating that I had a substantially high IQ, but I was a different learner. Then she went on about my specific learning needs down to the tiniest little details. She smiled at me and said "You, my dear, are so smart and so unique." Although she could not give me an official diagnosis, I really felt things might be better for me with this knowledge. She said I was smart. It was the first time in my life that I had ever believed that statement.

I tried going away to a four year school, but it was too overwhelming. I moved back home and began working in human services, a field I'd grown up in. But I never left school entirely. I kept taking one class at a time at UMass Amherst while working at a Day Hab for disabled adults for four years. The balance between work and school was manageable. I maintained an excellent GPA and my confidence was growing.

I soon began feeling as though I should consider taking more credits per semester, or even returning to school full time. My PCP referred me to a psychiatrist who specialized in learning disabilities. First I went on Strattera (sp?) and while it helped me during the day, I'd find myself a blubbering mess when I'd get home at night. My roommate finally called my mother and mom got on my case about trying something new.

So that's when I was introduced to Adderall.
I had the slow release during the day and then I would have the little blue amphetimine salts for my night classes so they wouldn't keep me up. And while this did help with my school work, I fell back into a depression that I hadn't experienced in a long time. I had been on Prozac for about ten years at that point. I brought my concerns to my psychiatrist and he said "Oh yeah.. Adderall and Prozac have never seemed to mesh well." So we tried Effexor and Adderall. But the Adderall was leaving me quite concerned. I didn't like the way it felt when it wore off so I started reconsidering that drug entirely. So then we tried that new drug Cymbalta (you know that commercial, "Depression hurts but you don't have to...") for my depression and Wellbutrin for my ADD. Nothing really happened. So we stayed with the Wellbutrin and tried the Effexor again, this time at a higher dosage. I really didn't feel as though the Wellbutrin was helping with my focus at all... I was actuallly feeling quite lethargic most of the time. But while qll this was going on I made the decision to leave my job and finish up my bachelor's degree full time. So after a year and a half of playing around with these med combinations I am now on 150 mg of Effexor and the Adderall Amphetemine salts as needed, because they really are helpful with all of this schoolwork... but to be honest with you, if someone knows of the ideal antidepressant/ADD medication combination, I would really like to know about it. I don't think I want to be on the salts for very long. I'm concerned about the long term effects.

Signing off for now... and if you took the time to read all of that, all I can say is thank you. I think I might sleep for a little while now.


*~ žEEK ~*
11-04-06, 10:06 AM
Welcome to the forums Chelsea!

I hope you eventually find a good combination of meds that will work for you.

I took Adderall and Prozac for about 10 years, but I'm currently taking only Strattera.

I think Strattera with a small dose of Stimulant might be the ideal combo for me. However, I don't know if my doctor will go for this. I guess I'll find out at my next appointment.

Best of luck!

11-04-06, 08:29 PM
Hi there I'm from Ma. also, the North Shore.........

11-04-06, 11:38 PM
Hi Chelsea, I am also from MA. Welcome!!
I am pretty new here myself and only diagnosed about 2 months ago. I am currently trying to get just the right meds as well, good luck to us both!! LOL

11-05-06, 11:27 PM
Hi Chelsea, I am also from MA. Welcome!!
I am pretty new here myself and only diagnosed about 2 months ago. I am currently trying to get just the right meds as well, good luck to us both!! LOL
I had a very busy day today. I had lots of family to see, lots of places to go, lots of directions to remember...

So I've taken the 5 mg adderall a couple of times today and I really don't know whether I should keep on with it.

One minute I'm fine, then I'm very happy, and then someone leaves the room and I'm sad.

I need something that works for depression and motivation.

Let me know how your search goes! My nurse practitioner said I can always suggest anything I find out about.

11-05-06, 11:29 PM
Hi there I'm from Ma. also, the North Shore.........
Ahhh, the north shore. I have family in Beverly. I love it out there.

11-23-06, 08:24 PM

I live about 20 minutes north of Amherst. Welcome to the forums!!

I could almost be your mother (I'm 40) - but I have to say that I really enjoyed reading your "story." You SOUND very intelligent, and you seem to have alot going for you. (I've tried to block out most of the details of what my life was like at 24. I know there was alot of alchohol involved and alot of waking up in strange places with strange men . . . ughh!!)

So Chelsea - do you feel grateful for your mother's "intervening" in your being evaluated, or do you mostly resent all of her interfering? I couldn't tell for sure by your post, but I bet that you are grateful (AND annoyed - which is probably normal for people in their early 20s?).

Look forward to hearing more from you.